Cynthia Rowley, 41, is a bit out of breath after rushing in from Family Day at her 6-year-old daughter Kit's school. What is Family Day exactly? "Oh, they put on this play -- and of course, my daughter volunteered me to make all the costumes! We worked on them together though."
But trying to squeeze in designing original costumes for Family Day one day before flying to Miami, three days before Kit's birthday party and four days before heading to Japan for a week is pretty much standard fare for this primo fashion designer, book author and entertaining guru. And yes, Cynthia also has a 15-month-old, Gigi, whom she delivered a week before one of her New York runway shows. "It was a 48-hour maternity leave," she smiles.
We couldn't wait to pick Cynthia's uber-creative brain for fashion, entertaining and parenting tips -- and to find out how she manages to do it all. Here's what she had to say:
We'd love to get a fashion designer's take on dressing for pregnancy. What were your favorite things to wear?
Last time I was pregnant mostly in winter, so I wore lots of over-the-knee boots and baby doll-type dresses. I like leggings, but not wearing them with your husband's shirt! I'm pretty anti maternity clothes. I mostly just sized up -- the one exception being jeans. I tried to rig up some of my own, and I couldn't do it. I had to cave on jeans.
Was it hard coping with the weight gain?
I gained about 35 pounds each pregnancy, but I didn't mind at all. I loved being pregnant so much that as my due dates approached, I didn't want to give birth! I've weighed the exact same size since high school and it was fun to dress a shape I wasn't used to. It was creative for me.
As a new-ish mom, how do you keep yourself looking put-together?
I have a funny story about that. After my last fashion show, I had just finished all my post-show interviews and people were clearing out of the tent when I took Gigi in my arms, and she just threw up all over me! It doesn't matter where you are or what's going on -- babies are babies.
I'd never resort to wearing sweats and down vests, but I try to keep things really simple. I usually resort to a little dress -- something you can just throw on -- and if it's washable, all the better! And always carry a cool, oversize handbag. It can disguise a lot.