Ginette, Programme Leader/DJ/Musician, top from Complex Geometries, skirt from Topshop.
Shawn, Media, top from Zara, tailored blazer.
Luella, romper and cardigan from Seed Heritage.
All shoes from Dr. Martens.
We visited Ginette and Shawn in their lovely, spacious home that is strewn with knick-knacks and collectibles, a representation of the couple’s varied interests — think comic books and figurines, artwork lining the walls, and a sizeable collection of crystals, sculpted bird skulls, and small busts of Einstein and Chewbacca. There’s also quite a smattering of baby’s toys and playthings for their four-month-old bundle of joy, Luella, who is the most patient and well-behaved infant we’ve yet to meet. She’s ever camera-ready, like her parents, and barely kicks up a fuss despite it almost being her nap time. We steal Ginette and Shawn away for a few moments to ask them about what it’s like to be a new family.
Do you think your styles have changed at all, since you became parents?
Ginette (G): Oh yeah, definitely (laughs). I started wearing more button-up shirts because they’re easier for breastfeeding when I go out; I didn’t use to wear such shirts that much. I used to wear more drapes as well, but now that I do baby-wearing, where I carry Luella, it’s become a bit difficult. So I’ve had to streamline my wardrobe a bit.
Shawn (S): Nope, my style hasn’t changed at all! Just that my shirts tend to get a bit more crumpled after I carry the baby.
Sometimes the little things can make or break an outfit. What do you personally look for when it comes to shoes and accessories?
G: Right now it has to be comfort — I can’t wear heels anymore. And it can’t be something that has dangly bits, because baby comes first. I can’t be thinking about something else or worrying about tripping over something when I’m handling her. It should still be a statement piece, but without all the fuss.
S: Comfort, for shoes. Usually I just buy shoes that match my outfit, so they’re usually white shoes.
G: He’s a white shoes kind of guy.
S: I look for shoes that can last. Like right now, men’s shoes don’t tend to last very long, they usually split.
What are some of the items in your wardrobe or on your dresser that you can’t live without?
G: My lipstick. I need lipstick. It brightens my whole face up.
S: For me…guys have nothing right? (laughs) I actually have to always wear a watch.
G: He needs to have his hair wax!
S: Yeah (laughs), and I always wear these button-up shirts, for work, but they have to be thin as well because I go out and about quite a bit. What I always look for are shirts that are long-sleeved, but the material has to be thin enough so that it can withstand the heat here but still look a bit formal, and that don’t crumple so easily.
If you could wear a uniform of sorts for the rest of your life, what items would it include, and why?
G: A black top and black skirt. My wardrobe tends to be black; I tend to have more black stuff than not. So my uniform would be black clothes. I’m not so much a pants person as well. Preferably drapey, but now with Luella it’s a bit hard.
S: I always wear blue pants, a white shirt — it’s a very Scandinavian nautical style.
When it comes to dressing Luella, what kind of styles/pieces do you look for? Who does most of the shopping/styling in the family?
G: Because she’s young it’s easy to put her in things that are funny (laughs). I have socks that are in super cute colours, and the outfit she’s wearing has sunglasses and confetti on it. She doesn’t know and she can’t choose so too bad! (laughs) But no princessy stuff. I do not like princessy pink stuff. It needs to be the right shade of pink, slightly peachy, or a warmer or cooler pink.
S: I usually buy books for her, I go down that route (laughs). We spend too much on clothes for her already!
G: But we actually have a lot of clothes given to us, just hand-me-downs from friends.
S: We wanted to buy costumes for her, like a pea pod costume, but this weather is too hot.
G: I have this strawberry costume for her. It has a hood and there’s a leaf on top, and it comes with green tights with white stripes. (to Luella) You keep us up at night so this is payback!
Ginette’s currently on maternity leave, but Shawn, how do you (try to) balance your work life and family life? Or what are the little things you do to make sure that neither one is compromised?
