The Tale of Amanda Woodward-Brown & Violet Clark



Scroll through Amanda Woodward-Brown’s Instagram feed and one word comes to mind: elegance. Whether she’s strolling along the magnolia-filled streets of London with her impeccably dressed two-year-old daughter Violet or holidaying in sunny Portugal in a white cotton sundress, she’s always perfectly turned out. This beautiful woman certainly knows how to navigate motherhood in style. But then she is the editor of NINE IN THE MIRROR, an uber-chic e-commerce site for expectant mothers, so basically, she’s a pro...

Woodward-Brown has also worked in fashion for years. Five years ago, she left her fashion editor job at Marie Claire magazine in Sydney and moved to London with her British husband. She was snapped up by Net-A-Porter, later moving on to edit NINE IN THE MIRROR’s online magazine. Currently pregnant with her second child, Woodward-Brown says motherhood has taught her to live life more quietly. “I was always so busy, rushing from one thing to the next before I had Violet, but now I am quite content to spend all day doing nothing with her but wandering through a park.”

On her role model, Woodward-Brown says her own mother is her inspiration. “She taught me that anything is possible if you pursue it with positivity and determination. She started her law degree when she was 35-years-old, with three children under the age of eight, while she was already working as a paralegal at a busy practice. My father travelled overseas constantly with his work, which would have made it even harder. Not only did she finish her studies, she excelled at them. I am immensely proud of what she accomplished, and now as a mother myself, I am even more amazed by what she achieved with three small children,” she says. We caught up with the stylish mother to talk dressing when expecting, life in London and what keeps her inspired.

Images: @amandawoodwardbrown


When I wake up...

I am usually woken up by my two-year-old daughter, Violet, calling for us from her room. Seeing her messy blonde hair and her little smile when I walk into her bedroom is my favourite part of the morning. I then take her into our room for a cuddle before heading downstairs to make tea and toast (usually with butter and Vegemite!).


Before I go to bed...

No matter how late I get to bed I always take off my makeup – I don’t like the feeling of it on my skin and only really wear makeup for work or going out. I am quite minimalist when it comes to beauty, I don’t use many products – however I do love Tata Harper – her all-natural, botanical formulas smell heavenly. I always apply the Rejuvenating Serum before bed. Now I am pregnant I have also been using Mama Mio’s Tummy Rub Butter. I try to switch off technology an hour before bed and read a book but invariably I am usually answering work emails and messages from friends and family back home in Sydney on my phone until I fall asleep.


Life as a mother is...

More tiring and challenging than I ever imagined but it is also the most rewarding, humbling and joyous experience. My life has changed irrevocably since I became a mother, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Motherhood has also given me a deeper empathy with other women – it is a great equaliser. You can’t help but have sympathy with someone when you have experienced (or know you will at some point) what they are going through.


The best thing that's been said to me...

“Mummy, your turn.” My friend gave Violet a set of vintage-style wooden skittles for her 2nd birthday and it’s her current favourite game. I was laying the skittles out for her the other day when she turned and gave me the ball to play first. We have always tried to teach her the importance of kindness and sharing, but her sweet, unprompted gesture caught me by surprise. Moments like that make up for the days when it is just chaos!


The biggest misconception about me...

Oh goodness, I am incredibly accident prone. I think people might assume because of my work I am pulled-together and poised but I am actually totally clumsy. Just last night whilst out for dinner with friends I somehow sent a scallop flying into the lap of the girl sitting next to me. It was like the scene out of Pretty Woman where she flings the snail across the restaurant.


If I wasn't doing what I'm doing today…

If I wasn’t a writer I would like to be behind a camera. I love photography. It is one of the reasons I was drawn to working in fashion magazines. I started out in fashion as an assistant, then a stylist and I still sometimes miss seeing a shoot come together.


I love being an editor because...

I have been with NINE IN THE MIRROR since we launched, and I was in the unusual position of being tasked with starting a publication from scratch, establishing the tone, putting in place production procedures and creating the framework for editorial and social. It has been so interesting seeing how the magazine has evolved. We launched with an exclusive interview with Natalia Vodianova and have gone on to feature amazing women including Quentin Jones, Yasmin Sewell and Karolina Kurkova. I aim for all of our stories to be honest and balanced but to address pregnancy and motherhood in a sophisticated way. Most of our team are mothers, and understanding the changes women are going through when they are pregnant and the varied experiences of motherhood is key to NINE IN THE MIRROR’s approach. The positive response of our readers and followers on social over the past year and a half has been amazing. Also, as I also oversee product, email and on-site copy and run our social channels, it’s the perfect role as it combines my experience in styling, marketing, editorial, digital and social.


I moved to London because...

