WE ARE FAMILY | Mother-Daughter Style



Like Mother Like Daughter


When your mother is your muse – meet OROTON’s favourite mother-and-daughter duos. In addition to their combined list of talents, these inspired women happen to be authorities when it comes to the art of living. Here, they share their views on the power of confidence and feel-good fashion – not to mention a few pointers on how they shop each other’s style.


Meet OROTON’s Creative Director, Sophie Holt, and her daughter, Indi, a medical student who often doubles as the design team’s assistant. Needless to say, the pair has a winning approach when it comes to maximising their wardrobe.

Let’s talk about motherly love, what life lessons has your mother taught you?

Indi: “I think mum and I have such a special bond because we are so similar, we share the same interest and she has taught me so much. I’ve grown up loving her style, her creativity, her strength, and she has become more like a best friend to me. I moved out of home this year to study and often call her for advice – we also had to go through a very diplomatic splitting up of the clothes we share in our wardrobes, which took a while.”


As a mother of three, how did you manage that idea of work-life-family balance in your career?

Sophie: “I was always very conscious of the fact that I was working and traveling a lot when the children were young, I’d be in Europe for two weeks at a time and I remember how hard it was to leave them, and all the tears in the days leading up to my trip. So I was determined to nurture special relationships with them, and it was all the more important to me that we were very close. And now, the roles have changed, it’s less about me being a mother and more that they’ve become my best friends, which is something that makes me so happy.”


Sophie, we know that your grandmother Dame Zara Holt was a great influence, she had an incredible approach to style: how did her viewpoint shape your own aesthetic?

“She had the most wonderful style. As a child, I would spend hours in the huge room at the back of her boutique Magg, where all the patternmakers in white coats worked. She helped bring women out to Australia after the war and gave them jobs; they were amazing women from Dior and so forth. It was very much a true couture house and I soaked it up. I think because of her influence I am very clear today on what I like and what I don’t like, down to a granular level. It has helped me to be able to tell a clear story to our customer about our aesthetic and given me a certain focus.”

Do you believe that there is an emotive power in good design? Can clothes make you feel good?

Indi: “I’ve always admired how mum dresses for her, she dresses to feel confident, and in turn she has always pushed me to wear what makes me feel good and to express myself through what I wear. Growing up, she was obviously such a good mum to my brothers and I, but it was also amazing having a mum who had achieved so much in her career. I think the way that she puts her look together suits that personality, she dresses in a way that is so confident, powerful and unique.”


What have you learned about style from each other?

Sophie: “I’m conscious of the fact that I have been in the industry for a long time, so I love that Indi has this fresh voice. I’m very mindful that when you reinvent a heritage brand, one considered to be very classic, that you need to honour its codes whilst adding in youth and freshness. The whole philosophy of OROTON, the handwriting of where I wanted to take it, was that it had to appeal to a broader audience, and that’s where Indi’s love of style and her attention to detail has been a wonderful viewpoint.”


Indi: “Mum has the most beautiful classic pieces in her wardrobe, she has an incredible eye. I like my style to be a bit tough, a bit edgy, whereas mum has a lot of beautiful softer pieces in the mix. We go through a serious deliberation process together when it comes to shopping – we always shop with each other in mind and we’re thoughtful in our approach to editing our wardrobes. There’s always a sense of timelessness to the pieces we choose.”


When it comes to OROTON’s new season collection, can you pinpoint a favourite piece:

Indi: “I love the new knitwear silhouettes in rich colours. I’m excited to wear them through winter paired with wide-leg jeans and the statement silver jewellery that is coming through. Mum and I also both bought the taffeta shorts; mum wears them to work with a blazer, and I have been wearing them with the ribbed polos and a chunky sandal.”


Sophie: “We both share quite a minimalist style, slightly masculine. We love dresses and pretty blouses but mainly wear a lot of oversized blazers. Indi and I are also careful spenders and we like our wardrobes to work hard for us, so we love to double up on key pieces, such as the knitwear, the suits, the camp shirts and then wear them in our own way.”


Sometimes the simplest fashion codes are often the strongest: that’s certainly the case for Bianca and her mother Mette, a mother-daughter model duo with a refined style all their own. Bianca credits her Danish mother Mette for her deep love of fashion and nature – it’s a focus that guided the Melbourne-based model to take up studies in natural medicine. Photographed at their woodland family home in Victoria, they share their thoughts on the power of optimism and fashion.

