With her impeccable style and fuss-free approach to living, this Sydney-based fashion buyer and doting mother of two has perfected the art of chic on the go
Photographed by Christopher Morris | Sittings editor Meg Gray
“I like to dress with a mixture of femininity, practicality and an understanding of what works for my body shape,” says Tara D’cruz-Noble, the London-born fashion buyer who has perfected the art of dressing for work, play and school drop-offs. It's a formula she's finessed while juggling her role at Land's End Store in Sydney's Paddington, with life as a mother of two: Eliah, 2, and Luella, 6. D’cruz-Noble says, “I tend to dress more to suit my mood, but I also believe classic wardrobe pieces are invaluable – especially when legging it out the door to get to school on time.” She lists a perfectly tailored blazer, cropped jackets, black jeans, white shirts, day dresses and black or nude pointed flats as her go-to essentials. “It’s so worth investing in pieces that will last forever, but also pieces that work back with the rest of your wardrobe so you don't have to overthink an outfit.”
Above: D'cruz-Noble, pictured at home with her children Luella and Eliah, wears Roland Mouret dress and Céline cuff from Land's End Store with Jimmy Choo heels. Image gallery below: in the nursery, D'cruz-Noble wears Proenza Schouler jacket from Land's End Store and Citizens of Humanity jeans; on her nightstand, a Céline pochette, Kelly Wearstler tanzanite cuff, vintage lucite minaudiere, Tom Binns necklace, Pared sunglasses and Proenza Schouler Lunch bag, with flowers from My Violet; in the bedroom, D'cruz-Noble's favourite Pierry Hardy heels.
Doing the school dash in heels and a frock doesn't work in my world, [but] I do love a little french-ness
When it comes to dressing to meet both the demands of work and motherhood, D’cruz-Noble believes it’s important to indulge her feminine side: "I do love a little French-ness – be it roll-cuffed jeans, lace, pointy pumps or feline eyeliner," she says. "I really like the silhouette of a nipped-in waist and I love a cotton shirt – in white, denim or blush – with a pretty bra peaking underneath. Accessories are important, too, but since hitting my thirties I prefer a more pared-back look, an accent such as a Céline cuff, a a cocktail ring or a bold red lip."
|Above: D'cruz-Noble, photographed with Luella at her favourite florist My Violet, wears an Être Cécile top, Roland Mouret skirt and carries a Céline Cabas tote.|
In her buying role, D’cruz-Noble works closely with boutique owner Jane Jasper to select a waitlist-worthy edit of luxury labels, and she describes the environment as a very intimate and welcoming space: "I think as a buyer, you really have to understand your clients and what they want. It takes time to figure it all out. At the store, we're drawn to brands with a strong but simple and elegant signature." She adds, "I am also responsible for crunching the numbers and, in a nerdy way, I really enjoy analysing the bones of the business."
D’cruz-Noble studied at the Chelsea School of Art in London with a view to becoming a curator. She says, “I've always thought that being a curator is like being a conductor in an orchestra. You are trying to create a togetherness that resonates with all elements working in harmony. I like to be the go-between – collating visual things then presenting it to an audience.” She applied the same philosophy to fashion when, having relocated to Sydney with her creative director husband Bob Mackintosh, she took up a buying post. “There is certainly a symmetry between buying and being a curator,” D’cruz-Noble says. “It was a fantastic opportunity to bring together my two loves of fashion and art.
When asked how she balances work with family life, D’cruz-Noble is pragmatic: “It’s a work in progress,” she says with a laugh. “Sometimes I think as a family we find balance, but then it all changes and feels off-kilter. My family definitely comes first – I don't work crazy long hours so I can be there for my children. I think a lot of modern women want to do both, be a mother and have a career, but it’s easier said than done. Trying to be patient helps,” she explains. “As long as my family is happy and healthy, I can keep growing my career but at a less hectic rate compared to when I was in my twenties. Somebody said to me recently, 'you can have it all, but not at all at once', and that’s brilliant advice.”
D'cruz-Noble’s scoop on motherhood