Expecting has never looked so cool. We chat to the influential fashion consultant about her second pregnancy and new lifestyle project
Yasmin Sewell is renowned for her impeccable sense of style. The Australian-born, London-based fashion consultant’s juxtaposition of androgynous tailoring with feminine silhouettes has made her a draw card for the omnipresent crowd of street-style photographers at the shows, and the subject of endless admiring blog posts. So it comes somewhat of a surprise that Sewell admits that she finds dressing for pregnancy difficult. “My body shape is about my waist and all my clothes are drawn to the waist. I always think you have to dress for your body – you’ve got to work the best bits. Now I’ve lost the waist, so for me, pregnancy dressing is harder,” she says.
After falling pregnant with her second child (she has a three year old son, Knox) Sewell may have had to rethink her wardrobe, but that hasn’t stopped her from giving expecting a sartorial shakeup. Take the recent SS15 shows, which she attended while five months pregnant. In graphic print dresses, crop tops, culottes and high-shine platform sandals she made maternity fashion seem bold, modern and well… cool.
Sewell wasn’t the only style setter sitting front row with a bump. Her friends, Editor-In-Chief of Lucky magazine, Eva Chen, and Buro 24/7 founder, Miroslava Duma, are also expecting. “All of a sudden we all just got pregnant. We kept running into each other [at the shows] and talking about bumps the whole time – it was just bump month. I have no idea what was going on with trends!” She says laughing.
However by the time the last week of shows rolled around she decided that she’d had enough. “It was like a sliding scale downwards from New York to Paris. I was getting really tired and a bit sick. I didn’t want to have the pressure of having to dress up and wear a nice outfit. I just wanted to get into my tracksuit pants!”
The 38-year old isn’t one to ignore her instincts. In fact she has built an influential fashion career on her sense of intuition. Opening her own successful boutique at just 22, she went on to help launch the careers of designers such as Christopher Kane and Thomas Tait as a buyer for Browns and Liberty, before turning her talent for knowing what’s next into a business by setting up a fashion consultancy.
“Being so young, and kind of naïve when I first started was probably a benefit to me, as I didn’t have a history of being a buyer or preconceived ideas. It was all instinct and passion.” If she wasn’t busy enough, Sewell has now added the title of Creative Director to her resume. Two years ago she secretly launched cult basics brand Être Cécile with her husband Kyle Robinson and business partners Jemma Dyas and Richard Normile. A line-up of casual staples stamped with witty slogans and prints it proved an instant hit, even before the identity of its influential founders was revealed.
With a young son, a second child on the way and an ever-expanding career comes the inevitable question – how does she find work/life balance? “You have to know how to delegate and to be able to hand things over, and have a really strong support team. I feel quite fortunate in a sense that I can enjoy both time with Knox and my work. I love Monday mornings because I’ve had Friday, Saturday, Sunday with Knox and then I get to go to the office and be creative.”
Sewell is also a fan of mediation and is extremely health conscious, which she attributes to her upbringing in Sydney. “It’s sort of ingrained in you to be conscious of your health and well-being. It’s how people live there. People are up in the morning running on Bondi Beach, jumping in the ocean or having a fresh juice…” She recently set up an exclusive wellness weekend ‘THE MIND BODY RESET’ with the sisters behind the Hemsley+Hemsley cookbook ‘The Art of Eating Well’ and her Australian meditation teacher Garry Gorrow. The holistic retreat was designed as a complete lifestyle overhaul and Sewell will soon be bringing this same expertise to help NINE IN THE MIRROR readers as part of an exclusive collaboration (watch this space).
Always refreshingly honest, Sewell admits that even her devotion to healthy eating was no match for pregnancy cravings. “I fell pregnant when we were in New York and I was horrendously sick. Those first few months it all went out the window. I didn’t want to cook the food I normally eat. I just ate bagels for four months!”
Now, with only a few months to go before the arrival of her baby Sewell says she is “feeling great” and is taking the time to enjoy her pregnancy. “I do love being pregnant because it’s so fleeting. The time when you have a big ball is actually quite short, it’s only a few months of your life, and then it’s gone and you forget. It’s really special.”
In Her Words
Nine long months or nine joyous months?
Joyous. Tough at the beginning but totally joyous.
Are you a go home and collapse on the sofa pregnant woman or a hyperactive yoga, superbusy pregnant woman
I’m a go home, get things sorted, then collapse on the sofa pregnant woman. I’m a morning person so when I get up I’m clear and active, but by the time I’m home, I’ve been with Knox and we’ve put him to bed, I just want to zone out, wind down and sleep.
What did you miss most being pregnant?
I’ve been craving sushi the whole time I’ve been pregnant. I also miss being energetic. I have a really active 3-year old who wants to run around, chase me and jump on me, and I can’t do that. I miss having a glass of wine. And my waist! I miss cinching!
Your go to designers when expecting?
I do wear Être Cécile a lot, just because it’s so easy. Big, oversized Acne shirts are really good. I’ve loved everything I’ve got from Hatch, especially their long dresses. I’m more about what NINE IN THE MIRROR does; finding pieces that work for pregnancy and not going down the obvious maternity road. I’m not going to buy things that I’m not going to wear afterwards. A great oversized shirt you’ll have forever and [after pregnancy] you can get a belt out and cinch your waist!
Hide the bump or show off the bump?
I don’t really think about it. I’m more about comfort. Although I think if you get to the point that I am now, over seven months, you want to be able to see it or you just look a little strange. You can’t hide it too much!
Top tip to other pregnant women?
Just be comfortable. In terms of fashion, find things that you love and feel good in. Enhance the best bits; whatever you’ve got remaining, use it! And just enjoy it and look after yourself. Lots of good nutrients, lots of sleep, get massages, acupuncture - it’s a time to be a little selfish.
Boy, girl or waiting to find out?
Waiting to find out. With Knox, my husband really wanted a surprise but I am such a control freak. I wanted to buy the clothes, to decorate the room - the chick-shit! And he really didn’t want to, and actually, we argued about it. So I didn’t do it [find out], and ended up loving that I didn’t know. This time he said to me ‘Shall we find out?’ and I said ‘Nooo, let’s not!’ It’s so fun. One month I think I’m having a boy and then another I think it’s a girl.
If your partner could carry the baby would you let him?
He couldn’t carry the baby. The whining I would get, I mean the whining I get now on a daily basis about how tired he is, and I’m like ‘Hang on a minute…!’ It just wouldn’t be possible. He’s always WAY more tired than me! (laughs)
Words by Amanda Woodward-Brown. Photography by Andrew Woffinden