A Little Muse

A Little Muse

Danika Underhill-Sirota and daughter Frankie

One of freelance Creative Director Danika’s earliest memories of fashion was sitting on her mother’s bed surrounded by a sea of her mother’s clothes, shoes, belts, makeup and scarves… One of my earliest memories was surrounded by a sea of pages torn out of fashion magazines where I would sit for hours making collages.  But  we both share an early lasting memory of Yves Saint Laurent Opium perfume. If I close my eyes I can still smell it…

Named after the city where her parents met (San Fransisco) Francis Olivia- aka Frankie-Danika’s daughter had our play date all planned out.  She would show Tallulah her extensive library.  Read a few favorites then introduce her to the never ending eclectic array of stuffed animals (she is named after the patron saints of animals after all) a quick stuffie pile then they would attend a tea party-and a fabulous one it was!


Danika-Describe your perfect day?

My perfect day would be to wake up while Frankie is still sleeping and get a cup of tea before toddler madness begins. I love to sit down with Frankie and my husband Jeremy and all three of us have breakfast together…Jeremy usually cooks something yummy- French toast or an omelette are my favorites. Then I’d pack us all up for a bike ride to the ferry and go over to the Brooklyn Bridge Park and get gelato. Jeremy and Frankie usually both take naps on the weekend so it’s my time to run out and meet a friend, exercise, visit a museum or get a quick mani/pedi. Meeting back up with Frankie and Jeremy for dinner at Rubirosa and then off to bed would be a perfect day. Maybe sneak out for a bit with Jeremy once Frankie goes to bed too… just for a glass of wine at 10 Bells or Lead Belly which are both close by.

What is your earliest memory of fashion?
My earliest memory of fashion is rolling my pants up with big cuffs so I looked like I was ready for a flood. My big sister took serious offense to this, and I realized that style is personal and you can’t let anyone bully you out of expressing yourself. My mother got W magazine when it was still in newspaper form, and she had a “wardrobe consultant” when she decided to get into politics. I remember her going through my mother’s closet and laying all the clothes, scarves and shoes on the bed and me being in the middle of it. The stylist had some wacky “rules” like you had to have ten points before you were really put together- one point for earrings, one point for a belt, one point for lipstick, one point for a scarf. It flew in the face of the old saying that you take off the first thing you see in the mirror before going out. My lasting memory is the smell of my mother’s Yves Saint Laurent Opium perfume and cigarettes.
Some of your favorite children’s brands?
I really like Zara kids because it is pretty chic for little person clothes. Frankie’s style is more sporty than girly so we have a lot of fun with tiny Nikes and Adidas. We love patterns and prints and found a great shop on Etsy that has tiny cute pants. I gravitate towards neutrals and soft pinks and purples with her, punctuated by brights. We love Little Paul and Joe, Bonpoint for prints and Makié for basics.
Favorite designer you wish would come out with a children’s line?
Mara Hoffman just did some kids clothes that I’m dying to get my hands on! I actually think that the designers that do clothes for little ones are pretty great… Stella McCartney, those little Kenzo sweaters, Little Marc, we even have some of the Isabel Marant for H&M pieces, but those have to wait until she’s 9! I love Alexander Wang, so that would be pretty top.
What are some of your favorite things to do together as a family?
We love to all lay in bed together and read our own books or go through the weekend paper. Frankie loves to read and she will sit quietly with a pile of books and a snack. All three of us do it and you can hear a pin drop. We also love to ride our bikes, go to the movies and go out to eat. The park or museum is great too.
What do you love about being a mother?
I love coming home and I hear Frankie say, “Mommy’s home!” and she comes running to greet me. I love that I’m the one she wants when she’s scared or overwhelmed, I love that I am the one that she wants to put her to bed at night and to pick her up from school. It’s also what makes me realize “holy cow this is a lot of responsibility!” I love to hear her playing and say “ready, steady, GO!” because that is what I say to her. It’s fun to know that I have taught her to speak a little French, put her napkin on her lap and say, “May I be excused?” when she’s done eating.
What are your mommy must haves and what can you NOT live without?
I’ve learned that A+D ointment is for more than just tiny tushies. I put that stuff on every weird skin thing that I have (not that I have weird skin things!). I also love plain old-fashioned soap and water. I’m not into all that hand sanitizing stuff that just dries you out. I use Moroccan Oil on my hair as well as Frankie’s curls, and we love Weleda baby products.
If you had more time just for you what would you be doing?
Hanging out with friends and exercising. The usual.
What can you not say no to?
I try to be strong! But I’m not great at “this is the last one” I usually cave for one more book or one more cuddle.
Some of your favorite things?
Rodin Olio Lusso, Tom Ford lipstick, jumpsuits. Lots and lots of jumpsuits.
When Frankie grows up she wants to be…

Last time I asked her this, she said she wanted to be a boy. She’s two and a half, so I interpret that to be that she wants to be her own woman. I would love for her to be a diplomat, an artist or maybe even just a bigger version of who she already is, because she’s pretty awesome!

Tallulah wears Crew Cuts dress and tights.

Frankie wears rabbit dress from Little Paul and Joe.

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