People 6 minutes 26 April 2024

Claudia Schiffer's London – Green Stars and Big Cat Energy

The supermodel and author shares where she goes in the English capital.

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer needs no introduction. She has made waves on the catwalks of Chanel, Saint Laurent, and Versace – and most recently starred in the latter's spring 2024 campaign. However, beyond the runway, Claudia traded Germany for England, where she made London her home with her husband, Director Matthew Vaughn.

They've raised three kids in London and the English countryside, inspiring Schiffer to bring to life her vision of gracious home entertaining with a collection of tableware for Bordallo Pinheiro. Additionally, Schiffer's also collaborated with a family member – her cat Chip – on a new book given his starring role in Vaughn's latest film, Argylle.

Below, we catch up with Schiffer to get her top tips on entertaining, what her favourite spots are in and just outside London, and what's next for the model citizen. 

*Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

What are you most excited for in 2024?

Almost every day is an exciting day in my life  I am very lucky. Highlights I look forward to are the birthdays I plan for my kids and husband; our annual New Year’s Eve party where young and old meet; and summer trips to Greece, Copenhagen, Hamburg and Paris, where I look forward to returning to my favourite restaurant Chez l’Ami Louis.

What are your favourite restaurants in London?

Pollen Street Social, it has a Michelin Star, very cool mid-century interior design and excellent food. It belongs to famous chef Jason Atherton. Nobu on Park Lane, for the most delicious yellowtail sashimi and green tea ice cream. I also love La Petite Maison for amazing French food, Locanda Locatelli for the best pasta and bellinis, and Cecconi’s Mayfair for Italy’s best.

Where is the perfect spot for catching up with other parents after the school run?

When I used to live in London I loved going to Daylesford for a coffee or healthy breakfast after the school run.

Where do you take out of towners for a true dining experience?

We love La Petite Maison  it has a great atmosphere and delicious simple dishes like truffle scrambled eggs with French fries. And my favourite Chinese restaurant is called Kai on South Audley Street. It’s had a Michelin Star for the last 15 years, which says it all! Everything is great there, although I don’t think a visit is complete if you don’t try their shredded duck.

What’s your hidden (food) gem?

Noor Jahan on Bina Gardens off Old Brompton Road does the best Indian food. I almost always go for the same dish; their lamb pasanda, which is to die for. We’ve even taken over the place for my husband’s 30th birthday. The other hidden food gem is Little Social, an informal brasserie, which is very cosy.

John Carey / Pollen Street Social
John Carey / Pollen Street Social

What green space do you escape to?

The rolling hills, fields and farmland around our houses in Oxfordshire and Suffolk. I love the calm and being surrounded by nature and wildlife. 

Where do you go to find inspiration?

Nature is often a source of inspiration for me, and so are clouds and forest animals. I also get inspired by art and vintage objects.

What’s your favourite child-friendly cultural spot? (eg. Museum, park, etc)

We’re all art-lovers in my family, so I’d say Sadie Coles on Davies St. It’s a fantastic independent gallery in the centre of London. I like to pop in when I can and check out the latest from some of the best contemporary artists. Sadie, who set up her gallery in 1997, brings art alive and there is always a new perspective to explore. Also, I love checking out the Timothy Taylor Gallery and the Annely Juda Fine Art gallery for the latest David Hockney iPad drawings.

What’s your favourite child-friendly restaurant/café?

Ham Yard Hotel’s basement, which has a bowling alley and offers snacks at the same time.

Where’s your go-to place for dessert?

Instead of a classic dessert and after a long day at our Soho offices on my way home, I love to stop at Cecconi’s on Burlington Gardens in Mayfair for a passion fruit martini.

What’s your favourite vintage store for scoring great pieces?

Alfies Antiques Market is a must-see vintage emporium. I can happily spend a few hours looking at their mid-century accessories and furniture and I always end up being seduced by something. For vintage clothing here are my favourites:

Rellik in West London

One of a Kind Fashion Archive on Portobello Road

Annie’s Ibiza  in Soho

I also like CSD  Consigned, Sealed and Delivered in Marylebone  which is a resale store that people use to sell their pre-loved designer clothes, and the Reluxe site.

What’s the spot that’s just for locals? 

Daylesford Farm [a MICHELIN Green Star] is near our home in Oxfordshire and our go-to for sustainably sourced meat, fruit and vegetables from local suppliers. I also buy my favourite Léoube rosé wine and a few staples like their amazing green tea selection. I met [founder] Carole Bamford many years ago and share her belief in a natural and organic lifestyle; she’s a huge inspiration. Daylesford stores are also all over London.

My go-to for great coffee when I am working out of our Soho office is Café Leon Dore on Broadwick Street. 

Bowling / Ham Yard Hotel, Firmdale Hotels
Bowling / Ham Yard Hotel, Firmdale Hotels

Where did the idea for the Cloudy Butterflies collection by Bordallo Pinheiro come from?

