Amelia Mather, Swimwear Designer

The image of the Australian beach babe in a bikini is as synonymous with our national image as the Koala and rubber thongs. Girt by sea, if there's one thing we know it's good swimwear. So, when a swim and beachwear label can be found in almost every girl's togs' drawer, there's a safe and accurate assumption the brand has its finger on the pulse for what women want. Tigerlily is that brand, and designer Amelia Mather is the creative mind responsible for the bohemian wanderlust aesthetic we love so much. Emitting a very Mother Earth energy in her final weeks of pregnancy, the laid back, natural beauty lives the brand she creates, injecting the rich textiles of her travels and penchant for easy but striking style in her designs, her own wardrobe and home decor.  We caught up with soon-to-be first-time mum in her Sydney home to chat about her '90s beauty obsessions, how she tames that gorgeous mane and how pregnancy has changed her approach to beauty... 


"I used to try and emulate Gwen Stefani in ‘Don’t Speak’…

… with her Indian bindis and dark purple lipstick. I think it was during the ‘Poppy’, Seven Deadly Sins craze. Oh the 90s… But, my mother encouraged me to always aim to look like myself. I very rarely let anyone else do my make up for this reason. Unless the makeup artist knows me well, I usually take it off and start again.

 

The best life advice I ever got was from my best friend’s husband…

… when he once quoted ‘Assumptions are the mother of all f**k ups’. It’s so true, never just assume something will work out. Being a creative I need this kind of advice to keep me on track. I was lucky when I went for the role at Tigerlily as it wasn’t advertised. I was put in touch with Jodhi [Mears] through an agent who lined it up for me. I couldn’t think of a brand that was more aligned with my own aesthetic, even at the age of 22 [at the time]. I presented a folio tailored towards Tigerlily and the stars aligned, I began working on my first collection four weeks later. 

 

I have an ‘ideal morning’ ritual, even though I’ll be lucky to fit this in more than 3 days a week at the moment…

I like to start with half a lemon in warm water (clichéd I know), followed by a home yoga practice - I am loving a more Yin practice of late as it gets harder to continue my existing routine due to my bump. I cleanse with Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip. It’s my absolute favourite cleanser, made with French green clay, Moroccan lava clay, frankincense, jasmine & sandalwood (the most magic combination). Then I moisturise, apply Stila Stay All Day Foundation, bronzer, apply some mascara and eyebrow pencil and I’m done.

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I use Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Powder when I feel the need to cleanse after wearing sunscreens or heavier makeup for an event.

It’s a dry powder that you mix with water in your palm so you can decide the level of cleanse you are after, such as a dry texture for a deep cleanse or milder cleanse with more water added. I love Kiehl’s face cream, just how plain and simple it is. I don’t like fragrance creams for my face. I always pick up a small tub pre-flight at the airport. I also use Salus Body Oil - I love anything Patchouli and rose. It’s much oilier than Kora Rosehip Oil so I use when my skin feels dry. I have been applying Kora all over daily while I’ve been pregnant though, I love how well it absorbs. And I fell in love with Josie Maran Whipped Argran Oil after a trip to Morocco, it’s great to use for your legs.

 

I am all for a quick and simplified makeup regime that looks like I’m wearing nothing.

The products I use I think do it best for my skin. I especially love Stila Liquid Bronzer, as it’s so subtle and I am never in danger of ‘over bronzing’ – I admit I have in the past and look back at photos mortified. All Kevyn Aucoin products are incredible – I have gotten most of our team onto the mascara that gently washes off in warm water with no remover or scrubbing needed. I also use Hourglass Powder and Retractable Brush and their concealer.

 
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I have such curly hair so I need all the help I can get…

… especially in the humidity, I combine a few products to tame it all: I use Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil, Kevin Murphy Young Again, Olaplex for my ends and Oribe Texture Root Spray to touch up my colour as my greys really show in my dark hair. I also use a Tangle Teezer, it’s the best de-tangler ever and a great size for travelling. It cuts down the time I would normally spend combing my beach hair, especially when I don’t touch it for days in summer. 

 
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We have pizza every week...

… at Vacanza in Surry Hills. But otherwise eat mostly healthily day to day. The Tigerlily team are really into food so we generally make our own lunches consisting of salads or mezze plates. For dinner, I cook Teresa Cutter’s Fish in a Bag - it’s so easy, or fish tacos. My husband also makes the best bolognese.

 
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I really miss a good workout.

I used to love running 8km and kick boxing, something I hope to return to after my pregnancy. I love to balance high energy and more Zen rituals like walking and yoga to keep me balanced. I do yoga mid-week and swimming at Wylie’s baths in Coogee on the weekend and I put technology down at night when I spend time with my husband. 

 
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I’m far from a minimalist, I love colour and pattern…

… although, being pregnant I must admit a black, heavy rib dress from Reformation in the USA has been my saviour! I have been wearing it under all my favourite printed Tigerlily kaftans, kimonos and shirts. I bought the most incredible dark blue suede sandals on a recent trip to Austin, Texas. They are so soft and have a padded lining, a major bonus. I also picked up the coolest leather jacket from Understated Leather - an Austin based label created by an Aussie girl. They are heavy duty and tough looking, I figured it’s perfect for over my beachwear, which I love to wear year-round.

 

Our current collection Tigerlily ‘Bengal’ has a very distinct print direction…

… looking to South East Asia for inspiration with highly ornate patterns and a palette evoking our earthy favourites together with classic rich tones. It is also accented with intense bright tones that you would normally associate with Hmong textiles of Northern Thailand, Laos, Burma and Vietnam." 

 

Photography by Alice Mahran