Marle Woman: Miranda Louey

Marle Women is created to celebrate our philosophy of designing pieces for women of all ages and stages of their lives. Each feature profiles a selection of women across the generations that we admire. We hope each interview inspires you, the same way in which these women do to us. 

For inspiring mother, model, and soon-to-be midwife, Miranda Louey, the comfortable rhythm of family life is where she feels most at home. After a career in performing arts that led her to pursue an intense stint as a model in Asia, Miranda opted for the nestled and cosy life with her husband and son in Melbourne, Australia. 
The thrills of hard work, travel, and adventure have influenced the woman she is today - someone that radiates confidence, warmth, and worldliness.

Here, we speak with Miranda about her evolution as a woman, her husband's most recent project, The Davison Collaborative, which has been praised by the design industry, and why she relies on thoughtful silhouettes and complementary hues to help her get dressed in the morning.

 
 
Can you share a little bit about yourself, your background, and your upbringing? What defining aspects have contributed to the woman you are today?

I was born in Tasmania to a father from Hong Kong and a mother from Melbourne, both of whom were very hands on. I grew up with two older brothers; my father, an amazing chef (and self-declared comedian); and my mother, a lifelong veterinary nurse, an amazing gardener and a talented seamstress, who has willingly sewn many teenage party outfits, dance costumes and formal dresses, including my wedding dress.

As a young and spirited 18 year old, I met my partner Chris in Hobart (a country Victorian lad who was studying Architecture in Tasmania) and started our lifelong love of each other, just in time before my (other) love of dance brought me to study performing arts full time in Melbourne. My dance career blurred into a (very intense) modelling career in Asia, and eventually brought me back to Melbourne in 2011. I now happily continue to model (and also study midwifery), while also juggling a cosy and nested life with Chris, our three year old son Arthur, and our darling Cavoodle, Charlie.

All of these periods of my life have shaped who I am today - I have cherished all the adventures, the thrills of hard work, performing, living life out of a suitcase rushing last minute to airports as the norm, and I now cherish the comfortable rhythm of family life and some semblance of a routine now. I have met and kept so many beautiful people in my life from along the way, including Chris who has been by my side (and long-distance so many times) since my first wee days as an ‘adult’.

I still hold many school friends dear, and to experience the rollercoaster of babies with them has been really beautiful. I can’t wait to become a midwife and share that journey with all women from all different backgrounds and support them to bring their precious babies into the world.

You work with your husband as part of Archier, an architectural company that creates design experiences that contribute to a better quality of life. Can you share a little more about the inspiration behind the brand?

All of the founding directors studied together in Tassie before moving on to work for other practices. They felt there wasn’t a space for the innovation and logical progress they wanted to make unless they branched out on their own.

The practice works consciously towards design and building processes that bring efficiency and sustainability in the most logical and affordable ways. The result is spaces with material honesty that connect to their environment and contribute to better lives for their inhabitants. [Miranda works across communications for the business].

Your most recent housing project in Melbourne, part of The Davison Collaborative, has garnered broad support from the design industry for giving a new meaning to the old adage ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way.’ Can you tell us a little more about why this project was so unique?

We wanted a space for our family close to the north side of Melbourne city, with three bedrooms, a small yard, with reasonable thermal performance and good natural light. The options around Brunswick and surrounds were through the roof with prices and didn’t even tick the boxes. Like many families, we just couldn’t justify the cost to benefit ratio.

I think with an architect husband, it’s impossible to find the perfect place but these properties weren’t coming close to either our budget or our expectations. In classic Archier style, Chris knew there must be a better way, and started to look for properties which were viable for subdivision and started to recruit friends who were also ready to come on a collaborative adventure.

Sustainability was a number one priority for this project, with homes achieving an 8+ out of 10 star NatHERS rating. What was done to achieve this?

All of Chris’s projects have high sustainability performance, and one of our collaborators was Peter Steele an environmental sustainability consultant - we had a great teammate! The thermal performance of a house can be largely achieved with the right architectural envelope.

We employed passive design principles, ensuring each home has glazing orientated to the north for warmth in winter, external automated block-out blinds to all north and west-facing windows to shade the sun in summer, and cross-ventilation and ceiling fans for cooling. The buildings don’t use any fossil fuels for energy and are targeted to be net carbon-positive in operation. Each is equipped with solar panels and batteries, an energy recovery ventilation system, electric heat pumps for hot water, and hydronic heating. Recycled and locally sourced materials were used where possible and the high-performance BINQ windows are double-glazed.

 

"My style has definitely evolved over the years, which I think is a good thing! There were some brave and (very) questionable choices in my 20s, but I’m pretty ‘normcore’ these days. I like to have pieces that have beautiful silhouettes and are made from durable, natural fibres that will last for years rather than single seasonal trends"

Miranda Louey

How would you describe your personal style? Has it always been this way, or has it evolved over the years?

My style has definitely evolved over the years, which I think is a good thing! There were some brave and (very) questionable choices in my 20s, but I’m pretty ‘normcore’ these days. I like to have pieces that have beautiful silhouettes and are made from durable, natural fibres that will last for years rather than single seasonal trends.

I try to have pieces that can easily complement each other so I can chuck on whatever is clean and it will go together well enough! This doesn’t mean everything is plain - I do have some lovely prints mixed in there too.

Do you think your immersion in the architectural world has had an influence on the way you dress?

Gosh, I’m not sure. Probably being surrounded by architects has influenced me (so many simple, beautiful garments, with interesting silhouettes), but I’m also surrounded by models, and mums who all have their own styles too.

Have you always been confident in your style or is something you have learnt with age?

My dad is such a sweetheart and has always told me not to overthink my clothes, as I’d still look beautiful in a hessian sack. That’s given me the confidence to just wear what makes me feel good, and I don’t try to fit into genres that don’t feel right - I’m not fussed about what’s ‘on trend’ which I’m totally comfortable with!

Do you have any non-negotiable morning rituals that set you up for a productive day ahead?

My day prep usually happens the night before once Arthur’s asleep, so that the mornings can be as relaxed as possible. Some early shoot days I have to wake Arthur up and chuck him straight into the car, but on a normal schedule, we have cuddles in my bed as we wake up together and then discuss the day ahead over breakfast.

 

QUICKFIRE QUESTIONS  

 

What is a piece of personal wisdom that you carry with you?

You never get the same day again.

What do you love most about Marle?

How can you not love beautiful timeless silhouettes and fabrics which feel

amazing to wear?

Most treasured accessory?

My engagement and wedding ring by Karla Way.

Texture or colour?

Texture

Summer or winter?

Summer

 

Miranda wears the Gaia Dress, Felix Dress, Joseph Shirt, June Tank and Carina Pant, all launching mid-May.

Photographer: Alexandrena Parker

Stylist: Rebecca Vitartas 

Hair and makeup: Kat Bardsley

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