Bernadette Cooper first appeared on my Style Radar at the Brisbane Racing Carnival Ladies Luncheon. I was definitely in the minority at this event as one of only a handful of women who’d chosen to NOT wear a fascinator. So you can imagine my relief when this breath of fresh-air stepped on to the stage for her interview with Victoria Carthew – not only also NOT wearing a fascinator, but dressed in pants and boots. Not only was her story “fascinating” but so was her unique style!
It can take some courage to wear clothes that are more in keeping with one’s own style/personality than to simply follow a dress-code, and as a female jockey, Bernadette’s outfit choice was simply perfect!Of course there are many occasions that dictate certain dress codes, but it is also important to understand what you feel confident in, and to stay true to your signature style too. If you keep the inside and out in sync and do it well – just like Bernadette did – confidence will be the stand-out feature, not your clothes. It was that confidence that inspired me to interview Bernadette – to get to know the person behind the style and share some of her story with you now…
Born in Brisbane 37 years ago, Sky Racing World Presenter Bernadette Cooper is one of 2 children. She attended Trinity Bay High in Cairns.
Bernadette says that she likes to have fun and not take things too seriously, although admits that sometimes she can be a little – or a lot – short-tempered. “I put it down to being a red-head (although I bleach my hair now) Arian woman.”
When asked about her family or the things she loves most, she beams “I love my partner because he is so patient with me. My daughter Stella is four and likes to do all the important things like play acting any of the Disney princess personalities, colouring-in or riding ponies. I also have a poodle called Mojo who I got when I was riding in Macau and cost me a small fortune to get back to Australia. He is the best dog in the world and I swear he is a person in a dog-suit! So much so, that sometimes I feel self-conscious if I am naked in front of him! I think my dog loves me because I know exactly what he is thinking and I mean exactly! And I provide him with everything he needs- especially lots of love!”
I would describe my “signature style” as “comfortable most of the time, although sometimes quirky.”
My most memorable style/fashion moment was “wearing my tiger pants to the ladies luncheon the other day. It did seem a little different to everyone else, not that it is such a bad thing!”
Style Icon – “I don’t have one particular style icon – I am happy to run along with trends as well as buck them when I feel the urge.”
The colour I have most of in my wardrobe is “black or anything earthy. I am a real Autumn person.”
My partner loves it when I wear “something I am comfortable in, and am relaxed and happy and content”
My favourite physical feature “is probably my bottom. It’s defying gravity quite well.”
My least favourite physical feature “is my skinny calves”
My favourite personal feature “is that I am humanist.”
My very own “Secret” beauty or styling tip is “odourless sorbolene cream, used all over, every day.”
My wardrobe favourite is “boots”
My favourite store/s are “Hunt ‘n Gather or somewear like Portmans for corporate/work type clothing.”
AND SOME OTHER INTERESTING SNIPPETS
My favourite restaurant – Sono and my favourite food is Japanese.
Rugby or AFL or League? Either
Black or white? Black
Royalist or republican? Republican
Beach or bush? Bush
Morning or night? Morning
Winter or summer? Winter
What do you do for exercise/to stay (or get) fit? Run and cycle
My favourite drink is tea
I love people who laugh and people who are mildly ambitious
When I leave this earth I want to be remembered for being compassionate, blazing a path for women in racing, and animal rights
When I grow up I want to be an Atheist Mother Teresa
My biggest weakness is crying when I watch human interest stories
What are you most afraid of? climate change
If money was no object, where would you most like to be/see yourself now/or in 5 years time?.just content in career and family
My pet hate is litterers.
I am truly passionate about Amnesty and what they do.
What I want my children (or the next generation) to know is how to look after their world, the value of conservation
Mum/Dad always said/taught me to leave a place as I find it- tidy up be kind to others and animals.
I think what makes a person “truly stylish” is a sense of what is appropriate
Something not many people would know about me is I spent a year on Lamma Island, living like a hippie at times!
Editor’s Note: Well, having learned a few more things about the woman behind the style, this interview really shows us all just how in sync Bernadette’s individual style is with the person she is on the inside! Ofcourse a jockey would like mornings (she’d bein trouble if she didn’t!); Ofcourse she’d like winter (again, if she couldn’t cope with the cold/early mornings, she’d be well advised to choose a different line of work!); Ofcourse, being at one with horses, she’d value animal rights, conservation, the bush (over beach) and her favourite clothing item would be boots!
‘Onya Bernadette! Thanks for being part of my Stylish People’s series. You’re truly down-to-earth nature is so refreshing. You really are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside!