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What is your idea of perfect happiness? Achieving equanimity.


What is your greatest fear? Harm to my children.


What historical figure do you most identify with? Miles Franklin


Which living person do you most admire? Lillian Bassman


What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Lack of punctuality


What is the trait you most deplore in others? Punctuality


What is your greatest extravagance? Rolling over my retirement fund to study fashion in Paris.


What is your favorite journey? One requiring a passport.


What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Temperance


On what occasion do you lie? How late I am running.


What do you dislike most about your appearance? Read Nora Ephron


Which living person do you most despise? I despise actions not people though the guy who towed my car today ranks up there.


Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Ones directed at my teenagers to do chores or be nice to each other.


What I your greatest regret? Not being as fluent in as many languages as Karl Lagerfeld.


What or who is the greatest love of your life? On most days my husband.


When and where were you happiest? Meeting Hubert Givenchy at his Grand Palais Fall '88 show and him inviting me backstage.


What talent would you most like to have? Dancing the Tango.


What is your current state of mind? Not equanimity!


If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My gluteus maximus.


If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? Our stock portfolio.


What do you consider your greatest achievement? Parenting.


If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what do you think it would be? Person


If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?  Diana Vreeland.


What is your most treasured possession? Love letters.


What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Being out without lipstick.


Where would you like to live? One of Valentino’s residences - land or sea.


What is your favorite occupation? Impacting visual culture.


What is your most marked characteristic? Emphatically opinionated.


What is the quality you like most in a man? Insight.


What is the quality you like most in a woman? Self possession.


What do you most value in your friends? Perspective, tolerance, laughter and celebration.


Who are your favorite writers?  Abraham Vergese, Marguerite Dumas, Naguib Mahfouz, Nuala O’Fualain, David Sedharis, Jeffrey Eugenides, Cathy Horn...


Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Elastigirl from The Incredibles.


Who are your heroes in real life?  Musicians.


What are your favorite names? Eric, Simon and Eliza.


What is it that you most dislike? Insipidness.


How would you like to die? A well traveled centenarian.


What is your motto? Express yourself


Which era of fashion history do you personally romanticize the most? Baroque


Which three fashion icons, past or present, would you most want to meet? Yohji Yamamoto, Isabella Blow, Karl Lagerfeld


Who do you think has made the greatest contribution to the art fashion in the past 10 years? Alexander McQueen


Where did you first experience the power of fashion? Hot pants in high school.


What is your current go-to fashion accessory? Cover-half-my-face platinum/cobalt shades.


How many pairs of shoes do you own? Not enough.


Which contemporary designer do you believe will stand the test of time? Karl Lagerfeld


Which fashion designer do you believe most influences your personal style? A Prada/Row/Marni/Moschino/Roland Mouret/Stella McCartney/Celine/ Mulberry mix with a dash of Marc Jacob.


How do you weigh in on fashion versus style? Fashion is purchased. Style is expressed.


What trend do you regret having followed? None - they are all fun in the beginning and most are hilarious in hindsight.