Of all forms of media, podcasts are probably what I consume most – they slot so perfectly into those situations where watching a screen might be awkward or impossible (like when cooking, driving or putting on makeup) while providing little bites of knowledge and chat to keep me entertained. Lately I’ve been seeking out some lighter offerings to complement my usual roster of news and current affairs broadcasts, and provide some much needed escapism – yet that still provide intelligent discussion and inspiration on culture, fashion, design and more. Here, some favourites I highly suggest you add to your podcast queue.

Net-A-Porter’s magazine spinoff, PORTER, has just recently launched its own podcast, Pieces of Me. Its format is reminiscent of the BBC’s iconic Desert Island Discs, but in lieu of music, guests are invited to talk about the pieces of clothing that have held the most importance in their life. While clothing is the subject of conversation, this podcast is far from vapid and superficial, and the guests are refreshingly accomplished and of substance – disability advocate Sinéad Burke chatted her advocacy for fashion for all body shapes and sizes, while founder of Women For Women International, Zainab Salbi, talked about her work in war zones worldwide.

I’ve been a fan of interior designer Paloma Contreras, and her elegant blog La Dolce Vita, for a while now, so was totally thrilled when she very recently launched her podcast, The Style Files. So far she’s interviewed some of the upper echelons of the design world – Mark D. Sikes, Bunny Williams, and Jonathan Adler – about how they got their start in the industry, their hard-and-fast rules about designing, and their approach to interiors. It’s early days but it’s promising to be a long-time favourite listen.

Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton’s podcast probably needs little introduction – it has accrued a loyal and rather fervent following since it launched in 2017. They’ve recently returned to our podcast streams after a brief break, and I couldn’t be happier; it always strikes the perfect balance of being funny and uplifting, yet seriously informative – and sombre where needed. Each week Dolly and Pandora dissect the latest current affairs, and suggest a solid list of books, articles, podcasts, and more (they are prolific consumers of content and happily help keep my to read list forever stoked up).

The Business of Fashion’s podcast is a fascinating insight into the brains of some of the industry’s most influential figures; some of my recent favourite conversations included Carine Roitfeld, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia Emanuele Farneti, and hairstylist extraordinaire Sam McKnight. The discussions are always equal parts enlightening and inspiring, with recent episodes focussing on how the current pandemic will transform the sector, for better and for worse.

Mitch Owens (a.k.a. @adaesthete) is one of my favourite follows on Instagram – the Decorative Arts Editor at the much hallowed Architectural Digest, he is an erudite fount of knowledge on all things culture, art and design, and frequently shares titbits of the elegant people he’s profiled for the magazine. In his eponymous podcast, he chats with a myriad of designers about everything to do with aesthetics. Certainly a more highbrow offering, but getting to hear from the inner coterie of the world of design is fascinating.

Words by Tess de Vivie de Régie

Comment (2)

  1. May 11, 2020
    Paloma Contreras

    Thank you so much for the kind words and for including The Style Files! I am so thrilled that you’re enjoying it and am so happy to discover your beautiful and inspiring website! XO