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Carcel Portraits: The Voegele-Downings

The girls have spent their childhood mostly in Dorset riding Ponies instead of bicycles, learning to Sail, hanging out at the beach, swimming in the nearby sea, sleeping under the stars ..."

Vanessa Voegele-Downing and her three daughters joined photographer Ronan McKenzie for a Carcel shoot in the outskirts of London. Here's two of them, talking about their family relation.

 

Esmeralda, ZenobiaVanessa and Zuleika in Carcel Milano Outfits.  Photography by Ronan McKenzie.

Vanessa Voegele-Downing, 53. Mama, Style Blogger and Model.


Describe your relation to your three daughters.

I really enjoyed my career as a model living in Paris for 14 years. I travelled, partied and worked hard. None of that prepared me for the commitment, devotion and love that I felt the nanosecond that my first child Esmeralda Violet appeared! It was such an incredibly overwhelming sense of ‘YES!! ‘ that soon after came Zenobia Crimson, followed by Zuleika Lavender. I’d won the lottery, three beautiful daughters!


How did you raise your children?

The girls have spent their childhood mostly in Dorset riding Ponies instead of bicycles, learning to Sail, hanging out at the beach, swimming in the nearby sea, sleeping under the stars running quite wild and free on our farm and loving animals and nature.

I love doing anything at all with my daughters. They are full of ideas, enthusiastic, funny, kind, challenging, full of integrity, and they are strong supportive females who exude positive energy. Having my babies is the best thing that i’ve ever done. I feel that I have grown my own best friends.


What do you love to do when you are all together?

Showing my daughters the world and seeing their reactions has been incredible. We have had mad holidays ranging from The Himalayas to LA and sharing the experiences of different cultures with them is fabulous.

I love the family occasions that are rituals like birthdays. We are very close and all quite busy now, so when we all have uninterrupted time together then i’m at my happiest. We could be hanging out in front of the TV, at the theatre, trawling through vintage stores and charity shops or eating anywhere. The togetherness is what’s important to me.


Any special family memory you would share?

I have so many special memories, but my most recent special memory is watching all three of them walk in the AW18 Press Show for Marques Almeida. They were beautiful, purposeful and empowered young females.  I’ve been proud of them since they took their first breaths. My Three Graces.

Shop the Milano Outfit Here.

Esmeralda Violet Voegele-Downing, 22. Writer.

 

In a few words, describe your relation to your family.

I’m the eldest daughter of the family; my parents’ first experiment and everyone’s big sister.

 

Where and how did you grow up?

I grew up partly in London, partly in Paris, and partly in Dorset. Most of my memories are from Dorset, like walking alongside blackberry hedges during the summer and stomping in rivers to break the ice in winter.

 

What do you love to do when you are all together?

When we’re all together we tend to watch movies - the kind with multiple instalments. No phones are allowed but we talk all the way through about what the characters are doing, which usually leads to the birth of five thousand new in-jokes.

 

Any special family memory you would share?

One of my favourite family memories is when we went to Lapland on holiday. I’d say the Aurora Borealis was my favourite part, but actually it was watching my parents try haphazardly to control a husky-drawn sled with my sisters and I on it.

 

 

 

Zuleika Lavender Voegele-Downing, 17. Actress.

 

In a few words, describe your relation to your family.

We’re a very close family, we generally get along - of course we have discrepancies just as any family does but I think were all like minded strong women who want to lift each other up. I think it’s important for us as women to do so; especially regarding the circumstances were living in and the movements that we’re experiencing at the moment.

 

Where and how did you grow up/raise your children?

I grew up in the Dorset countryside; I was happy to go outside and run around with our chicken, go on walks in the rain or long bike rides with my sisters. I was very active, we own horses and we had one from a young age which encouraged me to be outside more. Growing up I was never the type to stay clear of the mud due to the places we lived and how I was raised. I remember my childhood happily. I think of being with my sisters having tea on a blanket outside and eating cake with our extremely friendly chickens sat amongst us eating the cake too.

 

What do you love to do when you are all together?

When were all together we like to play games, a family favourite is ‘Old Maid’ - we have ongoing joke of who is the true old maid. We also like to settle down and watch a film or tv programme together, we like to make our way through series’ like the original ‘Pride and Prejudice’. Were currently making our way through all the Twilight films, previously we watched all the ‘Harry Potters’ but I'm not sure what we will venture to next.

 

Any special family memory you would share?

When I was younger, we as a family used to go on holiday during the summer to a beautiful house in Scotland called Wester Brewlands. We would go with family friends and stay there for a week or so. My birthday would often fall on the time we were there so I have many funny memories of having a picnic in the clearing near the boat house, we would be cocooned in an array of wild flowers and long grass; the sun would be shedding a golden shade on us. I also remember rowing on the lake, I was tiny and rather afraid of falling in so I would sit by my father as he rowed us. He would often splash weeds and water onto the passengers and there would usually be someone purposefully rocking the boat, but when I got over my fear it was beautiful. Even in the rain.

 

Shop the Milano Outfit Here.
Carcel Portraits: The Voegele-Downings Carcel Portraits: The Voegele-Downings