Fearne Cotton chats healthy recipes, toddler tantrums and her new kidswear for Boots Mini Club
We talk exclusively to Fearne Cotton at the launch of her brand new kidswear range for Boots Mini Club
Image: Boots Mini Club
We caught up with Fearne on the launch of her second collection of childrenswear, Fearne by Fearne Cotton, which she exclusively designed for Boots Mini Club.
Read on to find out more about the inspiration behind the designs for the new collection, as well as, which celeb kid she thinks are smashing their style, how she managed to get her kids eating healthy and how to manage stress levels during terrible tantrums.
What was your inspiration behind the pieces in the Fearne by Fearne Cotton collection for Boots?
We learned a lot from the first collection, the things that we thought were a bit out there really worked and people really seemed to like them.
Initially, we were worried they might be a bit too lairy but I think because it's [designed for babies] nine months - six years you can go a bit crazy with colour. Kids are certainly happy expressing themselves in that way, so we went even more heavy on the print and the mark-making.
For girls we've honed in on cats, I thought that would be a nice silhouette to play around with and use in different ways.
For the colours, we've used light pinks mixed with blacks and greys, plain [colours] with a slightly more pastel vibe.
We've also got some little bomber jackets that are reversible, so that you get an option with colour. One’s more print-based and slogan-based, and one's quite plain.
With the boys it was all about mark-making and looking again at paint marks. We also brought in an ant just as a nice little fun creature to use on the print that we’ve used a on couple of t-shirts.
Last time it was a bit more gender neutral, so this time we’ve played around with [colour] - it’s lots of greens, blues and yellows.
If you could, are there any pieces you would wear yourself?
Image: Boots Mini Club
Yeah, I love leopard print and there’s a leopard print tracksuit for the girls on an oatmeal base and I really love pastel colours - so I thought that is the dream tracksuit and got that made big as well and I’ve been romping round the house in it.
It’s the perfect post work, kids are in bed, bra off outfit, and Honey’s got the same, so if we really want to go to town we can both wear the outfit at the same time – which is ridiculous!
I think a lot of the collection could be sized up and worn, and I think that that’s the of beauty of kids clothes today.
You can - not in a sophisticated sense but certainly in a fun, colourful and stylish way - have these little mini outfits that you yourself would wear.
When you were in the process of designing your new collection what design element was most important to you?
We always start with a theme and print to set the tone of what we’re aiming for, so this time round it was quite animal print and mark-making-based.
We knew that was where we were going to begin and then we had our colour palette that we messed around with but when it actually comes to shapes it is one hundred percent all about practicality and comfort.
I’ve got no time or inclination to be putting weird-fasting dungarees on my kids or fussy belts.
Even putting tights and a dress on Honey I just can’t deal with and she hates it. We spend our life in a ball pit or in a park and she just wants to be comfy when running around.
Rex is five now, so I’m trying to encourage him to get dressed himself but when it's his school shirt it’s impossible whereas if it’s a pair of joggers and a t-shirt he can do it. I think most parents just want ease and practicality.
What’s unique about your clothing range?
Image: Boots Mini Club
We’ve learned from the first collection that our style is all about colour, print and slogans. We’ve used lots of positive wording like 'love', 'kind' and 'cool', words that are nice to look at and positive for children to understand, so I think it’s all about playfulness and happiness.
I think the unique thing that we’re really honing in on is print and making that a really strong theme.
Rather than it being t-shirts with one picture placed on it, full print really works for us - especially with the matching tracksuits that we’ve done they sold brilliantly in the first collections so we’ve just done loads more of those again.
Then we’ve taken that down to smaller sizes for newborns to 9 months, and then there’s matching girls trackies and also a boys one too which are just really cosy.
In your opinion, who is the best dressed celebrity kid?
You can’t look at the royal babies and not think they look completely cute and immaculate - they're the opposite of my kids.
They've continuously got ratty bed hair and wear joggers that have got mud all up the knee, so I can look with complete admiration and just go wow, George and Charlotte are smashing it!
