We have taken some time out Behind the Scenes to chat with the lovely Begitta after our feature shoot in the Current issue of GCMAG and talk all things fashion and Miss Universe Australia with the talented designer
Tell us about Miss Universe Australia and your work on #TheMissUniverseProject It’s been an incredible journey. As Official Gown Partner for the Queensland team we have been working tirelessly behind the scenes. Creating 5 one-of-a-kind custom gowns in under a month has been an incredible challenge. Taking on two wild cards 2 weeks prior to Nationals was also a huge surprise but working with the girls was an absolute dream, they are all so beautiful so it made my job easy!
What was your process in working with the girls?
Sitting down with each of the girls and discussing what they envisioned for their dream gown by gathering imagery and colour swatches that they loved. Once we had an idea of what they loved I then went away and designed each gown in detail infusing them with true Begitta aesthetic and my own spin. Each gown made-to-measure specifically with hand sewn details and finishings. It’s a lengthy process we usually work on over a 5-6 month period and somehow I managed to complete 5 in a single month with very little sleep. Miracles happen!
Talk about when you got started in your career. How old were you and what inspired you to pursue it?
I’ve always been very creative. I would spend hours as a child drawing and making things and I’ve always loved dressing up. The teachers at my Kindergarten would wait at the gate “To see what Begitta is wearing today”. You could say it all begun from the beginning! I guess I have always been drawn to creativity, theatrics and pretty things; it was a natural succession to end up doing something (or everything!) creative for a living!
What is the biggest challenge in your career thus far?
Balancing work and life! When you are so passionate about something it becomes your whole being. The phrase “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life” is so true but it is just learning to find the OFF button that becomes the challenge, for me it’s much like trying to find a needle in the haystack.
Have you ever met someone who had a major impact on your career?
I completed my studies in Paris a few years ago. This was something that has impacted my life and my career more than I could ever understand. The teachers and instructors I worked under have, of course, shaped who I am today. In particularly a woman named Madame Picco, a couturier hand for Madame Gres for over 25 years. Gres was a visionary in the areas of draping and couture, she created masterpieces for the likes of Jackie-O and Grace Kelly. Mme Picco told stories that still give me goosebumps of excitement to remember, her amazing techniques and teachings will be something I will cherish forever. Another highlight would be meeting Richard Branson, he is an incredible and inspiring entrepreneur and I am a huge fan of everything he does.
What has been your biggest career achievement/s?
I have been given so many wonderful opportunities and having the chance to study in Paris has been a huge achievement to me personally. Career wise I would have to say working with Peugeot Car Company, being named Bridal Couture Designer of the Year by WEOA (Weddings and Events of Australia) and also being made a finalist for the Qantas Spirit of Youth awards amongst over 1000’s of entrants nationally it was certainly an honor. But the biggest highlight thus far has been working with the gorgeous Miss Universe Girls!
Can you share a behind-the-scenes story from your career?
Whilst living and studying in Paris I worked backstage at Haute Couture Fashion Week, It was absolutely phenomenal! The most amazing show I went to was held at The Ritz, Paris. It was so beautiful and so absolutely inspiring! Having worked in couture it’s easy to appreciate the hours upon hours of work involved to create each gown.
What are your major influences these days? Do you have a muse?
Anything and everything. I love anything that draws on nostalgia and memories. I love imagination and enchanting love stories. I love to create a story and feeling behind a collection and show the story in the garments, styling and photography.
What would your fans be surprised to learn about you?
I am an avid skier! I have skied since I was 4 and when living in Sydney my family would do Ski Club every weekend in Perisher and throughout my childhood and until I was 23 we would follow the Winter to Europe/USA/Canada every Christmas. Which I think is why it never feels like Christmas in Australia for me as I have had few Christmas’s that weren’t on the slopes.
What challenges/setbacks/roadblocks have you met along the way and how did you deal with them?
The industry can be very intense. I think having grown a lot in years and in experiences you learn to deal with a lot of those situations that are less than glamorous. There are always going to be obstacles that stand in your way but quitters don’t win and winners don’t quit.
What advice do you have for today’s young creatives?
Work. Work. Work. Work hard. Work Harder. Don’t stop until you achieve your dreams and never sell yourself short or lose sight of what you stand for.
What other creative outlets do you use to express yourself?
I love creating and inspiring others so my little hub “The Atelier” is a bit of an outlet for me. Creating beautiful and soul-stirring content to share with the world and hopefully inspire others to follow their dreams. I also love to cook and share recipes, I am big on eating clean and healthy to support a busy lifestyle.
The Atelier is your newest project, can you tell us about it?
The Atelier is a dream I have had for many years, I have always loved helping and teaching others and always get asked for tips, tricks and help in different areas of business. From how to submit a photo shoot to running social media and creating branding. So I wanted to create a place for networking, information and promotion for small business owners and amazing people wanting to follow their dreams. Fulfilling a real need for community amongst small business owners who, at times, can feel alone and a bit lost in their journey or need assistance or direction. There are so many things coming that I am so excited about and we have had such an amazing response thus far so I am so excited to see where it takes us!
Do you have a favorite quote/mantra that you live by?
BE FEARLESS IN THE PURSUIT OF WHAT SETS YOUR SOUL ON FIRE
Do you have any new projects coming up?
MANY! I am always on the go! We have some exciting collaborations coming up with the label and some really big things in the works for the Atelier. It seems that when it rains it pours in all industries so there is plenty going on to keep me on my toes.
Where can readers connect with you (website, Facebook, Twitter)?
Universal Elegance the definition of being graceful and beautiful in appearance or presence, something that sums up our latest project perfectly. The scene was set to work with some of Queensland’s most inspirational women from the creative and production team to our lovely Miss Universe Australia Qld finalists the bar was immediately set high.