Ashlyn Chesney | Style Council Director

Stay curious, travel far. We’ll follow our latest Aje Insider wherever she goes. From surfing in Sumba to stargazing in Angkor Wat, snorkelling in Belize and back to London again, she never leaves home without her Fuji Instax and holds her treasured polaroid collection most dear. In her own words ‘stay wild’, meet Mr Porter’s Style Council Director, the one and only Ashlyn Chesney.


The Kingston Coat styled with Ashlyn’s own blouse

BEST PART ABOUT YOUR JOB

Along with connecting people and discovering new places, I get to create a community for a global network of some very inspiring people and hear their stories. In many ways, my job is to be curious and I’ve discovered that curiosity doesn’t kill the cat, it just makes you eat in a better restaurant.

 

DESCRIBE WHAT A TYPICAL DAY LOOKS LIKE FOR YOU

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m one of those people that check emails from the moment I wake up. I’m not a coffee drinker but I’m addicted to Bellocq’s Gypsey Caravan tea, so no matter where I am in the world, if I don’t start my day with a cup, it won’t amount to much.​

Depending on where I am, I may have a few restaurant and hotel site visits lined up to see what’s new, connect with the teams and see what might be in the pipeline for new properties and projects (it’s also a good way to check in and ensure that some of the older recommendations are still relevant for our visitors). I’ll also meet with members over a coffee or bite to eat – it’s a much nicer way to engage and explore what they’ve been up to, ways that we may collaborate and hear about their latest recommendations.​

In between meetings or when I get to find time in the office, I’m researching new candidates and locations, organizing moments for our members to get together and connecting people, places and things.​

Evenings are often a mix of events and dinners with friends… or me sat at home, listening to an audiobook while stuffing my face full of pasta and getting in a last cup of tea.

The Behati Blazer and the Salisbury Pant styled with Ashlyn’s own blouse
The Behati Blazer and the Corriedale Blouse styled with Ashlyn’s own skirt

BEST INSIDER TIP RECEIVED FROM A STYLE COUNCIL MEMBER

“Never book a plane, train or ship that departs before 11am” – Tim Klingender

 

CAREER HIGHLIGHT SO FAR

I was insanely lucky to have had the opportunity to work alongside Radical Media co-founder, Jon Kamen. He empowers those around him and is a great example of how growth and creativity can foster when you suspend ego and nurture the strengths of those around you.

The Corriedale Blouse styled with Ashlyn’s own skirt

YOUR BEST ADDRESSES AS A LONDON LOCAL

Kiln : Go alone or with one other so you can sit at the counter – order the langoustines, clay pot baked glass noodles and, if they are available, the wild mussel sour turmeric curry.
Mark’s Club : It’s a private member’s club but if you’re a local you should join or go with a friend that’s a member – enjoy a drink on the terrace and be sure to go on a night the cuban band is playing.
Blanchette : Run by three brothers whose passion is people, food and atmosphere.
Aquavit : I was raised in Maine so my expectation of lobster and seafood in general is high – Aquavit serves the best seafood I’ve had in London, hands down.
NAC : Comfort food and a great design. Be sure to grab a seat by the window if you’re a party of 1 or 2.
Columbia Road Flower Market : As long as you don’t suffer from enochlophobia.
Heartcore or Bodyism : For a great Pilates workout.
Brick Lane Beigels : When you don’t want to think about working out.
Borough Market : For fresh pasta and Neal’s Yard cheese.
The Butterfly Exhibition at The Natural History Museum : When you want to feel like a kid again.

 

WHAT YOU NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT

My Fuji Instax, extra film, and Lost Explorer lip balm!

The Behati Blazer and the Salisbury Pant styled with Ashlyn’s own blouse

FAVOURITE PLACE EVER TRAVELLED

Italy. There’s something about it that feels like home and no matter where one goes, or what time of year, there’s always something interesting to see and great food to eat.

 

BEST DRESSED CITY YOU’VE COME ACROSS

Naples was home to some very dapper men, which was no surprise when I realized it’s the only city I’ve seen where the mens’ shops out number womens’.

The Cambridge Coat and the Suffolk Blouse styled with Ashlyn’s own skirt

YOUR MOST INTERESTING TRAVEL MEMORY

That’s hard to say…
Getting detained by airport police in Argentina.
Visiting the villages of Sumba and learning to surf for the first time.
Snorkelling with barracuda in Belize.
Watching shooting stars and the sunrise at Angkor Wat.
Getting crabs in the red light district of Singapore (it was a meal, don’t get twisted).
Witnessing bioluminescent and a close up of the milky way in Uruguay.

 

YOUR MOST INSPIRING PLACE TO BE

Surrounded by dear friends, delicious food and great music. And the Boboli Gardens, in Florence.

The Corriedale Blouse styled with Ashlyn’s own skirt
The Behati Blazer and the Corriedale Blouse styled with Ashlyn’s own skirt

MOST TREASURED POSSESSION

My polaroid collection.

 

TOP TIPS FOR PACKING LIGHT

I decided a while ago that I’d only travel with carry-on luggage. In order to do this I’ve learned:
1. Get an expandable carry on! These are especially handy when you expect to bring home more than you brought and when going to/from cooler climates where thicker items are needed.
2. Let your handbag be a big tote.
3. Plan your outfits according to the weather and be realistic about what you’ll actually wear.
4. Flat pack and fill shoes with the small stuff.
5. Wrap every shoe in its own bag and think of them like a jigsaw puzzle.
6. Utilize hotel laundry services or find a local wash and fold.
7. Wear the items that take up the most space. If coming from a cold climate this means: sweater, cardigan, boots, coat for the plane (they’re always too cold anyway).
I’m now, consistently, able to pack for 3 week trips to multiple cities with distinct climates, a variety of outfits and an average of 5 pairs of (size 9-US) shoes in my 1 carry on. I’ve even managed a ski trip this way as well.
Bonus : Don’t pack a large magnifying glass in the bottom of a carry on suitcase.

The Behati Blazer and the Salisbury Pant styled with Ashlyn’s own blouse
The The Kingston Coat styled with Ashlyn’s own blouse

THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE

Architectural. Distinctly female.

 

BEST PIECE OF ADVISE EVER RECEIVED

“Love yourself first” “stay wild” and “communication is key”.

The Cambridge Coat and the Suffolk Blouse
The Corriedale Blouse styled with Ashlyn’s own skirt

LAST BOOK YOU READ

‘Sapiens’ and ‘A New Earth’.

SOMETHING PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU

Best to keep some things a mystery.


Aje Insider : Ashlyn Chesney (@AshlynChesney)
Photographer : India Hartford Davis (@IndiaHartfordDavis)
Location : London, United Kingdom


With special thanks to our official partner

Aje Insider