Fashion writer Tatiana Hambro has gone from Voguette to Modette, crossing an ocean to join the editorial team at Moda Operandi in New York just over a year ago. Now firmly ensconced in American life, she is our go-to girl for advice on what to do in the city and beyond. We spent an evening playing dress up with her grandmother’s extraordinary jewellery collection to hand, eating takeout sushi and getting her insider tips.
Follow Tatiana @TatianaHambro
Can you describe a typical working day?
It depends on the time of year. During Fashion Week, it's mostly spent in cabs or staring at iMaps. But most of the year I'll be writing stories, looking at new brands and pitching ideas.
What do you wear to work?
I'm lucky in that Moda gives me access to the world's most exciting designers, both established and emerging. I'll wear new pieces with vintage favorites inherited from my Yiayia's* collection. Dress code-wise, pretty much anything goes—it was the same at Vogue.
*Yiayia is Greek for grandmother
Are New Yorkers as hard workers as everyone says?
Yes, I'm still coming to terms with it.
We’ve seen your grandmother’s amazing jewellery collection, does a love of fashion run in the family?
Yiayia was known for her elegance and impeccable taste. On Christmas morning, she'd put on a red cashmere robe and lipstick before we'd even opened our stockings. Her wardrobe was full of fabulous, colourful creations from Yves Saint Laurent and Oscar de la Renta and my style has evolved out of a desire to keep these incredible pieces from the past alive. It requires a little shoulder pad-removing and a lot of getting into character!
What’s more powerful, words or clothes?
Phoning a friend! Roland Barthes said there is no fashion without discourse...
Do you have a favourite character from a film or book?
Jo from 'Little Women'. Dorothy from 'The Wizard of Oz'. Highly commended is the blonde from Tom Ford's 'A Single Man' for her Brigitte Bardot vibe.
"What would you like to eat?"
What do you wear to bed?
A vintage nightgown when I'm feeling ceremonious and a pyjama set when I'm feeling chilly.
NYC INSIDER TIPS - the places you haven't already heard of...
The Broken Kilometer (1979) by Walter De Maria is hidden in plain sight. It's right in the middle of Soho, free admission, and open to the public most days. A few blocks away is the sister sculpture, The New York Earth Room (1980).
Uptown is full of unsung heroes. If I'm in Harlem, I always order guacamole and shrimp from La Oaxaquena in Washington Heights (158th and Amsterdam). It's the best.
There are a million massage places all over Manhattan, but discovering a good and affordable one takes time (and bravery!). Since I found the Lucky Foot & Back Spa on 75th and 2nd, I haven't been anywhere else.
Who doesn't like karaoke? You can get a huge private room the palatial at The Real KTV in downtown Flushing, Queens. For something closer to home, belt out Broadway classics to a live piano at Marie's Crisis Cafe in the West Village.