I grew up in the countryside of Wales with my mother, Johanna. (My father, Michael, moved to America when I was five.) We lived a practical existence, but twice a year my sister, Laela, and I would go to L.A. to stay at my grandmother’s house, which was like a fairy tale. I spent hours in her closet. She had all the designers—Valentino, Versace—and things she’d picked up in the market in Mexico too. We’d sit on her bed. She’d open her jewelry closet, bring out drawer after drawer, and tell us stories of her life through each piece—like her “Ping-Pong diamond rings,” which she won in a game of Ping-Pong with Richard Burton. We lapped it up. She always said she was a custodian of her jewelry: It didn’t belong to her; she was just a part of its journey. If you were a woman in Elizabeth Taylor’s life, she’d likely dress you up. She knew she was lucky to have the things she had, and a big part of how she enjoyed them was by sharing them. In my grandmother’s house in Switzerland, she had a bomb shelter that she’d turned into her wardrobe. Everybody would go down to pick out something to wear. If it looked good on you, chances are, she’d let you keep it. - Naomi Wilding, Elizabeth Taylor’s granddaughter, in an interview with Vanity Fair, 2014.
LOL. Being an Ashley stan may be one of the hardest lives to live. But I can’t help it. She’s been my favorite American lady for years. I love her fight. I kind of love that she doesn’t hold her reactions back. There is something about her skating that just always set her apart from the other US girls for me over the years. And of all the lost programs this season (besame mucho, amelie, american in paris, etc.), Kashmir is the one I most wish I would have gotten to see. It’s ironic that she suffers from some generic material, and yet I’m excited for Black Swan.
I hope she finds her way this season. So happy birthday to her. I hope 20 brings lovely costumes that don’t involve crazy purple vines. Or programs that aren’t Once Upon A Time in America!
Ashley Wagner, 2010 US National Championships I was so proud of her free skate. Such a fighter out there. I wanted her to have a shot at the team so badly, but I’m glad that she earned a medal! I want to see her out there in four years.