I am fortunate to have so many women in my world who provide me with inspiration on a daily basis: mothers, boss women, creatives, friends. I could not be more grateful for their unique and genius insight into wellbeing, raising kids, staying at the top of their game, staying sane. These women are compelling not just for their inner beauty, but for the way in which they forever challenge the codes of modern family life. They happen to be stylish, too – and why not? More than anything, I love to profile women who truly love life, the ones who indulge in it – whether their passion stems from food, fashion, travel, the environment or some other life force that propels them forward. Here, extracted from Moda's 2016 stories, a few of their shining thoughts on caring for yourself and those close to you. Happy holidays! – Natasha Inchley.
Artwork by Paul Meany
HEIDI MIDDLETON, DESIGNER
- Photographed with daughters Elke Bay and India Grace in Paris, by Candice Lake
- "For me, [the subject of parenting] is a big one; I do have some very strong thoughts and beliefs on motherhood. I’ve always understood that parenting is the most important thing that any of us can do. To love, properly nurture and care for a child is such an enormous contribution to society – everything is better when we parent well. I feel as though we often don't place enough emphasis on good parenting. We can see what happens with anxieties and the pressures of modern life; a lot of that stems from not getting the right support during childhood. So for me, being a good mother, or at least trying my very best, is the most important thing I’ll ever do. My parents fostered quite a few children when I was young, and I saw first-hand how exposing children to love, when they perhaps had never felt it before, could have such an impact on them. I think spending time with your children, being present and guiding them is paramount. Being a mother is my greatest joy, by far."
- Read more: PARIS, JE T'AIME
JO LAM, ORLI FOUNDER
- Photographed at home in Sydney by Luisa Brimble
- "For most women, the lines start to deepen and the wrinkles begin to appear around the 40-something mark. I see many women reach for the quick fixes and other more invasive procedures in the quest for ‘anti-aging’. It made me ponder what message this sends out to the daughters of our generation. Don’t we always try to reinforce how beautiful and special each of them are, how they should be proud of their unique looks and individuality? What signals are being sent out when our generation resorts to quick fixes; compromising health in the pursuit of eternal youth? My personal view of true beauty is healthy beauty, inner beauty and intelligent beauty. Ageing is a natural and necessary process. I think it's best to focus less on anti-aging; more on physical, mental and spiritual health."
- Read more: JO LAM: SUPER NATURAL
KATHERINE KLEVELAND, DÔEN DESIGNER
- DÔEN's spring debut photographed by Hillary Walsh
- "This is where we are in our lives. I think people do their best when they are honest and true to themselves. I think that we have had many career and personal experiences that have led us to DÔEN. We have learned from experience, what kind of company we want to build and what kind of environment we want to create for our employees and partners and children. Becoming mothers has transformed us, and really inspired us to build a company we believe in, design a product we truly love, find a work-life balance that keeps it fresh, and has made us more tapped into our own creativity and capability."
- Read more: DÔEN: DESIGNERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE
LAIA AGUILAR, THE ANIMAL OBSERVATORY DESIGNER
- Photographed with her children Adriana and Pablo in Pontós Spain, by Pablo Sarabia.
- "I love the peace of the countryside, walks in the woods, the starry sky at night. I don’t like cities, I think, in a way, they blur people. The country gives you a clearer image of yourself, a human scale to live on. It also helps me concentrate. I lived in Barcelona for a while, but I didn’t like it. Too much input. Living in the country is a gift every day. Ultimately, I love the idea of my children opening the door and being free."
- Read more: FAMILY VALUES
EVA GALAMBOS, PARLOUR X FOUNDER
- Photographed with her daughter Paloma at home in Sydney, by Prue Ruscoe
- "The girls are my babies, and this store is my baby too, and so it is incredibly hard to find balance. I admit I find it difficult to switch off from work. I try as hard as I can on the weekends. I am away a lot, six buying trips a year, which also gives me pangs, but I am philosophical – there have to be sacrifices when you have your own business, and I hope at the end of the day they see me as a great role model, I hang on to that. I think it’s particularly hard for women because as mothers we are always torn. It is so complex but I always try my best and I also try not to weigh my brain down with guilt."
- Read more: ALL ABOUT EVA
KIT WILLOW PODGORNIK, KITX DESIGNER
- Photographed with her daughter Misia backstage in Sydney by Jo Yeldham
- "We have abused the precious natural resources on this mother earth; fashion is one of the great abusers. My passion involves sourcing materials – the greatest impact to the planet comes from materials – and consciously creating a strong, modern design-led, creative house with a heart and conscious. ."
- Read more: BABES IN THE HOOD
CHARLOTTE LYNGGAARD, CREATIVE DIRECTOR OLE LYNGGAARD COPENHAGEN
- Photographed at her home north of Copenhagen with four generations of her family, by Gregor Hohenberg
- "Home is where family and friends get together, where we share our everyday life, our celebrations and enjoy quiet times together or apart. Our home is the frame of our life and not at all a showroom – it’s a place where you feel welcome and safe and wish to return. The light in Scandinavia is very special, I especially love watching the light in the early morning time from my bedroom window, it fills me with energy and life."
- Read more: THE ROMANTIC
FRANCESCA CUMANI, RACING EXPERT
- Photographed at The Sydney Polo Club in the Richmond Lowlands, by Stephen Ward for Live With Us
- "Having grown up in England, I was not so used to the idea of going to the beach for a swim in the morning followed by a lazy breakfast, but a dip in the ocean always makes you feel great, then it’s usually lunch with family and, of course, the perfect Sunday always ends with a late afternoon ride – it’s very calming. There’s no better escape for me than to jump on the back of a horse. It’s about the adrenalin or the endorphins I suppose. Ultimately, it just gives me a real sense of freedom. There’s nothing like it.”
- Read more: WILD AT HEART
KATE DARVILL, VOGUE'S SENIOR FASHION EDITOR
- Photographed in Sydney with her two sets of twins, Matilda and Jack, and Stella and Olive, by Pierre Toussaint
- "[My children] have taught me patience! They have also taught me that the heart has the ability to grow exponentially. My hope is that my husband and I can teach them to be good and honest people and to be kind and generous. I want to support them in every way so that they grow to be strong, beautiful and most importantly, happy people. I hope they know they are each other’s best friends and they continue to love and support each other always."
- Read more: I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT
LINDY KLIM, MILK & Co CO-FOUNDER
- Photographed in Sydney by Bec Parsons
- "I think it's important for me to show my children how essential it is for women to work and to have their own independence. I grew up watching my mum work super hard, she would teach during the day and waitress at night and my dad was not around. I love that she’s such a strong woman, and I hope that my kids see that in me as well."
- Read more: A PLACE IN THE SUN
AMELIA FULLARTON, PHOTOGRAPHER
- At home in Byron Bay
- "Motherhood is a selfless, challenging and incredibly rewarding act. It has changed my world in ways l never knew imaginable. I guess it is one of those things that is too difficult to put in to words – if you are lucky enough to experience it once in your life then you will know what l mean when l say there is no feeling quite like it. It is a love that is so crazy it is indescribable."
- Read more: AMELIA FULLARTON'S SEASIDE BLISS