So this next blog is going to take a slightly different approach than most of my previous ones. Usually I’m telling you all about my favourite designers, different eras in fashion history, places that are iconic or people who inspire me. But today I feel like I should tell you a bit more about myself and the person I’ve become along this journey. I’ve previously given snippets of my path in fashion and how I got to where I am, but something inside me says that I should delve deeper and give more. So here goes! Stick with me on this one if you can, I’ll try and keep it fun and as fashionable as possible!
Discovering that I had a love and talent for fashion came as a surprise to me, as it did too many others I’m sure. I think I was about 15, and it was the first time I’d ever sat in front of a sewing machine. I had seen my mother sew for my brother and me as a child, but had no interest in it what so ever. It wasn’t something that the kids at school considered cool, so of course I was never going to be honest and say that I actually liked it when I first started. But I soon discovered that I was essentially pretty good at it, and started receiving recognition for the few items of clothing I began to whip up on the machine. It grew for here and I soon discovered that apparently you could make money out of this, so bam!! I was going to enter the rag trade! By the time my final high school year arrived, I was firm in my knowing that I was off to university to study fashion and design and start living the dream, or so I thought.
It didn’t take long to figure out there was so much more to it, and it was so competitive. But my years at uni and living in the big smoke were awesome. I learnt so much, developed new skills, found my niche in vintage fashion, and opened my eyes to the big wide world. At times it was scary, I wanted to come home to everyone and everything I knew, but persistence pays off. If you really want something, you’ve just got to go for it. Sacrifices were made, as were some tough decisions, but when my models walked out onto the catwalk at my final year graduation parade, I’d never felt so much excitement, adrenaline and love from all those around me.
And then the real hard work started! Study was a breeze compared to finding a job in the industry. Nobody wants to know you unless you’ve had a few years’ experience, but how do you get experience if no one wants to give you a chance? The one thing I don’t think uni prepared me for was just how tough it was going to be. A qualification on a piece of paper means nothing. You’ve got to prove yourself. I slogged it out in a retail job to begin with before I thought I’d hit the jackpot and landed a job within a local fashion business. Again, no one tells you all the bad stuff that you might encounter, how ruthless people can be, and what it can do to your state of mind. So needless to say that first year out in the industry was tough, the kind of stuff that can break a person, or make you stronger. I’d like to think it was the second option, but I sadly don’t think it was.
After feeling sad and sorry for myself, and being unemployed for six months, my break finally came. I applied for a job out of the Sunday paper, in a small dressmaking and alterations business. I got it! And five years later when I left, I’d worked my way through the business to the top rung. It was basic to start with, altering the suits of wealthy business men, and sewing the hems on new eveningwear purchases. But my role developed, and I was able to introduce a more custom made side to the business, with Spring Racing Carnival our busiest time of year. Like many people do in their jobs, I became stale, and the calling to be closer to my family was stronger than ever.
Ten years after I left my country home town, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life and chose to go back home. The city life had been amazing, so many things to do and see. So many amazing people and opportunities. The nightlife was amazing, the art galleries, the shops, the bars and restaurants were world class. But nothing says home more like family, so back to mine I went. Have I ever regretted it, absolutely not! It was exactly what I needed at that time in my life.
It was here that my journey in fashion kind of stalled for a little while. Country towns like mine don’t really have a need for a now experienced fashionista (unlike Dungatar and Tilly Dunnage)! So a different path I took, again in retail to give myself an income, to save some money and hopefully down the track the alluring lights of the runway would come calling again. Did it happen like this, not so much! I took a break from sewing for a while, and pondered what I really wanted. I’d always had this thing for writing, for putting stuff down on paper. I also had been thinking for a long time about having my own fashion blog, but it seemed way too scary to even start. But just over twelve months ago now start is what I did, and loved it I have! I’m still navigating this whole blogging thing, not entirely sure if I’m doing it right, but then I don’t think there is a right way, just what works for you. I’ve discovered that being brave isn’t something that comes naturally to me, I have to work on it. Why is it when women reach a certain point in their life and they don’t have all the things society expects, that we give ourselves a hard time. F*@# You Society!!
So where am I now? I’m right here, writing this story and not entirely sure if it will ever see the light of day! I’ve been trying to put more time and energy into my blog, to develop it, to let the world know that it exists, and to try and drum up some more business for my small yet hopeful dressmaking atelier that I operate from my home. I work a full time job that has opened many doors for me and helped me to develop my own personal skills in leadership. I’ve made some terrific friends who I know I’ll have for life, and I’ve discovered a new found passion to do what I love.
So what’s the end goal, what’s the dream now? Well I’ve got two! The first would be to get myself a sugar daddy and spend my summers on a yacht in St Tropez! The other slightly more appropriate one, is to be a costume designer to honour my love for vintage fashion. Am I working towards it? Slowly but surely. What else do I want from this thing called life? I want to love, I want to smile every day, I want to surround myself with family and friends. I want to travel the world, sip champagne under the Eifel Tower (again!), own a pair of Jimmy Choo’s and fill my home with books and photographs that I’ve collected along the way. I want those around me to succeed. I want women to feel strong and to be brave, bold and go after what you want. We are all worth it!
I’ll leave you with a quote that I discovered the other day from Apple Inc, and it truly struck a chord with me – “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rule. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Let’s all be crazy together!
Love Always, Anastacia Rose xx