The following article, 'Q&A with Julie Verhoeven' by Pip McCormac was taken from the London Times online (www.timesonline.co.uk) on December 7, 2008.
The artist Julie Verhoeven is famous for her bold colours and big, graphic fashion illustrations. She has collaborated with everyone from Louis Vuitton and Mulberry to Topshop. She graduated in fashion from Medway College in 1987, and began her career as first design assistant to John Galliano. Her latest project has been to create a tapestry for the Banners of Persuasion series of wall hangings by contemporary artists, commissioned by The Rug Company.
What defines contemporary living?
What was your big break?
Who is your mentor?
The artist and lecturer Howard Tangye. He was my drawing tutor and is now a friend. He is generous and loving beyond belief.
What is the one thing you want to improve about yourself?
Rewinding and being reborn as a Marilyn Monroe lookalike.
What is your most diva-like demand?
Real coffee — and beer from a glass.
Who or what is the love of your life?
Are you a romantic or a pragmatist?
Pragmatist with closet romantic leanings.
Which comes first for you: sex or love?
I wouldn’t choose. It has to be both together, in abundance, or nothing.
Who is your significant other?
I don’t like to tempt fate, but it’s my boyfriend, Steven.
Do you believe in monogamy?
Yes. It’s something to be treasured and nurtured, if you are fortunate enough to meet somebody who suits. Greediness is highly unattractive.
Who did you last get drunk with and what was the occasion?
With my boyfriend, celebrating nothing special.
How often do you go out?
Too often — I prefer to be in.
Are you a member of any club?
Who would be your dream party guests?
Colourful, conversational types with dancing feet.
Who is your secret crush?
What do you admire and why?
Beauty. If you are lucky enough to be blessed with it, you can achieve anything and everything.
What do you Sky+?
Are you a cat or a dog person?
I prefer guinea pigs — they are lower maintenance and have an endearing nature.
Are you a backpacker or a matching-set-of-suitcases person?
One should travel in as much style and luxury as possible, with mismatching suitcases and carrier bags.
What is your fantasy travel destination?
Arriving at the Emerald City on the Orient Express.
How would you sum up your style?
Room for improvement.
Do you have a signature look?
I try to keep revising it, but often fail.
What is your beauty ritual?
A daily piping-hot bath, and lots of make-up.
What is the one piece of clothing you put on that always makes you feel good?
As many layered pieces as possible to obliterate the body.
What do you have for breakfast?
Normally tea and cereal or, as a special treat, McDonald’s black coffee and a bagel.
If you could buy only one interiors label to deck out your house, what would it be?
David Hicks, circa 1970.
If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you’d buy?
A colour photocopier.
What item do you wish you had designed?
The stainless-steel comb.
What’s your green concession?
What’s your ungreen concession?
Excess in all areas.
What would be your last meal on earth?
As long as it isn’t hospital food, I don’t care.
What piece of advice would you give others?