S: I work in news so I usually go to work at about 10 or 11AM. I have the morning to spend with Luella because she wakes up very early, around 7AM. I take care of her while Ginette catches up on her sleep. The tough thing is when I get home at night, Luella tends to already be sleeping, so I try to spend more time over the weekend with her.
What’s the one thing you think you should be doing more of, or that you wish you had more time to be doing?
S: Personally, I think I should be doing more writing, because I’m actually writing a feature film script.
G: Travelling as a family! Luella’s not too young to travel, but we don’t want to risk getting onto a plane and then she starts crying. We’d feel bad for other people, and we don’t want to subject them to that. It’s very stressful. The change in air pressure might be uncomfortable for babies. Hopefully we can travel soon, but we’re going on a staycation soon so that’s a start.
What is one thing that you’ve learnt from each other over the years?
S: We’ve learnt that we both make great parents (laughs)
G: Yeah! When Luella first came it was like, wah, he’s not bad.
S: And the roles are really well divided.
G: We don’t have to discuss, it’s just really natural. So it’s quite awesome.
Were there any concerns about Koko, your pet cat, and the baby?
G: Koko’s quite a scaredy cat, so when people she doesn’t know reach out for her suddenly, she’d ‘punch’ them. Not scratch them, but sort of punch them really quickly. We were worried that it might happen with Luella, so we had to slowly introduce them to each other. It’s only recently that Koko started looking at Luella a lot, like, okay, so there’s this other cat here, this hairless cat that’s big and cries a lot. There was once Luella cried really loudly and Koko just shot off and ran away! But when Luella starts to crawl and grab harder, we’re afraid that she’ll injure Koko instead. But hopefully they’ll become best friends, and crawl together and whatnot.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced, as young parents?
G: Lack of sleep!
S: We can’t hang out with friends as much as we used to, and we can’t drink as much. But it’s not really a challenge, it’s a sacrifice that we don’t really mind.
G: It’s not a big problem.
S: We knew it would be like that so it’s fine.
G: But it’s quite funny, when she goes to sleep then we’re like, yeah, wine o’clock! Drink! Just a bit of wine (laughs). It’s just a new experience, that’s all, it’s not anything that we dislike. (to Luella) Luckily you’re cute!
What’s your favourite thing to do together as a family?
G: We love going out! Even if it’s not to do anything, just walking in the shopping mall.
S: Luella likes that, she keeps looking around. Especially when we enter shops. Outside the store she’s normal, like she’s about to fall asleep, but once we enter into a shop, she starts looking at the clothes and all. That’s dangerous.
G: Small things makes us very happy. Even pushing her in a pram.
S: Even the things we used to take for granted. We used to go to shopping centres quite a bit, but now that we can go out as a family together, and Luella’s okay with that, it feels very nice and different.
G: The first time we brought her out I was like, yay, I get to go out and shop! And I’m in-between sizes at the moment so I always have to try several pieces. I wanted to buy a pair of shorts and I was in the dressing room, and I heard this loud wailing from outside. And Shawn was just carrying her around trying to pacify her and asking me to hurry but I was like, I have so many things to try on!
S: I couldn’t do anything because she wanted to make sure she fit properly!
G: It was quite funny.
In light of Dr. Martens’ #standforsomething campaign, as a family, what’s the one thing you stand for? What do you personally believe in, be it at work, or in life?
G: For me, definitely freedom of choice to love. Pro-family means different types of families — homosexual, bisexual, single parents, and such. That’s what I stand for.
S: I stand for the individual. You shouldn’t have to think of yourself as belonging to a group, because everyone is different. For example, even though you might be like Catholic, or Chinese, or whatever, you shouldn’t let this define who you are. Very existential (laughs).
Who is your all-time favourite musician or band? Or the artist that you’re currently into at the moment?
G: My all-time favourite is always The Cure.
S: My favourite musician is Jackson Frank, a folk musician.
If there was one thing you’d like to say to each other, what would it be?
G: I love you. (to Luella) And don’t be naughty!
S: When should we start getting ready for number two?
G: Oh my god! (laughs)