The Four Women We’d Like to Have a Drink With

As we celebrate INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, THE GLOSS team select four inspiring women they’d like to meet for a cocktail …

Martha Gellhorn

Sarah Halliwell, beauty editor

Because I moved to Ireland only eight years ago, all my old friends live in a different country, so being honest I’d ditch any amount of famous women and icons to have drinks with them – they are all inspiring in different ways, and our friendships go beyond shared histories. I’m perhaps one of very few people who would choose their mother-in-law to have a drink with – but I got seriously lucky with mine. She is one of the best storytellers I know, a brilliant observer of human nature, very funny and always the best company.

Beyond those realistic options, I’ve always been fascinated by feisty war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, who was the only woman to witness D Day as well as numerous other historical moments including the liberation of Dachau. She only retired from journalism in her late seventies and always sounds so brave, passionate, strong-willed (and more than a match for some-time husband Hemingway, the least interesting thing about her). She’d drink everyone else under the table …

Having visited Coco Chanel’s apartment in Paris, the scene of her endless evenings entertaining people like Picasso, Salvador Dali and Stravinsky until the small hours, I’d love to have been a fly on the wall there. And I’d love to have drinks with Cate Blanchett, who I interviewed a few years ago – she is very cool, very smart and with a passion for art. She has huge style, presence and charisma – a real woman’s woman.

Jessica Weimer, designer

Leandra Medine, founder of ManRepeller, would be the reckless friend. Great to invite for drinks for her amazing sense of humour, always encouraging other women to be their true selves and express who they really are through fashion.

Eva Chen, director of fashion partnerships at Instagram, would be the friend who loves to document everything. She would make everybody stop overthinking how they look on Instagram, encouraging people to embrace their history. I love her hilarious and unique take on fashion content online and honesty about how she loves to have dinner early and leave a party before 11pm.

Julie Houts, satirical fashion illustrator, would be the artistic friend. Houts loves fashion as much as she loves making fun of it. She would also be the best at showing people how to deal with everyday anxieties by putting it out there through art.

Jessica Walsh, co-founder at Sagmeister&Walsh a creative agency and design studio, would be the supportive friend. Her designs always carry a feminist or political message and she’s all about not taking life and work too seriously.

Linda Fargo

Penny McCormick, deputy editor

I think someone always sets the style bar at any gathering, and trendsetter Linda Fargo (“the eyes of Bergdorf Goodman” ) would be top of my list. She’s dynamic and seems to have a ball at fashion events, when many others look glum or intimidating. Hopefully she’d wear some leopard print too.

As a fan of Old Hollywood actresses, Vivien Leigh would be next – there needs to be one diva in any party mix. Personally I think Leigh was more beautiful than Elizabeth Taylor and just as talented … I’ve got Alan Strachan’s new biography Dark Star: The Untold Story of Vivien Leigh on my bedside table and I’d love to see whether she’s more Scarlett (O’Hara) or Blanche (Dubois) in the flesh; two of my fictional heroines.

To bring the glossip I’d invite Charlotte Tilbury who, as an entrepreneur, has created a brand based on the strength of her personality. I’ve met her twice and she’s ideal for a girls’ night out – great stories, great energy and she makes you feel you can conquer the world with the right concealer.

I spent my twenties requoting writer Nora Ephron – who famously said “everything is copy.” She wrote the screenplays for When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle amongst others. I’d invite her for her wit and positivity. Though she sadly died of leukaemia in 2012, I try to remember her maxim “above all, be the heroine of your own life not the victim.”

Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton, journalists and founders of The High Low podcast

Síomha Connolly, assistant editor

I would start my ideal women’s day drinks with Margaret Atwood, though as one of my favourite authors I would probably spend all evening starstuck and in awe of her, rather than getting involved in the stimulating conversation I’d hope for! My fascination with Atwood began in my teenage years when my mother passed on a copy of The Handmaid’s Tale which she read when it was first published in 1985 and since then I’ve devoured most of Atwood’s collection. I’m waiting in anticipation for the sequel to Handmaid’s, due out this September.

Next I would add Stella McCartney to the mix to pick her brains about sustainable fashion. The conversation around sustainable fashion is growing larger by the day and people are opening their eyes to the effects the fashion industry has on the environment. As one of the foreleaders in the sustainable fashion movement I would love to sit down with McCartney to learn more about her innovative ways of dealing with this crisis.

I would also invite Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton – when you listen to their podcast ‘The High Low’ it feels like you are just listening to two friends chatting (they discuss everything from current affairs to pop culture) and often I find myself wanting to chime in and get involved in their conversation. International Women’s Day drinks would be the perfect opportunity for this.

Technically this is three women, but I would love to invite Haim. I love this girlband’s vibe, music and style and would love to meet the three sisters for a drink – I think they’d be a lot of fun on a night out!

Phoebe Philo

Aislinn Coffey, style editor

First I would add Phoebe Philo for all things fashion and design. Next would be Cate Blanchett who flies the flag for women in Hollywood and shows us how to age gracefully. I would include Mary Robinson, a politician to admire for her ethics and for her own personal love story, and finally Princess Diana as I would love to hear what she really thought about the Royals, her Spencer childhood and Dodi – so much of what was reported was probably fake news.

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