The Tale of Amelia Coote - The Grace Tales

The Tale of Amelia Coote

Photography: Marcel Aucar Hair: Courtney Bodger from Oscar Oscar Salons in Doncaster Makeup: Tahni Hoskins from Napoleon Perdis Words: Georgie Abay

Amelia Coote is undeniably one of Australia’s most stylish and engaging women. Sure, it helps that during her decade-plus career as a buyer for Melbourne’s renowned designer boutique Le Louvre, she has attended the international fashion collections in Paris, London and Milan up to four times a year, but her enviable style is clearly innate and extends far beyond fashion.

Her home in Melbourne’s Toorak is just as elegant, right down to her 13-month-old son Thomas’ room. “We’ve lived in our home for four years and we are currently undergoing extensive renovations. My husband and I are at stylistic odds as I am a minimalist and he is a hoarder so hopefully the outcome will be a beautiful, classic and contemporary home that we both love,” says Coote who abhors anything too fussy or non-functional. “My home, like my outfit has to be above all stylish, but also comfortable and appropriate to its environment and occasion.” Given her background in fashion, it seems fitting that the very first addition to Tommy’s nursery was a cream and beige Hermes blanket, bought at the Faubourg Saint-Honoré store in Paris. “Everything fell into place around that,” says Coote, who also advises that when it comes to decorating your child's room: “You don’t need to buy the contents of Parenthood. You are having a baby, not going into an underground bunker for a decade (I thought I was at times). Just buy the basics and add as you need once baby arrives.”

When asked about sleep deprivation, she likens it to severe jet lag, something she’s familiar with thanks to regular overseas buying trips. “[Jet lag] is bad enough without the sore nipples and a hungry baby feeding off you round the clock,” she says. “I really think the only thing you can do is put your head down and just get through it. Somehow, you do. My general rule was when the baby sleeps I sleep. Easier said than done when you have well wishing visitors knocking on your door every hour. I also found it really hard to have power naps, as it always took me a while to wind down during the day only to then be woken with a hungry cry just as you dozed off.”

Coote’s advice to new mothers is incredibly uplifting: remember motherhood is a privilege. “Don’t listen to the whingers who say that motherhood is sooo hard, and sooo draining... yes, it’s constant and the thought of a spontaneous dinner with my husband is a distant dream, but it’s a wonderful privilege and an experience I feel so grateful for.” It's also an experience, she says, that has taught her not to take herself so seriously and to live in the moment. "I can see this precious time with Tommy going so quickly and I don’t want to miss a moment of it by living in the future.”

After six months on maternity leave, Coote returned to work three days a week. “I have great help, I have two alternating nannies so I can work three full days a week … my work days are very structured, I race out the door in the morning after giving Tommy breakfast and then race out the door from work to get home to feed him dinner. My non-work days are less structured and such a treat to spend one-on-one time with Tommy.”

On the topic of fashion, Coote says when she's off-duty, she keeps her look low key. “I am that mum in the black lycra and an anorak or puffa jacket.” For work, her look completely transforms and she’s often in a luxurious mix of Stella McCartney, Moncler, Chloe, Saint Laurent, Lanvin and Valentino. At home, it’s wonderfully refreshing – and a reflection of her down to earth nature – to hear that even Coote’s Qantas pyjamas make the edit. “It’s anything from Acne to Gap and more often than I would like to admit Qantas pyjamas.”

Amelia's little list of loves:
I am loving my beach house at the moment. My husband and I are so busy during the week that we barely have time to say two words to each other. So it’s the perfect place to shut out the world and be in a happy little family bubble and reconnect with my husband.
My iPad … I actually hate TV, but something about that intimate screen time with Downton Abbey/Breaking Bad/House of Cards/Game of Thrones has me hooked.
Hot cross buns (I am eating one now) why can’t we have these flavour bombs all year round?
Fitbit – I love the satisfaction I get when the wristband vibrates indicating I have achieved 10,000 steps for the day.
Work – taking six months maternity leave gave me a new appreciation for the self-esteem and independence that work brings.
Going to the park with Tommy. I love seeing his happy little face laughing away on the swings.
CC Crème HD à la Centella Asiatica by Erborian. It’s from Korea and it is excellent, I stock up from Sephora in Paris.
A friend recently put me onto Ceres Fair Food. It’s great quality organic fruit, veg and more, delivered to your door.
Pressed Juices, because I am too lazy to press myself and can’t stand mess so my local store keeps me in good supply of cold pressed greens.
Baths with Tommy – skin on skin with my chubby baby, what could be better?
Selling goods on Ebay – the girls at work have put me onto this and I feel it could be the perfect way to get rid of my husband’s clutter and make a tidy profit on the side, he has over 60 pairs of shoes (I know!), I am sure he won’t miss any.



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