Art and Fashion with Alex Meyers
From post-grad departmental photocopier-slash-tea maker at British Vogue to Head of PR & Marketing at Tiffany & Co. and UK, Communications Director at Birley – including Annabel’s and Harry’s Bar – to Creative Consultant/Cultural Connector – Alex Meyers has always had a passion for fashion and culture…
Why did you choose Fredrikson Stallard for the location of the MWHQ shoot?
I met Patrik Fredrikson and Ian Stallard at a wedding in Rio a few years ago, the host separated me from the rest of my group to put me at their table because he knew it would be a match made in heaven – I was livid at the time – but he was totally right. A fabulous friendship ensued and when I went to the Fredrikson Stallard studio one day for a drink, I was floored by the beauty of their work. It is decorative, aesthetically pleasing and also in some cases functional. The boys’ studio is located in an old King’s Cross printing press which feels urban and somewhat gritty yet houses such beautiful delicate works. The two complement each other perfectly. I like the high and low – just like my taste in fashion and life actually.
You’re passionate about art; what sparked your passion, and can you reveal any exciting plans or projects?
I developed a passion for art in the last decade, prior to that my focal interests had always been fashion and literature. All my friends had always somehow worked in the art world and I would tag along to fairs all over the world with them. The content of the fairs soon began to outweigh my interest in the glam and the parties, and I began to take my education in it seriously. I committed to it and started to try and find ways that I could incorporate art and culture to a greater degree in my work, which had previously been in luxury and lifestyle. I had always wanted to visit Marfa, Texas as I knew of its importance in the art world because of the artist Donald Judd. When a close friend began working at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, I visited him, and it was a quasi-religious experience for me. The relevance of the art at Chinati, combined with that crazy electric pink West Texas sky was a game changer. I immediately joined their Contemporary Council and became active in my support of the organisation and even helped create an event for them in London. A few years later, I am now a VIP Consultant for the most important contemporary art fair in France, FIAC, which had always been my favourite fair, but I never dreamed I would ever be working with. I will also be on the VIP team for the launch of the first edition of Paris Photo NY; it’s the first time that the iconic Paris Photo fair will be launching in New York. Naturally, the outbreak of Covid has caused the cancellation of most fairs this year. This is sad for so many reasons; fairs provide a wonderful opportunity for people to be fed culturally and allow like-minded individuals to meet, be inspired and collaborate in a spontaneous manner. Physical fairs bring a pulse and edge that are not replaceable and create growth in more ways than one. Naturally, we have all made the best of this current situation connecting with others virtually, but you cannot beat a face to face. I am hopeful that the world will return to normal in 2021. In the meantime, museums, galleries and the news continue to educate me.
Can you tell us the story behind this gorgeous Alessandra Rich dress?
Most people who know me always joke that I seldom wear any other designer than Alessandra Rich – and they are right. If I am not in Alessandra, I am definitely in a sweatshirt or hoodie, my only other uniform. I met Alessandra at her studio many years ago, I needed a dress for the Women for Women Annual Gala that I was co-chairing that year and she found me the perfect dress. It was glamorous and slightly strange, my favourite combination. I have seldom deviated from her clothes since and even wear her pieces in the day now – it just works and always looks pulled together and unusual. I was appointed as one of the original ambassadors for FarFetch and we were sent to Dubai for our annual Ambassadors Retreat. Vogue Arabia had just launched and FarFetch sponsored the magazine’s Fashion Prize. I wanted to wear a statement piece while also being respectful of the more modest dress code of the region. The gold and black dress brought the opulence of the Middle East and the long lace skirt kept things relatively demure. It’s a great unique dress, perfect if you want to make an entrance but don’t want to be too naked.
What’s your earliest fashion memory…
As a child of the ‘80s, I remember being floored by every episode of Dynasty, I was obsessed. Joan Collins as Alexis Colby has always been my strongest fashion influence, so high voltage in her powerful and structured looks – and they’re still iconic today, everyone feels strong in shoulder pads. Sometimes I even wear shoulder pads under my sweatshirts for added pow. Having said that, I also always loved punk and growing up in London, Siouxsie Sioux was so chic in her own unique way. I usually add a punk or a goth element to all my black-tie fashion outings, it makes them more interesting and less literal.