What are your favourite children’s clothing brands?
I think when they’re little it’s got to be about the price point. Spending lots of money is a waste of time because they’re going to grow out of it in seconds.
Sometimes we’ve been lucky enough to have been bought some beautiful things by Mini Rodini or Stella McCartney, and while it’s really nice to get given stuff like that as a gift, personally I just go for low price points, something that’s going to be easy to clean and if it gets wrecked in three wears I’m not going to be worried about it.
What prints do you think are going to be big in children’s fashion for SS18?
Image: Boots Mini Club
We really love the whole mark-making thing and bringing creativity to clothes so it looks quite undone and hand drawn.
I think that’s always really lovely for kids because it’s so apparent in their behaviour and their characteristics. It's fun and imperfect and I love that whole ethos - something that looks a little bit childlike in its delivery, and I think that really works.
How do you manage to keep your kids eating healthy foods and staying away from sugar?
Rex is pretty good now he’ll eat nearly anything and he’s so energetic so he’ll just eat and eat which is great and he’ll have lots of protein to keep his energy up.
Honey’s really good at fruit and veg but she’s awful at protein. If she’s eating badly or even if Rex is having a bad day I’ll make a big smoothie with bananas, kale, dates and rice milk and they just think it’s like a banana milkshake but it’s got loads of greens in.
I’ll always try and find a way of getting at least something that’s good in them and I’m lucky that I like baking, they like baking so we spend every weekend if not every few days a week baking big batches of banana muffins or cakes that I’ve put some beetroot in that they don’t know about.
I think rather than buying processes things in packets from shops we get to actually enjoy that process together and they get to understand what that process means and I know what’s gone into, so I think there’s a few tricks that I can use but they’re definitely not like sat there eating raw carrots and kale and drinking spinach juice it’s working out a sneaky ways.
What are your favourite dishes to cook with your children?
They love baking cupcakes or gingerbread men and decorating them with loads of stuff.
Dinnerwise, they’ll sometimes help me with cooking but then they’re too young to use knives but if I’m making soup they’ll want to blend it or do something in the process, so that’s really lovely but it’s more cakes really.
Your book Calm is all about managing stress and eliminating negativity, what’s your advice for parents dealing with tantrums?
Image: Calm: Working through life's daily stresses to find a peaceful centre, by Fearne Cotton, Orion. Design by Hart Studio, Illustration by Jessica May Underwood
I think it’s about not beating yourself up, you just have to be kind to yourself and know that everyone is going through it. There’s not a single kid that doesn’t have tantrums, there’s just not.
There might be a kid that has them less but all kids do it and I think you just have to let them do it and get it out their system.
Rex has been harder than Honey in that sense, she’s a bit easier to talk to about it but he just freaks out. I think each kid is so different but knowing you’re not alone is the key.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from having kids?
Patience definitely comes back in its droves because I think when you haven't got kids you are very self-centred. When you have kids it’s all about managing your time and being patient, letting them do things in their own time.
I think having kids makes you remember - not necessarily learn but remember - all the small things. Kids bring simple pleasure to the forefront and that’s one of the best things about having them - you enjoy all those little simple things again.
What traits do you think make a great mother?
I think the best mum is a mum that is happy and that’s not always easy because it’s very stressful and there’s a lot of pressure involved, and there’s a lot of comparison that shouldn’t happen.
That’s where we all go wrong, we’re all comparing ourselves to others, our kids to others, it's a constant comparison and it is not useful.
I think the good traits are not to compare and to be content in your own version of mothering. Be kind to yourself and to somehow try and negate guilt which can be really impossible.
Fearne has teamed up with Boots Mini Club to design her second collection of stylish kids clothes for boys and girls. Shop the Fearne by Fearne Cotton collection for Boots Mini Club before it sells out!
Make sure you pick up a copy of the June issue of Gurgle for more information on the SS18 collection.