The Australian-born fashion stylist proves that pregnancy is no obstacle to a statement look
From our first email exchange I knew I was going to like Pippa Holt. In fact the stylist and fashion consultant who contributes for British Vogue, is so unaffectedly nice that it would be impossible to take a dislike to her. When we chat she is suffering from a terrible cold, yet the thudding pain of influenza isn’t enough to dull her bright demeanor, Holt is still as personable and chatty as ever. Even her sense of style is upbeat. Mixing vivid prints with splashes of vibrant colour to eye-catching effect, she describes her look as “punchy and bold.”
Born in Australia, Holt moved to London when she was 23-years-old. She now splits her time between the British capital and Dublin, Ireland, where she lives in a 200-year-old Georgian townhouse with her husband, son and daughter. When we speak over the phone, there is the distinct, noisy chatter of children playing in the background and it won’t be long now until a new little voice joins the mix – Holt is currently 32 weeks pregnant with her third baby. Asked if this pregnancy has been any different from her last, she says that she can’t tell, “I’m just permanently pregnant! I’ve been pregnant three times in three years or something!” However the third time around she has been much more mindful of her health. “I’ve exercised more, and been more conscious of my diet. My other two pregnancies were back-to-back, with only 14 months apart between babies. I was breastfeeding while pregnant and I kind of let myself go!”
Holt has turned to weight lifting with her trainer and weekly pilates classes on a reformer once a week, as well as Mary Helen Bower’s Ballet Beautiful programme. “It’s projected me into a mad energetic phase – I’ve travelled a lot!” As a hands-on-mother of two young children with a busy career, she finds that travelling allows her time to relax. “When I’m here with the children, I don’t really go and have massages or things like that. I travelled recently to Istanbul and New York for work projects and I wasn’t with the children then. I get a lot of joy from travelling, so that, for me, is time for myself.”
A white shirt by Australian label Scanlan Theodore, Lululemon’s gypsy trousers- “they’re stretchy and chic”- an oversized scarf by Hermès, and a Valentino fringed tote bag (filled with water bottles, flight socks and aspirin) make up her in-flight pregnancy uniform. When she’s not jetting around the world she wears colourful, statement pieces that work with a bump from non-maternity labels. “ I have found good pieces to wear from all sorts of brands, from Emilia Wickstead and Alessandra Rich for night and Joseph, Etre Cecile, J. Crew and Sandro for day. I just continue to wear the designers I like, finding pieces that have stretch or accommodate the bump and use my existing wardrobe as much as I can, she says. ” I have a Stella McCartney dress that is kind of loose normally, but when I’m pregnant, it looks really good tight over the bump as well.” At the six-month mark Holt invests in pieces that expand with a growing bump, such as Paige’s skinny Verdugo maternity jeans and knitted body-conscious dresses and skirts by Sandro. “I think if you have something that’s a) statement and b) stretch, you’re good to go,” she says.
Holt recently celebrated her 40th birthday and although her bubbly personality belies her age, she says motherhood has made her more settled. “It’s probably grounded me more, I’ve become more balanced. It’s made me grow up, be a bit more responsible, because I’m a bit of a child myself!” While she may have a youthful demeanor she knows where her priorities lie, and spending time with her young family is top of the list. “I love seeing my children grow up and being close to them, helping them and nurturing them. They always come first.”
In Her Words
Hide the bump or show off the bump?
Show it off! I think it’s far more flattering. Plus the clothes from your existing wardrobe stretched over a bump look even better this way. The bump is the best accessory!
Nine long months or nine joyous months?
Nine joyous months.
Are you a go-home-and-collapse-on-the-sofa pregnant woman, or a hyperactive-yoga-super-busy pregnant woman? (Or both?)
Hyperactive! This pregnancy I have started a business and travelled extensively; Morocco, New York, Paris, Istanbul, Mykonos, Spain to name a few of the places I have visited, so strangely, this time round I have been propelled with energy.
What do you miss when you’re pregnant?
What couldn’t you do without?
My trainer John Belton of No.17 Personal Training, who works on keeping me physically strong for pregnancy, birth and after the baby is born. I didn't really exercise in my other two pregnancies and suffered as a result in the long run.
Your go-to pregnancy brand?
I don’t have one in particular. I have found good pieces to wear from all sorts of brands, from Peter Pilotto to J. Crew. I just continue to wear the designers I like, finding pieces that have stretch or accommodate the bump and using my existing wardrobe as much as I can.
Most surprising pregnancy fact?
That your immune system is lower when pregnant. I was hospitalised twice for food poisoning with this pregnancy and thankfully my obstetrician stopped me from going to India in my second trimester by informing me that you are more susceptible to picking things up when pregnant.
Top tip to other pregnant women?
Store up your sleep tank in the last trimester as you'll need it for after the birth. Indulge in the wonderful time of being pregnant as it does not last for long. Find a pregnancy Pilates reformer class - it’s strengthening and keeps you flexible. Use a tennis ball against a wall for sciatica! (I keep mine in my handbag.)
Boy, or girl?
Surprise! I think it’s the best one you can possibly have in life.
If your partner could carry the baby, would you let him?
No, I think women are created to do this.
Words by Amanda Woodward-Brown. Photography by Jane McLeish Kelsey. Hair and make up by Jessica Mejia.
Pippa wears pieces from NINE IN THE MIRROR and her own wardrobe
Leather jacket by The Kooples, Dress by Prabal Gurung
Trench coat by 3.1 Phillip Lim, Vintage Jeans, Heels by Gianvito Rossi, Cuff and bag by Hermès
Dress by 3.1 Phillip Lim, Boots by Jimmy Choo, Handbag by Chanel, Vintage fur tippet from Linda Richards
Dress by Valentino, Fur tippet by Moncler, Boots by Céline