Singer and mother of five boys, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, hasn't let motherhood quell her sequin obsession. In fact, her youngest son, 2-year old Mickey, shares a room with her extensive wardrobe of sequins, feathers, and lurex.
Sophie's wonderfully joyous kitchen discos, born during the first lockdown, and filmed in the family's colourful house in West London, became a Friday night mood-lifter for the tens of thousands of people who tuned in.
A Rosa Bloom sequin jumpsuit was Sophie's outfit of choice for the very first kitchen disco, and at the time of writing, she has filmed almost 20 kitchen discos with the help of her bass-player husband, Richard. Bloom sequins have made a regular appearance, so when Sophie invited me to be a guest on her 'Spinning Plates' podcast, on which she talks to working mothers, the answer was an instant 'yes'.
Sophie gets her sons involved in the sequin action during one of the first kitchen discos
And so on a crisp day towards the end of 2020, I stepped into the actual kitchen of kitchen disco fame, complete with Bloom sequin bunting (which has become a permanent fixture draped over the recognisable bay window backdrop of the kitchen discos)
Amidst the charming kitsch decor, and with the occasional appearance of one of her sons around the kitchen door, Sophie and I sat down to talk about the juggle of balancing work and motherhood.
If you'd like to hear our chat about the joy of sequins, the story behind Rosa Bloom, communal living, postnatal depression in fathers, and lots more, you can give it a listen below, or wherever you usually get your podcasts.
"With the return of music festivals on the horizon (WOOO!!) it seems super fitting that my guest this week on Spinning Plates is Rosa Bloom - the woman behind the label Rosa Bloom. I adore her clothes as they make me feel like a superhero and have helped me through the last year as armour for the kitchen disco and joyful sparkle for the Crying at the Discotheque video. In our chat I hear about growing up in a household shared by three families, and about how she and her husband chose a new family name when they had their little boy. She also tells me about how her husband offered to take over as primary carer of their little boy when he was a few months old, helping her continue with her company but resulting in him being diagnosed with post-natal depression. Thank you to Rosa and her husband for letting us speak about that.. I think our chat will resonate with folk. In other news, I can’t wait to be back in the sequins in a festival field soon! Not long now.
In the podcast, Sophie tells me that the only thing she knew when she invited me to be a guest (apart from the fact that I made sequin outfits that made her feel empowered) was that when we got married, my husband Sam and I (pictured below) had decided to start a new family name, and both changed our surnames to 'Bloom'! Sam has recently re-launched his business (complete with new name) after taking time out to care for our son - check out his website samludgatebloom.com to see the beautiful things he makes.
We also talk about how Sophie's kitchen discos struck a chord with so many people, and gave them permission to dress up in sequins and dance around their kitchens at a time when things were pretty bleak.
The live kitchen disco videos became such a hit that Sophie's latest album, titled 'Songs From The Kitchen Disco', is a 'Best Of' compilation, featuring her favourite songs performed at the kitchen discos. On the cover she wears our Juno sequin shorts with a vibrant printed fringed leotard from one of our fellow independent designers and friends, L.O.M.
The first single from the album, a popular kitchen disco number, is Crying At The Discotheque, which was released mid-lockdown in the UK. In the poignant music video for the song, Sophie performs in iconic music venues across London, all empty due to covid restrictions. Her Rosa Bloom sequin jumpsuit glitters like a disco ball as she sings to the deserted auditoriums in the famous venues, which include The O2, G.A.Y, London Palladium, and the St. Moritz Club.
"I loved making this video to highlight what’s going on in the live music world at the moment", said Sophie on her Twitter account when the song was released.
Being on Sophie's podcast was such a pleasure, and also a special opportunity to reflect on the adventures of becoming a mother whilst also running a business. If you do give it a listen, I'd love to know what you thought.