Born Juliet Grime in Derbyshire, England, Chippy as she soon came to be known studied art and fashion at Leicester College of Art for four years then gained a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London. There she graduated first in her class under the professorship of Madge Garland (Lady Ashton).
She worked at all aspects of fashion design in London and New York for 22 years, not only designing sportswear but also mailing pieces including ones that won awards and also won the prestigious Courduroy Council Award for fashion design.
In addition she wrote the book, lyrics, music and starred in an industrial fashion event for Celanese Corporation in New York. Always interested in the fine arts, she appeared in «happenings» by artists Claes Oldenburg and Robert Whitman. She is a member of Fashion Group International and has done volunteer work for the FGI archives and has served on their Publications Committee. She was a member and Secretary of the fashion organization Design America.
Since 1986 she has written ten books: THE FARMHOUSE, THE TOWN HOUSE, SECOND HOMES, (Bantam American Design), PRIVATE NEW YORK: REMARKABLE RESIDENCES (Abbeville Press in The US called HABITER NEW YORK at Chêne in France), BRUNSCHWIG FILS STYLE (Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown, now in its 4th printing) which was co-authored with Murray Douglas, a member of the Brunschwig family, THE CRAFT OF PILLOW MAKING (Crown/ Random House), LOW-SEW BATHROOMS, and LOW-SEW BEDROOMS in conjunction with Handcraft Illustrated Magazine (Reader’s Digest), and ELEGANT LINENS (Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown). These books have dealt with interior design, architecture and crafts, including historical references to these subjects, the personalities who created these environments, and all are illustrated with beautiful color photographs.
Chippy’s latest book is THE ENGLISH ROOM, with photographs by Christopher Simon Sykes, for the English publisher Pavilion Books. THE ENGLISH ROOM is published in the U.S.A by the Bulfinch division of Little, Brown.
She continues to give lectures across the country including the Smithsonian Museum, Design Centers in New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Washington D.C., and has given presentation in Vancouver, B.C. Canada, various libraries, bookstores, and Decorex exhibitions. She has held seminars for Design conferences and workshops. She has been a contributing editor for Art Antiques since 1986, a features editor at Design Times for ten years, and has written articles for many magazines and newspapers. Chippy is currently on the Board of Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation. Chippy is married to Keith Irvine of Irvine Fleming Bell, an interior design firm in New York. They have two daughters Emma (Mrs. John Lo Magno) and Jassy. Chippy divides her time between an apartment in Manhattan, and a farmhouse estate where the addition of a Greek Revival-style ballroom wing was seen in HOUSE GARDEN’s January 1997 issue and in VICTORIA for a Millennium Ball in November 2000.