Rachel Gilbert hasn’t looked back since founding her eponymous label twelve years ago. Having dressed the likes of style icon Olivia Palermo in her signature tailored evening wear, she is now ensuring the RG woman has all of her bases covered, branching out this winter into lifestyle pieces that include everything from gorgeously breezy maxi dresses to the ultimate smart weekend trench. The busy entrepreneur and mum of two invited us into her sleek Sydney home and revealed which line of beauty products has transformed her skin, and why she wouldn’t change her daily 5am wake up time for anything.
“I knew from a very young age that I wanted to own a company one day.
My father was an entrepreneur and he was always my role model and mentor. I remember the countless lessons I learnt while he sat and played games with my sister and I – even just with building blocks or counting games, he would always have some business or life lesson hidden in there. He taught me to take risks and be resilient. After working for Australian fashion brands and doing a stint in New York working with Nicky Hilton, and strengthened by Dad’s emotional support, I wasted no time jumping right in and creating my label at 24. I remember that day vividly; I was fearless in my determination and my commitment.
My job comes with so many incredible perks.
Working daily with an extremely talented team that turns my vision into reality, having the creative freedom to take new directions and push my personal boundaries, and seeing customers wearing my designs are all constant reminders of how much I love what I do.
I had always known I would work in a creative field, just not the specifics. I ended up missed the deadline for a photography course so instead opted for a design degree at the Whitehouse Institution of Design. Looking back, I can clearly see divine intervention at work, as I am absolutely hopeless with a camera and could not imagine my life without designing.
My personal style is classic and minimal with a modern edge.
We have just launched a daywear collection this month, which has been such an incredible step for the brand and for me personally. Refining my style into lifestyle pieces has been one of the most exciting projects of my career. Knitwear, crisp shirting, embroidered maxi dresses and printed silk georgette dresses will become essential pieces for city style, weekend wear and a luxe vacation edit.
My favourite pieces from the collection are the crisp cotton white shirt, sequinned pencil skirt, the trench in olive, and the embroidered cotton maxi in rainbow. We are also about to launch jewellery brand By Nye in our stores this winter, and I am loving their collection for spring.
For years I was testing products from all over the place – cleansers from one brand, moisturisers from another, and I always struggled to get the right mix of products. Then I found Rationale and it has completely changed my beauty regime and my skin.
I went for a consultation and the most incredible facial I have ever had, and I have never looked back. Rationale tailor the products to my skin and have been introducing new elements as my skin changes.
Since starting Rationale, I no longer cleanse in the morning, I use their Immunologist Serum then Super Antioxidants Serum, followed by the Immunologist UltraCreme and the incredible B3-T Tinted Superfluid SPF50. At night, I wipe off my makeup with a Face Halo, cleanse using Catalyst Cleanser then follow it with the Catalyst Serum and DNA Night Cream. Every morning and evening I use Aesop Rosehip Seed Lip Cream and in winter every evening I moisturise my entire body with Aesop Body Balm.
My beauty look is minimal but sophisticated.
For my daytime makeup, I have been using the Clé de Peau Béaute concealer stick for years now and I swear by it. I also rely on Giorgio Armani Luminous Skin Foundation, NARS bronzer, then curl my lashes and follow that up with Lancôme Definicils High Definition Mascara in Noir Infini. I also add a couple of shades from the Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow.
For night, I love a dark eye and keep everything else natural. Chanel’s smudge eye liner pot is amazing. I use the Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow palettes for evenings out as they have the most beautiful bronzes.
I definitely don’t love every part of the beautification process.
For instance, I hate how long it takes to sit and get my nails done every fortnight. I could think of a thousand other ways to spend that time! And let’s just say I have had some questionable spray tans which have been the source of much comical criticism from my husband.
There are a few beauty treatments I have done regularly, including Rationale treatments every six weeks in Mosman.
I particularly love their CryoGenic facial. For eyebrows, I head to Kristin Fisher. She recently did Feather Touch Tattooing of my brows, which has been a godsend and makes the morning routine that much quicker. The salon is interiors heaven, Kristen has the most beautiful energy and her ability to shape brows is perfection.
For my hair, I always visit Valonz for a cut. At home, I use Mr. Smith’s balancing shampoo, conditioner and leave in treatment.
Visiting The Spa at Park Hyatt Sydney is my favourite hometown treat.
I travel to New York for work annually and I never leave without a visit to AIRE in Tribeca, an ancient Turkish bathhouse that is hands down the best spa experience I have had to date.
I think it’s extremely important to learn to listen to your body. Each week I tailor my exercise, mediation and diet to what I feel my body needs.
My 5am wake up call with warm lemon water is a ritual that keeps me aligned each day. It’s a time before anyone else in the house wakes up when I can exercise, meditate and get everything organised for the day ahead (like kids’ lunches). Without this time, I feel so disorganised.
During the week, I go for a walk or do 30 min of HIIT or Asana Yoga, followed by a 10 minute guided Zen Quest meditation.
I recently started horse riding, which has been such a lifechanging experience on so many levels. I purchased a thoroughbred horse named Dallas about six months ago, and have been learning to ride him with the guidance of an instructor from Wallaby Hill.
When it comes to my diet, I generally eat very clean, but I also don’t deny myself an indulgent meal from time to time. Cooking has never been my strong suit, so for mid-week dinners, I turn to Katering at Home, which delivers incredible healthy weekly meals that are already prepared.
I wish I had invested more into taking care of my skin properly when I was younger. The more I age the better I am at listening to my body and what it needs, and not just falling for the must have products.
My go to for immediate relaxation and recharging time is reading a book in the bath with a glass of Shiraz, followed by a guided mediation. (My bath is my favourite item in our home – when I found it, I loved it so much I had it shipped from the US). I feel my most beautiful when I know I have been treating my body the way it deserves. The results are always evident.”