In particular we’ve got some very exciting hotel projects, like the new five star hotel in Brisbane we’re working on. It’s in Fortitude Valley, so it’s going to be very urban, cool, and artistic. We have a strong background in hotels. In Perth we did the Crown Metropole, which at the time was the Intercontinental and then we did their spa, which is just amazing. We didn’t know then that the spa would be a La Prairie space but we just happened to design it in exactly their shade of blue, so that was a happy coincidence. We’ve even done a resort in the Maldives – we’re always working on lots of different things. At the moment we’re working on a project at the new Crown Towers in Barangaroo, which is a gym and spa precinct that takes up an entire floor of the hotel. That’s going to be fantastic. And we’ve just been doing some new stores and the new brand concept for Alice Temperleyin London, Doha and Dubai.
I’m very into Frédéric Malle at the moment – I don’t know why, I think there’s something about the musky tones in some of his perfumes that I love. Portrait of a Lady is for nighttime and when it’s a little bit colder. En Passant I’m using at the moment for fun, happy, fresh days. It’s all about the mood, and what I’m wearing. French Lover is for when I want to feel a bit sexy and powerful. I believe really strongly in the power of scent. So I always dress in tune with what I want to do that day, and I always have my makeup in tune with what I’m wearing.
We did a very quick renovation about five years ago which really was inspired by the building, which was done circa 1910. So I wanted to reference that period a little bit and just make the interior feel like it had almost come out of that time, but with a little bit of my own twist which is a bit more ‘fashion’. For instance, in the keystone and in the panel moulding, we’ve got that diamond stud detail. It was part of the detailing that they had on the front gate of the building originally, and then it also was a bit like a Givenchy cuff that I had, so also a bit urban.
I always work with Samantha Powell, who did my makeup today. I love having my makeup done and trying different looks. People do tell me I look a bit like Reese Witherspoon… I’ll take it! I loved Big Little Lies.
So within the couple of minutes I’m in the shower, I’ve already planned it all out. And then I take a maximum ten minutes to get ready, including makeup. I’m pretty fast.
Usually I put on a facial oil, often the Face Oil for Glowing Radiance by ila Spa – it’s made in the Cotswolds and is all natural. Their products are often in the Four Seasons and hotels like that; in fact I think the Aman Resorts group are about to start using them. It’s a really lovely brand. Then I follow up with Actinica sunscreen. I’m using La Mer at the moment, really for no other reason than that’s what I bought last time I was travelling. It is fantastic, though. And I use what I call Eve Lom’s quick cleanser, the gel one, not the solid balm. I did have the balm originally that you put on and take off with the special muslin, but I thought ‘I’m just never going to do that whole process every day’, so I’m very pleased she brought out the quick version!
I like Baby Glow from Guerlain. It’s so good. It’s kind of like a sheer tinted foundation but it’s got little pearly bits in it. And then I use By Terry foundation and concealer, and Dior mascara. For my hair I see Shari Reynolds who works out of Barney Martin’s in Surry Hills, and Josh Wood in London. My hair is a project that they’re working on together!
So at the moment I’ve got an amazing Armani body cream that you can only get in the hotels. Every time I go to the hotel in Milan, I quickly go get it. Apparently they’re going to bring it out for purchase soon, due to the demand.
When I decided to have a kid, I thought, ‘the only way that I’m going to be able to do it is by taking her with me.’ How often we travel depends on the projects at any given time, but I’m in Europe maybe once a month plus America and Asia. Luckily, I still absolutely love it. And I think if you enjoy even the time you spend on the plane, then that makes a big difference. My daughter is great and loves it too. Now that she’s four, it’s so easy compared to when she was really little. Suddenly they can go to the café with you, you can go shopping, they’re easy-peasey. It’s like they just transform after four.
I always use the product she told me about, this Chantecaille mask. It’s called the Bio Lifting mask and you just put it on right at the start of the flight. It’s clear, so you don’t look too crazy with it on, and you take it off at the end when you get home and it’s the only thing that will protect your skin. I’ve tried so many other things and that’s the best thing ever. And you must drink heaps of water. And I always eat and drink what’s on offer on the plane, it’s too boring not to. And when it’s lights out I like to put on a little silk sleep mask.
We’re working on a whole floor apartment at the building next to the Opera House, at Macquarie St. When you’re inside, you don’t actually see the edge of the water. You just feel like you’re almost sitting on top of the water and then there just happens to be the Opera House. All the boats go very slowly along the water there, and it gives you this feeling of being in a slow moving landscape. So our inspiration was that idea that you’re in the water and it’s very slowly moving around you. We’ve used rods of glass, like little tubes of fluted glass with lights coming up through them on all of the walls. I’m quite excited about that!”