Let’s talk about motherly love, what makes it so special and what life lessons has your mother taught you? Bianca:

Bianca: “My mum has really taught me to have an appreciation for the simplicity and beauty in all moments. She is always so present, with her whole heart and mind, and so graceful in the way that she lives her day. She has always understood that health and happiness start from within.”


Mette: “One thing that was always very important to me as a mum was the idea of encouraging my daughters to be who they wanted to be and supporting them in that. It was always about how I could guide the girls to be strong and find self-acceptance and self-love. I think a positive outlook counts for a lot.”


What have you learned about style from each other?

Bianca: “If you’re in doubt then go with classic pieces such as white shirts and jackets. I think perhaps I have inspired my mum to do the opposite and step outside her comfort zone, there’s something exciting in that as well.”


Mette: “Bianca has always had such a great style about her. She is able to put things together in the most incredibly ways, I was never like that. I guess because I, too, modelled and also grappled with some of the things that Bianca grappled with, such as questioning who we are on the inside, we have always both placed a lot of importance on wearing clothes that are comfortable and make you feel good on the inside.”

When it comes to OROTON’s new season collection, can you pinpoint your favourite pieces:

Bianca: “I love beautiful tailoring and fabrics, but there is also a masculine element to my look – I love OROTON’s belted overshirt, it has a softer side and such an ease to it. I think it is all about striking a balance with style.”


Mette: “Although we have lived in Australia for many years, I think my way of dressing still very much reflects my Scandinavian heritage: I am always drawn to classic pieces that have a sense of comfort, simplicity and a timelessness to them. This collection captures that, and in the most beautiful colours.”


Model Sara and her mother Véronique talk about their shared passion for cooking, their very French approach to dressing and how they nurture their bond. Beyond their combined list of talents – Sara is a model and creative director; Véronique headed up an engineering business before becoming a singer-songwriter – this duo happens to be an authority when it comes to the art of living.

Let’s talk about motherly love, what makes it so special and what life lessons has your mother taught you?

Sara: “We share an unconditional love; I think we have the most special bond between a mother and daughter. Having been an only child, my mum played the role of sister, best friend and mum, all in one. She has taught me so much in terms of resilience and the importance of staying true to myself.”


We know that you both have a shared interest in fashion – do you believe that there is an emotive power in good design? Can clothes make you feel good, more confident?

Sara: “I have always thought so. I used to feel that in those moments of chaos, when life is like a rollercoaster, that if I felt ‘put together’ then somehow everything was okay. I feel strong in a blazer. I guess that is why during [lockdown] I never felt comfortable with the idea that everybody should turn to sweatpants, I am all about optimism.”


Véronique: “I agree, clothes have to suit your mood, your personality, it’s about what is going to make you feel good in your skin and also about not trying to look like anyone else.


What have you learned about style from each other?

Sara: “We are both so similar and yet different when it comes to how we dress. I think mum is quite fun and youthful in her approach to fashion, she is far more eclectic, whereas I’m the serious one. I have been staying with her in Perth [since the pandemic] but before that I lived in London, Paris, New York, everywhere, and I always kept a few favourite pieces from her wardrobe with me, her coat or her jacket, because it was sentimental, a way of feeling like I had her there.”


Véronique: “Sara puts pieces together in such a unique way, she makes it look very easy and always elegant, and I just love that. I think her style is wonderful.”


When it comes to OROTON’s new season collection, can you pinpoint a favourite piece:

Véronique: “The collection is so classic, there’s a certain kind of confidence which I love – in particular the tailored shorts with the matching fitted blazer, two pieces you could wear anywhere. I would dress them down with sneakers and simple jewellery – I love the idea of translating your look in a way that is both masculine and feminine, casual but still so polished.”


Sara: “I love the belted blazer suit. I would style it back with a ‘dad sandal’ and gold hoops and keep it quite simple. It’s so classic, it doesn’t need anything more.”


Fashion aside, are there specific rituals that you both love to share?

Véronique: “We cook every night together. I’m French-Italian and my mother was born in North Africa, so, I love Mediterranean recipes and spices and, of course, I love having Sara back home with me.”


Sara: “I fell in love with cooking because it relaxes me. I can get quite stressed at times but baking is totally therapeutic. I can't sit down and meditate but if I bake a cake it just transports me. And now, the silver lining to Covid is that I’ve been able to spend so much time with mum. I left home when I was 16 [to take up modelling], and there has always been so much travel back and forth over the years, but to be able to spend time together, cooking, endless chatting, has been so good for the soul.”