Thursday, July 22, 2010

Guest Stylist-Shannon Chapman

Shannon Chapman is your modern day Jane Goodall meets California babe. Smart, scientific and fashionable. Pretty much a win win across the board. She's my hero, my husbands hero and my kids hero because she is a brave teacher and researcher and yes she really does wear Chanel in the bush. When we stayed at her lodge in Zululand ridden with zebra pillows and safari chic, riding jeeps that brought back a nostalgia of watching Meryl Streep in Out of Africa, you couldn't help but desire a life less traveled. And the sundowners with the South African wine and some cheese.... you just can't beat the life. Shannon will laugh at me and say I'm the "least stylish of all of our friends"! But as I look at her, in the most beautiful of landscapes, with giraffes and zebras in her backyard, khakis and a natural setting that will blow your mind, I laugh. Because style is truly not about the latest bag or best city to dine in, style is about textures and visual richness, nature and all that inspires us and doing it with grace. She has this in spades. But oh, did I mention she also studies Cheetahs too? Probably the most fashionable and smartest feline of all... just like her.

Shannon Chapman


Who is your style icon?

Angelina Jolie. The woman knows how to do casual. Gorgeous fabrics, neutral colors, and everything she wears fits her perfectly. Totally simple, yet feminine and sexy. She always looks stunning, but you can certainly see that she is foremost a mother and a humanitarian, and that, to me, is real style.

Images courtesy of Annie Leibovitz, and umm tabloids

What is the one item in your closet you cannot live without?

My Chanel sunglasses. My lifestyle means that most days I’m wearing “utilitarian” clothes…things I can get dirty or won’t rip if they snag on an acacia thorn… but the one little bit of glamour I can sneak into everyday is a fabulous pair of sunglasses. I am probably the only girl who works and lives in the African bush who wears designer sunglasses. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

My home in northern Zululand, South Africa.

Photos by S.S.

What are you obsessing about owning right now?

I know a house is a big thing to drool over, but I’m obsessed with The Homestead at Phinda Private Game Reserve. Dreaming of building our own place in the same style on our reserve… the ultimate in African safari luxury living.

What is the most used item in your makeup bag?

Dior’s Diorshow Mascara. Hands-down, the best mascara in the world. It actually curls your lashes and is very natural looking. If I want a bit more drama, I add a coat of Dior’s Black Out Mascara.

What is your favorite neighborhood restaurant?

I live in the middle of nowhere, so no neighbourhood restaurant here, but when I visit my sisters in Los Angeles my favourite place for my Mexican food fix is Hacienda del Rey. A real local’s place, authentic-style Mexican food with the best margaritas and enchiladas I’ve ever had. I get hungry just thinking about it.

What is your necessary extravagance?

South African wines. Locally-grown, world class wines at affordable prices. One of the biggest perks of living in South Africa. Our Method Cap Classique (SA’s champagne-style sparkler) and Pinotage (a spicy SA red varietal) are particularly brilliant.

How do you define perfect happiness?

Living your dream.

Photo by Shannon Chapman


  1. Love this!!!!! I hope one day I can be like you Shannon! You are living a dream!!!!

  2. LOVE the photo of Shannon! She is such a beauty! Cheers to following your dreams with style!