There’s something magical about Deborah Brett. Apart from the fact that the fashion editor and artist is impossibly chic (just ask her 41k+ Instagram fans, who follow along for glimpses of her stylish life, home and wardrobe), Brett seems to be able to pack far more into 24 hours than most of us mere mortals.
You’ll know Brett as Wardrobe Icons’ Fashion Editor-at-Large and a contributing fashion editor at Red magazine. Her illustrious career as a fashion journalist equips her well as a Founding Member of the British Fashion Council’s Fashion Trust, where she mentors the design talent of tomorrow.
A true multihyphenate, Brett splits her time between fashion and art – and two equally stylish homes in London and Ibiza. She studied design at Central Saint Martins before her fashion career took flight, and, having retrained as a potter, has made a name for herself as an accomplished ceramic artist. Her work masterfully balances form and texture; think gilt-edged, strikingly glazed tableware – objects for the home that feel poignant yet playful, sculptural yet functional. Oh, and did we mention she is a mother of three?
Brett is a woman about whom you want to know more. Luckily, she agreed to indulge our curiosity as we quizzed her on all in her orbit, from the potters wheel to her Ibizan idyll.
What does style mean to you?
Confidence in what you’re wearing. If you feel great in an outfit it shows and it looks ten times better. Having confidence and fun with clothing and accessories, to me that’s style.
What inspired you to retrain as a ceramic artist?
Funnily enough when I was in school the things I was passionate about were drawing and designing endless dresses, styling my friends for parties so they always looked great and doing my pottery after school. I stopped in my late teens but it called me back. The solitude and focus of working with clay is the ultimate antidote to today’s craziness. I decided to do a year part time Btech course to slot in with my job and kids and to teach me so many new skills. Oh I wish I could do another. It was so inspiring.
Deborah Brett ceramics
How important is it for you to have multiple creative outlets, and how does each inform the other?
I think there are so many ways to be creative. And the more energy you put into being creative, it just pours out everywhere. I love Instagram as it’s such a fantastic platform to not only show all the creative things I do. From the way I dress, style a table, bake crazy cakes or design my home as well as the ceramics I make but I love more than anything inspiring creativity in others. We are all creators and I try to open the possibilities in others.
What is your style uniform and how does it differ between creative disciplines, if at all?
I always wished I had this one distinctive style. My grandmother for example only wore winter white and men’s tailoring! But I suppose my thing is colour, texture and print. I studied textile and print when I first joined St Martin’s before switching to journalism and that’s what I love. I do wear black. But very rarely. In my thirties I was definitely very boho but since hitting my mid forties I’ve leaned in to crisper lines and more masculine over sized tailoring. And I always love jewellery. I pile it on. When I’m doing my ceramics i still like to feel great. I have a bright red boiler suit that Anya Hindmarch made fir one of her shows that I wear. And my tutors at college always despaired at the crazy and beautiful fashion sandals I’d wear in the studio. They were forever worried about me trashing them with clay. But I’m not precious about my clothes. They’re meant you be worn and lived in.
What is inspiring you, lately?
Getting out and about and letting the world soak in. I’ve always been inspired by even the smallest things around me. We all need to experience that again.
Tell us about your home in Ibiza and what inspired its aesthetic.
The location of our home very much inspired the choice of decoration. It sits nestled into the Sandy rough rocks of the south east cliffs in Ibiza over looking pine trees and the sea with the mesmerising rock of Es Vedra perched right in front. It was the bright blue and the rough terrain that inspired us to stick to a simple palette of blues and white. But faded and worn. And we used rope and reclaimed wood and old terracotta on the surfaces inside. Bringing in the textures that I love so much. It’s quite unusual in its design. Ibiza houses tend to be either traditional dark wood fincas or white gleaming boxes. As soon as I saw the courtyard in our home (at the time we bought it, it was filled with gravel and a few non working fountains with Buddhas in them) I knew I wanted to create something bold with a geometric tiled pattern. Everyone tried to talk me out of it but I’m so happy I didn’t listen. It brings me so much joy.
Deborah Brett ceramics
Please could you share one thing few people know about you?
People always think I’m great at everything. Not true! I’m terrible at tennis and running (think Phoebe Buffet in friends). Regret not ever learning to play chess and wish I could master Spanish (I speak French, German and Italian but somehow resistant to taking in any Spanish!)