Alice Vincent and Diana Ross
We were excited to read of the mutual love for Marfa Stance from our latest Marfa Muses in British Vogue. The duos friendship started when writer and gardener Alice Vincent interviewed fellow gardener Diana Ross during the pandemic for her newly released book - Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival.
When I turn up on Diana’s doorstep, things unfold as they would with any other friend. We smile, we hug tightly, she fusses over my jacket: “Is it one of those?” She means Marfa Stance; she’d read about the cultish sustainable luxury brand somewhere.
Alice Vincent, British Vogue
Their intergenerational friendship, Diana in her eighties and Alice in her thirties, perfectly encapsulates the multigenerational appeal of Marfa Stance. It began on the very bench we shot them both in Diana’s enchanting garden - her 40 yearlong self-taught passion. An inspiration to take a chance and do something that you love.
Diana wears the Parachute Parka in Dark Olive / Reverse: Anthracite and Black in size S-M with the Quilted Hood in black, anthracite in XXS-S and the Quilted Liner in size XS.
Alice wears the Colourblock Quilt in pastel pink, reverse pale yellow and copper in size XXS, with the Knitted Hood in XXS-S and the Shearling Liner in Jade in size XS.
Tell us about your background?
A: I'm a writer and storyteller who has been a journalist since graduating 15 years ago. I'm fascinated by the intricacies of words, womanhood, and the wonders of everyday life, and I'm fortunate enough to be able to write about these for titles including The Financial Times, Vogue, The Observer and The New Statesman. I'm the author of books including Rootbound, Rewilding a Life and Why Women Grow, which explore the connections between people and the land. I'm also a self-taught urban gardener, which informs my writing practice as well as my outlook on the world.
Alice, how did your friendship with Diana begin?
A: I spoke to 45 women in their gardens, growing and green spaces around the country and the continent while researching Why Women Grow and a mutual contact of mine and Diana's recommended that I approach her as part of the process, as she had a beautiful garden and was a great conversationalist. Diana gamely replied to my email - I was a total stranger - and in late February 2021 we sat outside in her garden as winter shifted to spring and spoke about the 40 years she had tended to it, how it had reflected parts of her life and what it offered her. I remember being so impressed by her tenacity, her wit and her candour. I didn't know if I'd see her again, but she was good enough to invite me back a few months later - and we've been hanging out ever since!
Diana, what's your favourite part of your friendship with Alice?
D: My friendship with Alice was a no-brainier: she is so full of ‘life’ - literally so, given that within a short time of her first coming here to interview me for the book she was researching back in 2021, and recently published - Why Women Grow - photographed here together by the Marfa Stance team last week, she has delivered her first baby pretty well simultaneously with the book.Alice herself believes people may be divided into two groups - ‘drains’ and ‘radiators’. I deem Alice a mega radiator; she gives off boundless energy and old people tend to make beelines for the young, of course we do! We thrive on that energy.
What advice or guidance would you give to a female Journalist?
A: I hope it's changing, but the media remains a pretty patriarchal industry - I spent a lot of my twenties holding my own in newsrooms. I'd say to stick to your guns and tell the stories that matter to you: raising awareness of and writing about gender disparity and sexism across the arts remain the parts of my career of which I'm most proud. But I'd also say to be wary of the pressure of telling your own stories and traumas: it's something women journalists are subjected to with far greater regularity - and expectation - than men, and it's often something expected of younger women writers as a means of a larger piece. Be aware that you don't have to write about anything you don't feel comfortable sharing, and think about how it may sit in the years to come. As women, we are so much more than our trauma.
What are your top gardening tips now we're heading into spring?
D: They say when you turn to 40, you either turn to God or Gardening, I chose the latter. Gardeners would do well just to relax for a while out there, at least occasionally - to be a human ‘being’, not one forever ‘doing’.
What are you most proud of?
A: Demanding space for and telling women's stories.
How do you style your Marfa Stance pieces and why do you like the brand?
A: I chuck my quilt over everything! It's basically my go-to coat. I became particularly grateful for it last October while teaching on A Haven for Stories, the writing retreat I co-host in Tuscany; - the mornings and evenings would be chilly, the middle of the day warm enough to sunbathe. Whether I was pottering down to the pool for a pre-breakfast swim or chatting with fellow writers by candlelight late into the evening, I loved the flexibility to layer up the quilt offered. I tend to swap the collars and hoods around depending on the weather, while I wear my shearling gilet around the house as a cosy extra layer.
Read Alice’s British Vogue feature on their intergenerational friendship HERE and discover her second book Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival.
Photographer: Amelia Allen