HEAD OF FASHION AT GRAZIA.IT, SARA MOSCHINI OPENS UP ABOUT FASHION & MOTHERHOOD
Sara Moschini is the Head of Fashion at Grazia.it, one of Italy's top women's magazines. Her striking style often gets her photographed during Fashion Week by the best streetstyle photographers. She's also a new mom. Sara opens up about about fashion after motherhood, the ups and downs of breastfeeding, plus she gives expecting moms some great advice.
1) Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into fashion journalism. I'm 35 years old and I come from Urbino, a little but beautiful city in the middle of Italy. I've always been drawn to photography and, most of all, illustration and that's how I came across the first fashion magazines when I was a teenager, trying to find inspiration for my drawings. I moved to Milan after university and I knew I had to find my place in the fashion world. It was the beginning of the fashion blog/social media era and the Italian traditional magazines were not really keeping up with all the changes the Internet was causing in the publishing world, so I started studying the most famous blogs and I came up with different ideas to propose to the different magazines. Then a friend of mine working at Donnamoderna.com called me if I could do a streetstyle column for their Milan Fashion Week blog. That same week they asked me to work on the creation of Grazia.it. I always say I was in the right place at the right time.
2) You're often photographed outside fashion shows; can you tell us how you choose your "look" for these occasions? Do you prefer vintage pieces, big brands or emerging designers? I usually choose colorful pieces, nuances that match with the color of my hair and I carefully choose what kind of shoes to wear depending on the day I'm going to have. Fashion Weeks are exciting but also very stressful so I have to be sure to be comfortable (at least part of the day!). When I'm in Milan I try to wear as many high heels and fashionable shoes I can since we always have a driver, while when I'm abroad I rely on my collection of sneakers and boots. I like to mix a lot, emerging designers like Marianna Cimini or the duo CO/TE, big brands like Jimmy Choo, Fendi, Stella McCartney and Prada and also sporty brands like Nike and Adidas and I mostly buy online. Not a lot of vintage usually, but only because I don't have time to go to markets or thrift shops!
3) With your son Dante's arrival, has your approach to style/dressing changed? Well, I breastfeed and at the beginning Dante was eating at least every 2 hours so I always had to wear something comfortable that I could easily open if needed. But after nine months with a big belly I was really craving to put on at least a couple of nice dresses. Now he eats every 3-4 hours so I still try to be comfortable but I squeeze in some different styles like pencil skirts with t-shirts and shirt dresses, usually with cool sneakers (my fave right now are the revamped Gazelle by Adidas and the Cortez by Nike) or flat sandals.
4) Do you find it more difficult to dress stylishly now that you have a baby? Yes, it surely is more challenging because you really have to feel comfortable to attend to your baby's needs, but I think it's really important not to let yourself go when it comes to fashion. You already feel tired, your hormone levels are all over the place, you're still a bit overweight and you don't exactly recognize yourself, so it's important to feel pretty in some nice, fresh, new clothes. Pretty and comfortable is the right compromise!
5) What have been your biggest challenges as a new mother? Trying to find time for myself. During the first months you always try to sleep when the baby sleeps to recover and then when he's awake, well, you're with him all the time. And also being far from my job and my colleagues who are like family to me. They do visit a lot but I was accustomed to seeing them every day.
6) How has your experience breastfeeding been so far? It wasn't easy at the beginning because I had what is called a "Flat Nipple". But the hospital helped me a lot and now everything is fine! In my experience you need to find the right people to help you because after you leave the hospital you're home alone, and a lot of things can go wrong; for example, when my milk came in I experienced terrible shivers because my temperature dropped and nobody told me that it was possible and I was so scared! Other women experience fever and breast and nipple pain. There's a solution for everything but it's very important to know what to do and who to go to for help.
7) Do you feel it's important for you as a new mother to find a balance between being a mother and being a woman and maintaining your femininity? Have you set any goals for yourself in this regard? It's extremely important! I told my friends: "please keep me from cutting my hair and getting one of those horrible mom hairstyles!" And as I said before, it's important to feel pretty, so I put on my make-up every morning even if I'm only going to the supermarket. I try to change my look every day, keeping away from sweatpants - at least during the day!
8) What advice would you give a pregnant mom that is about to have a baby? What advice do you wish you had received before having Dante? I would advise her to take all the help she can get once the baby arrives. As women, we sometimes try to be superheroes and do everything ourselves. But in this particular frail moment it's important to ask for help and not be alone. Spend as much time as you can with your husband or boyfriend because it's a wonderful bonding moment for a couple. Seek advice, but always think with your head and make your own decisions. I have to say I was very lucky because I had a big support network and I made sure not to have the usual nosy know-it-all-moms around!
9) Given your experience in the fashion world, is there a look or style that you would love to wear (but have yet to find) as a stylish new mom? Sometimes I just wish I could be more feminine and be able to wear breastfeeding tops that don't have to be shirts with buttons, something nice but comfortable for nursing that I can also use in the future when the baby starts to eat and that doesn't look like I bought it in a maternity store!
photo credits: main image: citizen couture, sara in black and white: vanessa jackman, sara in star jeans: citizen couture, sara with a cowboy hat: sandra semburg, sara with a yellow sweater: scott schuman