From the Kennedys to the Kardashians, family dynamics are as intricate and as intriguing as ever. Here, Dubai-based model Mimi Labouchere, 18, and her artist mother, Caroline, 51, discuss the beauty and benefits of a relationship built on love, style and stealing each other’s clothes...
Harper's BAZAAR Arabia: How would you describe your personal style?
Caroline: I would say I’m casual, I like jeans and a tee.
Mimi: Or a shift dress.
Caroline: Yes, things that are easy. You put a bit more thought into your outfits.
Mimi: Yeah, I do spend a lot of time getting ready... (laughs).
Caroline: Every morning, it’s like, ‘Mum, what should I wear?’ I always say, ‘Why didn’t you think about this last night?!’
Mimi: I do that! And then I change my mind.
Caroline: I think you’re possibly more conscious about being seen because it’s your job [as a model]. So if you’re seen by someone, it could lead to another job.
Mimi: Yeah, I like making connections and I’m always thinking about that, so wherever I go, I always want to make an impression.
Caroline: Whereas I just want to be comfortable.
HBA: What is your favourite thing about each other’s style?
Mimi: I like her diamonds because I’m going to get them one day! (laughs).
Caroline: Well, then! (laughs) I think my favourite thing about Mimi’s style is that she puts herself together really well.
HBA: Favourite brands?
Mimi: I lean more towards Topshop but I’ve slowly stopped shopping there. I try and shop more when I’m abroad. I just buy what I like when I see it.
Caroline: I live in Hogan shoes. And I’d also say Zara and Aéropostale. I also wear a lot of your clothes. We share everything. If anything’s missing I know where it is. On your floor, normally.
Mimi: I was very impressed when you bought those shoes [points to Caroline’s white platform sneakers] from Topshop by yourself!
HBA: What have you learnt from each other about style?
Mimi: You’ve taught me...
Caroline: Shoulders back.
Mimi: Yes, and not to be conservative as such, but you’ll say ‘Legs or chest, never both.’
Caroline: And take one thing off.
Mimi: Sometimes I wear some daring pieces and you hate the colour orange and I have a couple of items in that colour. Sometimes they work, you do say that.
Caroline: You do suit orange and green, of which I wear neither.
HBA: Who are your style icons?
Mimi: I’m young so at the moment I look at...
Caroline: Don’t you even!
Mimi: ...Kendall Jenner.
Caroline: I knew you were going to say her.
Mimi: I wasn’t going to say the Kardashians! I’m not looking at them, I like Kendall. She’s more high fashion. I actually copied her; I got a Fendi pom pom for my keys.
Caroline: For me, I like people like Sharon Stone. Actresses, mostly.
Mimi: You’ll take photos of hair on TV, styles you like.
Caroline: Yes, I have plenty of files on Pinterest. Hair, make-up, bags...
HBA: What’s at the top of your wish list?
Caroline: One day I would like to own a Chanel jacket. Mimi: You used to say you wanted Louboutins?
Caroline: I don’t want those any more because I don’t think I’d be able to walk in them! (laughs) I’d also really like a Louis Vuitton bag with my initials monogrammed on it.
Mimi: I want a denim jacket with a monogram on the back. I’ve got a picture. Like the one Gigi Hadid has with ‘Hadid’ on the back. I love her. But mum wasn’t that impressed, you don’t think she’s that gorgeous do you?
Caroline: Yes, I’ve seen more gorgeous people.
Mimi: Look, here’s the jacket [gestures the phone towards Caroline].
Caroline: I don’t think I’d want Labouchere written on a jacket.
Mimi: You don’t have to get just that.
HBA: Does social media affect your style?
Mimi: Yes I definitely look to social media for inspiration. If I’m going on a night out, I’ll look at the pages of the places I’m going on Facebook and see what people have worn there. Also, if there’s a particular person I want to look like that day, I’ll go and look at what they’ve paired together and see if I’ve got anything similar. The amount of screenshots I have on my phone...
HBA: Is the need to be ‘liked’ on social media detrimental to your feeling of self-worth?
Caroline: I get quite a lot of likes on Facebook! I don’t think it affects my self-worth though.
Mimi: Whereas I do. If I post a picture on Instagram and it gets over 100 likes, I feel good. But if I get 40 likes, I start thinking, ‘Why? Who’s not liking it?’ and then I delete it because I don’t want it on my profile.
Caroline: See, this is why I don’t want to get involved with Instagram, because then I would worry. I don’t need that!
HBA: What would you say is your biggest similarity?
Caroline: We both have the same sense of humour. And I would say that we’re both probably a bit insecure. We both always want to look our best because we’re insecure, I guess. You want to look the part that you maybe aren’t inside. Is that fair? Mimi: I agree. I think we both have similar insecurities also. We’re very similar on the inside.
HBA: What do you admire most about the other?
Caroline: I admire you going out and doing what you want to do because Dad and I haven’t helped you in any way. It’s all you’ve ever wanted to do, to be a model, and you went out and found yourself a lot of work without any help. I’m most proud of you going out to follow your dreams.
Mimi: That’s a tough one to beat. I’m emotional now! (laughs) I think for me, it’s knowing that you’re always there for me. I tell you everything. I’m proud that I have a mum I can do that with because a lot of people don’t. You make everything okay.
As told to Maddison Glendinning