The first thing that struck me about her was the hair – she has truly great hair – and how innately stylish she was. Madeleine is one of those women who make it all seem so simple and effortless but as I got to know her I discovered that behind the impeccable use of accessories was FOUR children and a warm, generous energy.
That’s when I became obsessed with knowing how she does it – run a company, a house and all in high heels.
Here she opens up her wardrobe, her office and shares her style wisdom, top online shopping tips and what you can learn from your little ones.
Describe your personality in three words.
Organised, maternal, non-confrontational.
Where did your love of fashion come from?
My two sisters and I used to sneak into the garage at our house in Shropshire where there was this huge Fortnum & Mason wicker hamper with my mother’s fabulous clothes from the sixties in it. We lost hours playing dress ups and smearing make-up all over our faces and doing photo shoots.
Is there anyone that inspired you to join the fashion industry?
Actually it was my younger sister Antonia who is so completely and utterly consumed by fashion. It later rubbed off on me and she has taught me you can make a living out of something creative and fabulous, if you work hard.
Tell us about the career path you took to get to where you are now?
Fashion was a career I didn’t really consider. I was a personal trainer in my 20′s until I had my children. Then due to my husband’s work, we relocated to South Africa for a few years and in 2005, we moved to Australia. I started doing consultancy work for my-wardrobe.com a few years ago and was appointed the Head of APAC in 2011.
Describe a typical week for you.
Every day I get up around 5am, check emails and get the children ready for school. Then my day begins with meetings with various editors and brand partners before going into the office to brief my PR team. My evenings usually involve a gym session, homework/playtime with the children, more emails and conference calls to the UK. My day usually ends around 12am because of the time difference in UK.
What inspires you?
My kids are quite inspirational – they are just so fearless and brutally honest with their view on life. If only as adults we could be as gutsy as they are.
Which designer would you love to work with?
Phoebe Philo, the woman is a one of a kind ingénue.
Stylish For A Living.
How would you describe your own style?
I would hope elegant, understated and structured.
Who’s your celebrity style crush?
What are the three pieces you find yourself wearing constantly?
Helmut Lang white jacket, Joseph leather pants and Camilla Skovgaard heels.
What is the most treasured piece of clothing in your closet?
Definitely a stunning Catherine Deane gown I purchased a couple of years ago. It is still the most beautiful thing I own.
What’s in your closet that you’ve never worn before?
D&G Final Collection scarf print trousers, I love them but I am not a prints kind of girl.
Any fashion rules that you live by?
A great blazer makes everything look polished.
What was your most recent purchase?
Camilla Skovgaard heels.
What She Wore.
CLICK TO BUY: J Brand RTW Jacket from My-Wardrobe; Helmut Oversized Luxe Jersey T-Shirt from My-Wardrobe, $87.50; Joseph Stretch Leather Leggings from My-Wardrobe, $843.75; Camilla Skovgaards Shoes from My-Wardrobe.
CLICK TO BUY: Theory Leather Peplum Top from My-Wardrobe; Red Valentino Devoré Pencil Skirt from My-Wardrobe, $268.76; Daisy Jewellery Chakra Bracelets, from $110; Michael Kors Watch, $290.
CLICK TO BUY: Theysken’s Theory Jelsor Gold Structured Zip Through Jacket from My-Wardrobe, $656.25.; Theysken’s Theory Daxir Structured Sleeveless Dress from My-Wardrobe, $606.26; Sophie Hulme Tote from My-Wardrobe, $660.
Her Fashion Tips.
CLICK TO BUY: Anton Heunis Necklaces from My-Wardrobe.
What are your top five style tips?
1. Invest in good quality pieces.
2. Find what suits your personality and body shape.
3. Always have a pair of point heels handy for last minute functions and meetings.
4. A side parted low pony is instantly chic when your hair is not behaving.
5. Make these five staples part of your wardrobe: great jacket, skinny leather pants, well cut shift dress, silk blouse and a classic trench.
What’s your favourite trend right now?
Opulence because it’s so luxurious.
What trend do you hate?
The wedge sneaker – I just don’t understand why a sneaker would needs a wedge, it’s a sneaker!
What is one piece of clothing every woman should splurge on?
A fabulous handbag. I invest in a 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli tote every season because the colours a great and it’s big enough to fit my life in there.
CLICK TO BUY: (L to R) 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli in Red from My-Wardrobe; 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli in Blue from My-Wardrobe; Diane Von Furstenburg Two Tone Tonda Yellow Clutch from My-Wardrobe, $320.
What’s your best fashion advice for someone on a tight budget?
Do your research. Not every high street chain store offers the same quality garments. If there is a fad trend that really takes your fancy, buy one or two pieces of this trend, you don’t need to buy an entire wardrobe based on that particular trend.
What key piece should everyone own this spring?
A metallic skirt – Tibi and By Malene Birger have done a couple of fabulous ones. Metallic is going to be huge over the next few seasons thanks to Burberry SS13.
What are your top tips for shopping online?
Sign up to newsletters so you are always the first to know of new arrivals, as a lot of the times key items sell out within hours Also websites like my-wardrobe.com offers subscribers VIP sale alerts so they get first pick before the public.
The LifeStyled List.
Tea or Coffee? Tea.
Favourite Flower? Calla Lilies.
Heels or Flats? Heels.
Favourite Cocktail? Mojito.
Style Icon? Grace Kelly.
Signature Scent? Jo Malone (Lime Basil and Mandarin).
Favourite City? My birth city, Hong Kong.
Reading… ‘Private Berlin’ by James Patterson.
Listening… Kanye West because the girls in the office make me listen to him.
Guilty pleasure… Coke Zero in a can.
Every woman should own… the exclusive Wilbur & Gussie ‘Charlie’ Clutch for National Breast Cancer Foundation from My-Wardrobe because 30% of sales go towards this very important cause. And it’s so chic! (Available 1st October)
I will never wear… uggs out of the house .
I need… A very long holiday at Qualia, Hamilton Island.
I want… Cartier Love Bracelet (I hope my husband is reading this!).