wine time with martine rousseau

Wine Time01

jacket and pants Eckhaus Latta, turtleneck and shoes Jeehye Lee

My name is Martine Rousseau, I was actually born in Brussels, Belgium and lived in that little country which actually doesn’t have more inhabitants almost than the whole New York City and suburbs. I’m still the youngest of eight kids and from a very young age I realized that if I wanted to do things I needed to speak the languages and so forth. I speak four languages fluently and of course that helped me broaden my horizons and then went to start working for international companies, American companies at first. Marketing, then I veered into the finance world, worked for a big Japanese stockbrokerage company and then had my own stockbrokerage company in Belgium and France.

Wine Time02

leather button-down DROMe, halter top Gogo Graham, and pants Mook Attakanwong

I married a Frenchman and I have three children, all of them doing very well. I moved to the US twenty-three years ago, started a big real estate investment project, and then from there on, when that project was over, went into international education, then I worked a little bit in the fashion industry, and continued always to be an international finance and marketing consultant.

Wine Time03

sweater Henrik Vibskov and dress Area

And then of course I came into the modeling, infomercial, and a little bit of background- very small little roles. I’ve been enjoying that part too: never thought that one day I would use what I have been told my whole life that I should never do; that you think. My mom used to say “Use your brains!”

Wine Time04

jacket Telfar and pants Gypsy Sport

Well I mean, it’s funny; when I used to be traveling the world when I was thirty-a long time ago-it was not very frequent to see too many women in Europe, so they were all asking me if I was a model, because I was always a little bit a fashionista. I seemed to be always offended and say, “No, no I’m not a model.” And now I think, around Italy, maybe they would ask me “Are you in finance?” And I will be offended and say, “No, I’m a model!” So it’s kind of interesting the way things take a twist.

Wine Time05

dress Gogo Graham, shorts Degen, coat Marc Jacobs and sleeves Area

It should be noted that I’m almost sixty-two years old, so to say a lot of water has been under the bridge! I think it’s important to say that because it shows that your age is in the head, and you can still be doing a lot of things. And I mean- if I say my age, I think it’s also because people should realize that the sky is the limit, and if you want to do things that you want to do, you should just go in and go off in it and try to live your dreams, your passions, and do other things! Just don’t get into little routines and this and that.

Wine Time06

skirt, jacket Area and top Eckhaus Latta

I had breast cancer one and a half years ago, and went through all of it. And I mean, there is a life during that and after that for sure. Not thinking that it’s over. We are so traumatized and scared when you hear- and you know, even most people won’t even say that they have cancer. They’ll say, oh, you know, ‘the terrible sickness’ and you’re like why don’t you just call a cat a cat?

Wine Time07

top Demi Jing Yang

People think that cancer is the end, you’re dead, you’re almost, oh, you should not be looking good, and I was going to Sloan-Kettering, and even the oncologists, when I was coming for my chemo, they were laughing because first of all they were saying “Well, what is she going to wear today?” They said that I was the only patient coming that could be on the Vogue cover to do her chemo. You know I was, in the morning, even when I knew I was going to go there, I was putting my makeup, washing my hair, dressed very, very nicely and everything and I was arriving there at seven o’clock and saying okay, let’s go, it does a lot, you know? Because I was seeing all these women, and I felt bad! They were all like, with their sweatpants, their hair not done, and it takes a toll on you to go and kick yourself in the butt and go do that. But you feel much better when you’re at least dressed rather than with sweatpants and your hair and your feet. But okay, everyone is different. I just want to emphasize that you can go through all of that and still be positive, smile, and have a great life.

Wine Time08

turtleneck Gogo Graham, pants DROMe, vinyl vest Walter van Beirendonck, top Women’s History Museum

I think that for me personal style means that first of all you must be good in your own shoes. You don’t have to dress for the others, you have to dress for yourself. If it’s fashion to be with this or that and you don’t really like it, don’t do it! I have never followed fashion. You can be in fashion by having your own style, definitely. You also have to have that critical eye to realize that sometimes some things don’t fit you! There are things that I personally don’t feel good in. Then you shouldn’t wear that!

Wine Time09

turtleneck and pants Gypsy Sport, wrap Lactic, miniskirt Women’s History Museum

People still believe that it is expensive to be dressed in a stylish way. That is no more. Forty years, I agree with you. I spent a fortune on clothes because you didn’t have options. Either you were dressed in very cheap things that were awful or you had to go on the high end. But now you can go everywhere and with all what they do, the promotions and everything, it’s amazing at what price you can be dressed very well.

Wine Time10

coat DROMe, headband and feather leggings Gypsy Sport, shorts Eckhaus Latta

We really are in a little robotic soldier era and in fashion certainly. When I look I’m really surprised. In the winter, you see all the women with the black coat, those style of uniqlo jacket. Yoga pants, parkas, and that’s it. No fantasy, no colors, nothing! Sometimes I wonder to whom do they sell those coats in a color! Am I the only one who is in a very light blue coat. They must be saying, “What is this one coming?” But to me, it’s sad.

Wine Time11

dress Eckhaus Latta and tank Gogo Graham

Obviously I am from a place where grapes are not far away. In Europe the culture is where you didn’t have to wait until you were twenty-one to enjoy a glass of wine, you were much quicker educated- fourteen, fifteen, a little at the table with your food. I am much more epicurean and I think that a good meal has to have wine. Otherwise, for me… If you take a good meal. If you take a sandwich I don’t think you need wine. It’s also a very nice source of being able to socialize with people, and to talk, this and that, that is for sure.

Wine Time12

sweater and leather vest Gypsy Sport, pants DROMe

My favorite wines are the red wines and in the red wines I would say that the ones I really enjoy are a little bit no more the heavy ones, Bourgogne, because that’s very good but you normally drink Bourgogne with heavier food, you cannot eat that every day and so on. The ones that I like very much are the ones from the region of Loire which are a little bit lighter like the Fleurie and everything, those are very nice.

Wine Time13

shirt Walt Disney for Alexandre Herchcovitch, sleeves Women’s History Museum, pants Eckhaus Latta, bracelet Walter van Beirendonck

I’m also very much into trying and tasting all the wines from the world, and I am absolutely delighted to see that in fact it’s certainly true that French wines are overrated. Definitely you have wonderful California wines, very nice ones from the west coast, Washington, Seattle, the Wah Wah wines are amazing. You have great ones from South Africa, Chile, Italy, Spain. All these wines have a different taste, a different character, but are certainly not to be considered as vinegar. Only French chauvinistic people will tell you that their wines are still the best. I think that it has been proven in the world, even in blind tests, that some French sommeliers were even totally fooled by all the wines that they thought were big-big crand cru and they were not! So, that’s it.

Wine Time14

Martine Rousseau in conversation with Mitch McGuire

photography Étienne Saint-Denis

styling Mitch McGuire

hair Sean Bennett