A Merry Christmas dear readers from Phuket.
In the spirit of Christmas we unveil how this GLAMAMAMA dresses up her holiday season and what Christmas really means to her.
GLAMAMAMA MONDAYS decks the halls with DANIELLE PEITA GRAHAM
We’ve seen her on the cover of a magazines, billboards and TV. Her face is so familiar that we feel we know her! So much so in fact that I thought I knew everything there was to know, and then I realised that this young mother of two’s journey to the being one Asia’s top models was worth sharing. So without further ado…
Danielle Graham talks modelling, family and shares her secret to a darned good Christmas party!
GR: How did you start modelling?
DG: I got discovered in Kuala Lumpur at the age of 14 in a shopping mall. I started doing TV commercials and catwalk. It was quite scary at the beginning, but a great way to make pocket money! My parents only allowed me to do shoots on weekends and school holidays.
After boarding school in Sydney I wanted to travel and see the world and so I arrived in Hong Kong in 1998 after being asked to appear in a Standard Chartered bank TV commercial by a Hong Kong Production company. I had previously worked with them in Kuala Lumpur on a Fanta commercial for China, so they suggested I do my rounds and approach modelling agencies to represent me.
GR: How many years have you been in the Modelling industry?
DG: I found I worked well with Calcarries Hong Kong and they have been my ‘other family’ and agency for almost 14 years now!
GR: When was the moment that you knew you were really that darned good at what you do. What happened and how did you feel? Elated, scared, accomplished?
DG: The turning point was when I turned 20 I landed my first Olay skincare contract in Hong Kong. It was a huge achievement as a model to land a skincare contract. So I was over the moon! I am still working with OLAY as a brand spokesperson and have been their longest running model. I am currently representing their total effects line. We shot a new campaign this year in Taipei. I have been flying to Shanghai for promotional events. It was so nice that they incorporated my life in to one of their campaigns a few years ago and named the commercial ‘Danielle’. In the TV commercial they showed me modelling and then entering the next stage if my life getting married and having children.
GR:What was the most memorable experience of your profession and what happened?
DG: I was thrilled when Wong Kar Wai asked me to appear in a music video for DJ Shadow called six days starring along side Taiwanese actor Chang Chen. It was beautifully shot and I was honoured to be working with such talented people!
GR: What was the most memorable experience of your life?
DG: I lived in Hong Kong for six years. I love how vibrant it is! I think HK is the New York of asia! My career took off in Hong Kong and I worked all over Asia. I love fashion and the transformation. I got to wear fabulous clothes and jewels and become someone else for a day! It got lonely at times the travelling and I would need to take time out every few months and go home to my family. When I was first followed by the press I thought my cab was going to have an accident. I was petrified! You do loose your privacy but if I thought about it too much I would just become paranoid.
The most Amazing thing that happened to me was getting married and having children! My husband is my rock. He is tremendously supportive and makes me a better person! I count my blessings daily. My family comes first no matter what. I spend most of my time with my kids. I don’t want to miss out on any milestones. They grow up fast!
GR: Describe your typical day in the (un)glamaross world of Danielle.
DG: Before I jet off for work I will always make sure my house and family are well taken care of. I love to cook and grew up in the kitchen helping my mum chop up stuff. My mum is an amazing cook! She taught me to love food! I want the same for my kids! What they eat is so important to me. They need to have a good headstart in life. I am quite anal and write their weekly menus. I need to know they are getting a balanced diet. My kids love vegetables!
GR: What projects are you working on right now?
DG: I am coming out with my first cook book and hope to launch it next year. It’s something I am working on with my mum and some friends that are in the food business.
I am also working on a shoe line called Danielle love shoes,shoes,shoes. My business partner and I are currently talking with stores in Hong Kong. We would really love to have a presence in China and will also sell online. I have always dreamed of having a fashion business.
GR: Which charities do you support and why?
DG: For my sons 1st birthday party I requested that instead of presents we receive cash donations. These would go to the Myanmar refugee children to pay for their education in Malaysia. Learning is essential for human development. Every child has the ability to learn and grow up happy and healthy. Some are less fortunate. If we have big hearts and give back we really can make a difference.
GR: Favourite place on earth and why?
DG: Favourite place – Home is where my heart is. I am naturally quite a home body and love hanging out with my husband and kids doing simple things like laughing, dancing and painting
GR: Who is your role model?
DG: My mum is my role model. I love how she puts her heart and soul into everything she does. She loves life. He gives good advise. There is so much I can learn from her.
GR: Your personal Top 5 must have pieces spring/summer 2013
- Danielle loves shoes,shoes,shoes jewelled bling bling crystal sandals
- a Karla colletto black lace up swimsuit
- Erickson Beamon Colour me crazy earrings
- Bottega Veneta yellow satin clutch
- Carven sky blue taffeta dress
GR: Your top 3 beauty tips
DG: Beauty must haves: Sleep, Water and Laughter
GR: Do you think women can “have it all”, work, love, life and luxury?
DG: YES woman can have it all but it’s really a balancing act. It’s about doing things in moderation. I wish we had more hours in a day so we could get more done! I think that if you are happy and love what u do as a career then you will be a more patient and understanding wife and mum.
IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME….
GR: What do you consider the most important ingredients for a successful dinner party?
DG: Ingredients for a successful dinner party – scrumptious food, fun company, good music, beautiful decor and plenty to drink!
GR: What’s your Christmas Party Table Decor Theme?
DG: We had a red, white and gold Christmas party theme. We had two tables of 12pax each. The tables were beautifully dressed with red roses, calla lilies and philaenopsis, gold-sprayed pine leaves and candles. Low arrangement of flowers with square glass and mirrored vases with square block candles. Round vases with candles on the other table. Each guest’s place card was attached to a glass bottle diffuser which they got to bring home. The decor was created by my friends that plan events.www.theoccassions.com
I cooked the food with the help of my angel sous chefs! My hubby was in charge of the drinks!
GR: What message do you want your children to understand about Christmas ?
DG: Christmas is a time for caring and sharing. It’s important for our children to grow up spending quality time with their family.
Love and happiness are key values that we celebrate during the festive season.
On that Merry note, Glamaross wishing you all a Merry and Blessed Christmas.
All Photos Courtesy of Danielle Peita Graham