Updated: May 25
My Aunt Raffaelina was the quintessential Italian Fashionista. While I was born in Australia, I’m of Italian heritage and I first met my aunt when I was eleven years old, when we travelled to Italy to meet all our relatives.
(Photo: The home where my aunt and uncle lived)
Aunt Raffaelina was THE seamstress of her town. My uncle Vittorio would assist her with cutting the fabric, tape measure flung around his neck, ensuring efficiency with his trick of using two pairs of fabric scissors, one in each hand, to simultaneously cut through the fabric. They created beauty by working out of their tiny apartment, with their old Singer sewing machine, light streaming in from the little window which peered out to the piazza.
My trip to Italy was an exciting adventure lasting three months and one of my highlights was when Aunt Raffaelina made me a custom collection of my very own clothes. She was a quiet yet passionate Italian lady with a love of beautiful fabrics and was insanely talented with her sewing machine.
Only once did she take my measurements and with them, proceeded to make me a whole variety of clothes over those three months. I will never forget that time. I was amazed that she made me the most beautiful clothes; she could whip up an outfit in forty-eight hours on a sewing machine! And they fit perfectly.
(Photos from left to right: 1. My Aunt Raffaelina and Uncle Vittorio, 2. My mum is on the right with the dark outfit with my older brother and my mum's sister with her daughter)
Those precious moments with my talented Italian aunt showed me what it meant to be a true fashionista; seeing fashion as a means of self-expression, rather than something that involves conforming to trends. Thanks to her, I internalised a valuable lesson: fashion should be made for us, not the other way around.
Think back to the past for a second; back in the day, your great-great grandmother would have had her clothes tailored according to her own personal style choices and measurements: sewn by her own hand, or by a dressmaker.
Now, thanks to fast-fashion, we have a LOT of clothes but they are just more and more of the same style, fabric and fit. We have LESS customised advice and LESS time to figure out what suits us before the next trend swoops in. We end up with a LOT more impulse buys and experiences of ‘purchase regret’.
Oh, for the days of dressmakers and tailors. Nothing compares to seeing one’s own designs coming to life. I remember the most wonderful green and daisy print top and pants suit Aunt Raffaelina made me. Now that’s what I call a masterpiece original, not some ‘fad’.
This precious experience with my auntie was the small thread that eventually grew into what is the MyDesign App today. We are only on the very first stage of our App journey and we have more exciting, fashion adventures to take our App users on in the future.
We want to harness the best of both worlds; the customised, tailored fashion approach of the past, with the technological advancements of the present.
We want to give you, dear App users, permission to be creatively unique.
It is overwhelming to be in a world of endless fashion choices and sometimes it is hard to know what style will suit you. With this app you will gain the confidence to design, create and bring to life an endless array of possibilities.
Ciao, happy outfit designing!