Ahead of the festive season, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite frocks and jewels to dazzle in...
We also spoke to model Phoebe Ghorayeb about her career and motherhood journey.
Phoebe wears Ephemera Bloom Bustier dress, $695. All jewellery by Pandora: Pandora Shine Small O Pendant, $89, with Pandora Shine Sliding Clasp Necklace, $199; Pandora Shine Reflexions Bracelets, $299 each, with Pandora Reflexions Clip Charms, from $39 each; Pandora Shine Sliding Bangle, $249, with Charms, from $89 each. Valentina wears a
Tell us about your motherhood journey...
Motherhood has been incredible. It’s everything and nothing like you expect it to be and what you think will be easy is the most difficult and what you think will be difficult is surprisingly easy. In terms of ups and downs, everyday is different. If I’ve had a great night sleep and woken feeling like Supermum then the tantrums, heavy lifting, housework and general mumming don’t phase me, however, catch me on a bad day and just thinking about what to feed Valentina for breakfast can seem like the most mammoth of tasks. I have absolutely loved watching Valentina grow into her own little person, she is full of such sass, loves her own reflection, knows what she likes and what she doesn’t (and won’t hesitate to let you know about it!) and it an absolute chatter box. She is mine and my husband’s best friend so anything that motherhood throws at me (which at times is a lot) is all totally worth it.
How has your second pregnancy differed from the first?
To be honest it hasn’t really been that different. I suffered with morning sickness during both from about two to four months, I held very similarly, my food cravings were pretty much identical and I popped out another girl, so even the end result was exactly the same. The only issue I had this time around was a major depletion of my iron levels. I was taking tablets but they weren’t enough to get me feeling human again so I opted for the infusion which thank goodness worked wonders.
Phoebe wears ARTCLUB Hanaikada dress, $1,200. All jewellery by Pandora: Pandora Shine Reflexions Bracelets, $299 each, with Pandora Reflexions Clip Charms, from $39 each. Valentina wears Zara trousers and top.
You called your platform Model Appetite - where did the idea come from and tell us about the name? What message do you want to spread?
My blog first and foremost began because of my undying, unwavering love of food. It’s something I’m incredibly passionate about and the best thing after eating it, is talking about it. I also wanted to build in my story and background as a model, with almost 16 years of work under my belt and having played such a significant part of my life it made sense to bring the two together. There are a lot of models writing food blogs but they tend to focus on the healthier side of spectrum, which is no bad thing. I mean a model needs to look after herself. However, for me it’s about embracing everything food has to offer, the healthy, the not so healthy, food from around the world, hidden gems, the good, the bad and the ugly. Food for me should hold no boundaries, it is one of life’s absolute pleasures and I suppose one of the messages I wanted my blog to convey was that you can enjoy a successful career as a model without having to restrict everything the culinary world has to offer. I brought my love of food and fashion together and as a result Model Appetite was born. Having a healthy body is one thing but having a healthy mind, attitude and outlook is something much more powerful.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about models?
I’m not sure if there are any misconceptions about models anymore. There definitely used to be. Models don’t eat, models are dumb, models are self centred etc etc. However, I think these stereotypes and misconceptions have been challenged over the years, especially since the rise of social media, and models have a platform to speak much more openly about themselves and the industry. The discussion around body image is huge, a lot of models have opened up about their eating disorders and how they’ve overcome them, the plus size industry is making waves and is helping to deliver a more body positive and body inclusive message. In terms of being dumb, I know plenty of models who are incredibly intelligent and have gone on to pursue careers as lawyers, politicians, entrepreneurs, chefs or have committed themselves, their time and money to charity work. I have met some of the most incredible and wonderful girls and guys on the modelling circuit. Down to earth, kind, humble and generous people. Modelling is a job and it definitely does not define any one of them.
What’s the most challenging part of the industry?
These days you need to be more than just a model. The social media platforms have been a game changer in the modelling industry. It’s no longer enough to be a pretty face, you need to be on some level an influencer, ambassador, charity goer, fitness guru, health expert, actor, singer, comedian, entertainer, entrepreneur, socialite, fashionista or activist. Audiences are getting smarter, there’s more information, they know what they want and they know when they’re being sold a lie. The industry are looking for models with more depth, something that makes them different from the rest and unfortunately being an attractive model doesn’t make you that much different from the next attractive model. Continuously elevating and evolving your personal brand is a challenge and with so much competition popping up all over social media it is a huge task to make sure you stand out. It’s about offering your audience more than just a perfect smile, even the big brands are recognising this and long gone are the days of them looking at your comp card or agency website portfolio. They’re looking for someone their audience can relate to and be inspired by. Plump lips and long lashes alone just won’t cut it.
Phoebe wears ARTCLUB Oenothera dress, $795. All jewellery by Pandora: Blue Round Sparkle Stud Earrings, $89; Round Sparkle Bar Necklace, $119; Blue and Clear Sparkle Slider Bracelet, $99; Pandora Reflexions Bracelet, $89, with Pandora Reflexions Star Clip Charm, $39. Valentina wears printebebe dress.
And what about the most rewarding part?
