As Savannah Miller collaborated with Bagsy to create a special line of makeup, we catch up with the designer to talk motherhood and makeup…
I’m interviewing Savannah on speakerphone as my baby boy has a rare nap upstairs. I was supposed to be coming into town to interview the designer face-to-face about her latest collaboration with high-street makeup brand Bagsy, but my boy has a cold and won’t be put down.
With three children of her own (Moses, Lyra and Bali), Savannah Miller understands.
“I had three kids pretty much back-to-back, so if I didn’t have a two-year-old, I was definitely pregnant with the next one,” Savannah tells me as I ask (trying not to sound too desperate) for advice on juggling work and motherhood.
“Actually I had ten years of either being pregnant or breast-feeding! It’s amazing to be out the other side, and you will come out the other side, but I miss those years!
“You know, I look back now on the little babies and soft hair and the gurgling sounds and it’s long gone now for me. So I know it’s really hard, but I guess my advice would be to try and enjoy it while you’re in it.”
The designer, who graduated from Central Saint Martins with a First Class Honours Degree and has worked with the likes of Alexander McQueen and Matthew Williamson, as well as working with sister Sienna Miller on her own label Twenty8Twelve, has now turned her hand to makeup.
Following her clothing collaborating with Debenhams, ‘Nine by Savannah Miller’, Savannah has collaborated with British beauty brand Bagsy, to create a collection of six items in time for party season.
The line is being sold in support of Women for Women International, with 15% of every Bronzed Brilliance Shimmer Powder sold going directly to the charity.
Our hero piece from the range (and Savannah’s) is the Vermillion Red Full Colour Lipstick (£16), perfect for looking ‘done’ when you have no time for a full face of makeup.
(Or have a small child stealing all your sleep and need to distract people from the large bags under your eyes.)
Read our full interview with Savannah, below…
Savannah Miller X Bagsy
Country & Town House: How did this collaboration come about?
Savannah Miller: I was approached by Debenhams; we were both trying to make women feel good and offer them aspirational but affordable products. Ireally like the messaging on all these products and I love the way they were trying to make women feel good. It was more about empowering which I think is really important. It’s something I strive to do with my fashion range.
I was aiming to create a more fashion-focused edit of products that could create possibly a slight more glamorous look. I guess my collection is like Bagsy’s older sister. A lot of the packing is a lot darker, it’s a lot more evening inspired. There are a lot of stars and moons on all the packaging. My actual products are in black, glossy cases with golden writing, so it feels like a very expensive product, but obviously it’s so affordable.
C&TH: What the charity tie-in always part of a discussion?
SM: It was from the very, very beginning. Like the first thing. I’d been to a lunch for the charity and it felt very serendipitous that at that time I was sitting at that lunch thinking ‘how can I get involved in this charity, they’re amazing!’ I literally said immediately I can only do the collaboration if we do it in support of this incredible charity. And they were so behind me from the get go, because that’s what they do really well. They were very excited about it, actually.
C&TH: Did you design the range with party season in mind?
SM: To an extent. I tend to wear a very natural make-up – not really full-coverage. It’s more about making a natural, enhanced make-up look that sort of elevates your natural assets I guess.
But obviously, things like red lipstick, and black liquid eye-liner are much more glam than that. And I think it’s quite fashionable to do the little flicky eye-liner and the red lips, the kind of classic glamour look. There’s an element of that in there, but to be worn in a casual way.
C&TH: What’s your favourite piece?
SM: I love the lipstick, which is fantastic. It really can be worn by a lot of different hair-colours, skin-colours – we tried it on a number of women and everyone looks great in it. It feels quite grown-up, but at the same time sexy and pretty. I’m really, really pleased with it. The colour couldn’t be better – I genuinely do wear it, it’s my go-to lip colour now.
C&TH: I love a good lipstick because it’s the only thing I can ever be bothered with, or have time for…
SM: I think we can get very intimidated by the beauty hall and the amount that’s on offer – if you’re not a lipstick wearer, it’s so intimidating. And in a way this just de-mystifies that whole experience because it’s just the one you need and it’s tried and tested, so that’s how I feel about it!
“Try the best you can, do the best you can” – Savannah Miller
C&TH: What are your words to live by?
SM: I don’t really have a mantra, per se, but I guess it’s just ‘keep on trying’. Try the best you can, do the best you can and I actually do genuinely believe that if you really want something you can go and get it if you work hard enough.
C&TH: I’m a new mum, finding it quite hard to strike a balance between working and being at home, and I know you’ve got three children…
It’s a nightmare, Love, I’m afraid!
C&TH: Yes! I just wondered when and how you found that balance, and what advice you would give to mums?
SM: I think, until they’re around two, it depends on you and how much help you have with them – are you breastfeeding are you not, obviously it’s very dependent on the individual. But, I genuinely didn’t really feel like they came out of the baby phase until they were two. And I had three kids pretty much back-to-back, so if I didn’t have a two-year-old, I was definitely pregnant with the next one.
Actually I had ten years of either being pregnant or breast-feeding! It’s amazing to be out the other side, and you will come out the other side, but I miss those years!
You know, I look back now on the little babies and soft hair and the gurgling sounds and it’s long gone now for me. So I know it’s really hard, but I guess my advice would be to try and enjoy it while you’re in it.
My eldest is eleven and is about to go to secondary school and doesn’t give me the time of day. That’s how brief it is – literally, he’s very loving and sweet, he has his moments of course, and first-born is always going to be mummy’ boy, but there’s a definite sense of him moving away. He’s becoming independent and it’s so sad, heart-breaking!
There’s magic in all of it, isn’t there?
For more information about Savannah Miller’s Bagsy collaboration, visit www.bagsybeauty.com.