#GIRLBOSSESOFGREATBRITAIN – The One With The Empowering Dresser | House of Coco

I just quickly wanted to brag a little bit about my interview in House of Coco.

Hope you will enjoy.

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Separation Anxiety- Mine or Hers?

I was looking forward to this event for months. Planned the outfit weeks before and changed it entirely at the last minute. The makeup artist was booked and ideas exchanged on a regular basis. The evening finally came. My husband’s cousin kindly agreed to come and watch Arya while I was undergoing a facial makeover so all was sorted and planned to the very end. Yeah right, planned my ass. You can plan as you want but when you have a baby you can take this plan and shove it deep into your… Well you know where I’m getting to. Surely not to a rosy fields with unicorns strolling freely. As soon as the make up artist came Arya turned on “cry hard” mode and no distraction, no ignoring strategy worked. The crying was unbelievable. Sorry, I meant unbearable. To me. Everyone was nodding their heads calming me down: “It’s fine. She’s going to be ok. All babies are like that”. But I can’t. I simply can’t go past that. You see your baby all covered in tears, sniffing her nose, so sad and upset, turning her head from left to right trying to find you and you’re not there, her heart pumping hard. No one can convince me that such moments don’t affect them. I will not believe that. Yes they don’t remember that one day their mummy left them for a few hours and they were scared she would never come back. But the feeling, the emotions – they must affect them when they are older one way or the other. Subconsciously. Without knowing their source. I’m sure every single emotion felt since the conception (or the first time their nervous system can transport any impulse) does have its record and representation in our behaviour. 

So I was getting palpitations. The makeup artists says: “close your eyes” I’m staring at her blankly, completely melted and itchy to run to Arya. Guilt is nothing comparing to the feeling inside me but at the same time I do want to go. I can’t compromise myself so I must be brave.

Arya joined me for the most part of preparations in the form of a lump stuck to my leg or on my lap very much not helping the situation. Thank you Ana for being so patient and understanding. And to have a result like this with all these obstacles – it’s simply talent.

   
 I left without even saying goodbye to my baby and spent the whole evening texting Sanj every five minutes asking if she was ok. Of course she was. She was with her daddy – a master of putting babies to sleep. 

No sooner did I arrived at the London Coliseum my baby had already been in bed and didn’t even wake up when I was back at midnight. That said, never have I been so torn in my entire life. Just a year ago I would have gone crazy at the British Fashion Awards, so excited as if I drank 10 coffees (I know because I’ve already been in such a state and yes it was related to fashion ), last Monday though my emotions were all over the place. And my poor friend, who attended the event with me had to put up with my texting and worrying. You would think I’ve got a text template: “Is she Ok?” And Sanj: “Yes” on our iPhones. Or we have programmed Siri to send these auto messages to each other every 5 minutes. But I missed her. That was it. I missed her. I watched Stella McCartney receiving her award and at the same time I was imagining Arya sleeping cozily in our bed and I wanted be near her, to hold her hand or just watch her sleep (as creepy as it sounds). 

I made it to the final though and even drinks after. 

   
   
I guess that’s how my life will be from now on – torn and never enjoying anything fully unless with her. How long does this phase last? A few more months?18 years? Half of a century? Anyone? Please tell me. I need to prepare myself for it.

Baby Style

It’s been 7 months now since my love joined our family and the time passes by so quickly.  So many long years of waiting and longing for a baby and once she’s finally here days go by and clothes are getting too small to quickly. Yes, clothes are a new definition of time. They come and go like in some factory (some to other babies, some to the store room for sentimental purposes) but while they last they are a necessity or pleasure for the eyes (both – on their own or on the baby). Whether it’s a gift, a quick purchase to replenish stock or a carefully chosen image emphasis – it’s an essential part of the baby. I wrote about styling a munchkin in my U.R. The Brand blog here so I won’t repeat myself but here I would like to post about my habits of dressing Arya and hopefully hear about yours.

Very often I hear comments that as a stylist I must be thrilled that I’ve got a baby girl cause I can style her. I slightly get upset about this comment, not taking it personally but being upset that this is a common pattern – a girl plays with dolls to dress them in anticipation to be a “real mum” and choose outfits for the “real baby”. I also don’t think that being a stylist makes me more fashion conscious than if I wasn’t one. Putting on clothes is a social requirement (as well as weather dependent), no doubt about that, but this is not a criterium of how I dress my baby so pink and blue labelling has been strongly banned in our house. Even before Arya was born I was very particular about this rule. I don’t care if she’s recognised as a girl or not, it doesn’t matter and certainly a colour should not be associated with sex in my strong opinion. Therefore my aversion to pink turned into a bit of a struggle in stores, especially when I was looking for a body or sleep suit asap. For that reason yes I admit, Arya has been wearing some of the clothes in this terribly stigmatised colour but I stocked to the rule when it came to day clothes. Although I particularly embraced salmon in Arya’s wardrobe palette (possibly because her first ever jacket, which was a symbol of realisation that our baby is coming, was of that colour) and sometimes my friends and family members facetiously used to a me comments that it is pink indeed. My response to this has always been: “IT’S BABY PINK THAT I FIGHT WITH”.

I do like salmon pink on Arya; this is one of those colours that I call “in between” and that I have a bit of an obsession about. Yes, she’s just a a baby but colours are such a powerful tool that speak beyond any language. They work exactly how music does – resonate, balance , go off key or create chaos and noise. And irrespective of your opinion on the concept of styling babies you do go: “ooohhh” with this melting feeling when you see a ashy blond baby boy in icy whites or a ginger-haired baby girl I autumn green. Even if you can’t picture it now, if you do see them, you do go “ooohhh”. 

