As designer and stylist Monica Rose can attest, celebrity clients are a walk in the park compared to looking after her two biggest priorities, daughter Alaia Rose, 4 and son Salvador, 14 months. Between designing her successful line with Lovers + Friends and juggling high profile fittings, she still needs to look pulled together, even when life is pulling her in a million different directions. The busy multi-hyphenate mother, who considers her style “simple, but with a little bit of an edge” relies on a trusted uniform of black basics funked up with a statement necklace or a punchy pout.
“I have less time to get myself ready, so my style is really about being comfortable and practical. I’m all about throwing on a hat and flats in the morning. I mean, running after a one year in heels is much more difficult than it sounds.”
Are there any go-to designers you prefer?
Acne, Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant, Helmut Lang, Jenni Kayne and Zara are some of my go-to’s.
How would you describe the “uniform” you wear when facing a busy day of work, kids, meetings and overall running around?
“This describes every morning for me – My “No Fail” wardrobe would be black skinny jeans, tee,statement necklace, blazer or motorcycle jacket and a red lip. Simple and easy, yet interesting with the statement necklace and lipstick.”
Alaia has become quite a style star in her own right and has even been Coveteur’ed. Where do you find most of her clothes?
“I love to shop for Alaia at American Apparel for basics, Zara for everyday, Eggy on 3rd for unique finds – they have the best designers for kids, Old Navy for fun summer pieces, Baby Gap for the best outerwear and also a lot of online stores. I am obsessed with discovering new online stores for my kids.”
Does Alaia pick out her own clothes? Does she have any favorite pieces?
“I think at this point Alaia dresses for comfort. She’s still so young and just wants to be a kid. I try to put her in dresses and she fights with me and wants pants and t-shirts and of course her black moto jacket that she never takes off. She will literally wear it with her swimsuit at the beach! I think she is growing to form her own personal style. I give her options every morning and she picks what she wants to wear. Of course I always suggest accessories and finish the last tweaks, such as rolling her pants up and popping the collar on her jacket, etc… I mean, I can’t help myself. I am a stylist!“
How do you balance work & motherhood? What would be your biggest piece of advice for other working mothers?
“Before having children I was a workaholic. I could not stop working. In fact, I did not know what to do with myself if I had a day off. My life was my job and work always came first. I am fortunate to love my job so I didn’t mind working around the clock. When I had my daughter, everything changed. I had to prioritize my life, make time for her, and make time for my relationship with my partner.
I’m fortunate enough to have clients that are mothers themselves, so they were very understanding and it made it a little easier for me to change my hours a bit. I had to trust my assistants more to be able to prep jobs for me. I stopped booking jobs on the weekends to dedicate my time with my family. I had to learn not to have “mommy guilt” anymore. We all go through that when we have kids – we shouldn’t feel guilty for having a career and working hard to benefit our kids’ education and future. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to let your motherly instincts take its course and do everything that comes natural to you and works best for your situation. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed physically or emotionally (or both), remember to ask your partner, family, or friends to lend a hand so you can get back to feeling like your old self.”
Whats been the most surprising thing about becoming a mother? / and now a mother of two? The unconditional LOVE I have for children. It’s unexplainable. My mother told me I would never know the feeling until I had children of my own and I now get it.
On a particularly busy day when your daily uniform has to take you into after work cocktails or an event, what do you easily and effortlessly add to your ensemble to dress it up a bit for night?
I would say a great pair of heels, re-apply my red lip, hair down, throw my jacket over my shoulders and wear as a cape (if it’s cold) and add statement accessories along with a fab clutch!
On the mornings when you’re so tired but need to pull together a stellar look, what are a few no fail items (clothing, accessories and beauty) that always seem to do the trick?
Black jeans, statement necklace, and a red lip.
What is your best advice to new moms who are having trouble getting their post-baby look together?
Be sure to find time to exercise, even if it’s taking your newborn for a walk around your neighborhood. Wear something that makes you feel and look good. There is nothing like transitioning from maternity clothes back to your regular clothes. Try buying a new sexy dress, or like me, a new pair of sexy leather pants to add to your wardrobe.