Ten questions with Jennifer Alfano, co-founder and editor of Keep it Chic.
1. What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
I don’t think it has happened yet.
2. What is your most prized possession?
As much as I love to shop, I have little attachment to material things, but I guess it would have to be the art deco Burmese ruby my husband gave me for our 10th anniversary (which was eight years ago!). It reminds me how lucky I am to have such a great husband and family.
3. Who is the person who most embodies "style”?
Lee Radziwill and Jane Birkin when they were young, and now, Phoebe Philo of Céline—her style seems to permeate every aspect of her life. It is not just about what you wear.
4. In what historical period would you most like to have lived?
I’m pretty happy with the present, though I have a thing for late ’60s/early ’70s—a little boho, a little Holly Golightly.
5. With what fictional character do you most identify?
I gravitate to tragic heroines—Katharine in Ondaatje’s The English Patient, Hemingway females—but I don’t want to be one of them.
6. Where do you feel most inspired?
Unfortunately, in my bed at 3 a.m. when I’m suffering from a bout of insomnia. All my good ideas happen then.
7. In your next life, who or what would you most like to be?
A phenomenal writer like Joan Didion, but with a less tragic family life. Or maybe an elephant—they are such elegant creatures.
8. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
It’s summer and I’m on the beach (preferably Nantucket), watching my girls playing in the water. Or in Paris with my husband.
9. What would you say is the single biggest misconception people have about fashion?
That fashion is silly and unnecessary. Intellectually, fashion is a reflection of the social mores of a time period. Plus, most fashion editors, designers, and photographers I know are worldly, caring, intelligent people who are interested in the art, beauty, and poetry that good fashion is about.
10. How can women maintain classic style in their wardrobes, while keeping a contemporary edge?
I’m mostly drawn to classic pieces, but it’s all about the attitude and mixing things up: a quilted Chanel bag worn with jeans, a classic black pantsuit with an unexpected heel. I think the easiest way to make anything look modern is to keep your hair and makeup simple. Fussy ages you.