The only stylist advice I will give here is – try to dress your baby in colours that suit them, not the colours you love. 

The same relates to the style. Of course, now when my baby is a non-fully-functional human-being it’s me, her mum, who makes fashion choices for her but I really really really try to sync the clothes to her personality as a baby in general (so: cheerful, happy-go-lucky, unspoilt by societal requirements, not bound to any gender) but also as an individual (enjoying her own reflection in the mirror, liking big eyed cartoon characters, squeaking on the sight of Bastian, loving food and very active to name a few characteristics). I choose quality and unique looks for her going out outfits (she is unique as a “hybrid” as my friends would say jokingly) and cheaper clothes for being at home as most of them I chuck out after a couple of wears. I like when at home she plays with taste and touch so all her bodies and sleep suits are from cheaper labels like ASDA and NEXT and I don’t regret any stain made.

When we go out (to the human world, where people see us) I do like nice outfits. I buy her clothes on childrensalon.com and melijoe.com but also baby Zara and Monsoo but am not interested in recent trends. Price is essential to me because while Arya is a baby she literally wears her outfits a few times a season and then they make a room for new ones. The speed they cycle is remarkable and there’s been plenty of items that after detoxing Arya’s sideboard I realised she never got to wear some of them. Weeding out baby’s wardrobe happens every month. Literally! And I like to keep it this way as it helps to declutter, reminisce and organise. I’ve got a box with clothes that will go to my pregnant friends and a sentimental box with a few pieces that tell a story of my Arya’s life. These are sort of milestones or fabric made photographs of your precious memories. 

And all the stained, ruined (like the sleepsuit with a hole in a big toe part) or  decoloured clothes (like all the whites that Sanj washed together with all the denim) go to the bin, although probably I will later regret doing so because of all the incidents that happened to them. If some of them don’t land in the rubbish I probably would have to own a storage space in one of those BigYellow or Shurgard places and I would appear in one of the episode of “Hoarders”.

Two things I’ve learned:

1. Don’t put away nice outfits for later because one day you will find them in the cupboard with the label showing, to your massive surprise, that the clothes are two sizes too small and no matter how you push your baby into them they just won’t fit.

2. Buy only a few outfits per season and lots of sleepsuits. Unless your baby has a tight schedule and attends all the socialite events with you there’s absolutely no point buying something just because it’s cute or because your baby doesn’t have one yet. 5 mix-and-match outfits are more than sufficient. 

Here are some examples of Arya’s looks:

mininMarc jacobs T-shirt and Zara trousers
  
Monsoon set
  
another Monsoon set
  
   

the same Monsoon outfit – blouse in closeup
  
my favourite brand – Billieblush T-shirt and Polarn O.Pyret leggings
 
What are your baby styling habits, issues, dramas and stories? Share here so we could all support and learn from each other.

DGMAMMA

So this is how I look in my everyday life as a mom of a baby-girl – going through the day on one coffee, all by myself from 8:30 till 18:00. 

This is my steel armour, my uniform. With baby wipes in each room, on each surface (the best strategy ever – don’t need to run from one place to another to and fro like this dog chasing a squirrel). Leggings and stretchy tight long-sleeve t-shirt (long serve because I’ve got this OCD of having my extremities covered, ok) – best housekeeping outfit in the entire world. I try to keep it clean. I said, I try. Because baby burps are not on schedule and sometimes I’m this one step too far from the wipe. And there’s also my Master – cat Bastian who, when hungry, rubs himself again my leg leaving the leggings as furry as he is.
The only door to the “woman look” and to a good mood here is a 1 minute makeup which consist only from foundation, blush and mascara but that will do to get a smile from the reflection in the mirror. If I get a bit longer than 1 minute I upgrade to a lipstick and some basic contouring – I then do selfies the whole day.
For going out I’ve got my outfits grouped and ready at hand – folded on the bed. Not all of them, just the most frequent one. Shopping and health centre outfit is the same trousers, jumper and flats- all easy to pull on within another minute.
If I go to a baby club, meetups or consultations – the outfits are prepared a day before (when my lovely husband is back at home and can guard our gem). You already know that one of my style believes is that how we dress is a respect to ourselves and to others. On top of that I’m a bit coockou about beautiful design and amazing colour and I’ve got a great appreciation for a technology of textile. So, when I go to see the world I dress up (depending on the occasion). And hence, my yesterday’s outfit for a consultation with a working mum who is looking to upgrade her style.
Making an effort rewards us with a great reflection in the mirror and whether you want it or not – it resonates to your mood. A human is a visual creature – some are less some are more but we all have eyes and our judgement (again whether we want it or not), inspiration, memories, emotions are based on what we see in the world around us. Colour is one of the major impulses for the above, so our looks should be built around the thought-through palettes and if we are all sorted in this department (meaning are equipped with a wardrobe of clothes suitable to us and us only), it doesn’t take ages to pick an outfit. It only takes a minute, girl.
Let’s face it, wherever you go, whatever you see – functionality is not the only criterium for your choices but also, if not mostly (or even only) the design. So start from yourself. Give the world a little appreciation of colour, shape and pattern, balance and fitted into your story, your background.
And hence, my yesterday’s outfit for a consultation with a working mum who is looking to upgrade her style.

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