London Insider: Said Cyrus on his month ahead in the capital

Words by
Sphere Life

22nd May 2017

As co-founder and head of design at Catherine Walker & Co, Said Cyrus creates beautiful styles for women - including Carole Middleton's ensemble for daughter Pippa's recent wedding. He spends his free time gardening and exploring art galleries

Which galleries/ exhibitions will you be visiting?

We're in our 40th year of business, and it's fitting that our anniversary coincides with Kensington Palace's major exhibition Diana: Her Fashion Story. When I see the dresses, I will be reminded that it was she who was the star and not the dresses.

An item you want to buy (and where)?

We've recently collaborated with the Italian jewellery house Gismondi1754 to create a beautiful butterfly necklace pendant made from rubies – the 40th anniversary stone – with a baguette-cut diamond in the centre. Massimo Gismondi personally designed the piece. I wanted to use our logo, a butterfly, to express a feeling of lightness, grace and elegance, as these are qualities I saw in my late wife.

A walk you are looking forward to doing?

Each August I like to find a perfect still summer Sunday evening to walk around the city. The emptiness of the streets and tranquil feeling contrasts sharply with the bursting energy on any weekday. You don’t need an itinerary – anywhere in the square mile will do.

A new book you want to read?

Sapiens by Yuval Harari. For about 30 years I have been trying to write a book on (a very narrow part of) palaeontology that I was going to call Bones and Stones, but I'll never finish it because scientific advances move the goalposts almost every week... I might now have to call it Bones, Stones, and Genomes. Whatever I write I will be pleased if it’s a tenth as good as Harari’s book, and I’ve only read the first chapter!

Which cafés?

I believe Le Pain Quotidien has the best baguette in London especially if you can buy it while it’s still warm.

Which new restaurants?

Living in Chelsea I am spoilt for choice with so many world-class restaurants within walking distance. I’m really looking forward to visiting Bibendum now that French chef Claude Bosi is at the helm. My all time favourite is Le Colombier in Dovehouse Street; Didier Garnier has made it an amazing place.

Any in-the-know shops you might go to?

I am a sucker for handmade shoes - for years I used to buy from Deliss in Beauchamp Place SW3, which sadly closed. I have since found Special Footwear & Orthotics in New Cavendish St, Marylebone, which sounds quite medical but they make beautiful shoes to my design, in a leather that feels like glove leather.

Where do you like to get fit?

I am lucky to have my own 'gym', which is basically a cross trainer/cycle machine and a few weights.

Your favourite hidden spot in London?

Although museums are often crowded places, if you explore anywhere in, say, the British Museum, or the V&A, you can usually find quiet corners full of often overlooked treasures. You can’t help but marvel at the human effort in all those silent masterpieces.

Which play might you be seeing?

Totem Cirque du Soleil in Brussels in September.


Catherine Walker & Co showroom

Your favourite London brand and why?

I think the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is such an important fixture for Chelsea and for London. This year, our company will again be doing our ‘Flower Walk’ along the Kings Road on Thursday 25th May. We don’t do catwalk shows, so this is a fun way of taking our designs directly to the public. Last year’s ‘Flower Walk’ was a great success – and on a personal level, I enjoy gardening.

We frequently look to the English garden when designing at Catherine Walker & Co – roses and other beautiful flowers often inform our unique prints and embellishment, such as embroidery and beading.

(20% of all purchases of the Gismondi1754 for Catherine Walker & Co piece will go to The Breast Cancer Haven a charity of which Said Cyrus and his wife Catherine Walker were founder sponsors)