What are your 2021 goals?
To be present, keep focused and fear nothing. Learn more: there is so much out there to see on the planet. Pre Covid, we all often got stuck in the mundane, little things built up, life got in the way and we lost the energy to explore the unknown. In my view, one of the only positive elements that has emerged from this terrible moment in history that we are now all living, is that we are more engaged with the world and what is happening around us: from Black Lives Matter, poverty, the US elections, climate change, to mask wearing; we all have a view and feel mobilised in a way that most people previously did not. It is ironic that a pandemic which has imposed varying degrees of physical isolation onto all of us, has also strangely helped bring humanity together to a degree. We are all suffering from one common plight and have one common goal of recovery. I remember being in Paris for Fashion Week in February this year and walking by the Grand Palais in the sun, thinking how lucky and grateful I was to be there. Two weeks later, everything changed. I look forward to walking in the sun in Paris again next year when this is all over, I’ll appreciate it even more.
What are the last three websites/apps you visited?
I love interiors and decoration, I am constantly mentally decorating fictitious apartments that I do not own in my head, as well as my actual own apartment. My wonderful friend Tarek Shamma is a super talented decorator and architect who also makes furniture and I often draw on him for inspiration. He often rolls his eyes and just says: ‘No, Alex…” he’s savage. He is my speed dial before I make any interiors decisions: www.tarekshamma.com
The news section on www.artnet.com educates me like nothing else does. Sometimes it takes me a while to take it all in, but it is such a great tool if you are interested in an insider’s view on the art world. It is clear, concise and answers all the questions you need.
I am currently fixated on piercing my ears as many times as possible, I’ve had 6 x new piercings in as many months, all at Maria Tash, and I definitely spend a lot of time looking for new earrings and getting new piercing ideas on www.mariatash.com. My piercer at Liberty curates my ears with me. It’s fun. I suppose it’s my stepping stone to tattoos.
Which three people should we be following on Instagram?
Because it’s always intelligent and chic with just the right amount of piquant subject matter to provide some smart snippets of light relief in the day. Ideally also worth subscribing to the newsletter in order to get the full effect.
I’m biased clearly, but it really such a beautiful cultural experience, whether you love art or culture or Paris or all of the above – take a look, see and learn.
The world would be a lesser place without dogs of all shapes and sizes – I believe that they bring unmatched joy to the world. I have always been an avid supporter of the Dog’s Trust. My beautiful Pomeranian companion for 16yrs, Ribbons, passed away earlier this year. He is irreplaceable, but dogs remain one of my biggest loves. I am and will always be a dog lover.
Where do you go or what you do when you want to feel inspired?
When I want to feel inspired, I need calm, peace and zen so I go for a run rain or shine. I like running by the Thames down to Tower Bridge; it’s such a London landscape and I find the docks and the water soothing. My mind is crystal clear after a run. On a less spiritual but equally effective front, I also visit Neville Hair & Beauty when I feel suboptimal and need a reset. I arrive a grouchy feral creature and emerge an exponentially more attractive well-groomed human. They do it all there, hair, facials, massages – it’s my haven of rebirth.
Can you tell us a sustainable switch you’ve adopted that you try and live by every day?
I have curbed my incessant consumption of unnecessary items, which had previously been my raison d être. I bought something every day. Now more than ever, the last few months of lockdown have made me streamline my life and reassess. I do not believe that we live in a world where conspicuous consumption is either attractive or current anymore, and I am thankful for it. I would rather allocate my time and resources to learning something new or doing something that feeds more than my appearance. MY WARDROBE HQ feels relevant because it enables women to have access to great pieces of clothing without the financial commitment that is usually associated with those purchases. Hopefully those funds can be used for something with a greater purpose that will bring joy in other, more relevant ways.
With thanks to @fredriksonstallard