Read our exclusive Q&A with Bravo TV's ‘Ladies of London’ star, and mum-treneur, Marissa Hermer, including a sneak peek inside her colourful designer wardrobe.
The dizzying speed at which mum-treneur and Bravo's _Ladies of London_ star Marissa Hermer lives her life is not for the faint-hearted. A few weeks before the opening of Top Dog, her latest venture with her husband Matt, Carolyn Asome finds out why pyjamas (not diamonds) are a girl’s best friend and the importance of marinating your face and body in Sisley unguents.
###### You’re American. What did you notice about the way Brits dressed when you first moved over?
When I first arrived, fresh from university in Vermont, fashion there had been about how many layers of Gortex or fleece you were wearing and your heavy Sorrel boots. I realised pretty quickly I couldn’t be wearing that down the King’s Road. I was fascinated by how cool the Brits look and how much fun they have with fashion. They are fearless and really take risks that I never did growing up. That said, I grew up in Newport beach, Southern California, and I’m definitely a West Coast dresser. I love colour, print and sparkle even if I do err on the side of casual and comfortable. Although I really enjoy dressing up when I get the chance.
Marissa with her youngest son, Jake. Skirt, £379, By Malene Birger; blouse, Marissa's own
"I like to organise my shoes by season, these are my winter heels so I can't wait until it's time to swap them over."
"If I feel I’ve really earned my keep that month, I might head to Alexander McQueen."
"A Do Not Disturb sunhat - what more do you need in summer?" Hat, £379, Eugenia Kim.
"I love colour, print and sparkle, even if I do usually err on the side of casual and comfortable." Dress, £1075, Cedric Charlier
"I have rows and rows of candy coloured, fun and funky clutches." Clutch, £340, Kotur
Top, £275, Jil Sander Navy; skirt, £295, MSGM
###### How else would you describe your style?
I wear outfits that are comfortable but which look great. During any given day I might be in the playground, in the boardroom and on a building-site where I am wearing closed-toe shoes with workmen and I don’t want to be trussed up as some sort of dolly bird. As a result I wear a lot of jeans (Current Elliot, MiH and Frame), which can be dressed up easily. I also have boyfriend jeans and although they aren’t always the most flattering I can chuck on a pair of heels and race over to a cocktail thing after I’ve put the kids to bed. I love the colour and print that you find at Preen, Vilshenko and Cedric Charlier. A Joseph blazer and Equipment silk shirts are staples. If I feel I've really earned my keep that month, I might head to Alexander McQueen.
###### What's your signature accessory?
Possibly a clutch. I have rows and rows of candy coloured, fun and funky clutches from Charlotte Olympia, Kotur and Olympia Le Tan.
###### Whose style do you admire? And who influenced you growing up?
My Grandmother was grace personified: she wasn’t always dressed to the nines but she always had a pair of earrings on, lipstick, and she actually taught me to wear my hair up because it takes the hair off your face and it looks beautiful. I love the way Clare Underwood looks in _House of Cards,_ although the way she dresses wouldn’t suit my life.
I’ve just figured out how to wash a silk shirt at home and that has changed my life but it took me 10 years to work that out." Pictured with her son Max. Shirt, £309, Equipment; jeans, £209, MiH
Fries jumper, £315, Markus Lupfer; jeans, £195, Citizens of Humanity; Heels, Marissa's own
"This inscribed box was a gift from my husband on Valentine's Day from all of my boys."
Sweatshirt, £255, Victoria Beckham; jeans, £209, MiH
"I like to wear a statement coat - it makes me feel pulled-together even when I'm wearing jeans." Coat, from a selection, Gerard Darel: jeans, £209, MiH
"Hats are another staple accessory for me - whether that's hard hats or trilbies."
Trilby, £239, Borsalino
"I love yellow - it always makes me feel happy". Dress, £895, Preen
###### What is your favourite item of clothing and why?
I’ve just bought an A-line Henry Holland skirt with an orange and green tiger print but I also love clothes by Jil Sander Navy and MSGM whose clothes are so easy to wear. I like Stella McCartney too, who does clothes that resemble pyjamas that you can wear out at night to Nobu. I pretty much live in pyjamas at home, so if I can get away with wearing them out of the house…..
###### Are you a clothes hoarder or do you ruthlessly edit?
I edit all the time. I’m always thinking I am missing clothing and then I realise I’ve chucked it out.
###### What style advice would you give your 17-year-old self?
Buy less, buy better.
Jumper, £315, Markus Lupfer (Available at Fenwick Bond Street)
###### Has your approach to dressing changed since you’ve been juggling work with kids?
Err, yes! I fear silk now - before, it wasn’t an issue. Now I’ve just figured out how to wash a silk shirt at home and that has changed my life but it took me 10 years to work that out. Anything that I have to dry-clean terrifies me if it is for everyday wear. And I also love cross-body bags because then you are hands-free.
###### Tell us about your skincare ritual?
I marinade my face and body in Sisley all the time and as a result I don’t end up wearing a lot of make up as her stuff really works. I just try to keep my skin hydrated and then I will wear a bit of mascara, a Charlotte Tilbury lip gloss and Chantecaille cream blusher.
###### And any tips for petite dressing?
I'm 5'5" - I love an Isabel Marant _Bobby_ tennis shoe or Superga flatform as it gives me a bit of a casual lift even when I'm running around town. I love a wedge for the same reason in the spring/summer. I also love anything nipped in at the waist or high waist lines as it gives the illusion of longer legs.