I’m all for a high-low mix when it comes to how I dress and often work elegant accessories with more casual pieces. This ensures comfort without compromising on style. And what’s more comfortable or stylish than a classic white tee and jeans? I often wear this combination and always add interesting outerwear along with fun accoutrements to help give it a point of difference. For this particular look I decided to add the ultimate in luxury pieces—a fur coat (faux all the way, of course). I wore this coat to Fashion Week with a dress but it goes to show that it can also be dressed down without compromising its wow factor. I’ve found that throwing on knockout outerwear always elevates a less dressy look.
As always accessories are crucial for finishing off an ensemble and in this instance it was all about a striking bag and shoes. The classic Louis Vuitton Speedy bag looks fresh and modern due to the oversized monogram, and I love that I can use it as both a crossbody and top handle bag. My ankle boots are also by Louis Vuitton, but with a smaller, subtle LV pattern. And as a final finishing touch, delicate cat eye sunglasses by Vogue Eyewear and earrings by The Slow Mode.
One of my favourite things about winter is the fact I get to cosy up in gorgeous knits such as this sweet jumper by Zimmermann. I’m a firm believer that knitwear doesn’t have to be boring, in fact it can often be the star of an outfit if the finishing touches are just right. The oversized bows on this sweater is ultimately what makes it and is the ideal finishing touch. I also find a batwing sleeve particularly flattering when it comes to knits as it has the slightly billowy feel that I like when it comes to jumpers but the tapered cuffs give it a refined shape.
You’ll often find me in jeans so I am quite particular when it comes to the wash and fit. This pair by Levi’s ticks all the boxes for me. It’s always nice to go back to such a classic denim brand as they really know how to create a great, flattering pair. Paired with a cute jumper, it’s a combination that’s a failsafe during winter.
I decided to dress this outfit up a little with black Aquazzura pumps. I like the fact that the subtle bow on the straps ties in to the bows on my jumper, offering a little extra cohesion. As a final finishing touch, I opted for my favourite black Dior bag worn as a clutch. Overall it’s a casual look that’s elegant and polished, yet easily adaptable with a change of accessories.
Australian model Elyse Taylor was discovered at 18 and went on to walk for Victoria’s Secret, Dolce & Gabbana and Tommy Hilfiger and has been on the cover of Australian Vogue. The 29-year old, born in Sydney and based in the United States, is now the face of Nude by Nature make-up and involved with Milea swimwear. Taylor chats to me about life, juggling motherhood and modelling, and her quirky cleaning habits.
What’s a day in the life of you when you’re at home in the US?
If I have a day off, I have breakfast with Lila and then I walk her to school, with my neighbour. Our kids are the same age and go to same school. While she is at school, we go to the gym, work out and pick her up and have lunch, and then have enough time with her and just hang out. But then if I’m working, I’m up at five [o’clock] and gone. So it’s constantly changing but it’s good.
How do you juggle it all?
I’ve learnt to be a little bit more aggressive. I’ve had to say no to certain jobs, just because they’ve been back to back. I don’t really want to spend more than four or five days away from my daughter because she is just growing and doing so many things and you don’t want to miss anything. I start getting a little strange after five days. I get really anxious and hostile. So I just try and make sure that I have enough time off and enough time on.
What do you enjoy most about motherhood?
Just the milestones and watching her and seeing her personality come through because she is two now.
Do you have plans to grow your family?
I would definitely love to have more children. It’s just trying to find the right time. If it happens, it happens. It would be wonderful. But we’re just taking it one step at a time.
What’s next for you?
I have this amazing relationship with Nude By Nature, and Milea is about to launch … And then, I think I was planning on coming back for Australian Fashion Week in May.
I think it was just like a natural alignment. Nude By Nature had a worldwide search for a face that was an Australian kind of beauty. When I got the call saying “it’s you”, I was so humbled and honoured.
What’s your top beauty secret you’ve learnt while modelling?
If you’re doing smoky eye, you put your foundation on afterwards … and with highlighting, just highlight the bridge of your nose and cheekbones.
Out of everything in your life, what are you most proud of?
In life, I feel like I’m most proud of Lila, but my career probably has been over 10 years now. As a model, you never think it’s going to last that long.
When you did the Victoria’s Secret show, what was the most surprising part about that?
The grandeur of the show. You don’t realise how big it is, and how big the machine is behind it. I was also surprised at how it is like a little family – doing the catalogue, doing the commercials and then doing the show. I still keep in contact with the girls.
What’s the worst part about your job?
That it’s not forever. That’s always in the back of your mind, especially as I get older!
What’s your plan after modelling?
There is no set plan. I would like to keep building my brands and keep moving forward and seeing where that takes us. There’s definitely a lot of opportunities, especially in the States. So it’s just trying to find the right outlet for that.
If you didn’t become a model, what would you have done?
I like to be creative. So I think I would like to stay within the industry, but maybe in art direction or maybe on the other side of the lens. I would still like to create content for brands and stuff like that, so that’s very natural for me. I enjoy that.
Do you think Lila will follow in your footsteps?
I don’t know. If she wants to, and if she is passionate about it, I’ll support her in her work. I’d love her to have a real job, one that lasts forever. But if she is passionate about this, then, of course I’ll support her and direct her in the right direction.
Who do you look up to and admire?
I look up to other women that have children with really intense careers. Especially how they find the balance to make it all work and have success after having children as well. You don’t realise how intense and what a whirlwind it is having children and then how much you are actually taking on.
Do you have any quirky habits that no one knows about?
I really am OCD about cleanliness … I clean all the time. I can’t stop. With my nanny’s cleaning, I’ll clean over the top of her cleaning and she is like, ‘is something wrong?’ I’m like, ‘Just go find, Lila. I have to finish this’.
Do you have any fears?
I don’t really like heights … I climbed the Harbour Bridge and I was dying inside.
Where is your favourite travel destination?
My favourite personal travel destination is St Barths, especially with my daughter. It’s a quiet place, to just be with the family, be on the beach. We know the island really well so there is no surprises, which is always great, especially when you have a kid.
How do you stay in shape?
I work out and I try a lot of different diets, and a blood-type diet works best for me.
What is a blood-type diet?
Each blood type is different. I’m an O blood type, so I can have lots of meats and certain kinds of fruits. I can eat as much of that as possible and not gain weight, which is great … because before I was juicing and eating all these types of salads but I was holding all this body weight. Then, once I started that, all the weight came off, all the extra baby weight.
If you have this strict diet regime, what is your biggest indulgence?
Pizza. If I’m in Australia, I like seafood pizzas. And then, if I’m in the States, macaroni – because I try and think of like the worst possible thing I could eat after a week’s rigid diet.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I guess I see myself just keep working and keep planning for the future and keep building on what we’ve already been building; constantly working with different brands and just trying to diversify myself as much as possible. There’s definitely things in the States with [talent agencies] WME and IMG combining, so there is a lot more film and television options that weren’t available before, which is exciting.
WE ATE vine ripened tomato salad; salad of beetroot, balsamic glazed heirloom carrot, goats curd and hazelnuts; buffalo mozzarella, figs, witlof, basil and vino cotto; pan fried barramundi fillet with mashed peas, crème fraiche and confit spring onion, sunflower seed and caper beurre noisette.