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The minute you wander into Iwona Lau’s beachside home located on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, it feels like you’re on holidays. For one, there’s the spectacular ocean view, but there’s also the model mother, barefoot and dressed in J brand denim shorts (with legs that go on forever) and a Proenza Schouler T-shirt, looking utterly relaxed. She looks far too rested for someone who has been up all night with a sick toddler. “It’s amazing what our bodies can handle, I think all mothers have a secret auto pilot button hidden somewhere and on those days we need it we just push through and get things done,” she says. There’s a happy, holiday vibe running through the house, which comes from having two excited boys with bountiful energy. “I love the sound of their laughter, especially when it comes right from the belly,” she says.

She and her husband film director Anthony Lau gave birth to their first son, Henry, seven years ago. Their second child, Hunter, was born three years later. “My career changed completely,” she says. “I was modelling and living overseas up until I became pregnant. Anthony’s work was taking him overseas a lot, so we decided that it would be best for our family if I stayed at home caring for Henry for the first 18 months. Once Henry was a little older, I began doing the odd producing project for my husband. I realised how time consuming and stressful the role of a producer was and decided that it wasn’t the career for me as Henry was my first priority. I was fortunate enough not to have to go to work just for the sake of bringing in some extra money, but did continue doing some modelling part time as it didn’t interfere with my home life too much.” While she still models part-time, this new life stage has taken her career in a new direction. Lau is launching a lifestyle and homewares brand, LOWLA, with friend Sami Simper in November. “Being there for my kids before and after school is really important to me, that’s I why I needed to find something I could do from home, creating my own business was the perfect solution.”

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Lau is also quick to express how important it is to value motherhood. “I struggled with the ‘just a mum’ tag throughout the years and the only thing I regret is allowing it to make me feel inadequate during that time. Being a stay-at-home mother is such an undervalued role.”

Iwona’s little list of loves:
Early morning or late afternoon walks and swims.
The sound of my children’s laughter especially when it comes right from the belly.
Seeing the look on their faces when they are proud of something they’ve just done.
Having friends over, lazy lunches or dinner parties with a bit of lounge room dancing at the end.
Spying on the kids in their room, watching how they interact and listening to what they talk about. It’s hysterical and heart warming!
Watching Anthony play with the boys.
Organic health food stores and cafés – this is where I spend most of my money.
Early morning strolls through our local farmers market.
Tuesday nights. Kids tucked in, house is clean and me watching Housewives of Beverly Hills with a glass of red and some Loving Earth Crunchy Mint Raw Dark Chocolate – it is my guilty pleasure. Anthony will sit next to me and watch with a bemused expression on his face.
Anything to do with interiors; books, magazines, shops, products.

Photography: Julie Adams Hair and Make-up: Sarina Zoe Styling: Kristin Trude Words: Georgie Abay

January 2014

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The light-filled home of stylist and designer Tamila Purvis in Sydney’s Bondi is relaxed and calm. When we shoot, her son Coda is only seven weeks old. “We love Seventies rock and Coda is the name of one of Led Zeppelin’s albums,” says Purvis of how they came to name their son. It’s clear the home she shares with her partner publisher and editor Campbell Milligan is always filled with music. “Coda falls asleep to a Nick Cave album I listened to a lot while I was pregnant, we baby slow dance to it before I put him to bed.”

Coda’s nursery has a Native American theme to it. “The first item I had on my list was a dream catcher from the guys at electriclove. They’re amazing creations and catching dreams is, of course a priority! In keeping with the Native American theme, my business partner, Mel Kamlser, gave us a gorgeous baby blanket from Pendleton and cutest little moccasins.”

Back in 2009, Purvis and Kamsler launched maniamania, a cult jewellery line which plays with ideas of magic and mysticism (celebrity clients include Cara Delevingne, Georgia May Jagger and Alexa Chung). “My hands have always been covered in rings but for now, they’re naked – its feels quite strange after so many years of heavy metal,” she says.

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Purvis is taking four months off work. “I’m fortunate enough that my business partner Mel has been able to look after it all while I’ve been learning how to be a Mummy. I’m still involved in the important decisions and the few meetings I’ve had, I’ve just taken Coda with me.” She’s also managed to style two shows for Zimmermann, over Skype. “They have been so unbelievably understanding and supportive. I’ve worked on two shows for New York fashion week over Skype, so I didn’t have to fly 35 weeks pregnant and then with Coda only 12 weeks old.”

Tamila’s little list of loves:
Morning cuddles and baby talk in bed with Coda.
Chai tea.
Reflexology.
Baby Nike Air Max 90.
Having dinner out the front of The Corner House.
Early morning and late afternoon swims at North Bondi.
Lindt sea salt dark chocolate.
My Mum.
Coda’s giggles.
Watching Coda with Campbell – he loves his Daddy.

Photography: Julie Adams Make-up: Sarina Zoe Words: Georgie Abay

December 2013

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