"Welcome! Have a seat! Take off your shoes and try on a crinoline! Read on by candlelight or by computer screen..."
These are the first sentences you'll read should you find yourself on Ruby Redstone's Patreon page - and those words, paired with a five minute scroll of her Instagram, tell you almost all you'd need to know about the New York born and bred fashion/art historian and writer.
"I started my newsletter just after finishing my MA in the History of Dress," Ruby tells us. "I loved being able to write about fashion in an academic capacity while I was in school, and I wanted to create something where I could continue to develop that and combine it with the more playful elements of contemporary fashion and personal style that I’m constantly thinking and talking about."
Ruby also wanted to be part of sharing her experience and expanding people's understanding of what "history" means. "When I mention that I’m a fashion historian people are always fascinated and perplexed," she says, "The way we’re taught history, especially in America, is so limited and stagnant. It’s usually focused only on wars and politicians, and I think many people don’t know that studying history can also mean looking at beautiful dresses and touching fabric swatches and watching runway shows. It feels almost impossible to not stay interested when there’s so much material in the world! I’ve been doing this in various capacities for years now, and it still feels like I’ve hardly scratched the surface. Also, as selfish as it may be, I just love getting dressed every day."
"As long as that fascination holds I think I’ll always be trying to dig into the visual culture and the psychology behind it," she says. Here, she shares what's currently next to her bed.
What side of the bed do you sleep on?
Whichever side is furthest from the door! It’s a system my sister and I devised when we were little—She likes to be close to the door and I like to be far from it due to our differing stances on which would make for an easier escape route should someone break into the apartment. Can you tell we’re both neurotic New Yorkers?! I feel very lucky that my husband, Gabriel, is on board with this scheme and is open to tactically switching sides when we’re away from home.
What can you not sleep without?
What is currently next to your bed?
My husband and I are currently living with my parents while our new apartment is being renovated, so our bedside setup is their design, which is great because they have amazing taste. The bedside tables are built-in pieces of pink marble, and I think our future home will end up having something similar.
What do you keep on your side table and/or floor next to your bed?
I’m super excited about this blue carafe that I picked up in Hudson last weekend because having a bedside carafe just feels fancy, and this one is extremely adorable. I’ve always got jewelry and hair bows on my bedside table because I like to keep my accessories on until it’s time to go to sleep. I’m a big collector of little trinkets and toys, so I usually have a few of those scattered near my bed to keep me company. I have a little bottle of CBD oil on my nightstand to help with insomnia. My favorite is Gossamer’s Dusk because it’s super effective and has a nice herbal flavor unlike lots of other oils which can taste super artificial. I also have a thing of Byredo Rose Hand Cream which smells delightful. I like to have a book so that it looks like I read myself into a peaceful sleep instead of watching TikTok all night.
What is the strangest thing that's next to your bed?
My retainer. I’m not going to show you that.
What would you not be able to sleep without being next to your bed?
Water! I’m always thirsty, and I need a glass of water right before falling asleep and immediately when I wake up.
Do you keep any electronics next to your bed?
I do. I keep my phone on my nightstand and sometimes my iPad too if I’m reading or drawing on it before bed. I was on vacation recently and realized, like almost everyone else these days, that I was sleeping much better when my phone didn’t have service and was tucked away in my bag. However, I like the comfort of knowing that my sister can call me in the night if she gets into trouble or that I can chat with my best friend who lives in London right when I wake up. It’s a conundrum for which I have yet to find a good solution.
What is your nighttime routine in 5 steps or less (feel free to name/link out to products!)
- Brush my teeth.
- Wash my face and do my little skincare routine.
- Take my vitamins and have some CBD oil.
- Spray the duvet with Santa Maria Novella neroli spray and put on some Byredo Rose Hand Cream. Gabriel is a very indulgent person, and this is the nighttime scentscape he’s created for ultimate relaxation. I must say, it’s really good.
- Curl up and chat with Gabriel about what we have to look forward to tomorrow. If it’s the weekend, that usually means planning what pastries we want for breakfast.