Beautiful Blonde Belle Tinsley Mortimer
is known for her defiantly Southern style and Big-Apple socialite status, but now she has a new title to add to her resume: author.
The fashion designer and former reality show star (of the CW’s "High Society") first proposed a style guide to her publishers, but they instead propositioned her for a novel.
Out of that came "Southern Charm,"
the tale of Minty Davenport, a new college grad who skips out on the South in favor of the glittery streets of NYC. Sound familiar? We’re betting the Virginia native fell back on her own experiences for material. But why shouldn’t she? Her high-heeled rise to fashion and fame was tailor-made for reprint.
This week, we caught up with Tinsley on her book tour, which was sponsored by HPNOTIQ,
to discuss New York, charity and staying true to your roots.
Q&A: TINSLEY MORTIMER APPLIES SOME OF HER "SOUTHERN CHARM" TO THE WORLD OF LITERATURE
You have a clothing and handbag line in Japan, what was your inspiration behind that?
"I design handbags and clothing that I like to wear. I get inspired by a lot of things. New York City and all the stylish people that live here are the most inspiring. My Spring/Summer 2012 collection is a little bohemian with fringe and was inspired by a previous collection with fringe that was so popular. I have gold, and bright pink fringe clutches, and my favorite is a big tote bag named the Sienna (after the super chic Sienna Miller). Its great for day and you can carry everything. It also serves as a perfect chic travel bag, as well."
Do you have any favorite trends for the summer?
"I am totally loving the colored jeans for summer -- I want them in every shade! Being a Southern girl, I prefer to wear color and can't remember when I wore black, so this trend is perfect for me! Alice and Olivia has the most amazing colored jeans and even a floral pattern that I really want!"
Can you tell us a little bit about your new book, "Southern Charm?" How did you come up with the idea?
"I originally planned to write a style guide about how to dress like a girly girl, but it was the suggestion of several publishers that I write a novel, instead. They thought that the backdrop of the world I know so well in New York would be perfect for a great story. After the suggestion was made, everything just clicked! Writing a fictional story gives you a lot of freedom. Creating characters that you can make do and say whatever you want was a lot of fun. "Southern Charm" gives you access into the glamorous world of New York through the eyes of an outsider Southern girl, Minty Davenport. I wrote the book with everything I knew from my Southern upbringing. At first, I was an outsider, but quickly I became an insider by being myself and embracing my Southern style and heritage. This honesty was recognized and appreciated. ... I chose to be me, and not change for what might have been expected of me."
You've been involved in some television shows, such as "Gossip Girl" and "High Society." Are there other celebrities would you love to work alongside?
"Being on 'Gossip Girl' was so much fun and it was so flattering that I played myself and was written into the script. I didn't do a scene with Blake Lively which I would have adored. I also think doing anything with Reese Witherspoon or SJP would be amazing!"
You grew up in Virginia, close to our Nation's Capital. What are some your favorite places to check out in Washington, D.C?
"Growing up in Richmond, there weren't that many places to shop, so I have such fond memories of taking trips with my mom and sister to Tysons Corner. We would always have such fabulous girl trips there and buy really cute clothes. As an adult, I don't really know the area so well, but Georgetown is really cool--I loved Nectar Skin Bar, where we just held my D.C. event. I hosted The Front Row at Bethesda Row a few years ago (I heard Andy Cohen is hosting this year!) that was a blast. I think DC girls have the perfect mixture of a little Southern charm and a little Northern sophistication. I am a New Yorker now, but I could see myself living in D.C.
If you had to choose, who would you say is hotter? Obama or Mitt Romney?
What causes are close to your heart?
"I am a National Ambassador for the American Humane Association. I help to promote pet adoption and work with them on their Second Chance Fund, helping neglected and abused animals by raising money to get the medical attention they need to be rehabilitated and then get them adopted into a loving home giving them a second chance at life. I adopted a precious baby myself from a shelter ... my most adorable loving Bambi, who is seven years old."
What are some of your beauty must haves for a night out on the town?
- Dior Show Blackout Mascara
- Nars eye shadow in Key Largo
- Lip gloss (Dior Tinsley Pink)
- Diorissimo Perfume by Dior. (My mother wore this when I was a child. I loved it then, and I love it now. Cannot imagine wearing anything else!!!
As a socialite, what advice can you give to young girls who look up to you?
"Always be yourself. Don't follow trends. Wear what makes you feel like you. I believe in putting out positive energy and being kind to others always. Never try to "get even" with people who have hurt you. Forgive them and recognize that they might be hurting and angry. This will free you to be the person God intended you to be."
What's your poison (vodka, champagne, gin)? What's your drink of choice?
The Southern charm, of course! It is a combination of champagne and HPNOTIQ Harmonie. So girly and sweet! I LOVE it!!!
What is the one mobile app you can't live without?
I have a BlackBerry, but I really want an iPhone -- just for Instagram! I am going to get one soon! I am so jealous of how cool the pictures turn out.