Sara Ruffin Costello— Foxy Momma, Dreamy Decorator, Wild Woman.
WHO: Sara Ruffin Costello— Foxy Momma, Dreamy Decorator, Wild Woman.
WHY SHE’S FOXY: Because she’s a complicated, groovy-hearted Southern Belle bohemian turned New York City design powerhouse/editor, turned New Orleans expat who, despite her innate drive to love and live hard, leads a mellow, magical life filled ping-pong, hot sex and electric-blue jumpsuits.
ON HER HUSBAND: “We met on a photo shoot; he was the sexy assistant. Lots of steamy staring and a little flirting, but I was in a relationship at the time so nothing happened. A few weeks later I ran into him at a Christmas party on the Lower East Side. He was DJ-ing with Moby. I was with my best friend (who wound up marrying his brother). We started dating. Two years from meet to marry. After first year together, we fantasized about life together: houses, kids, all of it. I knew he was the guy and I think he did for me. You gotta seize that clarity when it shows up in your life. One day I just asked him to meet me at the Bulgari after work to pick out a ring. I don’t care about pomp and circumstance at all and neither does my husband. We just like adventure. Still, he was sweaty and nervous. The salesperson had to take him into a special room. He got the ring, then we had champagne at Randolph’s across the street.”
ON HER WEDDING: “We married in a little church in the middle of the corn fields next to my fathers house on the James River in Virginia. My mother had died six months earlier and I could see her grave out of the window as we were saying our vows, which was comforting. All our friends flew in. My father and I danced like crazy – I have pictures of him with a bandana wrapped around his head at the end of the night like Willie Nelson. My friend Miles Redd did the decoration and flowers. They were amazing, except he had never made bouquets before and the flowers kept dropping out as my nieces walked down the aisle, but we just pretended like we meant to do it that way. Confidence is everything.”
ON HER MARRIAGE PHILOSOPHY: "If you are with the right person who makes you laugh and you want to hang out with all the time and who looks good across the room at a party, it doesn’t matter what happens or what horrible things you do to each other, you are gonna stay together and get to that blissful apex (that Joanne Woodward-Paul Newman-ass-kicking-togetherness) while having a ball along the way. Somebody once told me to get rid of expectations. That was kind of amazing. Try it. Also sex at least once a week. Preferably twice. Solves practically everything. My parents were an epic couple. Highs and lows with a heaping side dish of scandal. Even though they separated, they never divorced, and they took care of each other til the very end. When my father was on his deathbed, he told me my mother was the great love of his life. But I think I think my own marriage is the most inspiring one I know. I suspect that is an annoying thing to say, but it’s truel. Once we fired our shrinks and marriage counselors, things really sorted themselves out. The real glue is a dance party every now and then. Seriously.”
ON STYLE: “I tend to buy the same thing over and over — usually lots of Lauren Hutton-esque seventies monochrome silky Halston jumpsuits. Yesterday I wore a bright green patterned shorts and shirt thing. Today I’m wearing a dress that looks like a bathrobe. The only constant is that my hair is always in a top knot. The last questionable outfit I wore was an electric blue, Hammer Time-esque jumpsuit with kelly green pointy toed heels. I love Lauren Hutton for obvious reasons. She also gets an honorable mention for being the only one not to sartorially embarrass herself throughout the eighties.”
ON PAST LOVES: “My first crush was John Taylor of Duran Duran. My first kiss was our carpenter’s son. I was around ten year old, we were sitting cross legged on the trampoline, and he laid one on me. I was stunned and didn’t speak to him for a long time after. First BF was actually a requited love. Jack Barber. We were sixteen and seventeen. Lots of steamy love letters and daydreaming in biology class. We broke up and got back together about forty-seven times. I still think about him.”
FAVE LOVE STORY: “It’s a tie between Erich Segal’s Love Storyand Gone With the Wind.”
FAVE LOVE FILM: “Obsessed with Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same — It’s not a love movie per se, but watching Robert Plant and Jimmy Page is pure poetry. Love, sex, life and rock and roll combined with some hilarious style moments.”