Living

Modern Family: Dynamic Fathers We Admire

Above: Brett wears slub crew t-shirt, Milla wears chambray bow dress.

To celebrate Father’s Day, we’re shining a light on a few of our favourite fathers who, through sheer passion and determination, are making their mark in the fields of sport, food, music and the arts. But if there’s one common link between them, it’s that family always comes first.

Interviews by Natasha Inchley
Photography by Pierre Toussaint


J.R. REYNE

The musician and actor

While the Australian musician and actor, J.R. Reyne, may be fully immersed in songwriting or learning lines, he is also channelling his energy into creating a nurturing creative environment for his son Roosevelt.

Above: J.R. wears pima crew neck t-shirt, Roosevelt wears jersey overalls.

What ignited your love of music and the arts?

For as long as I can remember I loved it all – music, movies, books, paintings. Then when I found out it could be a job, running around on stage, making music, pretending to be someone else, I just thought I’ve got to do this somehow.

How has fatherhood changed your world, and what is the greatest lesson that Roosevelt has taught you so far?

Fatherhood has changed my world in every way imaginable, from feeling a love that you didn’t realise existed, to worshipping a night’s sleep like you didn’t think was possible. The greatest lesson that Roosevelt has taught me would be focus, clarity and total love.

And your secret to striking a work-life-family balance?

I’d actually say that my partner Louise [van de Vorst] is my secret weapon. She is the most natural and loving mother there is. We try to keep it as easy as possible and give a lot of love to each other as a family and to our work, too.

How would you describe your personal style, and what type of clothes make up your daily uniform?

I’m a big fan of keeping things simple these days. My wardrobe is predominantly made up of suits, plain tees, shirts and leather shoes. If I were to say I had a daily uniform, it would probably be some loose-fit suit pants and a black T-shirt.

Has fatherhood shaped and inspired your music in anyway?

I wouldn’t say that it’s consciously inspired my music in any way besides a few corkers that Roosevelt and I have written about trains and rabbits, but the stuff I’m toying around with at the moment is definitely a bit more pulled-back. We have guitars and instruments in every room of our house, so if I have downtime I’m always having a little strum.

Lastly, can you share your favourite Sunday routine with family:

Sundays are home days – just cosy, daggy stuff. We love breaky in bed, a bit of gardening, a walk in the park, topped-off with a nice roast dinner when we usually put a few good records on.

Above: J.R. wears slim textured collarless shirt and yarn dyed cropped cuff pant, Roosevelt wears chambray short.

PIERRE TOUSSAINT

The photographer

Fashion photographer Pierre Toussaint travels the world for his work, but he’s happiest when spending beach time in Sydney with his skateboarding brood.

Above: Pierre wears pima crew neck t-shirt, standard blue black jean and ellis canvas sneaker, Valentine wears cut out dress, canvas hightop shoe, Louis wears llama t-shirt and lightweight sweat pant, Olivier wears pocket t-shirt and denim jean.

What ignited your love of photography and the arts?

I was always into drawing and art as a child, my parents gave me a camera for my 7th birthday, which had an impact.

How has fatherhood changed your world, and what is the greatest lesson that Valentine, Louis and Olivier have taught you?

I think being a parent changes your priorities; you have these amazing little people to look after and inspire. I think the kids have also taught me how to survive on very little sleep.

And your secret to striking a work-life-family balance?

I am still trying to work that balance out to be honest. I have a job with a very irregular schedule and it involves a lot of travel and away time. Now that the kids are that much older, it’s getting easier.

How would you describe your personal style, and what type of clothes make up your daily uniform?

I’m a creature of habit – I feel like I have a lot of the same basics in denim, black, white and grey. This shoot for CR was spot on for me.

How do you nurture your children’s creativity? Do you encourage them to have an early interest in the arts?

Yes, absolutely. My partner Charlotte [Scott] and I have both worked in creative industries so as parents we encourage it – our kids go through so much paper, drawing endlessly. Ollie received a camera for his birthday last year; he often gets his brother and sister to film him skateboarding, he is quite the director.

Lastly, can you share your favourite Sunday routine:

We spend lots of time at the beach. All our kids skateboard, so a Sunday often involves walking down to the skate park in Bondi, followed by breakfast or lunch. I am happy not to travel too far from home on the weekends.

Above, left: Pierre wears pima crew neck t-shirt, standard blue black jean and ellis canvas sneaker. Above, right: Pierre wears pima crew neck t-shirt, standard blue black jean and ellis canvas sneaker, Olivier wears pocket t-shirt and denim jean, Louis wears silver trim sweat hoodie and washed up denim, Valentine wears swing tank, denim short and canvas hightop shoe.

DARREN ROBERTSON

The chef

The celebrated English chef behind Three Blue Ducks, has a demanding schedule that sees him traveling between Sydney and his family’s farm base in Byron Bay. But when it comes to daily pressures, he’s learned to take it all in his stride thanks to baby son, Archie.

Above: Darren wears chambray shirt, slim mid wash rip jean and ellis canvas sneaker, Archie wears white shirt.

What ignited your love of good food and the art of cooking?

I was washing dishes in a seafood restaurant, my Dad was a chef and Mum cooked a lot at home, all of which placed me around food. Later, I worked at a country house in the UK and finally learnt to cook properly with food that was grown on site. For me, this changed everything.

How has fatherhood changed your world, and what is the greatest lesson that Archie has taught you so far?

Life is instantly turned on its head. Archie has taught me to slow down and appreciate the small stuff. His little eyes light up if he hears a bird outside or tastes a ripe fruit puree for the first time. Things have become a lot simpler.

And your secret to striking a work-life-family balance?

I find I'm a lot more productive with my time now. When I am at home I'm enjoying it. It's even more important to make time for the family, to be present and not be distracted by an ever growing to-do list.

How would you describe your personal style, and what type of clothes make up your daily uniform?

I have an easy going style, usually, black jeans, sneakers and white T-shirts and loud socks.

How does a celebrated chef feed his own family? Can you share a favourite dish you like to prepare at home?

We both cook a lot at home. I'm a fan of one-pot wonders. At the moment, as it's a bit cooler, it's slow-cooked pork shoulder, lemon leaves, cloves and fennel, with a decent glass of wine.

Lastly, can you share your favourite Sunday routine with family:

Waking up to Archie talking to himself. I spend around half an hour trying to make him laugh until he gets bored, then it's breakfast time. We usually head out for coffee and a crossword. Ideally, I'll sneak off for a surf, then maybe a picnic with friends, a bit of reading and more playing with Archie.

Above: Darren wears slub crew t-shirt, Archie wears bike print henley and denim pant.

BRETT DELEDIO

The sportsman

Aussie Rules football star, Brett Deledio, is used to the physical demands of tough competition and a rigorous fitness schedule, but nothing compares to the hard work and joy that comes from parenting.

Above: Brett wears slub oxford shirt, mid rip wash jean and ellis canvas sneaker, Milla wears silver flower dress.

Looking back, what ignited your love of sport and football, and what gave you the drive to continue on with it professionally?

Sport started with mates and my brother; I always wanted to beat them at whatever sport we did. I love the challenge that sport presents and the feeling of winning is what drives me.

How has fatherhood changed your world, and what is the greatest lesson that Milla has taught you so far?

You look at life completely differently. No longer are you the number one priority. Milla and [my wife] Katie are what matters most. No matter how my day at work has been it is always great to come home to them.

And your secret to striking a work-life-family balance?

Spending time with family and friends where possible. When at work, I fully commit to what I have to do.

How would you describe your personal style:

I don’t have a specific personal style, but I pride myself on dressing well for the occasion.

You share a competitive rivalry with your wife Katie when it comes to fitness – how do you recommend maintaining a healthy lifestyle and training routines when you have a young family?

We are both very active people and like to get out and walk together – whenever we can we are out walking with Milla. It’s just about making sure we are doing and eating the right things.

Lastly, can you share your favourite Sunday routine with family:

We love to walk down to a local café as a family and have a long breakfast and go to the park. Then, it’s back home for the afternoon, I usually spend it watching sport on TV.

Above, left: Brett wears slub crew t-shirt, slim tapered blue black jean and ellis canvas sneaker, Milla wears chambray bow dress. Above, right: Brett sits wears stripe shirt, slim tapered blue black jean and ellis canvas sneaker. Furniture from Great Dane.

KELVIN HO

The architect

Akin Creative founder, Kelvin Ho, is a star retail architect whose career trajectory is on the up and up. The Sydney-based father of two has a compelling creative viewpoint all his own.

Above: Kelvin wears chambray shirt, slim stretch chino and ellis canvas sneaker, Harriette wears chambray frill dress, Henri wears splice stripe t-shirt and double face short.

What ignited your love of architecture and forward-thinking design?

From a young age I spent a lot of time in heritage buildings and construction sites. My father is a builder so I would tag along with him learning about how construction worked in a practical way. What I found even more interesting was how the built environment could have a huge effect on how it made you feel – I was constantly trying to understand how the design created these experiences.

How has fatherhood changed your world, and what is the greatest lesson that Henri and Harriette have taught you so far?

Fatherhood crept up on me in the most scary and amazing way. I was totally focused on my work, so having children has given me a much better perspective on the important things in life.

And your secret to striking a work-life-family balance?

Work-life balance is the hardest thing to achieve. I don't have the balance sorted yet but I try to do simple things like take Harriette to school at least once a week. I have a little ritual with Harriette where she gives me one of her toys before I leave for work and I carry it around with me during the day. She asks me to make sure I bring it home for her but it's also a nice reminder when I find a cute toy in my pocket in the middle of a stressful moment.

How would you describe your personal style, and what type of clothes make up your daily uniform?

I like to keep my daily uniform pretty simple. It’s classic with a twist, usually tees and jeans, or a shirt with jeans. Colours are mainly navy, black and white. I mix it up by with more edgy accessories such as a certain watch, shoes or hat.

How does a celebrated architect design with a family in mind?

I believe it's possible to live in a high-design space with young children, you just have to be more conscious of sharp corners and falling hazards! I like the idea of a space that can grow with the family and become a canvas for the objects that you collect though your lifetime, be it a rare vintage chair or a drawing that Harriette has brought home from school.

Lastly, can you share your favourite Sunday routine with your family:

Sundays are the best. Usually we invite some friends over and I make pancakes, then we take a mid-morning walk with the dog. The day is spent painting, gardening and dancing in the kitchen. Every Sunday night we have dinner with my parents and my sister’s family.

Above: Kelvin wears slub crew t-shirt, slim stretch chino and ellis canvas sneaker, Henri wears pocket shirt, Harriette wears curved hem t-shirt, tie front skort and tennis shoe.