Jill Kargman Survives Quarantine with Black Flowers, Art and Humor

By Jill Brooke

Jill Kargman, star and author of Bravo’s “Odd Mom Out,” is a colorful character most comfortable wearing black. Not surprisingly, when it comes to flowers, she also prefers black. Given the current pandemic, that dark shade may just capture the mood of the moment.

The lanky laconic actress and writer of 10 books, including “Momzillas,” is sequestered in her Manhattan apartment with her three kids, Ivy, Sadie, and Fletch, and her entrepreneur husband Harry. Like the rest of us, she’s trying to keep sane at an insane time.

It helps that she’s a satiric comic who can channel her frustrations into a clever Instagram series on life in quarantine. “It’s based on a character, Dzanielle, who I had in my show at Williamstown Theater Festival a couple of years ago,” she says. Dzanielle is a whiner, a nonstop complainer—not to be confused with someone who drinks too much wine. 

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At this time, Kargman just prefers wine. Her favorite? “Prisoner,” a brand she discovered from her ex-sister-in-law Drew Barrymore. She also keeps calm by lighting her Jo Malone rose-scented candles and buying bunches of red ranunculus flowers as well.  

Many of Kargman’s characters tend to be pampered spoiled brats, a reality she knows well being that she’s the daughter of Arie Kopelman, the former longtime president of Chanel, and his lovely wife, Coco. But unlike her fictional creations, she makes a distinction between those who are entitled and those who are grateful, which is her approach to life. A philosophy passed on by her parents.

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“My mom rules,” she says, noting that her black peony tattoo was inspired by her mother’s favorite flower.

Her preference for black is visible everywhere, especially in her apartment. 

The dining room features a fitting work on paper by artist Tauba Auerbach: a large letter K created in “such swirling beauty” with a small dark pen. Kargman also treasures her John Derian cachet decorated with thorns — “love its haunting design with a glowing votive inside…. I’m not really a minimalist, but love gothic approaches to things,” she says, appreciating the unconventional beauty in the branches and thorns.

As for the future, Kargman is slated to write and executive produce (with Seth Meyers) a reboot of the 1960s comedy series “The Munsters” for NBC. The series, about a lovable family of monsters, is perfect material for Kargman’s offbeat sensibilities. She may also write another book.

For inspiration, she admires her collaged flower painting by Peter Dayton. “Positive and negative collages,” she says; it’s a metaphor for life. Kargman is someone who always wants to smell the roses — even if they are black. 

“I seem dark because I wear black and love skulls and hourglasses but the truth is I’m so happy because I’m morbid!” she says. “I confront death and so I live every day to the fullest and wrote a book about it called “Sprinkle Glitter on my Grave.”  I think that’s why I love flowers—only real ones—not fake. Because they wilt and die so you love them while you have them and it’s a reminder to do that with every experience you’re in and every person you are with.”

 

Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD.

Photo Credit: Pamela Berkovic