Photography by Daisy Bradford
Hi Anita! Tell us a little about your background?
I was born in Romania into a communist dictatorship. My parents were in their early twenties when they had me – I was born in their student room on campus- they were both just finishing their degree as engineers.
It was tough times in Romania and my parents decided to escape to Germany with me and my brothers when we were still kids. We moved around Germany- the first year we lived in refugee housing but luckily my dad found a job in his profession quickly and we became citizens.
I would lie if I said it was easy – my parents started from scratch in a foreign country with three kids and no support net of relatives or friends around. My mum was working all kinds of jobs from scrubbing floors to kitchen hand in restaurants and so on – although she is engineer and spoke German fluently (She now works an engineer too, I am incredibly proud of her!)
Regardless of all the obstacles my parents made sure there was always enough for us and we learned from a young age to work for things we want in life.
We moved around a lot and I never felt home in Germany so I tried to live with my aunt in the states when I was sixteen, moved back and finished high school.
That’s when I first came to Australia – 11 years ago. I knew I was going to live in Byron, but my journey took me around the globe to Argentina for a number of years. The reason was a boy. I’ve studied fashion at Uni there and moved back Australia by myself six years ago. To make a long story short – it’s my home now and I couldn’t be happier. I met boyfriend over five years ago and recently have added a little street kitten to our household.
How long have you been dressmaking for and what's your personal style like?
I love creating - I'm a dreamer and a maker, and always have been. From a little girl, when we escaped Romania and into a better future for us kids, all I did was disappear into the world of books and I loved dressing like my favourite characters.
I had my grandma help me make the clothes that I was inspired to design from the characters in my books. From Frill dresses with aprons to hand knitted sets and jumpers. Later on I was scoping out flee markets and altering what I could find to dress like the Spice Girls or other stars I've adored. I was selling my pre-loved stuff there to buy something new to create- not much has changed, haha.
We didn't have school uniforms, so the dressing was an important way of expressing myself. Trust me I went all out some days and it wasn't seen as the most desirable from peers in the early years. Later those skills came in handy with girlfriends and after finishing my Degree in Fashion at Uni in Argentina. I always knew that there was no other path than creating. And without planning or even considering something like that - Instagram came along and created opportunities I could only dream of for me.
My personal style is probably best described as eclectic – I don’t like stereotypes. I wear what I feel like wearing or I choose the clothes by how they make me feel.
You can find me at home covered in threads sewing in a beautiful gown or wearing my boyfriend’s shirt to a party – or vice versa. Never know. I like to surprise myself.
Are you a conscious shopper? What are some things you look out for before you make a purchase?
One thing is certain – I look for quality and versatility in whatever I buy. Well made pieces that I want to wear over and over again for years to come.
I love vintage – pieces that have ‘lived’ for generations and have a story to tell.
With my background dressmaker I’m super conscious about how the garments are sewn together and which fabrics have been used. I’m not a fan of overlocked seams or threads that are unravelling in the first wear.
I would lie if I said that all the pieces I own are sustainably made – but I am making a conscious effort to support brands that are working towards a sustainable future. I know how difficult it is to opt for sustainably and ethically accredited options as a brand.
What do you love most about the Australian fashion industry and do you see light at the end of the tunnel for the industry?
I love that many brands are looking into sustainable alternatives in fibres, fabrics and in energy used in their factories. As well as making sure to produce ethically. I love the idea of No- seasons and just releasing small drops of pieces or made to order in Australia. In our times where everything is so short lived it is even more important to understand that waiting and saving up for something that you really like increases its value and makes it so much more fun.
What has been one of your favourite activities during Iso days?
What keeps me sane is my daily yoga hour and cardio, I’ve been loving all the online classes. Favs are Hustle and Creature Yoga. As well I’ve started going for walks just around Bangalow the little hinterland town I live in. My absolute favourite part is spending all day with our kitty Mr Myagi.