Jools Oliver is a very busy woman. As a mum of four (to Poppy, 10, Daisy, 9, Petal, 3 and Buddy, nearly 2) and wife to arguably the country’s most famous chef, you would excuse the 37-year old former model for quietly keeping the home-fires burning at their Primrose Hill and Essex homes.
But no. This month, Jools launches her very first collection of childrenswear and homeware for high street store Mothercare.
Called Little Bird, the range features a mix of pieces with an eclectic look reflecting Jools’ love of nostalgia. In fact, her starting point for the range was a Mothercare nightie her own mum had kept.
Here, Jools talks exclusively to MMM about the collection and her own sense of style:
- Congratulations on such an inspired debut childrenswear collection for Mothercare. What would you say was your starting point for the range?
The main inspiration for the first collection was a piece my Mum gave me – a Mothercare night gown with a little fawn embroidered on it. My sister and I wore it as babies, and I dressed my four children in it too. We have re-created this for the Little Bird collection.
- Where does the name ‘Little bird’ come from?
We tried to think of a name that would compliment the range, that feels innocent and appealing to customers.
- I love the fact you have gone for a modern, bright style that is also a little bit retro. Where did you look for inspiration?
I wanted that vintage feel. Then I went to LA and took in a bit of that retro look as well: sunshine and rainbows, jeans and lumberjack shirts. I like to see children looking like children and my collection is inspired by childhood memories and the innocence of childhood with a retro feel.
- With four children, you must have a clear vision of what you do and don’t want for children’s clothes. What did you want to avoid with Little Bird?
I love children to look innocent and comfortable. I also wanted to avoid ‘over-styling’ the clothes with logos. I love the fact the collection is simply designed but with lovely fabrics, prints and colours. I want Little Bird to be about bright, fun clothing and children being children.
- What are your favourite pieces from the collection, for a boy and a girl?
I really love the little white embroidered dress and the printed ‘super’ tee.
- Mums always say (including me!) it’s more difficult finding great clothes for boys than girls. How have you found it dressing your little man after three girls?
I love dressing Buddy but I have always found it more difficult to find great clothes for boys and so have my friends, so I’ve really concentrated on this in my own collection and I hope everyone will like what I’ve done.
- I love the fact your very own vintage Mothercare nightie has been recreated for Little Bird. Are you a sentimental clothes hoarder? Have you kept certain items that each of your girls have worn?
I have kept a lot of the children’s clothing, just like my mum. I recently found photographs of my sister and I wearing Mothercare clothes and they are great to look back on.
- You’re a busy mum of four. How easy do you find it to maintain your own sense of style? What are your go-to basics for everyday wear?
Being a mum, I love to wear things that are comfortable as I’m always running around after the children and doing the school run, going to the park etc. I love skinny jeans and retro print tops but I do like to get dressed up when I go out with Jamie or friends.
* Little Bird launches in the UK and internationally from August 17th and includes nursery bedding and accessories, newborn and children’s clothes from 0-5 years. Check out Mothercare for more information.