SSo I meet up with the lovely Alina from viastyle.com.au at Warrandyte Cafe in Warrandyte, Melbourne for Fabulous Femme’s Coffee Time segment. It’s a gorgeous summery day, perfect for a coffee with an inspiring lady. Warrandyte cafe has a little outdoor area where we enjoyed some delicious coffee and brunch under the shade of gum trees. The staff are lovely and the food was good. Definitely worth a visit.
Gee that was long time ago! That shows my age, doesn’t it? My first job was in Romania, my homeland working for the Italian brand Sergio Tacchini. I was doing a bit of everything – personal assistant to the General Manager, merchandising the stores, trying on samples and helping out with the sales efforts. I loved every minute of it and it was in that time of my life when I became completely captivated by fashion.
How did you get into what you are doing?
Where I’m from, people don’t really get into fashion. There were no reality shows about stylists when I was young, so I wasn’t even aware of what a stylist was. I didn’t even realise I was styling my friends until much later! So I got myself into market research jobs, working as a Consumer Research Manager for more than 10 years for big companies such as ACNielsen, Roy Morgan Research and Pacific Brands here in Australia. But I was craving a more creative role. Once I had children, my passion became a reality and I founded viaStyle. I did a course on Professional Styling in the areas of Photo, Film, TV and Personal Styling with the Australian College of Professional Styling. When I graduated I started building my own business.
Was there someone who inspired you to get started?
As a stylist, Rachel Zoe is always an inspiration. I am also inspired by all the women out there who juggle family, career and are not afraid to follow they dreams.
What drives you to keep going?
I’m a pretty driven and stubborn person but I’ll say my kids. They provide my daily inspiration and they motivate me to be the best I can be – both as a Mum and stylist!
What do you love most about what you are doing?
I feel glamorous (yes, I’m a Glamorous Femme!) and creative! I treat my own every day dressing as an art. It’s also what I like about styling. I think it’s incredible to be able to work with art every day and create it and be part of it. It’s an amazing experience!
Is there anything you dislike about your job?
Not really. No.
What has been the highlight so far?
There have been few but nothing beats the reward I receive when being able to give somebody else the confidence they deserve. This is what truly inspires me and what I love about personal styling. It’s a great feeling to be able to boost the confidence of women out there – one wardrobe at a time!
What do you want to achieve in 5 years?
I would like to style kids more – it’s so much fun styling little people. Their little bodies are flawless so you can just mix and match and have fun dressing them up! Bringing more gorgeous and unique designer party dresses for girls is always on my list. And I want to be happy and healthy. I want my kids and my whole family to be happy and healthy. That’s all. The rest will fall into place.
Where’s the most fabulous place you have been to?
From a fashion point of view, there is no other place like Europe! I love the shops in Florence and Milan (and of course, Paris!) – the clothes, the shoes, the creative window displays and to not forget the glamorously dressed shop assistants! From a relaxing, dreamy, paradise point of view I am totally in love with the Maldivian islands! We’ll be back holidaying there for sure!
If we came over to your place for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
A combination of Romanian and Italian cuisine (my husband is Italian, hence my love for Italian food!) A white zucchini lasagne and salata de vinete (Romanian eggplant salad) are my specialties!
How long does it take to do your make-up each day?
I’m not wearing too much make-up to be honest. When you are in your thirties you should start investing more in skincare than make-up so this is what I’m doing at the moment. So I’ll say no longer than 10-15 minutes. A bit longer for special occasions.
What’s your favourite mood lifter?
When I can tear myself away from my beloved family and laptop, I enjoy fine dining…and wining! Pounding the shopping streets of Melbourne, Florence or anywhere in between is another favourite mood lifter!
How would you describe your (fashion) style?
To me, clothing is a form of self-expression – there are hints about who you are in what you wear. I’m definitely not part of the ‘throw-away’ generation. I have a respect for quality and like Carine Roitfeld, I like things that get better as they age. I make a point out of not labelling my own style, as I worry it might limit me from exploring new things. I always love wearing white, pastels – especially pastel blue. I also tend to not pile things on. I love a piece of clothing that speaks for itself, and doesn’t need lots of accessories to stand out. Trends aren’t important to me, it’s more about wearing things I don’t see everywhere. I trust my instinct and what excites me.
Finish the sentence: To be happy, fabulous and successful, a woman should
… develop her own sense of style and confidence.
Can you tell us what are you wearing today?
Yes, of course. My dress is from a French label called Maje. Their dresses are fashion forward without the huge price tag and they are just so easy to wear. My ankle strip pumps are from Valentino Garavani and my disco bag from Gucci. Sunnies are always Ray Ban aviators and my watch is actually a man watch from Raymond Weil.
[testimonials type=”small, large”]
[testimonial name=”Coco Chanel” company=”from Alina, viastyle.com.au” image=””]Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live.[/testimonial]
Location: Warrandyte Cafe, Warrandyte
Styling: Dress from Maje, Shoes from Valentino Garavani, Bag: Gucci, Sunnies: Ray Ban