A matching top and skirt set is often a great way to get numerous wears out of just two pieces. Not only do they work together as separates, as a set, it almost doubles as a dress and both can be worked back with other items in my wardrobe such as a pants or a cami. I love the bold striped print and the the draped asymmetrical cut of this skirt from Acler’s latest range. Matched with statement Proenza Schouler mules this outfit can easily go from day to night by switching up a few key accessories, such as adding a clutch for the evening and adding bold jewellery to dial up the glamour. In saying that I could easily swap to a pair of sneakers or sandals and go for something a little more casual. Strategising your wardrobe purchases to ensure you get multiple uses out of them means your fashion dollar definitely goes further.
Credits: Top & Skirt, Acler; Shoes, Proenza Schouler, All available at MYER.
Black has always been a go-to colour of mine but more and more I’m gravitating towards navy as a failsafe neutral. It’s as wearable as black and is a great alternative when I’m not in the mood for a slightly more sombre hue. This Acler dress is a new favourite of mine as it’s as fitting in a meeting as it is for after work drinks or a day of shopping (when teamed with flats). I also like that it has taken the traditional wrap dress and given it a slightly more modern, fashion-forward look. I went for an unexpected touch by pairing it with my white Adidas Superstar sneakers which gives it an interesting high-low mix.
Credits: Dress, Acler, available at MYER; Shoes, Adidas
I’ve been having a serious love affair with the ’70s trend of late so it was a done deal as soon as I spotted this Asilio dress. I particularly love the drama of the bell sleeves and the intricate lace. I’ve topped it with skinny scarf for interest and have grounded the look with Proenza Schouler origami mules which provide a solid contrast to the floaty design of the dress. As always, I think you can’t go wrong with monochrome!
Credits: Dress, Asilio; Heels, Proenza Schouler all available at Myer.
Actress and model Jodi Anasta won a 2006 Logie Award during her five years on Home and Away and has had other screen roles from Underbelly to the film, The Cup. As a Myer ambassador, the 31-year-old shares the latest season trends with me and opens up about her separation from footballer ex-husband Braith Anasta and how she copes with the constant media attention.
What are you up to at the moment?
Myer is keeping me busy. We’ve got lots of different fashion shows on and launches. There’s so much going on and then I’ve got race days with Myer Fashions on the Field.
What are the upcoming winter trends?
It’s all about that contrasting effect. So leathers and lace, suits, blouses, ruffles, fur, suede. The ’70s revival is still back. We’ve been taught how to wear the bell sleeve, the bell pant, so we’ve had time to explore how to wear this kind of trend and now they’re taking it to the next level. My other favourite trend is just beautiful florals in really deep, rich tones.
Tell me about your involvement in the Autumn Racing Carnival.
I’m going to the BMW Derby (April 2) and then the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (April 9). I get to judge Myer Fashions on the Field.
You’ve got so many different roles. Is acting still your No. 1 priority?
Yes, it definitely is. It’s hard to say it’s my No. 1 because at the moment, I’ve got other things going on. But I’m auditioning every chance that I get. Even the day when the Myer Parade was on, I was in there doing auditioning for something before. So I’m just fitting them in wherever I can and just going along with it, doing classes and doing everything I can to be ready when those roles come up.
What has been your favourite role that you’ve played so far?
That’s a tough one. It’s hard because I love working on a film and working with certain people but maybe I don’t like my character as much. But then I do something like Home and Away, where I loved playing Martha and the character that she was. It was so much fun. That’s probably why I did it for five years. But I loved Underbelly and playing the drinking, smoking machine that she [Kylie Keogh] was.
If you could play any role, what would it be?
I would like to do comedy or action; something different to anything I’ve done. I love the characters Angelina [Jolie] plays – strong women. I think she is amazing. The choices she makes with her characters are never the same. She pushes herself. She’s not scared to dive into these really crazy roles and storylines.
With all your commitments, how do you juggle family life?
I think, for me, it’s just about finding balance, having a great family relationship and kind of just trying our best with communication and making sure everyone knows what’s going on so we can all support each other. My focus is putting Aleeia [her daughter] at the front of that, making sure she is looked after and I can take care of myself as well.
You’ve been in the headlines so much lately.
Oh my god, I know. I’ve been put on the spot a few times lately!
You really have had a tough time in your personal life. How are you going?
I’m good. I think I’m lucky. He [Braith] is supportive. We have a great family dynamic. It was nice to go to the zoo the other day [together] to celebrate Aleeia’s [second] birthday. Things are the best that they can be right now.
It must be hard going through a separation let alone to have the media watching your every move. What has that been like?
