Anyone who knows anything about fashion knows Robin Givhan. She is the fashion critic at the Washington Post, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, the author of The Battle of Versailles, and/or as I know her to be, a badass in any fitness related scenario. When I moved to Washington from Paris I quickly determined that Robin was one of the few people with any depth on the local fashion scene, so I stalked her for months until she finally agreed to meet me for tea. We talked about Paris, New York, fashion (obviously), and the tendency of women in Washington to wear lululemon all day long (see New Yorker cartoon by Drew Dernavich).
I am honored to now call Robin a friend, and continue to be blown away by the breadth of her knowledge of my favorite subject (fashion – duh). She also happens to be one of the most candid, witty people I know, so I knew she would be the perfect person to answer my first Proust Questionnaire.
Herewith, Robin Givhan, who should stop depriving herself of cookies.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Having a sense of accomplishment
What is your greatest fear? Giving up
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My temper
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Laziness
Which living person do you most admire? My father
What is your greatest extravagance? Art
What is your current state of mind? Whirling
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? I think assessing virtue is overrated.
On what occasion do you lie? When looking at other people’s baby pictures
What do you most dislike about your appearance? I try not to go down that rabbit hole
Which living person do you most despise? Those who live in a fact-free universe
What is the quality you most like in a man? Kindness
What is the quality you most like in a woman? A sense of humor
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “conjure up”
What or who is the greatest love of your life? My family
When and where were you happiest? At the top of a mountain I’ve just hiked up – real or metaphorical
Which talent would you most like to have? To dance
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? To be more present
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Making my parents proud
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? My dog Oscar
Where would you most like to live? In northern California
What is your most treasured possession? My memories
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Having no one to call “friend.”
What is your favorite occupation? Journalist
What is your most marked characteristic? Determination
What do you most value in your friends? Honesty
Who are your favorite writers? John Irving, Donna Tartt
Who is your hero of fiction? Harriet the Spy
Which historical figure do you most identify with? I like to look forward
Who are your heroes in real life? People who run towards the fire when others are running away
What are your favorite names? I don’t like names; I like people.
What is it that you most dislike? The bigotry of low expectations
What is your greatest regret? Not eating more cookies
How would you like to die? With my stilettos on.
What is your motto? You won’t know until you try.