Interview

with Allegra Hicks

Allegra seems to be stepping out of an Italian Renaissance painting with her flowing blonde hair and her feline eyes. She is surrounded by an atmosphere of sophistication and elegance one can also feel in the prints and textiles she creates for interior design.
She has exquisite taste, a taste that makes her unique in her field.

When I was a student at the design school, our professor used to teach us how to watch through a microscope in order to get to the basic language of nature: the diamond’s facets, the ice cubes, the leaves…

BWB: Allegra, you are a creator dedicated to beauty and comfort. Where do you find your inspiration?

I can be inspired by anything, but my inspiration comes mostly from nature. The shapes, the light and the colors I encounter in nature are a source of harmony where I find my energy and my creativity. I seek equilibrium and harmony in my drawings.
As for the choice of colors, nature can teach us a lot about sublime combinations. For example green and orange, which match so well.

When I was a student at the design school, our professor used to teach us how to watch through a microscope in order to get to the basic language of nature: the diamond’s facets, the ice cubes, the leaves…
If you get away from this vision of the infinitely small and get to a larger view, everything tends to become abstract.
I use a lot of these «views» for the patterns and for the rugs. I also find inspiration in images, images from my travels, from visits to museums, from the photography in a movie.

BWB: What kind of beauty touches you the most?

Beauty that is unaware of its beauty! A beautiful baby, a little 12 year old girl who is not conscious of her beauty and grace. It is deeply moving because it is not a type of beauty that has been thought of nor constructed.

When I travel by plane, I follow a strict regimen: no eating during the flight, drink hot water with ginger before the flight and drink a lot of water during the flight.

BWB: You travel a lot in Italy, in England and all over the world. What are the secrets that allow you to always stay that elegant and radiant?

I have fair skin so I make sure I protect myself from the sun, and I meditate.
Meditation is crucial in my life. My father was a scientist and he used to meditate daily.
I also meditate daily (between 10 and 20 minutes in the morning, depending on my schedule). I try to find internal peace and to be in touch with my emotions, my inner-self.

When I travel by plane, I follow a strict regimen: no eating during the flight, drink hot water with ginger before the flight and drink a lot of water during the flight.
I use the tonifiant lotion by Kanebo on my makeup-free face, it hydrates very well. When I arrive at the hotel, I take a bath and I add rock salt to the bath water.

Allegra Hicks

BWB: Do you demand a lot from yourself?

I am very disciplined. When I do something, I really do it properly.

BWB: What beauty secrets do you want to share with your daughters?

Taking care of your skin is more important than putting makeup on.
You need to remove makeup in the evening to keep your skin clean.
Exercise is also very important, but most of all, you should look good for yourself, not for others.
Being disciplined is fundamental in every walk of life, being persistent is also a plus. If they start a gym class or a theatre class, I like the idea that they follow through to the end.
It is also important to learn how to eat well and to be aware of what is good for your body.

I meditate and exercise in the morning, and then I drink a big pot of fresh ginger tea.

BWB: Do you have a morning ritual that allows you to feel good all day long?

I meditate and exercise in the morning, and then I drink a big pot of fresh ginger tea. I also like to take a walk early in the morning. Sometimes I also take a Pilates class.

BWB: You always look stunning in the evening. What are the products you use?

Sensi Silk by Kanebo, a super light foundation by Clinique called Even Better and I love my lipstick by Terry.
I use the Kanebo soap for makeup removal, then I apply the tonifiant lotion. I always use a lip contouring pencil (Dr Sebagh) but I also like to switch brands.
When I take a shower, I use almond oil with a few drops of rose essential oil, which have a calming effect.
I love the rose body scrub from REN. I hydrate my body with the sublime Sysley cream.
I take supplements every morning: Phyto Plankton, Sea Plasma by Bio Care, Silicium, and the antioxidant Resvenol by Vita Basix.

It’s not the dress that dresses you, it’s the way you wear it!

BWB: How do you define elegance?

Elegance is being confident in your own style. French women are great for this since they often do not follow fashion or trends but cultivate their own style.
In order to do that, you need to know yourself well and what suits you. It has nothing to do with the price you pay. It’s not the dress that dresses you, it’s the way you wear it!
You should also dress according to your mood, being chic is also feeling at ease.
Elegance is also trying to feel beautiful for yourself and not for others. Even if I am alone at home, I don’t like to feel unkempt. If someone shows up at the door, I don’t have to run and change before I open the door. I also like my lingerie to match my outfit.

BWB: You know how to coordinate the colors of your clothes. Any advice?

I have a very fair skin and blonde hair. Therefore I know that certain colors do not suit me, yellow for example. I always favor broken colors, softer and more nuanced. I can wear red but never with prints. Beginning last year, I have started wearing primary colors, but my trick is to mix contrary colors. I love to mix blue and brown for example.

Allegra Hicks

BWB: Could you give us some of your favorite beauty and health addresses in London?

Vita Pilates for great classes; BS Spa on Sloane Avenue for fabulous manicure and pedicure, and Aldo Coppola for hair. Whole Foods (on Kensington High Street) for their vitamins, their natural products and their fresh fruit juices.

BWB: Your favorite sport?

I love cross-country skiing because it incorporates exercise with beautiful scenery.

BWB: An address to shop…

for a friend?
Conran Shop for presents
for a husband?
John Sandoe bookstore which still has the soul of an old bookstore.

BWB: You are Italian.What is your favorite Italian restaurant in London?

Lucio is a delightful Italian restaurant serving healthy food. I love their tuna carpaccio.
Otherwise, I love Chisou for Japanese food or Amaya for Indian food.

BWB: What natural health routines can you share with our readers?

Vitamin D supplements are great in the winter to substitute for the sun.
Try and have one day a week where you only eat vegetables.

BWB: What is on your nightstand?

A book, hand cream and lip balm. I am currently reading « The Children Act » by Ian McEwan and « l’Amica Geniale» by Elena Ferrante.

BWB: Make a wish...

Being able to transport myself to beautiful places without the grievance of airports!

BWB: What do you like tasting the most?

Candied chestnuts.

BWB: What do you like looking at the most?

Art, nature and loved ones

BWB: Your little Proust madeleine?

Hyacinths

Marie-Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre

Marie-Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre is a journalist and author.
«La médecine personnalisée, retrouver et garder la santé» (Odile Jacob) was published in March 2012 after two years of investigation and research with general practitioner Dr. Jean-Claude Lapraz.
«Se soigner toute l’année au Naturel» (Prat) was published in 2012 and has sold over 250 000 copies. Her latest book «Etre en Bonne santé toute l’année : 20 cures alimentaires»  was launched in April 2015.

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