Solitary Refinement – Afternoon Light

SOLITARY REFINEMENT

A Bachelorette Pad of Our Dreams

Mimi Fukuyoshi, the stylish and elegant fashion executive, is a Senior Vice President at Tom Ford overseeing retail and wholesale for the US and global eCommerce for the brand. She built her career in fashion and menswear at retail giants like Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf Goodman and has lived alone for the past eight years. “Living alone is the best,” she told us. “For the most part, I’m a neat and clean freak but occasionally if I want to not fold my clothes and toss them in a chair then I can do that with no one to say otherwise. My favorite Friday nights are spent at home with a sheet mask on, ordering in and/or eating ice cream out of the container, watching Netflix. This is also maybe why I’m single.” We were moved by the serenity of her roomy loft apartment in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, wanting very much to take to the chaise by the window with a book, for a very long, uninterrupted reading session. In the afternoon light, naturally.

On finding joy in the solo art of doing just as you please, here is an excerpt from Marjorie Hillis’ “Live Alone and Like It” of 1936. Radical for its time, the snappy (though occasionally outdated) manual for women living happily on their own still provides just the right prescription for solitary refinement of the female variety:

 

If you are new at the game of living alone, it is not unlikely that you are sometimes afraid of the dark, though, of course, you don’t admit it. This, too, is something to get over quickly; you can have a miserable time prolonging the agony. When you wake in the night convinced that you hear a man moving about in the next room, do not get up and investigate. Still more important, do not telephone the janitor, or a friend's husband across the street, or your brother in New Jersey. Almost certainly, there is no man in the next room, and, if there were, he would be gone by the time anyone got there. The trick is to turn over and think furiously about something else, like your new dress or what you'd say if the good-looking man who took you to the theater last week proposed – until you go to sleep again. This is difficult at first, but after the sixth imaginary burglar has invaded your flat unmolested, it becomes no trouble at all.

 

If all this sounds a little dreary, think of the things that you, all alone, don't have to do. You don't have to turn out your light when you want to read, because somebody else wants to sleep. You don't have to have the light on when you want to sleep, because somebody else wants to read. You don't have to get up in the night to fix somebody else's hot water bottle, or lie awake listening to snores, or be vivacious when you're tired, or cheerful when blue, or sympathetic when you're bored. You probably have your bathroom all to yourself too, which is unquestionably one of Life's Great Blessings. You don't have to wait till someone finishes shaving, when you are all set for a coldcream session. You have no one complaining about your pet bottles, no one to drop wet towels on the floor, no one occupying the bathtub when you have just time to take a shower. From dusk until dawn, you can do exactly as you please, which, after all, is a pretty good allotment in this world where a lot of conforming is expected of everyone.

By Minya Quirk
Photography by Shiloh Teny