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at home with... CANDICE LAKE

The photographer, designer, and model shares her seven rules for effortless entertaining from her elegant London home.

Words by Georgina Lucas.
Fashion by Alessia Simpson.
Photography by Phill Taylor.

‘I was always inspired to create – forever in the garage with my father as a child, inventing things,’ says Candice Lake. The model-turned-photographer and designer was scouted while attending law school and moved from her native Sydney to New York – ‘the prospect of a ticket to see the world was incredibly alluring,’ she says. She quickly became the face of Ralph Lauren, was shot for Vogue and walked in countless runway shows. Then, a campaign with photographer Steven Meisel for Versace triggered a new direction. ‘He only took 10 to 15 frames, I thought for sure I’d been dropped,’ she says. ‘Months later I saw myself on a billboard – it looked so different to how I’d seen the shoot. I knew at that moment it was what I wanted to do with my life.’

Lake went back to art school – ‘one of the most inspiring times of my life’ – and then set about assisting ‘anyone and everyone’. Determined to learn all sides of the industry, she moved to London in 2009 and approached British Vogue. She received a commission to shoot street-style in New York, ‘right as it was beginning to take off’, kickstarting her photography career. ‘I have a relatively unique perspective as I have been on every side of the industry,’ she says: ‘from model, stylist, photographer’s assistant, commercial sales, designer to photographer.’ Add a clothing collection and a just-launched high summer collaboration with Beulah and Lake has her hands full. Unsurprisingly, relaxation is at a premium – ‘a long bath is possibly the most indulgent thing one can do – I would live in the bath if I could.’

The polymath lives with her architect husband, Didier, and their two children – her home is ‘a light-filled secret hideaway in the centre of London’. Designed by Didier in a railway arch, the space is ‘vast and white with really high ceilings’. Lake set about turning her aesthetic eye to the interior, filling the home with ‘colour and warmth – lots of pattern and print’. Lake’s interior vision has parallels with her sartorial style – ‘I like big bold prints and don’t love clutter – it’s the same as how I dress. I love statement earrings, a hero dress, a bold lip. Classic, pared-back and bold, which is reflected in my home.’

The ‘wholly personal’ space makes a perfect backdrop for one of Lake’s favourite pastimes: dinner parties. Here she shares with The Style Report her rules for effortless entertaining.

1. BE RELAXED

‘As the host, ensure you are relaxed. If you are relaxed, everyone else will be. No one needs to know that the potatoes have burnt.’

2. SET THE TONE

‘Lighting is huge for me – no overhead lighting for a dinner party, just lots and lots of candles. I love linen, and Peter Pilotto’s collection of plates is totally in keeping with my love of pattern and colour.’

3. ADD FLOWERS

‘Small bunches of wildflowers all along the table in mismatching pots is always so chic. I love ranunculus and sweet peas to add a bit of colour.’

4. PLAN THE GUESTLIST

‘We have a table for 14 that we bring out for dinner parties, mixing it up with old friends, new friends and people with opposing political and social views – it always makes for really interesting dinner chat and gets the party going.’

5. DRESS THE PART

‘Black-tie dinner parties are so much chicer, and everyone ends up being much naughtier the more dressed up they are. I wear a lot of Peter Pilotto – I love how they do gowns that you can wear with flats day or night, it’s effortless. Other go-tos are The Row, Bottega Veneta, and Loewe.’

6. FOOD, THE FRENCH WAY

‘I adore dinner parties but I hate cooking – I have someone come in to help in that department. More is more when it comes to food – I love how the French do dinner parties with some baguettes on the table and a few large dishes with lots of wine.’

7. ENCOURAGE DANCING

‘Serve lots of champagne on arrival. Keep the wine flowing and have lots of dancing late into the night – the perfect party goes on well into the early hours of the morning.’

TAP FOR CREDITS

HAIR AND MAKE-UP LINDA ANDERSSON. PHOTO ASSISTANT JACK KENYON. PRODUCTION CHRISTOPHER GARFIELD.

The Style Report
The Style Report
THE STYLE REPORT