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The Style Series: Diana Bartlett

Photo credits: Diana's Bartlett Instagram @punctually_late

In the past few years, Diana Bartlett, who’s known to her 22,000-plus Instagram followers as @punctually_late, has walked the runways of contemporary brands including Saks Potts and Rejina Pyo, but, in her own day-to-day—be she at home in Paris or on location in Italy’s Le Marche, where she took the photographs that appear in her new publication, L’Altra Gloria—the Los Angeles-born photographer is more often than not wearing a 1960s Hermès Kelly bag and vintage Armani pieces handed down to her by her mother. “I feel confident when I’m in something that’s old and familiar”—even if it’s in tatters, she says. “I believe in wearing things until they’re completely battered and destroyed.”


Diana's Bartlett Instagram @punctually_late

How would you describe your style?

I’ve stolen most of my style identity from my mother, who was always quite elegant. She started wearing Armani suits before I was born—my father had gifted her one when they started dating—so, throughout my childhood, I saw an array of neutral-toned suits. I think that really stimulated what my style was going to look like. The collections of Marigela at Hermès are also my biggest inspiration; she’s the woman I aspire to be.

What are your wardrobe essentials?

When I was living in Istanbul, I only took summer pieces, but I ended up staying throughout the pandemic, so I had a whole fall/winter wardrobe of custom suit sets made, which I still wear pretty much every single day. Those custom designs and my mom’s vintage pieces—as well as Hanes and Totême wife-beaters and Saks Potts Salma jeans—are my staples.


Diana's Bartlett Instagram @punctually_late

Why are you drawn to vintage?

I don’t like being wasteful, so I really only make a purchase when it’s something that I love—and I don’t buy into fast fashion or trends, which have never really appealed to me. It’s less about clothes and more of a lifestyle of being environmentally-conscious; if I go for coffee and have to take a to-go cup, I never get it with a plastic top, so vintage is part of that mindset. Plus, it’s important for me to wear clothes that differentiate me from everyone else.

How did you first become interested in vintage?

I found it difficult to find clothes that I looked good in and I felt confident in, so I would keep going back into my mom’s closet. That’s where my love for vintage started. Now, I actually find that when I wear vintage everything fits perfectly; the silhouettes are more flattering for multiple body types.


Diana's Bartlett Instagram @punctually_late

How does your mom feel about you raiding her wardrobe?

When I used to smoke cigarettes, she didn’t like it very much because sometimes the clothes would come back from a party and reek. Chloe Wise kissed me during Miami Art Basel last year, and there’s a bright red lipstick stain on a white silk jacket, which I don’t think she’s too pleased by—but, at the same time, I think she’s really happy that the clothes get to have a life. Now that I’ve worked in fashion for a few years, I re-gift her pieces instead of keeping them for myself because she’s given me a lot in my life.

What’s your greatest vintage find?

When I got my first big paycheck I got an Hermès black Kelly bag with gold hardware from the 60s because I found that I only really needed one bag. I still use it every single day. It’s completely battered, but I’d rather put my money into something like that than three or four trendy bags. I also bought myself a vintage Louis Vuitton duffle, which I travel with. It’s ripping, but I believe in wearing things until they’re destroyed.

How do you style your vintage pieces?

Because I travel with a carryon, I don’t have that many pieces with me at all times, so when I find something that works, I’ll wear the same thing for a month. I style my vintage staples with a lot of accessories: belts, small bags and sunglasses, and then more contemporary denim and T-shirts. I often feel confident when I have something that’s old and familiar, like a vintage Armani jacket and 90s Tod’s loafers that are peeling away at the bottom, paired with comfortable track pants or a sweatshirt that I can cuddle myself in.


Diana's Bartlett Instagram @punctually_late

What’s on your wishlist?

An Hermès So Kelly 26 bucket bag. You can fit a book in it and anything else you might need for that day. It’s really subtle, but it’s also just pretty special.

Do you have any style rules?

I wouldn’t say it’s a rule, but I try to get dressed in under five minutes. I always feel my best and most comfortable when I just throw something on, even if I don’t look that put together. I think that what you wear comes second to what you say, so if I spend too much time on my appearance, I don’t necessarily feel good about myself on an intellectual or emotional level.


Diana's Bartlett Instagram @punctually_late

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