As I child I wanted to be a flower fairy. I dreamt of floating around our small, terraced house in flowy white dresses with garlands in my hair and pretty ballet slippers on my feet, but the reality was rather different. Mum had four children to look after plus a full-time job so our clothes were chosen on the basis of functionality rather than decoration while hair had to be kept short to minimise time spent getting ready. In fact, I remember my mum bribing me with a pair of blue, tasselled pixie boots to have my hair cut into a (very unflattering!) short bowl style. Clothes tended to be of the murky brown corduroy variety which wasn’t exactly exciting. I look back at pictures of those times and cringe – I look like a small, skinny boy and miles away from the flower fairy persona I was aiming for.
It did affect me as I got older – I lost interest in dressing up and clothes for a long time. Then those angsty teenage years, and curves came along, and I really had no clue what to wear to cover my emerging bust and hips. Bowing to peer pressure I ended up copying the jeans and trainer combo that most girls at the time were wearing, but I love that, in some important ways, social media has made it okay and even desirable to be different and experiment with fashion. You have more chance of finding your tribe now.
My twenties were a blur of work, parties and travelling and it wasn’t until I got into my thirties that I started to take an interest again in clothes and fashion. Then motherhood took over and in those early years of sleep deprivation, vomiting bugs and the general chaos of juggling a career in the media and two tiny children I lost my identity, and my way, a little bit. In fact, things didn’t change until a friend told me that her friend, H, had seen Victoria Genevieve and it had got her out of a clothing rut – she looked amazing, never worried about what to wear and had tons more confidence. Tentatively I met up with Victoria, but straightaway her warm, easy going manner put me at ease. She has an excellent eye not only for fashion, but crucially what will suit your body shape and lifestyle which in many ways is more important. It’s not an overstatement to say that she opened my eyes to how clothes can be fun and how you can choose to use them to make a statement or a reflection of how you are. I’m no longer in my flower fairy phase but I can now (with Victoria’s help of course) wear outfits that channel the powerful, clever, sexy mama that I want to be.
It’s a cliché but there are many things to be learned from children – and one of them is how to enjoy choosing what to wear and how clothes can be a fun extension of your personality for that day – just a special moment in time. It’s a lesson I won’t forget again.