I’m in love with Wes Anderson’s partner Juman Malouf
Marian Keyes and her Sudden Wild Enthusiasms: This week it's Juman Malouf
'Juman Malouf is not afraid to be an individual. And the irony is that I’d like to be exactly like her.'
My Sudden Wild Enthusiasms aren’t always about items of clothing or skincare. They can glom on to anything, from Danish TV shows to Icelandic skyr (it’s like yoghurt) to placemats printed with Munch’s The Scream. Very often, my SWEs focus on actual humans.
I am FOREVER falling in love with people – examples include Pasha Kovalev, Jason Schwartzman, Claudia Winkleman, Nigella Lawson and Greta Gerwig. I seem to go for more women than men and I want to be their best friend. I’d like to bring them to Eddie Rockets and ask them questions and give them my bracelets and suggest we have the chocolate malt and if they say, “I’m lactose intolerant,” I’d say, “Me too!” Even though I’m not.
My very latest love is Juman Malouf. Doubtless you will ask – who? – and my response, that she’s Wes Anderson’s partner, isn’t satisfactory. My Juman is no mere adjunct to another person. She is wildly impressive in her own right.
She’s an illustrator and writer (although the book isn’t available until June, so I can’t comment but I’ve no doubt it’s brilliant). She is also apparently the “muse” of the Gucci designer Alessandro Michele. Imagine that! Imagine being the woman who inspired the whimsical fantasy world that is “new Gucci”.
Juman is not afraid to be an individual. And the irony is that I’d like to be exactly like her
Basically, I love her look. Her hair is a strangely attractive bouff (I’d say hairpins are implicated) and she dresses like a Victorian lady: an irresistible combination of high-necked modesty and gothic, slightly overblown beauty.
According to an interview in Vogue, twice a year she goes on intensive trawls of vintage stores and thereby assembles her unique look. She seems entirely confident in her own taste and as I’m a person who’s never had the courage of her convictions, this is what I find most compelling.
Juman is not afraid to be an individual. And the irony is that I’d like to be exactly like her. The great thing is that lace-y Victorian-inspired dresses are everywhere. I want this blue dress from Warehouse, with a bobbly, boiled-wool cardigan in an “interesting’ colour – maybe mustard – to conceal my ham-hock arms. I will accessorise with those big runners that are all the go and a tapestry valise containing a silver flask of smelling salts.
As I walk through the streets of Dún Laoghaire to the soundtrack of sniggers, I will hold my head up high because it’s What Juman Would Do.