The Classicist: Gypsy + Jet Set = Gypset
Julia Chaplin, a chic, talented New York–based writer and editor who covers contemporary art, fashion, design, lifestyle, and travel, has identified a new substrata of international society: the Gypset. In her new book Gypset Style, due out soon from Assouline and available for pre-order on Amazon, she presents a super-stylish Baedeker to those who "fuse the wild and unconventional ethos of a gypsy with the sophistication and speed of the jet set."
Most of them are exceptionally good-looking and have money, of course, but even those with obscene amounts of the stuff are anything but ostentatious. Most are also relatively unknown, but numbered among their ranks are the likes of designer and "daughter of Mick" Jade Jagger, British fashion designer Alice Temperley, and even bad boy Brit artist Damien Hirst and his partner, Californian surfer / designer Maia Norman, who make it by virtue of their houseboat moored on the Thames in London.
Chaplin coined the term "Gypset" to refer to "an international community of artists, designers, surfers, and bon vivants who live and work around the globe." The 21st century's Bright Young Things, if you will. Gypset Style explores the "unconventional lives of these high-low cultural nomads and the bohemian enclaves they inhabit, as well as their counterculture forebears, including the Victorian explorers, the Lost Generation, beatniks, and hippies."
Gallery: Gypset Style
These apparently include everyone from authors Paul Bowles and Ernest Hemingway to John Lennon and Brigitte Bardot. Gypset is an approach to life that "crosses high and low," Chaplin writes, "a surfer who is also a fashion designer, an artist who traded the go-go New York City art world for Bali's low-key tropical shores, a jewelry designer who would rather work out of a town in Mexico than in Paris' über-chic Saint-Germain-des-Prés."
Money, the right clothes and even location, Chaplin hastens to point out, doesn't make you a Gypsetter. "Buying a luxury condo on an exclusive beach or checking into a five-star hotel is not in itself glamorous," she writes. "Glamour - as confirmed when I stayed with Nathalie and Sophie Laurence Mignot, a pair of French sisters in Sayulita, Mexico [see the gallery] - is about turning a rooftop into a supercool compound by painting the walls fuchsia, and firing up some votive candles for light."
It's no coincidence, Chaplin points out, that "those who are defining the Gypset aesthetic are artists, fashion designers, photographers, musicians, and surfers whose work is based on their lifestyle and whose lifestyle is based on their work." Gypsetters, she says, "are freethinkers who have made the choice to set themselves up far away - even if it's only for part of the year - proposing an alternative solution to life."