5 questions with… events designer and producer, Fiona Leahy
Fiona Leahy is renowned for designing extraordinary events. Here, she talks to Talitha about creative inspiration, red wine and the secret to overnight success…
- My occupation is… I’m the creative director and founder of my events company, Fiona Leahy Design, which I began 13 years ago when I produced the wedding of Marilyn Manson and Dita von Teese. It has been a creative whirlwind ever since and I now design and produce events all over the world. What I love most about my job is that I get to channel my creative inspirations through my work because there are so many facets to designing an event. I love to travel, too, and my work is an opportunity to discover places that I otherwise wouldn’t. I’ve always been very into wellbeing, so having a work/life balance is essential to me, as is meditation. I meditate in taxis, on planes and generally wherever I can and I sleep a minimum of eight hours a night. I also workout about four times a week and am a big fan of transformational breathing. For me, everything comes back to breath – it’s free and easy to do and no apps are required! I have to be honest, though, and admit that there’s a wealth of wellbeing to be found in a good bottle of Barolo. I think a great red can alleviate most problems, so breath and Barolo.
The hardest lesson I learned was… Not to take things so personally – I’m actually still working on that one. I’m one of those people whose work and life is really one and if something goes wrong, it really knocks me. I believe in work as a connection to source and that what we do in all aspects of our lives has a consequence and a meaning. The worst thing that has happened to me has been having ideas of mine blatantly copied. It used to drive me nuts but now I realise that ultimately, it’s a compliment and an affirmation that what I am doing has meaning and inspires. I’m not saying it’s easy but I am now more mindful of my reactions.
- For me, the meaning of life is… Living in a really authentic and truthful way. Karma is a big one for me, as is living my truth, balancing my work life with charitable pursuits and laughing wherever and however I can.
- If I had to impart one piece of advice it would be… Pay your dues – careers and business do not happen overnight. It takes seven years to be an apprentice in many crafts and it is no different when you’re carving out a career or a business. In this age of immediacy and entitlement, it’s important to recognise that hard work does pay off and that there is no sustainable fast track to success.
- I wear Talitha because… Talitha clothes make me feel like a very glamorous gypsy! It’s completely the bohemian, beautiful, effortless style that I love to wear. I adore embroidery and embellishment and I like to float or appear as if I am and Talitha is totally my style. I throw the embroidered shawl over absolutely everything, even over leggings and a tank for pilates – they elevate the ordinary.
Fiona wears embroidered kimono shawls from Talitha's first and second collections