Miranda Darling

Leading Lady: opening image, Miranda Darling at home in Sydney, wearing a favourite Chanel jacket that once belonged to her grandmother, with J Brand leather jeans and Marc Jacobs top. Brothers In Arms: above, her sons Samson and Griffin. 

With a compelling new project in the pipeline, the beautiful and fearless writer, Miranda Darling, shares her passion for art, conscious thinking and motherhood

  2. Photographed by Rene Vaile | Sittings Editor: Victoria Collison
  3. Hair and Makeup: Wayne Chick | Interview by Natasha Inchley
  5. Photographed at home with her two sons, on a hazy afternoon in between school pick-ups and errand runs, Miranda Darling is the intriguing heroine: beauty, brains, talent, style and wit. Throughout our interview, she reveals a life of passions and surprises. For the past year, she and her husband, the star architect, Nick Tobias, have lovingly renovated their hillside house, opening up windows and walls to create an airy family home, which serves as the ultimate canvas for their well-traveled aesthetic. More recently Darling, an accomplished author and illustrator, has been working on a new creative endeavour, a satirical narrative. She says her most fulfilling role, however, is that of mother to Samson, 6, and Griffin, 4. Here, her thoughts on family, work and juggling it all.


you're a wonderful storyteller, what led you to become a writer?

  1. I traveled a lot with my parents as a child, which I absolutely loved. We lived in Milan and Tokyo and visited the most magical places including Sri Lanka and Pentecost Island. It made such a big impression on me. I was also a bookworm, my Dad steered me towards travel stories and I particularly loved the tales of intrepid female explorers who would head into the desert sands with the Bedouin; their adventures fascinated me.


the women in your family are also particularly inspiring:

  1. I have amazing grandmothers – my mother’s mother was married to a geologist and lived all over the world. She accompanied her husband on expeditions to Persia and Columbia and would put on high teas in the afternoon for the diplomats. She was both elegant and intrepid. My paternal grandmother worked for the navy during the war, the youngest Australian naval officer to do so, and it was her job to crack submarine codes. She wore Chanel jackets and pearls, and my earliest memories are of her in a nightie in the country, she’d go out with a shotgun to shoot at the parrots because they were eating her roses. She had an elegance that went hand in hand with an amazing independent spirit.
  3. Strong suit: above, in the dining room featuring Fiona Lowry's canvas 'Anything You See In Me Is In You', Darling wears a Moschino jumpsuit with Jimmy Choo shoes. Below, the couple's future innovators.

Natural Born Talent: above, in the dining room Darling wears Zara with Miu Miu shoes. Mad About The Boys: below, Samson and Griffin in the living room, wearing American Apparel.


  1. what is your viewpoint on Motherhood?

  2. It means everything to me. My boys are my pride and joy and I spend all my time with them. I planned it that I would write and pursue a creative career because it's easier to juggle with kids but of course there are days when I would love an office. As far as my philosophy goes, I try to always be very kind and to remember they see the world through my eyes. I constantly want to introduce them to new things and I think we have an amazing connection.

  2. Are there family rituals that you especially look forward to?

    I read to Samson and Griffin a lot. We sometimes have a second breakfast and visit the bakery for a Pain au Chocolat and then sit together in the sun to read, that's something they really love. I also take my boys on little adventures after school: we’ll pack a picnic and go on a quest. I think you can awaken and encourage their spirit of adventure and it keeps it interesting for me as well.


You also travel to destinations with your sons where other families might not:

  1. Travel is important to us. When children see the world beyond their suburb, it teaches them to feel comfortable in it even though the environment might be very different to their own. I think there are other ways to encourage that kind of confidence though, even without the travel – it's a mindset; it’s about not allowing automatic thought patterns to become absolute. I think if you can be a source of light and goodness, ultimately you’ll be much happier and you might even have a chance to make the world around you a little happier, too.


Your style is a study in effortless chic; you’re not afraid of colour:

I don't always get it right but it’s playful. Fashion for me is not so much about the buy, but rather that the clothes are telling a little story; I like the idea of inhabiting a vignette for a day. And yes, I love colour, a bit of boldness.


How then, did a string of pearls come to be your signature?

  1. When I inherited a necklace from my grandmother I decided that the pearls weren’t going to be saved for special occasions – I wear them all the time and have them restrung every year. They are luminous beautiful things and no matter what I’m wearing, they add a dash of elegance. I also think there’s a certain kind of gentleness with pearls; you hold yourself slightly better when you see yourself in the mirror wearing them.

Bedroom Eyes: above, Darling in a vintage dress from London. Welcome To The Dollhouse: below, the writer's cast of outlandish, scandal-prone "reality" dolls and illustrations form the basis of her new creative work.


Your latest endeavour, The Angie Dolls, features a cast of wicked puppets with sharp one-liners. What was the inspiration?

It’s satirical, my attempt at hacking the system I guess. Reality TV shows and gossip magazines are so popular today and the images of femininity that are promoted are quite artificial so I was worried that little girls were going to grow up wanting to be a Paris Hilton rather than a geologist. But if you voice that, you come across as moralistic. I think it’s more powerful to use satire – puppets shed a different light on what we value and if you can laugh at it then the superficiality has much less of a hold. 

And now you're collaborating on a special project based in Los Angeles with writer/director sophie edelstein. naturally, the dolls are the stars – how did the characters come together?

  1. It started off at the kitchen table, the kids were doing some felt craftwork and I began making the dolls. Now, if the boys are watching TV after dinner I’ll sit with them and sew, it’s something that I can pick up and put down.


You’re also a patron of the arts and a collector. Do you and your husband share a similar aesthetic?

We definitely enjoy art together. Nick is a minimalist, he’s drawn to the abstract, but there is a huge area where our tastes intersect. I love collecting the work of young artists at the beginning of their career. And so, our home is completely organic and quite eclectic, there’s no decorator. It’s a compilation of objects that we love and most things have a story behind them.


What is the greatest lesson your sons have taught you?

  1. They've definitely taught me the power of surrendering, that has probably been the biggest lesson. I think when you become a mother you don't really have a choice but to surrender a lot of your preferences, and if you resist that it can be exhausting, whereas if you embrace it, it can become a source of strength. I also think the love that flows from my children is extraordinary.


And what do you hope to teach them?

I would like them to be brave, kind and compassionate, to always listen to their hearts and do what they feel is right rather than listening to their fears or the noise that might constrict their vision of what is possible.

Love In The Afternoon: above, Darling borrows her husband’s mohair sweater to wear with Zara shorts on the terrace. Fully Booked: below, the writer in her study wears a vintage silk bomber jacket and Equipment shirt.