It's difficult not to fall under Janina Joffe's spell. Whether she's joking about Marnie singing Kanye West on Girls or showing off the basketball and NBA Barbie perched on a bookshelf piled with every art tome on the planet, the director of online gallery East of Mayfair simply radiates light. Much like her platinum crop.
Raised in Germany with her sister, model/actress Jessica, before going to university at Oxford, Joffe now calls East London home, where she works from a two-bedroom flat that's, not surprisingly, covered in framed art. An apt nod to her career as a nurturer of artists young and old, we think.
Further inside, a peek into her wardrobe reveals some masterpieces of a different sort, including vintage designer duds once worn by her mother and straight-off-the-runway scores that were seemingly made for her lithe frame.
So, we got the gallery gal to show us how she pairs pretty pastels and florals with boyish basics, and remind us why we seriously need to start raiding our mothers' closets.
Photographed by Eva K. Salvi
What does East of Mayfair do?
"East of Mayfair is a digital salon where collectors with all kinds of budgets can start and expand their art collections. The site is housed in a virtual Georgian townhouse drawn by Pierre Le-Tan with six rooms illustrated by Thibaud Hérem. Each room can be curated with different works — basically whenever I feel like it's time for a change. We work with a whole range of talents from emerging artists to more established ones, including the estates of world-renowned fashion illustrators René Gruau and Antonio Lopez."
Top by Club Monaco, shorts by Trager Delaney, and Zara shoes.
Tell us about your “yes” tattoo.
"I moved back to London a few years ago from New York and decided I definitely wanted to start my own business. I came upon a friend's tattoo which said 'No,' which I thought was hilarious but a little too negative for me, so I got 'yes,' to be more life-affirming."
Bex Rox bracelet and Swatch watch.
Any favourite galleries in London you would recommend?
"The usual must-see venues are the Serpentine Gallery, Hayward Gallery, Tate Modern, and the Whitechapel Gallery. Commercial galleries I like a lot are Victoria Miró, Pace, and Pilar Corrias. Raven Row; Riflemaker; and Pertwee, Anderson & Gold have the greatest exhibition spaces. And my all-time favourite hidden gem is The Dennis Severs House in Spitalfields, where we hosted an exhibition last year. If you haven't been to this living art space yet, you should go immediately!"
What artists should we be discovering right now?
"I am obviously totally biased toward all the artists on East of Mayfair, and would recommend Natasha Chambers
, Thibaud Hérem
, and Jeremy Wagner
to entry-level collectors."
How would you describe your personal style?
"A little androgynous, mostly clean and easy, and occasionally layered with a few splashes of colour or texture thrown in the mix."
Vintage Burberry trench, Michael Agwunobi T-shirt, Jeans by CLOSED, Kurt Geiger boots, Jimmy Choo bag, and Ray-Ban sunglasses.
What five fashion items can you not live without?
"Jeans, leather leggings, silk shirts, Westwood boots, and striped tops."
What trend do you refuse to wear?
"Never say never. I grew up in the late '90s and have evidence to prove many, many past mistakes."
Cos bracelet and Swatch watch.
What was the last fashion item you purchased?
"One of the most recent things I got was the Michael Agwunobi Céline tee, which I love."
What’s your favourite piece of art, ever?
"This sounds like a Sophie’s Choice scenario so I will say that ONE of my favourite works is Max Beckmann's Self-Portrait with Champagne Glass from 1919."
Maggy Frances dress, Zara blazer, Marc by Marc Jacobs shoes and bag, and SALT sunglasses.
What do you love about living in East London?
"It feels energetic and like it's always changing. It seems there are cool new shops and restaurants opening around here all the time."
Bex Rox necklace.
What are some of your favourite London hangouts?
"Happiness Forgets on Hoxton Square for cocktails; Manero’s on Kingsland Road for late-night dancing and drinks; Brawn on Columbia Road for dinner; Frame Shoreditch for exercise; Shoreditch House for meetings; Story on Brick Lane for pizza; Kahaila on Brick Lane for the best cake; and The Box in Soho for getting weird."
You have a lot of vintage items from your mother. Any favourite pieces she’s passed on to you?
"One piece given to me is an incredible YSL tuxedo jacket (pictured) and skirt. I love the jacket because I can wear it with jeans in the day or dresses at night. I just had to adjust it at the tailors slightly as the extreme shoulder pads made it a little too Dallas. Another piece I found recently is a classic Burberry trench (shown previously) which will be coming out a lot more once spring finally arrives."
Altuzarra dress, Gianvito Rossi for Altuzarra shoes, vintage YSL tuxedo jacket, and Marc by Marc Jacobs bag.
What shops do you frequent?
"I think Liberty is the most beautiful store in London, Luna & Curious on Calvert Avenue is great for gifts, and START in Shoreditch is a fashion favourite. I also can't wait for J.Crew to open in London."
Whose style do you most admire?
"I think Cate Blanchett always looks effortless and elegant on the red carpet."
What are you reading/listening to/watching at the moment?
"I’m reading a great collection of essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan called Pulphead and the MIT Press October Files book on Roy Lichtenstein. Two favourites on rotation are “Falling” by Haim and “Fucking Problems” by ASAP Rocky. I DJ at Manero’s on Kingsland Road sometimes and my playlists revolve heavily around '90s hip-hop and R&B. And then, in terms of TV, I’m a huge fan of Louie, Archer, and, of course, Girls. Recent documentaries I loved are Gerhard Richter Painting, Bill Cunningham New York, and Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present."
Bex Rox ring and necklace.
What’s the best piece of advice anyone’s ever given you?
"Always be open to new ideas. Don’t waste time comparing yourself to other people and do take it one day/task/problem at a time."