Dana is an Aussie London working mum sharing her love of SHOES, fashion, beauty & fitness. She is a self-confessed Red shoe addict but happens to LOVE Air & Grace shoes too!
What was your first ever job?
I was 13 and was working in a bakery on a Saturday. It was called Goldsteins bakery and they are quite famous at the Gold Coast, Australia (where I am from) especially for their pies. I had to get up very early to unpack all the bread (the smell!) but I got to have a pie and a cream bun for lunch which somewhat made up for it!
What does your typical day look like?
I get up around 6am to exercise (using the Beachbody app) before my two girls, aged 6 and 8, get up (my husband goes to CrossFit at the same time!). Then I get them and myself ready (somehow try to take an Instagram worthy photo of my outfit!) and then my husband generally takes them to school while I get the train into Waterloo (in which time I edit and post said photo!) and then walk to work. I am a lawyer for the government and I currently do mainly cases involving prisons so a typical day will see me in meetings, writing advices, drafting Court documents and that sort of thing, occasionally going to Court or a prison. I work 3 days spread over 4 so that I can collect my kids from school every day. So I leave work at 2pm, get the train home and collect them from school and then take them to whatever activities they have. I do A LOT of walking (a LOT) which is why you will only ever see me in comfortable shoes despite being a shoe addict! I love the work pattern I have but it is at times completely exhausting and the 6 hours I have to myself on Fridays is precious time (and I try to do something fashion related if I can!)
What’s your ideal weekend?
I love a party and I love seeing friends so my ideal weekend would involve both of these though (ideally) not to excess! My family are in Australia and although I am lucky to have my husband's family I also have a lovely group of Aussie friends in London (oddly I met them all here - none are friends from home) so my ideal weekend would involve seeing them in some capacity. Every Christmas we have a big Christmas lunch with all our partners and kids (and now a few honorary English "Aussies") and it is without doubt my favourite thing of the year. Aside from that, I love a party (did I say that already?!), have been known to throw a few cartwheels at said parties, love a glass of wine, a Sunday roast, reading many Sunday papers (as many fashion mags as I can acquire) and of course spending time with my own family. Our girls are at a lovely age and still love spending time with us and I am acutely aware how precious that is!
What’s the one thing you’d now say to your 25 year old self?
25 was a defining age for me. I found myself in a strange situation where I wanted to leave a very good job and, although I had valid reasons, others considered this reckless and irresponsible. But I did leave and although I didn't know it at the time, making that decision and being brave enough to try new places on my own (the outback for 2 years and then London!) gave me a richer life. So to my 25 year old self I'd say "Follow your instincts. They'll lead you to the place you're meant to be".
If you weren’t doing what you're doing now… what would you be doing?
If I wasn't a lawyer, I'd love to work in fashion. I am not entirely sure how but I love writing and I am very passionate about discovering new and unusual brands or new ways to wear things so I would love to write about fashion for a publication. But I also love design and would love to actually create fashion. I think about this a lot as at 45 I know it would be a good time to make some sort of jump but I am never quite sure of what jump I want to make!
What's your favourite A&G style?
This one is easy for me! It's the amazing lovable brogues!! Of course I love the espadrilles, trainers too (very much) and the boots and loafers, but the brogues have special place in my heart. My silver ones have been worn so much and still look like new (they always get comments), they are super comfy like all A&G shoes, and I was lucky enough to get a sample version of hot pink sparkly suede brogues - which I think are the MOST BEAUTIFUL SHOES EVER MADE!! Please bring back the brogues and please make me a red pair!
What's your favourite EVER pair of shoes?
My favourite ever pair of shoes were given to me by my husband for Christmas just gone. They are Vivienne Westwood 3 strap tan leather Mary Janes and although I got them recently I have wanted them for years! They are everything I dreamed they would be (super comfy as well) and will only get better with age. Plus he actually managed to keep them as a surprise which was incredible!
Does ‘being comfortable’ mean you have to compromise? Can you be comfortable and stylish at the same time?
I don’t believe that comfort is a compromise on style. I think being comfortable in your outfit, shoes and in your own skin is part of expressing your own style! While I know heels are lovely sometimes, I love the quirky style of flats or unexpectedly fun shoes with a more serious outfit. I’m a very practical person with a busy lifestyle but you’ll never see me wearing something I don’t feel happy to be seen in!