It’s definitely not easy. But it comes with the job, so I can’t complain. That’s just a result of the work that I do and I guess that attention is there. So you can ask for privacy but that’s kind of all you can do; all you can do is get on with it. Tomorrow is another day – I’m going to the beach with my daughter and I’m going to have a good time.
How do you cope with the paparazzi following you everywhere?
To some degree it’s just part of the game. I’m not going to sit here and whine about it because it’s an element of what I do. So if you put yourself in this position, then that attention is going to be there and then that attention will go … I care about Aleeia and making sure she is happy and she is having fun and no one is harassing her and no one is in her face. I can handle [the media] but I don’t like it being forceful in her face. So as long as she is happy and she is having a good time and – she is. She is such a delightful little girl and as long as it stays like that, then I’m happy.
You been in the headlines for being “too thin” lately. Is that frustrating?
Yes, frustrating is the right word, Kate [laughs]. It upset me that they did that because there’s photos shot in two different ways. So it just depends what did you choose to look at. I think that’s what it comes down to … It’s disappointing. Given what I’m going through, I think that people should just kind of be a bit more respectful. I’m a healthy gal. I go to the gym and I eat well. It’s funny when people see me in the flesh and they’re like, “Oh you look fine.” I was like, “I am fine.” … I do have a small frame, but I work out. I’m at the gym and I’m healthy.
What is the biggest misconception about you?
I think any girl that works in fashion, maybe in a photo they can look intimidating. So I always get, “Oh God, you’re so nice.” I think it’s just like when you’re associated with fashion, and maybe they think you’re not – I don’t know. It’s just funny … I’m a normal girl.
What do you do in your downtime?
I will read, I’ll hang out with Aleeia, I go to the beach, park, spend time with my family, see movies, go for dinner.
What’s next in the pipeline?
I’ve got to design a capsule collection for Mon Purse. That will all be coming to life. This is the first time I’ve done this and seen my creative and my designs coming through a campaign kind of look, so it’s really exciting.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Just working and having a beautiful life. I guess, for me, the essence of life is just being happy. So that’ll be with Aleeia and whatever else will be happening.
Who else is loving the 70s trend at the moment? I wore this outfit to the Myer Contemporary Brands Launch and loved the off the shoulder silhouette of the top and the quintessentially 70s look of the cropped flared pants. Monochrome is always a go-to colour combination of mine as it always looks classic and polished.
I don’t often wear black from head to toe but couldn’t resist the dramatic effect of this outfit. I am loving anything off the shoulder at the moment so I fell in love with this dress the moment I saw it. I wore this all black ensemble when I was recently in Melbourne for VAMFF and fell in love with the dress’ subtle print and billowy fit which is perfect for a growing bump. My Aquazurra heels seemingly go with just about everything I own so I think they have definitely been worth the investment.
I flew down to Melbourne last week to attend the Myer Contemporary Brands Launch during VAMFF which was held in St Kilda at a gorgeous space called the George Ballroom at The George Hotel. The iconic building was the perfect location to officially launch the Autumn ’16 collections of designers such as Georgia Alice (who I was wearing), Aje, Daniel Avakian, White Suede, búl, Skin & Threads and Acler. Myer’s brand ambassadors were there including Jodi Anasta, Rachael Finch and of course, Jennifer Hawkins to help showcase the range and we were treated to a gorgeous lunch. The models walked around during the lunch to show the various looks from the designers featured and provided a great fashion moment. Keep an eye out for the new looks in store.
With Brooke Testoni (middle) and Kaity Ham
Me with Jodi Anasta
The amazing table at the lunch
The gorgeous floral centrepieces
The brands on show
The beautiful place settings
Snapping away with Rachael Finch
Taking a snap of the gorgeous table
Me with Zoe Foster Blake (left) and Melissa Singer
Me with Adrian Norris
Myer ambassadors Jodi Anasta, Jennifer Hawkins and Rachael Finch
I recently attended the amazing Myer Autumn/Winter 2016 launch at The Cutaway in Sydney’s Barangaroo. The launch was an intimate black tie dinner with a difference – in between each course there was a fashion parade showcasing the best looks from Myer’s stable of designers. Supermodel Shanina Shaik starred in the show, however the highlight was definitely seeing Myer Ambassador Jennifer Hawkins walking in the rain (no mean feat when you’re indoors!) in one of the dinner’s standout fashion moments. I opted to wear a floor length star print Max Mara gown with my fave Aquazurra heels and a simple monogrammed clutch.
Dinner with Rachael Finch at the Lexus Prix de Marie Claire Awards. Photo: Cybele Malinowski
Rachael Finch is a TV presenter, Myer ambassador, health coach and mother to 19-month-old Violet. I caught up with the former Miss Universe Australia at the Prix de Marie Claire Awards, presented by Lexus to chat about Finch’s busy work schedule, her former dreams of representing Australia at the Olympics, and how she will celebrate her second Mother’s Day today.
