Summer Litchfield catches up with Little London’s new luxury columnist Olivia Falcon and meets the two mini fashionistas that have won her heart…
There’s a reason that mother and journalist Olivia Falcon always looks so polished. Her first job was in New York, assisting the buying director of Barney’s, and her second job was assistant to Alexandra Shulman, the editor of British Vogue. “My days at Barney’s were pretty crazy,” Olivia smiles. “It was the mid-nineties when supermodels where at their peak, lots of exciting fashion names were emerging and everyone travelled on Concorde. Working as Alex Shulman’s assistant, however, was about as far away from The Devil Wears Prada scenario as you can imagine. She’s the most inspirational woman and I learned so much.”
After graduating to the features desk at Vogue, Olivia moved to Tatler where she eventually found her true vocation and became the Health & Beauty Director. “Eight years later,” she says, “I was only five months into my maternity leave with my eldest daughter Grace when I discovered I was pregnant again! Although I loved my time at Condé Nast I decided that that was the time to go freelance so that I could set my own schedule and spend more time with my girls.”
Olivia now enjoys writing for a wide variety of publications, consulting for luxury beauty brands and, most of all, being with her daughters: three-year-old Grace and two-year-old Georgia-Mae. How does she find motherhood? “I have been broody since I was about 16, so being a mum is a dream come true – although, like most mothers, I did find the night feeds and the physical side of having a small baby a challenge. Georgia-Mae got bronchitis when she was just eight months so we were up a lot with her and she had an awful cough that lasted months. Luckily my husband is a saint and really helped out in the early days.”
Now they are older, Olivia and her husband, Peter, are enjoying watching their daughters become “little people with their own opinions”. “Both are pretty strong characters. Grace is the negotiator; she knows how to talk her way round the most stubborn adult. And Georgia-Mae is the entertainer; she loves singing and dancing and will basically put on a show wherever there’s an audience – even at the bus stop. Both of them make me laugh on a daily basis and are very girly girls. They are always raiding my make-up drawers and shoe closet!”
So they take after their mother in that respect. Does she feel that being a mum has changed her at all? “I was a bit of a worrier before I had kids but since I became a mum I don’t sweat the small stuff; I don’t have time. I am a total geek when it comes to organisation. I plan way ahead. But my kids are definitely teaching me to live in the moment.”
Olivia grew up in Notting Hill but now lives in St John’s Wood in her husband’s old bachelor pad: “It’s a beautiful, open plan apartment that used to be the studio of Pre-Raphaelite painter John William Waterhouse. For a while we were set on moving but we couldn’t find anything that we loved as much as here, so we stayed put.”
A city girl at heart – and it seems London still has the strongest hold – Olivia loves the fact that there are so many parks close to her home and is happiest feeding the ducks and swans on Maida Vale canal. “I love the local shops in the area too. One of my favourites is Clifton Greens in Maida Vale. They have the most incredible selection of exotic fruits and vegetables.” The family are foodies and can be found at farmers markets or at the Ginger Pig in Marylebone. “We’ll probably be heading there soon to order our Christmas fare,”Olivia smiles, looking forward to the occasion.
It seems like this particular glossy jetsetter is more than happy to be a bit more homely, for the most part, right now.
Find all this and much, much more in the Nov/Dec issue of Little London: on sale now.