Those who know Bella Koh as the slow life champion and clean eating guru on Instagram would realise by now that her daughter Alessandra is quite the little Mini Me. The girl loves her conscious-slash-healthy foods such as an improved version of a vegan olive oil tart stuffed with coconut yoghurt and fresh mangoes.
A staunch advocate of conscious-living, Koh launched event space-slash-workshop studio Slowhouse at the end of January in the former Tiong Bahru apartment that used to be the home she shared with her husband, girl and cats. And true to Bella’s passion for cats (explains her Instagram handle), two-year-old Alessandra is shaping up to be the animal lover too judging from photos of her posing with her feline pals.
Even the wardrobe choices that her daughter makes mirror the feminine but pared-down aesthetic that Koh is well-known for. Here, we speak to Koh about her new life as a mum and get her to pick some of the prettiest and minimalist accessories for a Mothers’ Day gift guide from the Club 21 e-tail site.
The godsend accessories since becoming a mother
“Without a doubt, comfortable and well-made shoes. I can’t stress the importance of shoes: I’m a huge believer of flats. Poorly made shoes could potentially affect your health. Especially when you have to constantly run after your active toddler.”
Fashionable mothers she admires
“I still love my supermodel mums like Christy Turlington, Carolyn Murphy and Natalia Vodianova. To me, they represent timelessness with each advocating a cause of their own which I admire. There’s also the rise of new Instagram mums like Leandra Medine who embody the notion of modern mums of today, juggling work and children while driving social media empires of their own.”
How having a child has affected her social media standing
“I have definitely reached out to a new group of mothers. And yes, (my daughter) Alessandra definitely gets more likes than me now. People want to see her and ask me what she is up to when she doesn’t appear on my Instagram Stories for a day. Being a mum also has a positive effect and dimension because I’m a mum who feeds her kid well and is still able to look after herself.”
On whether babies are the new handbags
“They are until they weigh 20kg. But yes, it explains the demise of It bags and the rise of babies as the new fashion accessory.”
How her style has evolved ever since becoming a mother
“I don’t think it has evolved much. I pretty much stick to my go-to basics of pantsuits and jackets. Nowadays, I try to plan my wardrobe a few days before or the night before to make sure I leave the door for meetings, events or even bringing Alessandra out for play dates on time.”
A style tip for a cool young mother
“Keep it pared down, minimal and accessible. You won’t have much time to think about dressing up once your child arrives. Less is always more.”
Criteria she swears by when choosing a Mothers’ Day gift
“Consider the lifespan of a product above anything else. Because you’ll realise how many redundant objects appear in your home after having a child. Less clutter means clarity of the mind for the well-being of mothers.”