I always wanted to live overseas at some point but at the end of it, I suppose it was for love. My husband is British, we met in the UK and he moved to Australia to be with me. After nine years in Sydney, we decided to move to London for a couple of years. We quit our jobs and moved over with just a few boxes. Five years later we are still here with a house, a daughter and another baby on the way! I was lucky to find a position with NET-A-PORTER a little after a week after arriving in London which helped make the move feel more permanent.


I love London for its...

Architecture. You never know what to expect when you turn the corner, every street is so different. I love the history and the playful irreverence of the buildings – even in a row of immaculate white stucco-fronted houses you will find a door painted bright blue or candy pink. It’s also an incredibly diverse city – it draws people from all over the world resulting in an eclectic and fascinating mix of cultures. This makes it a wonderful city for bringing up children. And also, quite unexpectedly I love the change of seasons, each one is so different but I especially love spring when the blossom trees send snow-like drifts of flowers floating over the streets. It (almost) makes up for the grey weather. Oh and I love the fact that I am only a few hours away from Paris!


Happiness is...

My daughter’s laugh, a sunny day at the beach, dinner out with my husband, a glass of champagne, catching up with close friends.


My time management secrets are...

Despite being an editor and working constantly to a deadline with work, when it comes to my own life I am terrible when it comes to time management. Unfortunately, my husband is as unorganised as I am, so I have learnt the hard way that planning ahead is the only way that we will not be running out the door, blaming each other for being late every time we leave the house! On Sunday night I plan my outfits and my daughter’s clothes for nursery for the week and I try to organise my bag the night before. I could never imagine being so structured before I became a mother, but it is the only way to control the inevitable chaos of trying to leave the house with a two-year-old, on time and with my sanity intact.


In my fashion cupboard you'll find...

Everything from floor-length gowns by Lanvin to cotton pyjamas. My favourite piece right now is a Marni blush-pink and black trompe l’oeil dress that cleverly conceals a bump –  instant elegance.


Today I'm wearing...

A navy funnel-neck knit midi dress by Cos and Stan Smith sneakers.


The last meal I ate was...

Blueberry pancakes drenched with maple syrup. Before we had Violet we always went out for breakfast on the weekend, but after she was born we started staying in and making brunch at home instead. Pancakes have now become our weekend tradition.


My last big fashion purchase was...

A biker jacket by Iro from NINE IN THE MIRROR. I have been searching for the perfect leather jacket for awhile – this one is boxy and longer at the back. I’m almost six months pregnant and you naturally have a more feminine shape during pregnancy – I like to balance out curves with slightly androgynous styles.


The thing I miss most about Sydney is...

So many things! The sunny weather, the health-conscious, outdoor lifestyle and the beach – even after five years in London I miss swimming at Balmoral in the mornings. Now I have a daughter, I also miss friends and family even more. It’s hard not having your mum close by to help when you really need it, or missing important moments in close friends’ lives, like weddings and babies.


My daughter has taught me...

Patience, humility, and the power of unconditional love, it’s something I never truly understood until I looked down at Violet for the first time. She has also made me relax and live life more quietly.


I relax by...

Pilates is my way to de-stress. I do an early morning class every Saturday and would go more often if I had the time. I love the feeling of strengthening and stretching all my muscles – focusing on breathing clears all other thoughts from my mind too.


I get stressed when...

I lose things, which ironically is all the time. However, since I became a mother I have learnt not to get so stressed about little things, even when they happen to be expensive little things such as a bracelet that Violet has ‘hidden’ that I am currently looking for!


My favourite websites are...

The Talks – insightful interviews with inspirational, creative people.
Vogue.com/fashion shows – All the international shows by season. An invaluable resource for work.
Little Spree – Created by two stylish London mamas who work in fashion. They have the best edit of chic and affordable childrenswear – whenever Violet needs a wardrobe update, I click here first.
Another Magazine – I love the intelligent, offbeat articles about fashion, art, design and beauty.
Into The Gloss – Even though I don’t mix up my own beauty routine that often, I love reading about new beauty trends. The Top Shelf stories offer an interesting, unfiltered glimpse into what products really work.


On Instagram I love following people such as...

@dallasclayton, for his witty, whimsical illustrations. A modern Dr Seuss.
@evachen212 – always ahead of the game when it comes to social and fashion and even more so now with her role at Instagram. I also love her beauty reviews.
@frenchwords – A quirky little account with a new French word to learn every day.
@mduenasjacobs – I am jewellery obsessed and love Elle’s Accessories Director Maria Duenas Jacob pictures of statement sparkly pieces (and shoes and cats).
@mimithor – Food writer Mimi Thorisson’s pictures instantaneously make me hungry and want to move to a chateau in rural Medoc. She is also pregnant with her sixth child!


After I finish writing this I'm going to...

Put on my wellingtons and go for a long walk at Richmond park with my husband and Violet before meeting up with friends at Petersham Nurseries for a late lunch – it’s one of my favourite places in London, even on a rainy day it feels as if you are dining outdoors in a pretty garden.


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