What are your plans for Mother’s Day?
Relaxing! I treasure days I can spend from start to finish with Violet and my husband, Michael, so when they come up we keep it pretty casual. A day in the park with lunch at our favourite cafe sounds good.
What do you enjoy the most about motherhood?
I love watching Violet explore the world around her and develop her own personality. Every day I am amazed at what she can do, even at such a young age. I can’t wait to continue growing with her and share in some beautiful moments. There is a beautiful wholesome feeling that has come with having Violet. I can’t wait to have more!
What advice did your mother give you that you will pass down to Violet?
Mum always taught me the importance of self-respect on a physical and emotional level. She always took the time to explain why it’s important to take care of yourself and to not feel guilty doing nice things for yourself. Mum also worked incredibly hard from a young age and I saw how much strength and determination she had as a mother.
Is your Michael a hands-on father?
He is like a second mother. I am very blessed. Because both our schedules are a mixed bag, we spend equal time with Violet so he is truly amazing at being a father. He is patient, warm and is completely in love.
What is a day in the life of Rachael Finch?
Every day is completely different. My week is mixed with photo shoots, media calls, presenting work, blogging, meetings, fitness, cooking, travel and being mum to my angel Violet. I love the variety in my schedule, it keeps me challenged, and I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to time.
Biggest personal and career highlight?
There have been lots of moments so far where I have found myself stopping to soak up the experience. Representing Australia in the Miss Universe Competition in the Bahamas will always be a beautiful memory, and competing on Dancing with the Stars is incredibly special because I met my husband on the show. Personally, marrying the man I continue to fall in love with ever day, and having our first child, have been magical moments.
You must have interviewed some pretty amazing people with your role on Channel 7. Is there anyone who stands out in your mind and why?
Interviewing Robin Williams when he came to Sydney to promote Happy Feet was a surreal moment. I remember going into the interview prepared with a whole page of questions for a seven-minute interview, and not having to ask one of them. He had such an incredible, unique energy about him that I have not seen elsewhere. I laughed the whole interview and will remember that for the rest of my life.
Have you ever been star-struck by anyone?
I have met Jessica Mauboy a few times through my television and radio work and think she is simply amazing inside and out. When I hear her sing in real life, my body is covered in goosebumps. I think she is one of the biggest stars to come from our country.
You are always in such great shape. What is your fitness regime?
Very sweet, thank you. Health and wellness is a lifestyle for me, not something I turn on and off. I love getting out of bed feeling amazing every day and having oodles of energy for Violet. I want to live to 120, but I want quality from those years. I try to be physically active every day, whether that means taking Violet for a power walk in the pram or taking a yoga class. I don’t like using the word ‘exercise’ and try to listen to my body on a neutral level every day to give it what it feels like. In saying that, I do like the idea of challenging by body to strive to become better.
You are also a certified health coach. What inspired you to do that and do you have plans to get more into that side of things?
Studying to become a health coach was an extension of my love of health and wellness. I wanted to expand my knowledge of food, nutrition and healthy living and the course did that. It has helped strengthen my values and opinions within the brands I currently work with and it’s exciting to think about future prospects in the health space.
You represented Australia at the Miss Universe competition in 2009. Was that a good experience and what did it teach you?
The Miss Universe competition was unreal. The competition ran for three weeks and every day I had lunch with a girl from a new country. It was incredible getting to know the women and hearing stories from their countries. It was my first real introduction to the world of media and entertainment and certainly taught me a lot about myself. Despite the stigma attached with beauty pageants, there was nothing more important than being 100 per cent yourself in every aspect of the competition.
If you hadn’t gone down the path of a career in media, what would you have done?
I would have loved to represent Australia at the Olympics. I competed in athletics for nine years and my dream was to make a career as an athlete. My favourite events were long-distance running and long jump. I’m incredibly grateful now that I can still combine my love of fitness with my career with the brands I work with.
What do you do for fun during your time off?
We love our food so our first stop on a day off is to eat somewhere yummy. Misha took me to Toko in Surry Hills on our first date and we love going there once in a while for sushi and a glass of red.
From your Instagram photos, you seem to be quite the chef. What is your signature dish?
I’m in the kitchen most days cooking something new or recreating something I know the family will like. Misha likes when I cook a rack of lamb with roasted sweet-potato fries and a side of steamed greens. It’s simple but I think that’s the key when it comes to cooking. We try to eat foods as wholesome as possible but enjoy little treats on the weekend. Saturday night we might have a bowl of ice-cream or go out for a pizza. I also like making healthy snacks like protein balls, granola and slices to last throughout the working week.