BLANCA World / Zoe Cuthbertson: Walk In Her Wardrobe

Zoe Cuthbertson: Walk In Her Wardrobe

Zoe Cuthbertson: Walk In Her Wardrobe

Known for her stunning table settings and plant-based menus (that would make even the most carnivorous of us salivate), Zoe Cuthbertson is behind the catering and styling business, Undressed Tablescapes, and curator of the IN BED Journal. Busy, particularly now with 6-month-old daughter Rafaela, Zoe naturally embodies Blanca's ethos and aesthetic. 

Clothes can make us feel like our life is together (even when the pancakes are hitting the fan and there are avocado smears down our front); they’re a source of comfort, confidence and creativity. Becoming a parent might be “the most beautiful, most brutal thing in the world,” but she’s doing it her way, in her style. There’s a lot we can learn here – including tips for some truly impressive hosting.

On her personal style evolution:

My style has always been heavily influenced by where I live. This is to do with the climate, of course, but also the culture of a place and my lifestyle within it. While living in London, I worked in PR, which meant sweaters over shirts, tailored jackets, wool tights under skirts and dresses, and big leather handbags I’d wrestle onto the tube filled with magazines and my laptop. Then I moved to Sydney, followed by Byron Bay, where the humidity and laidback nature of the place dictated what I wore: boxy dresses, Birkenstocks, swimmers with breezy oversized shirts and sarongs. 

Melbourne life has ushered in a return to layering, but given I work from home now, it’s more about comfort. I’m embracing button-down shirts (for easy feeding) with a woollen vest on top, baggy jeans and big, cosy jackets with room for cuddles!

On her daily looks:

My day starts with an early morning hot pilates class, so leggings and a crop. Afterwards, I’ll throw over a cosy jumper and slip on a pair of suede mules for coffee and breakfast. After a shower, I’ll consider what the day ahead holds… if I’m cooking, it’s comfortable sneakers with leggings and an oversized t-shirt. Working from home, I’m a sucker for a matching set. This extends to the evening; if I’m headed out, I often opt for a tailored vest and pant combination. I feel like I get a lot more mileage out of my wardrobe by investing in separates to mix and match.

On ‘you’ outfits:

I love simplicity, so nothing too frilly or girly (that being said, I can never go past a puff sleeve!). I love oversized, sculptural shapes, so nothing too form-fitting. A matching set makes me feel like I have my life together. I also swear by spending money on quality fabrics – they will wear well and you’ll always feel put together. Some simple jewellery like a gold chain and my Hamish Munro wedding rings, and I feel complete.

On high-repeat items:

Button-down cotton shirts and dresses, loose-fitting denim, classic-cut knits, simple gold jewellery.

On balancing the many plates of life via clothing:

After having a baby, I certainly had a crises of confidence when it came to dressing – your body and day-to-day change so rapidly that all of a sudden, half of your wardrobe is nullified (nothing with a high neck, needs dry cleaning, is tight-fitting, or can’t disguise a little vomit or avocado smear). To be honest, I’m still figuring it out, but I never really went through the milk-stained tracksuit phase… getting dressed is too important for me to sacrifice.

On her creative space:

I spend so much time at home at the moment – and, like my wardrobe, I think very carefully about what goes in it, always opting for quality over quantity. That doesn’t mean I don’t love a bargain – Facebook marketplace is my favourite place to source from.

On finding inspiration:

There are many brilliant women in my life that I look to for inspiration, whether that’s their style or how they carry themselves in the world. I often think to myself when styling/cooking/parenting, ‘What would they do?’ I’m also a recent convert to Substack and the musings of Jade Fox (Dear Dilate), Ali LaBelle (Á La Carte), Simone Jude (Second Helpings), Laura Vidrequin (What We Wear and Why) and Megan Strachan (What I Put On Today).

On resetting and relaxing:

These days, alone time is sacred, so if I could pick one thing, it’s solitude. But I’d also take a massage and a facial, three hours to read a book, sit and drink coffee, and go for a long walk.

On our weekend plans:

We’d start with coffee and croissants with house-made jam at Florian. Then we’d stroll through Edinburgh Gardens for my favourite breakfast sandwich from Loafer Bakery: a seeded roll stuffed with kale, tempeh and relish, and the first proper thing I ate after giving birth; I almost cried with joy. 

For lunch, it would have to be Mexican tortas and spicy margaritas at Frankie’s. For something sweet, we’d have lemon crullers at Moon. Time for wine, and we’d stop by Napier Quarter for a glass of natural wine and their incredible focaccia. Finally, I’d finish off with a cosy pub meal at our favourite local, The Royal Oak. You better be hungry ;)

Zoe’s top five tips for creating the perfect tablescape:

  1. Have an idea that will help bring your tablescape together. This doesn’t have to be a theme as such; you might find inspiration in a vintage cutlery set, for example, and build out your concept from there.
  2. Don’t hesitate in taking something away. I believe this can result in perfect alchemy.
  3. I like a tablescape that feels organic and a little lived-in, nothing too symmetrical and perfect.
  4. Create a mood board for how you want your table to feel. For me, this is never photos of actual table settings; it might consist of an abstract painting, a swatch of fabric, or someone’s living room.
  5. The very nature of a table, just like the food eaten at it, is ephemeral – so just enjoy yourself and have fun! Tomorrow brings a new day, and a new tablescape…

And her ideal eat, drink and listen menu:

My favourite way to eat is lots of dishes to share. So I’m thinking: sourdough with whipped butter, a bunch of yummy salad-leaning dishes built on beans, grains, fruit and vegetables, a juicy chilled red, and, to finish – chocolate mousse with olive oil.

As for the soundtrack, this may sound self-indulgent, but I can’t stop listening to our wedding playlist. It holds so many special memories.

Zoe wears: Rosie Blazer in Black, Doris Skirt in Black, Jeanne Shirt in Beige, Rosmunda Jumper in Cream, Flower Pin in Cream

Photographed by Rubin Utama.