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Alexandra Shulman OBE

Author and former Editor In Chief of British Vogue

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Annoushka Ducas:
I'm Annoushka Ducas, and I've been designing jewelry for 30 years and collecting charms for as long as I can remember. In this new podcast, I'll be asking a series of extraordinary women to tell me their life story in seven charms.

This week's guest is an icon in the world of fashion journalism. She is British Vogue's longest-serving editor, Alexandra Shulman.

Alexandra Shulm...:
For me personally, having a child made doing my job much more possible, because I think if I hadn't had that alternative important thing in my life, then the difficulties that come up, which of course they do at work, would've taken much more of my head space. Then when I came home, I was with Sam. I felt it helped the balance, really.

Annoushka Ducas:
For me, there are so few things that can stand the test of time and evoke a memory like a tiny, detailed charm, a very special 18-karat gold biography. So it goes without saying that I'm very excited to welcome Alexandra Shulman to My Life in Seven Charms.

Alexandra Shulm...:
Oh, thank you, Annoushka.

Annoushka Ducas:
So I wanted to start by asking you about something you wrote about jewelry: "Jewelry is the link in our personal lifetime of memories and associations that make us the person that we are." I was so thrilled when I saw you'd written that.

Alexandra Shulm...:
Well, I was writing my recent book, which is called Clothes and Other Things That Matter, and I was doing a chapter about jewelry, so I did quite a lot of research on jewelry, which I'd never, in fact, done before, just to kind of get my head around the concept of actually what jewelry was. And it just made me realize how jewelry has always been with us; from the very earliest times, human beings have used some kind of adornment, so a kind of jewelry. And I think the fact that it's been so embedded in what it is to be human is one of the most interesting things about it. It's sort of more part of us than our clothes, really, in a way, because it's been around for longer.

Once I sort of started thinking about that, I then I realized how many events in our life get marked by jewelry, and how much ... because jewelry's something that's actually on our body, how much it sort of is part of the life we live. It comes along with us, whatever we do, wherever we go. So it's a very important thing, as well as being very beautiful.

Annoushka Ducas:
And it doesn't come just along with us, does it. When you have something that belonged to somebody, one of your relations, it's got so many memories. When my mother died when I was quite young, I inherited her jewelry box, which was not full of very expensive, gorgeous things, sadly. It was full of all sorts of stuff that she'd collected over the years, and it just has so many memories. A jumper or a pair of shoes ... maybe a pair of shoes is different, but a jumper or clothing just doesn't have that, and it doesn't have the longevity of jewelry, does it.
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