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Liv Tyler Talks Modern Manners

by Vanessa Lawrence, Wmagazine, December 2013

With her grandmother, Dorothea Johnson

Manners-or a lack thereof-are never more apparent than during the social swirl of the holiday season. So it couldn't have been better timing for Liv Tyler and her grandmother Dorothea Johnson, the founder of the Protocol School of Washington, to toast their new book "Modern Manners: Tools to Take You to the Top." Tuesday night, Stella McCartney hosting a party in their honor at the brand's Soho boutique, where waiters sported reindeer ears and an a cappella group called Spank serenaded the crowd with carols. Between greeting guests, the duo chatted politely about their joint project.

W: What inspired you two to work on this book together?
DJ: I felt there was a great need among young professionals. I see so many faux pas they're making in the business arena. And Liv was going to write the forward and then she got so excited and involved...

LT: I got really into it! And naturally this thing started to evolve that had to do with the fact that she was my grandmother and I was her granddaughter and this sort of generational dynamic that we had.

W: What's the best lesson you learned from each other?
DJ: I think we all have to remind ourselves to listen—to pay attention to what the other person has to say.

LT: I always say that's the greatest thing you ever taught me, so you stole my answer!

W: How are you most different, when it comes to etiquette?
LT: She's much more punctual and formal and good at sticking to things. And I'm more artistic in my brain where I can forget what time it is and where I'm at. I have to be constantly reminded, "Come on we gotta go!"