Celebrating Mother's Day with Emma Petterwood and her two boys, Charlie and Leo.
Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate the selfless love of mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers and any motherly figure in your life.
To celebrate, we have sat down with After Eight founder, Emma Petterwood, and her two boys Leo and Charlie to discuss life as a mum in everyday and fashion life with some special added perspective from the boys.
Q1. What is your fondest memory spent with your boys? And Charlie and Leo, what is your favourite memory with mum?
Em: A few years back we started a birthday tradition where the boys chose an adventure for their special day. It’s taken us from Bruny Island to Wet n’ Wild on the Gold Coast, and Taronga Zoo – it has quickly become a highlight of our year and something we all look forward to.
Charlie: When we went to Sydney for Leo’s birthday last December and visited Bondi. I loved seeing the lifeguards from Bondi Rescue.
Leo: I loved being on Bruny Island with Mum.
Q2. Getting dressed can be hard, what impact does motherhood have on your wardrobe, from child friendly accessories to stain-resistant materials and colours?
Em: The biggest impact has been to my style. I remember walking into my wardrobe when the boys were really little and feeling like I didn’t identify with the woman whose clothes were within – the pre-kids’ version of me.
My ‘now-me’ wardrobe has a solid foundation (and there’s fewer party dresses!) so if I am ever in a hurry (always!) to get dressed, I can grab and go without thinking too much about it. I’ve never been too influenced by trends (or a ‘Mum Wardrobe’), I tend to lean towards the classic – my go to pieces: black pants, great jeans, a black dress, lots of blazers and basic tees or knits to pair them back with.
Q3. Boys, what do you think of the fashions (Leo’s name for After Eight) and do you enjoy spending a day with mum at work?
Charlie: I like sitting in the big yellow velvet comfy chair.
Leo: I like going to the Fashions, Mum lets me play on the shop iPad.
Q4. What is the most special gift you have received from your boys?
Em: The ‘About My Mum’ cards that come home from school each Mother’s Day are such a joy. I love reading about me in their own words - there’s always one answer that has me in fits of laughter.
Q5. How would you describe your perfect Mother’s Day?
Em: I love starting my day with a run so this would have to be on my perfect Mother’s Day list. Charlie, who is 8, has started joining me for the first km/s so I’ll be looking forward to him joining me this Sunday.
Following my run, it would be brunch with our families to celebrate all the incredible mothers in our lives.
Q6. Although having two boys, what are some capsule wardrobe items you are cherishing to pass down through the family?
Em: My grandmother had impeccable style and was ahead of her time when it came to fashion and beauty. There are still pieces from her collection that I wear today – from leather gloves, a mohair scarf and a 70s trench. I will be passing these pieces down, along with some treasured items of my own.
My jewellery (of course) as well as pieces that I have picked up along my travels such as a gorgeous green silk Gucci Blouse from our first trip to Italy, to the Wardrobe NYC Blazer I got from their flagship store in NYC, and a 30th birthday gift from Josh – a blue Prada tote. I hope the stories these pieces hold bring joy to their future owners/wearers.
Q7. What does motherhood mean to you and how did it change your perspective on life?
Em: The early, tiring and bewildering days of early motherhood came with a side serving of self-enquiry that I didn’t expect. About the time I was in my wardrobe unable to identify with who’s clothes were within, I often wondered ‘who even am I anymore’? With those days now in my rear-view mirror, the first five years were about losing myself and the next five, I can see, is about learning more about myself because of them.
Q8. Charlie and Leo, what is your favourite thing about your mum?
Charlie: I like the way she is a Fashion Designer.
Leo: Mum is really special to me.
Q9. What are your top five favourite pieces from After Eight that you would love to be gifted this Mother’s Day?
2. Arms of Eve Elodi Hoops
3. Friends with Frank Agnes Cardigan
4. Stora Skuggan – Mistpouffer
5. Muma World Scarf