My childhood nickname is Claudi, which eventually became Cloudy, which also fits with my love for nature, insects and animals. Combined with that, I have always liked the idea of transformation, which the butterfly symbolises for me.

We're now into our third collection. The first series of 'Cloudy Butterflies' ceramics did very well so we have extended to dinnerware, and now this spring we're launching a new porcelain collection called 'Gudrun', named after my mother and inspired by fall with its acorns and colourful leaves. Growing up I loved watching autumn's effect on nature and leaping into piles of leaves gathered by mother in our garden, so the collection brings back great memories.

What are your top entertaining tips?

Informality, great guests and a fantastic bottle of red wine.

And your go-to party playlist?

I love 1980s music: Pet Shop Boys, Bronski Beat, The Bangles, Boy George, Queen, Duran Duran, David Bowie, George Michael and of course Elton John, whose film Rocketman my husband produced, so it was amazing to finally fully understand what’s behind his lyrics. But my Apple playlist also includes Dua Lipa's Dance the Night, Miley Cyrus's Flowers, Olivia Rodrigo's Vampire and Cold Heart by Dua Lipa and Elton John.

What's your go-to party outfit?

My go-to outfit is always a piece from my 1990s vintage archive collection. My favourites are a mini dress or mini skirt and top, by designers such as Versace, Alaïa, Dolce & Gabbana or Chanel, which I wear with black tights and high-heel booties and a vintage 1990s handbag. These outfits never fail me as they never age and are a timeless staple.

Cloudy Butterflies collection by Bordallo Pinheiro
Cloudy Butterflies collection by Bordallo Pinheiro

Last September you celebrated your runway comeback with Versace. How did you feel about it? 

It was amazing! Celebrating Donatella and remembering Gianni is motivation enough to return, plus my daughter, Clementine, has been asking me for years to do another fashion show that she can be in the front row to watch! I have been working with and friends with Versace for over 30 years. While Donatella is a fashion icon, she is also warm-hearted, gentle and genuine, so walking for the house is always a pleasure.

What do you love about Versace's designs?

I love the beautiful designs and sexy silhouettes in bold prints and vivid colours. The stunning dress I wore to the Argylle global premiere in January is the perfect example. It was a custom Atelier Versace gown designed by Donatella and crafted from the house’s signature metal mesh material with crystal, bead and Barocco thread lace embroidery borders, as well as satin straps featuring Versace’s iconic symbol, the Medusa ‘95.

What is the first piece of Versace you remember wearing/owning?

The metallic miniskirt, high knee boots and baby blue cropped sweater from the Versace autumn/winter 94 collection, which I still own. Richard Avedon captured the look for the autumn/winter campaign and the image was featured in his recent retrospective at the Gagosian in New York. It also features as the cover for my recent book, Captivate! about 1990s fashion photography and I wore it in Milan last fall before walking in the spring/summer 24 Versace show, so it's seen a lot of outings. 

Daniele Venturelli / WIREIMAGE
Daniele Venturelli / WIREIMAGE

What are three words to describe the film Argylle?

The three words I’d use to describe Argylle are action, comedy, romance.

How did you celebrate Chip’s acting debut?

In case you are wondering, Chip plays Alfie in my husband Matthew Vaughn’s latest film Argylle. There was another cat originally on the film set, but he turned out to be a terrible actor. He was quickly replaced by our family cat, Chip.

Since being in the film Argylle, Chip’s ego has become insufferable; he has become buddies with his co-stars Henry Cavill, Dua Lipa and Bryce Dallas Howard. I hardly see him these days; between FaceGym and Paw-lates sessions, he has no time for me lately.

What’s your favourite part of working on and making the film?

I love being behind the scenes because I can focus on the fashion and beauty connections to the films my husband Matthew makes. From Versace gowns worn by Dua Lipa and Bryce Dallas Howard, to Chris McMillan looks for hair and Pat McGrath’s special lipstick.

KINGSMAN Argylle Sweater / Statesman
KINGSMAN Argylle Sweater / Statesman

Can you tell us a little about the story of the book, which is told from Chip’s perspective?

Yes, Chip has written a memoir that follows his slightly delusional adventures on a global tour of the fashion and film worlds, as his star ascends. His journey takes him from cat-naps at Claridge’s to cocktails at Cannes, with pit stops at the Monaco Grand Prix and Met Gala along the way.

The book sees him turn from a family cat at home into a global film star. He is a total nepo-cat now and his ego has become insufferable.

[Chip’s autobiography, Blue Chip: Confessions of Claudia Schiffer’s Cat is out now]

How did the book come about?

Chip wanted to write a memoir and pitched me his story of how a supernova feline finally escapes a Supermodel’s shadow onto the big screen, and how it is rather annoying his only claim to fame is being my cat. So, then I introduced him to the publisher gestalten and the work of fashion illustrator Angelica Hicks, whose clever humour and playful style was perfect for his book.

What kind of message do you want to convey to readers with your book?

I suspect that sometimes Chip has stretched the truth, but ultimately, I think his message is that dreams can come true.

Hero Image: Claudia Schiffer


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