Dressed to kill: JO WOOD on her wardrobe treasure and her many fashion faux pas
- Jo Wood, 62, is the former wife of Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood and has three grown-up children
- Six or seven years ago, she went out in a black top and was photographed with her breasts showing
- Her wardrobe treasure is a long black voile dress her mother made for her 17th birthday
Jo Wood, 62, is the former wife of Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood. She has three grown-up children, Jamie, Leah and Tyrone, a stepson, Jesse, and ten grandchildren. She lives in London. Here, she reveals her style secrets to Rosanna Greenstreet.
Jo Wood, 62, is the former wife of Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood. She has three grown-up children, Jamie, Leah and Tyrone, a stepson, Jesse, and ten grandchildren
Frocks or trousers?
Both. I like to wear leather trousers with jackets and shirts, and I mix vintage and modern. I love my vintage dresses —I have lots of Ossie Clark and Biba.
When I worked on tour with the Rolling Stones, I lived in black: black leggings, black T-shirts and biker boots. When you work by the stage, you have to, or the audience will see you. Now I find it hard to get out of black.
I was my ex-husband’s personal assistant and I used to do all his outfits and dress him. They were good days. Even though we have split up, I will always be friends with Ronnie.
High Street or designer?
Cheap stuff will fall to pieces, but a good pair of leather trousers and a jacket will last for years and you can be creative with different shirts. My favourite jacket is a black tuxedo by Pallas, and my friend Safia Minney, who founded People Tree, gives me interesting T-shirts.
I am concerned about where clothes are made and if workers are treated right. Just over a year ago, Safia and I went to Nepal after the earthquake to raise money for the knitters there.
We have been to Bangladesh together, too. We stayed in Dhaka and saw how the workers lived in the slums. Then we stayed in a place called Swallows, which makes Fair Trade clothing for People Tree. It was lovely there and such a contrast.
Fashion faux pas?
So many. Six or seven years ago, I went out in a black top and was photographed and you could see my boobs. Recently, I put on a little skirt and it was very short — my friend Lorraine said: ‘Jo, that’s age dysmorphic!’ I have now given the Herve Leger mini skirts that I’ve had since the early Nineties to my daughter Leah.
Heels or flats?
I like to wear heels when I’m going out: I recently bought a great pair of short Louis Vuitton heeled lace-up boots. During the day, I’ll wear flats. I have a pair of short Prada boots that I’ve worn constantly the past couple of years and some really old white Converse that I love.
Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood, Jo Wood and Keith Richards at Ronnie and Jo's wedding
Body loves — and hates?
I’m not crazy about my bum. I think it’s too big, so I cover it up. But that’s the African in me — my mum was from South Africa and my great-granny was black.
I am not comfortable with my boobs hanging out. I wouldn’t say I was fat, but I put on weight easily. I feel my best when I am slimmer. I am on a diet at the moment and I’ve lost 5 lb.
I haven’t eaten bread, I am eating more veg and I’ve cut my portion size in half. Ideally, I’d like to lose another 5 lb, then I’ll be happy.
I love the Sixties look of Brigitte Bardot — it was from her that I got my love for dark eye make-up and for Biba. I drove my parents mad because I wanted to be a model like Twiggy. When I was 16, I joined an agency. My first job was for Jackie magazine.
I used to love my mum’s look in the Sixties, too. She had the same hair as Marilyn Monroe and wore pencil skirts and stilettos. She died 18 months ago. I miss her every day. When she was dying, I got really emotional, and she said: ‘Pull yourself together, Josephine, none of us gets out of here alive!’ Thanks for that, Mum!
The long black voile dress my mum made for my 17th birthday. She was a great dress-maker and it’s like one of Marilyn Monroe’s dresses — sheer at the top with sequins over the boobs and a skirt that flares out from the hips. Obviously it doesn’t fit me now, but it’s beautiful.
Hoarder or minimalist?
I’m ashamed to say I’m a hoarder. But I have just cleared out my storage unit and I’ve four rails of clothes in my living room.
I’m going to sell the good stuff — the vintage Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana. I am going to get rid of my wedding dress — I designed it myself. I don’t want it. It doesn’t fit me, what the hell would I want to keep it for?
Gym bunny or lazy bones?
I ride a bike and I love going to the gym four times a week: twice to box and twice for weights. I just had a fitness test and they said I had the heart of a stallion. Exercise keeps my heart strong.
Feast or famine?
I am an obsessive organic person. I was ill back in 1991 and I was told I had Crohn’s disease and put on steroids. Then I met a naturopath who weaned me off my steroids and cleaned my system out with an organic diet.
I got sick and, in hospital, they opened me up and found I had a perforated appendix — I didn’t have Crohn’s at all.
I lay in hospital and thought if I hadn’t cleaned my system out, I would never have known what was wrong. The doctor said my appendix would probably have exploded and I would have died.
I changed everything about the way I ate. I eat a plant-based diet with fish and a bit of organic chicken. I don’t eat red meat or much dairy. I don’t have any refined sugar. I make my own almond milk. It’s easy: soak almonds for a couple of hours, then blend with a couple of dates, a pinch of salt and water. Strain through gauze and you have the most delicious almond milk you’ve ever tasted.
My weakness is organic Green & Black’s chocolate. I rarely have cheese, but I like a bit of Stilton. I am not a big drinker any more, but I like a vodka with soda and lime. I can’t handle sweet drinks.
Nip and tuck?
I had lots of cosmetic surgery on my stomach after my operation. They opened me up under my ribs to just above my pubic bone and messed up my tummy button really badly. I have had my stomach redone twice over the years and, although I will always have scarring, it is smoother now.
What’s in your handbag?
Wallet, keys, phone and a pale lipstick. I used to buy expensive handbags, but now my friend Patti Hansen, Keith Richards’s wife, has a handbag company called Hung On U. She gives me bags and I use them all the time.
I have a black tassel one, a snakeskin-looking one and a black sequinned one.
My own: I alternate between Amka, which is uplifting, and Usiku, which is earthy.
Jo Wood Organics are available at Fortnum & Mason and jowoodorganics.com