I was recently approached about an editor’s role at a soon to launch fashion magazine. Given how much time editing The Grace Tales takes up, I’m not looking for another job but I went in and had a chat with them anyway. I walked out realising how much I’ve changed since I’ve had children...
I feel so grateful for the career I had in glossy fashion magazines – the places I travelled to, the extraordinarily talented people I interviewed, the wonderful women I worked with – but I’ve checked out of the world of high fashion. I still love fashion and always will, but I’m not interested in the latest Prada collection anymore. The reality is, I just can’t relate to it like I did when I was in my 20s. When I get the chance, I love to dress up. And if Net-A-Porter is having a sale, it’s hard to resist a late night online shop. I love supporting smaller fashion brands and am thrilled the embroidered smock top has made a comeback (perfect with jeans and sandals). I love fashion brands designed by mothers who understand how to fuse fashion and function: Anine Bing, Reformation, Shop Doen and locally, I could wear Paddo to Palmy all summer long. These days, when it comes to my wardrobe I’m all about wearability. Mostly, my daily uniform is jeans, sneakers and T-shirts. If I’ve got meetings on, I’ll slip back into my old way of dressing (usually a printed skirt and something plain on top) and hope that someone doesn’t smear yoghurt or banana on me before I get out the door. I also don’t have the disposable income I once did. We’ve got a mortgage. Childcare to pay for. Prams to purchase. And over the last four years, I get much more pleasure buying clothes for my girls than I do myself. Aside from the realisation that I favour sneakers more than heels these days, our meeting made me realise how dramatically my outlook on my career has changed. Over the last two years, as my family has grown, I’ve moved away from glossy fashion magazines into a role which focuses on life as a style-conscious mother. The Grace Tales is a women’s lifestyle site, which still has a big fashion focus, but hopefully it’s a lot more relatable and wearable. I want to show you pieces you can wear time and again and that easily fit into your life as a busy mother. So back to the interview. I thought I’d share some of the questions I was asked during the interview and what I would have said five years ago, versus what I wanted to say now, as a mother of two toddlers. Life has changed. At times, I can be a social hand grenade. It’s not appropriate to always talk about potty training or my experience with mastitis (don’t get me started on my experience with mastitis). But honestly, I can’t help it, because my perspective on the world has changed. How I feel about fashion has changed. My answers ended up somewhere in the middle of what I’ve written below and by the end of our meeting, I think it was safe to say I was not the person for the job. So here we go…
How do you stay on top of the current fashion trends?
Old me: I log onto the world’s top fashion sites daily to keep on top of all the current trends. New me: Well, I’m thrilled that activewear is an ongoing trend. You can now wear leggings all day, every day. I don’t even need to go to the gym. Oh and bassike has done some amazing new track pants. They’ve got an elasticised waist and you can wear them when you’re expecting, and continue wearing them after the baby comes. They’re kind of the dream pants. And I actually feel quite cool in them. No, no, on second thoughts I don’t ever feel cool these days, but they do help me feel less like a mum. White sneakers are also the new heels.
What are your weaknesses?
Old me: I’m a perfectionist. New me: Gosh, I’m so glad you asked. I’ve been meaning to talk to someone for ages. My pelvic floor muscles just haven’t been the same since Lottie arrived. I can barely even jump anymore and just don’t tell me anything too funny, you never know what will happen. Sorry, is that what you meant?
Are you happy to attend after hour events?
Old me: Of course! I can go out whenever I please. All night, every night. New me: You mean I get out of the bedtime routine? Hell, yes. And drink champagne? Count me in. In reality, the honest answer is, while I love (and need) a night out every other week with my girlfriends and husband, reading to my kids is my favourite time of the day. Ok, it’s a tie between reading books and when they’re sleeping soundly, I have a wine in my hand and Blacklist is on the TV. I’m very happy then too.
How would you describe yourself?
Old me: Determined and fashion-obsessed. New me: Overloaded with love, efficient, irritated by small talk, sneaker obsessed, tired, a little grumpy in the morning, alcoholic. That last one was a joke. I’m not actually an alcoholic but I appreciate a glass of wine more than ever now I’m a mother.
Can you give me an example of a situation where you have demonstrated leadership skills?
Old me: I’ve always hated this question. Why do people ask this question? I’ve never actually said this, instead I just tend to answer the question with a question. It works every time. New me: Leadership? Me? Who am I kidding? I’ve tried to be a leader since I became a mother. Believe me, I try each day to be the leader of our household but inevitably I just get bossed around by two toddlers. I answer to their every demand. Milk. Juice. Water. Banana. Peppa Pig. Ba Ba Black Sheep. They’re the one’s with the leadership skills. Me? I’m just the intern running around after them.
What are you passionate about?
Old me: Fashion magazines. New me: Blacklist. We’re up to season three and it’s really good. You should watch it. I’m passionate about getting a full night’s sleep too. And coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Photography: Grace Alyssa Kyo