The people you get to meet. Yes travelling, the beautiful locations, the amazing accommodations, the once in a lifetime experiences are definitely up there, but if you’re doing it with people who aren’t that great, then none of the above is all that fun. I’ve had jobs that are not the most exciting. Standing in studio for eight hours against a white background, wearing up to 100 outfits, doing a front, back and side shot is not the most inspiring work, however, if you have a team who are fun, interesting, talented, personable, hilarious and all round nice human beings then those eight hours can seem like minutes. When I receive a call sheet the first thing I look at is who I’ll be working with and from that I’ll know if it’s going to be a good versus an amazing day.
How has becoming a mother changed the way you approach your career?
I’m not sure if it has. I’ve always loved modelling, I’ve been doing since the age of 13 so it’s such a “normal”, everyday part of my life. I knew I was never going to be the next Kate Moss, so I just enjoyed the journey and was grateful for any work and experiences I got as a result. My mentality towards it is still the same after having children but of course my girls will always come first. If a job comes up, I’ll do what I can to make it work but if not it’s not something I dwell on. Motherhood has however been a bit of a driving force in my wanting to start up my own business. My incredible friend Joanna Burgess and I have started the ball rolling on a new business venture, Ma Quelle. It’s still very early days but we are entering the baby market (obviously) in the hope of designing and creating a super stylish nursery/homeware brand. I guess having the opportunity to work from home and earn money while still being able to commit time to my children is the ultimate dream.
What is one of your most vivid memories of motherhood so far?
To be honest motherhood has been such a blur so far. They tell you it goes quickly but you don’t know until… you know! I suppose my most vivid memory would be giving birth. Sounds like an unlikely thing to remember as they say that your brain releases a hormone or chemical that makes you forget the experience and the pain. Otherwise we’d all stop at one baby. However, I have very vivid memories of both my births and remember even the smallest of details. I still very much remember holding them both for the first time, the overwhelming feeling of having just brought life into the world and the instantaneous feeling of unconditional, unimaginable love. I hope I never forget.
Left: Phoebe wears Ganni ruched dress in leopard, $417, from Mode Sportif; Small O Pendant, $59, with Sliding Clasp Necklace, $69, both from Pandora. Right: Phoebe wears Ganni sequin mini dress, $795, from Mode Sportif. All jewellery by Pandora: Square Sparkle Wishbone Ring, $89; Celestial Stars Ring, $69; Celestial Stars Bracelet, $119; Pandora Reflexions Bracelets, $89 each, with Pandora Reflexions Clip Charms, from $39 each.
What are your time management tips - how do you get it all done?
I got Valentina into a relatively strict sleep routine and because of that she’s a solid sleeper. It also helps that she has my sleep genes. I’ve been known to sleep through fire alarms, floods and even crying babies (thank goodness Georges doesn’t share this same genetic miracle). She can sometimes sleep up to three hours in the middle of the day and that’s when I get it all done, the cooking, cleaning, life admin, phone calls and of course most importantly, catching up on my favourite shows. When Valentina is awake she doesn’t give me a minute so her rest time is my rev time. Although, one practical tip I can give, is to prepare and perhaps finish cooking dinner during her daytime nap, that way when it comes to her bedtime in the evening, I have a lot more time to catch up on anything I wasn’t able to get done during the day. I also try my best to get her involved in any housework I need to do, for example helping me to “fold” clothes, or hanging onto the hoover while I quickly whiz it over the house, or throwing her a few kitchen utensils so she can “assist” me while I cook. Keeping her busy is the key.
How do you approach maternity dressing - what’s a typical look for you?
Comfort, comfort, comfort. Being pregnant can be difficult at the best of times, sore back, aching legs, feeling sick, swollen ankles, headaches, tiredness and hot flushes don’t make for the most comfortable of situations so when it’s something I can control, like dressing myself, I make sure that my clothes help to counteract any discomfort I may be feeling. It doesn’t mean that looking relatively fashionable and well dressed can’t also play a part but let’s just say tight trousers and high heels very rarely made an appearance. A typical look for me consists of a pair of black bike shorts, oversized white shirt and white sneakers, or a button up maxi dress with a pair of cute, wedge sandals, or my pyjamas. I kept pretty close to my regular style and way of dressing. I find that a lot of maternity brands are not that exciting and are all quite similar so I would just buy what I usually would but in a bigger size. It also means I can probably still get away with wearing it even after I’ve had the baby.
What about your beauty tips - what products do you use daily?
Soooooo I’m probably the last person you should ask about beauty tips. My “beauty” regime is extremely simple and I’m make up free about 90% of the time. When I do decide to make some sort of effort it usually consists of tinted moisturiser, a bit of blush and highlighter, mascara and a quick brush of the eyebrows. If I’m feeling really risky I’ll wear eyeshadow and maybe even slap on some lippy. My skin care routine pretty much falls along the same lines. To remove my make up I use the Face Halo Make Up Remover, a soft sponge with water, but seeing as though that is never normally the case then I usually just splash my face with water, spritz on a bit of toner and finish off with some moisturiser and lip balm. My go-to skincare brand is Mokosh. They are a Melbourne-based company, all organic, cruelty free, eco friendly and just all round amazing products. They are so pure and chemical free I can even use them on my girls to clear up dry skin and nappy rash. I also recently discovered Ultra Violette. the most beautiful sunscreen. Perfect matt finish, not at all oily and zero white residue.