I’m writing this blog as a belated thank you to Jessica Bratich. To explain why I’m thanking Jess, I must regress to a very dark day back in August 2013. It was the day I discovered I was not invited to the launch of the Perth Fashion Festival. At the time I was hosting breakfast on 92.9. The way it worked was that I attended lots of fabulous events and opening nights and the following morning on my show I gave the event (or business) a free plug. It was a win-win situation. But no-one was winning on the day the mail arrived and my Perth Fashion Festival invite didn’t. My producer Pippa delivered the devastating news as sensitively as her busy workload permitted. “Everyone fabulous is going to this launch thing-a-ma-jig…ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE IS INVITED. Pause. EXCEPT YOU“. Pause. We could both hear it. Kasey Chambers singing, Not Pretty Enough as clear as a bell. “Am I not pretty enough…Am I too outspoken?”
Was I not pretty enough? Not fashionable enough? Was it because I could be outspoken? My predecessor got invited to all the fashion events. So why not me??? What was wrong with me???
Nothing. Nothing was wrong with me. Because on the inside, I WAS pretty enough. Stuff those bitches who sat in their plastic offices on plastic office chairs ticking yes, no, maybe against a list of names. They didn’t think I was fashionable enough to get a tick? (I felt quite the fashion reject by this stage) Well stuff them. I’d promote Perth fashion and Perth’s fabulous designers to my wonderful listeners myself. (I was starting to get my mojo back). I’d create my own fashion gallery featuring clothing and accessories from WA designers upload it to the website and boom! MY contribution to the Perth Fashion Festival.
I contacted many WA designers one of whom was Jessica Bratich. Jess had recently launched a hugely successful handbag collection and after much explaining she said yes to me using her bags in my PFF Fashion Gallery. Jess was just unbelievably NICE and agreed to my idea. But how to feature a handbag? I’m no model but I am someone who believes in taking risks to get results. I wanted the gallery to be noticed. I needed it to get exposure. Both to promote the WA designers who so kindly offered pieces of their new collections for the photo shoot AND as MY one-fingered salute to the PFF organisers. I decided to feature Jess’s handbags au natural. Just me. And her gorgeous bags.
Late last year Jess invited me to her workspace to pick out a handbag from her new collection. I took Bella with me and she adored everything she wiped her biscuity little hands on. Then she started to throw a tanty when I refused her the hot pink clutch. It’s safe to say Bella loves handbags and would’ve let Jess adopt her if I’d signed the papers.
Jess is a full-time mum to a toddler and is completely hands-on with her business from designing to overseeing manufacturing and suppliers through to retails sales, marketing and social media. I have a huge respect for women like Jessica Bratich. She is smart, confident, hardworking and determined. What you see is what you get. Which is why she has so many friends, supporters and people who admire her. Myself included.
I intended this blog as a thank you to all the WA designers who agreed to be part of my project when I felt that I just wasn’t pretty enough. I hope WA designers will continue to be given the support they deserve and I feel blessed so many WA designers have entrusted me to wear their clothes over the years.
The Perth Fashion Festival gallery also featured some of my favourite WA designers like (disclosure: she’s also a good friend) Steph Audino, along with the fabulous Betty Tran, Empire Rose, Ruth Tarvydas, LJ Chaplin and gorgeous Jonte.
Thank you all and much love.