Yes, that really is her second name!
Lauren Bravo is a freelance journalist, who writes about fashion, feminism, food and pop culture for The Pool, Grazia, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and more. She lives in north London with her boyfriend and a rapidly growing collection of charity shop ceramics. Her first book, What Would The Spice Girls Do?, is out in October.
Lauren on Careers
Talk us through your daily routine? The smug answer is that I get up as early as I can and go for a swim in my local lido – it’s heated but still pretty bracing. Most days I park myself in my favourite Crouch End coffee shop for a few hours on my laptop, then go home for lunch. I’m not brilliant at motivating myself when I work from home, so I tend to bounce between coffee shops and the British Library; its atmosphere is so conducive to hard work.
Tell us about your next big project, anything exciting in the pipeline? My first book, What Would The Spice Girls Do?, is out on 18th October. I wrote it in a mad whirlwind earlier this year and still have to pinch myself that it’s happened. It’s a mix of pop culture and modern-day feminist musing, looking back at the whole Spicemania phenomenon. It looks at how influential the ‘girl power’ message really was to the girls who grew up with it – and how we feel about it now, as grown women. Plus there are daft bits, like an imaginary WhatsApp chat between the Spice Girls. It’s very short too, you can read it in an afternoon!
What other work projects do you want to focus on in the next 5 years? I’d love to write more books, if anyone will let me. I’ve had an idea for a fashion book kicking around for a while and I have a fashion podcast in the works too. I started doing some travel writing and I’m really keen to do more. I also fantasise about becoming a restaurant critic. But then who doesn’t?
Lauren on Fashion
With autumn fast approaching, talk us through some of your favourite autumn/winter styles and your go-to pieces. Around this time of year I get caught up in a manic shopping fever, trying to find the perfect ‘throw it on!’ midi dress. I don’t even know if such a thing exists, but I will never stop looking for it. I have a great navy wool blazer that I pilfered from my Gran’s wardrobe, and it looks great with a midi dress or a skirt and a rollneck. I’m on a mission to find a fab leopard-print dress, a pair of white cowboy ankle boots (all Ganni’s fault) and some very 70s high-waist, wide-legged jeans. I also want to learn how to wear a silk neck scarf without looking like cabin crew.
Your top three favourite Instagram accounts you follow for inspiration? I love the @manrepeller account, for its diversity and bold, ballsy styling. Those guys know how to have fun in an outfit. I adore @cocofennell’s dresses, and her Insta is full of fabulously kitsch pop culture references. I can’t do without my fellow charity shop devotee @knickers_models_own, who wears mainly secondhand clothes and styles the most incredible outfits.
A last-minute event comes up, where do you order online so you know you won’t turn up in the same outfit as six other guests? I’m a big fan of Birdsong London, a sustainable brand that works with women’s groups and charities – their motto is ‘no sweatshop, no photoshop’ and their designs are all so cool. Or I’d do my usual circuit of favourite new online brands: Kitri, Üterque, Plümo, Radish and Coco Fennell.
Lauren on Life & Travel
If we come to visit you in London, where are you taking us? For a sandwich at my local, Max’s Sandwich Shop, and a walk up Ally Pally – the best view of London IMO. Or to Stoke Newington. I know it’s a hipster cliché but I love pottering around the shops and junkyards, plus brunch and babka at The Good Egg if I can get a table. I like taking visitors to the bits of London that tourists don’t see, so usually somewhere that’s awkward to get to by tube.
Your favourite way to spend a weekend? On a charity shop crawl in a posh neighbourhood – they have the best bargains. I like long walks along London’s canals (tourists don’t seem to know about the canals) or the Parkland Walk, which is a lovely stretch of disused railway line in Highgate. I often end up working at weekends because I’m too slow and lazy to get everything done in the week, so any weekend where I can mooch about is a very good weekend.
Tell us about your favourite city/ holiday destinations that you have visited recently or any trips you have planned? Holidays for me revolve around food, so I love city breaks. Recently I’ve been to Seattle, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Lisbon. It was every bit as cool and beautiful and custard-filled as Instagram had promised. I’ve just returned from Edinburgh, after a long weekend at the Fringe. I’d love to live up there but my (Scottish) boyfriend refuses because it’s too cold.
Lauren on Toolally
Your three favourite Toolallys? The Ellipses in tortoiseshell, the azure Kingfishers and the LBD hoop drops in black. I can often be found yelling “FEEL HOW LIGHT MY EARRINGS ARE” at strangers. If I ever put another pair of drop earrings on, I regret it within about two hours.