It can’t be easy amalgamating a wardrobe geared towards icy London winters into life overlooking the harbour in sunny Sydney. Let alone when said wardrobe was built over two decades working as a stylist and contributor for British Vogue i.e. is a little more fabulous than average. Self-confessed fashion hoarder Pippa Holt’s solution? Bring home to Oz what she knows will work in any climate - her eponymous kaftans and jumpsuits and beloved Hermès collection - and leave the rest in storage in Europe. (Being married to an Irishman means regular trips to the northern hemisphere to see family and friends, COVID not withstanding, so it’s only sensible to keep old friends of the fashion variety ready and waiting over there, non?)

Pippa had the chance to hone her approach to summer dressing with a post-London, post-Dublin, pre-Sydney stint in steamy Houston, which is how she came to meet the Mexican artisans who now help to create her covetable range. With these vibrant, textural pieces as her style keystone, a deep dive through her Instagram account reveals other inspiring elements that elevate any warm weather look: an electric neon pedicure, a signature hairstyle that takes one from beach to black tie, and an innate sense of how to mix colour and print. And while that last one may be a little trickier to emulate than the first two, just let yourself bask in Pippa’s relaxed, joyful approach to fashion and you’ll soon find yourself paring mint and magenta rather than black and beige… and possibly even mastering the intricacies of visiting the powder room in a jumpsuit.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @PIPPA_HOLT_KAFTANS

“I loved growing up in the sun and spending holidays at my grandmother’s holiday houses in Portsea, Far North Queensland, and the Gold Coast.

Beaches, nature, and all of the beauty we have here are part of what I cherish most now that I am living in Australia again.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @PIPPA_HOLT_KAFTANS

I find that my approach to dressing is much simpler now that I live in Sydney.

After needing coats and boots in the northern hemisphere for the last 20 years, now I can just live in my kaftans and jumpsuits all year here (even when it gets cooler, as they’re great to layer with scarves). Then all I need to add is a fun accessory, like colourful Chanel shoes or a great Hermès handbag.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @PIPPA_HOLT_KAFTANS
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @PIPPA_HOLT_KAFTANS

Once I turned 13, my mother taught me to cleanse and manage my skin. She has always encouraged me to prioritise beautician appointments to ensure I am well groomed. All my life she has had two blowdries and a manicure done every week.

She introduced me to the French brand Payot by taking me for my first ever facial at Classic Beauty in Toorak, Melbourne. I then had my own regime using their products which included cleanser, toner, and moisturiser. I used them lovingly and took great pride in developing my skin care routine. Starting one early was good grounding to take care of my skin from then on.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @PIPPA_HOLT_KAFTANS

I adore Gucci Westman’s makeup line, Westman Atelier.

I carry her wind-up Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in my handbag so I can apply it easily throughout the day, whenever my face needs a lift. Her packaging is beautiful and practical. I also think Hermès lipsticks are fabulous.

PIPPA’S ENVIABLE WFH SET UP. IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @PIPPA_HOLT_KAFTANS

My hair is fine but there’s lots of it, so it can be tricky to find the right products.

I rely on treatments like Wellaplex and Olaplex to manage it. I like Kérastase Chronologiste Masque Intense Régénérant for thick hair, and have used it for over a decade. I also take silica to help maintain my hair.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @PIPPA_HOLT_KAFTANS

I rely on the experts to help me look and feel my best.

I get my hair done at Valonz, where I see Kieran for a great cut and Heleema for colour. Alkaline in Potts Point, Karpati Skin Clinic in Double Bay, and Jocelyn Petroni in Woollahra are all excellent for facials and light treatments. And each week, Jade Astha comes to my house. She takes me through a yoga session and then does a deep tissue massage.

HOW TO MAKE A KAFTAN WORK IN AN IRISH WINTER
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @PIPPA_HOLT_KAFTANS

I’ve certainly dressed differently in each place I have lived, partly owing to the climate and style of each city, and also because I’ve been in different phases of my life each time we’ve moved.

I still have all of these pieces from my past in storage even if they don’t suit my lifestyle right now – I’ll happily admit to hoarder tendencies! But no matter where in the world, or in my life, I am at, my Hermès handbags come with me.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @PIPPA_HOLT_KAFTANS
IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @PIPPA_HOLT_KAFTANS

My latest purchase was an Hermès wool and cashmere scarf in a navy and white bandana print. I have also just bought some orange leather Chanel sandals, which I will wear with my new fluorescent kaftans.

I like to make a statement with my style, but always in a practical and comfort-led way. I am a busy mother of three so need to feel at ease in what I wear. My eye is drawn to things that are unique, original, and standout. I love Phoebe Philo’s old Celine, and treasure my pieces from her collections.

There’s not really any time for beauty when I start my day! I have to be out the door with my three kids on the school run at 7.30am.

Before I run out the door, I try to do a quick version of my routine, which is to spritz my face with Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist and put on Sisley All Day All Year Essential Anti-Aging Day Cream and suncream.

I rely on yoga, massage, and walks in the sun beside the water to feel my best at the moment. I also find early nights really important.

In addition to yoga and walking, my other main form of exercise is reformer Pilates. I like the WelleCo range of supplement powders and regularly take magnesium.

To relax, I love going to the beach. I also enjoy sketching with my children on our deck overlooking the harbour, around our neighbourhood, Darling Point, or in the Botanical Gardens.

I believe in the basics of getting good sleep, drinking water, exercising, and eating well. I try not to focus too much on ageing, and instead go with the flow.”

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @PIPPA_HOLT_KAFTANS

Interview and story by Zoe Briggs. Photography by Chloe Paul and select images, including main image, via Instagram @pippa_holt_kaftans.

Comment (1)

  1. March 12, 2021
    Caz

    Can not relate.