Image credits: Sam Elsom
Mother’s Day is always an evocative time, but it has an especially emotional resonance for new mums, add in a health curveball and it’s even more momentous. Just ask Australian designer Camilla Franks who has been on a rollercoaster over the past year with the high of becoming a mum for the first time — the designer and her fiancé, JP Jones, welcomed daughter, Luna Gypsy Jones, 1, in January 2018 — followed by the terrifying low of a breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
“Last year was full on to say the least; the adventure of pregnancy, the magic of birth, the dance with the devil that was cancer, and the raw journey of treatment. I need my life to be a bit more vanilla!” the designer told Vogue in the lead-up to her first Mother’s Day post-treatment.
The designer said after everything that happened last year she knew she needed to take time out to heal, which she did over the Christmas break. “When the worst of the storm had passed, it was important for me to take some slow and quiet time away where I could focus more on just being a mummy and healing my tired and weary body… A lot of amazing and confronting things can happen to your body through pregnancy, birth and treatment across a tiny span of a year! It’s incredible to see my body regenerate and heal – and I’m learning more about the gift that is my body, and feeling hugely grateful for each day and new milestone I meet.”
Slowing down is not a pace the designer usually travels through life at and indeed she was still heavily involved with her label during her treatment, even appearing at her closing show for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2018, a mere week after revealing her health news. However, she told Vogue that juggling her treatment with motherhood and her business was “a total circus”, but that work actually turned out to be a real saviour. “Ironically, my best form of therapy was coming into work and getting on with it. I didn’t step away from the business – it was my happy place and playground throughout last year. I was in there no matter how awful I felt at times as it gave me joy just being and working with my team throughout the madness. Saying this, I also have complete trust in my brand guardians to make the decisions when I can’t.”
The brand celebrates 15-years this year and there are big plans in place including “global expansion.” For right now, Franks’s plans include an event to showcase the brand’s latest collection (more information here) and spending Mother’s Day with her family. Scroll on for your first look at intimate portraits of the designer with her daughter, Luna, and read what she’s loved about her first year as mum to the one-year-old.
“Luna to me is captivating. She is funny, curious, rebellious, wise, adventurous – and knows exactly what she wants and when she wants it. She has deepened the love between soulmates, brought out a fierce lioness I didn’t know lay within me and has been a joyous energy in moments that seemed impossible to overcome. Because of all that – she gives me continuous magical moments every day.”
“Getting to know this incredible little human we’ve created together is the most amazing experience and I’ve loved seeing her develop into her unique personality. To me she is the most magical and beautiful child in the world. She saved my life – she really is my angel.”
“I also cherish the simple passing moments. Her, JP and I watching a film, listening to a record, or eating breakfast together. We live busy lives and are forever on the move – so these moments of calm where I’m surrounded by my two loves doing life’s simple things lights my world the most.”