STYLE AND THE MODERN WOMAN WITH NATALIJA
For many years I have always held this picture in my mind of the kind of woman that I want to be and whenever I am dressing or adding to my wardrobe I always keep her in mind. I picture her in beautiful garments that have movement when she walks, she has an air natural ease and honours quality, classic pieces that she can remember avidly sourcing years ago to add to her collection. There’s an appreciation for each garment and the standard of it’s make. For me that’s what style is all about, wearing things you truly adore and hold dear for many years.
NATALIJA the Label is a complete embodiment of this belief I hold so dear, stunning silk garments that are designed for the modern woman in mind. The collections are based on simple, classic cuts with a contemporary sensibility made from beautiful high quality silks. These are the type of pieces I see my style muse wearing, and upon working with the brand’s creator and namesake I love how these same ideals are shared and form the backbone to her latest collection.
The label was in fact born from Natalija’s own struggle to find beautiful silk nightwear, disappointingly nothing on the market matched her criteria for classic and stylish without being too dowdy or overtly sexy. Whilst this was the catalyst for the brand, Natalija now prefers to define her range as ‘loungewear’ as all of the garments have been designed with a daywear transition in mind, meaning that the garments look just as appropriate in the bedroom as they do for day, layered with denim and sneakers or even heels for evening. As Natalija describes “While the label may have been carved out from a gap in the market, I never really saw NATALIJA as a ‘pyjama company’ (and I have never called it that). It is more of a style response to the needs of the modern woman who expects clothing to be comfortable, free of excess and versatile enough to accommodate her hectic schedule without compromising on style.”
Another passion that I share with Natalija is the fact that she places an emphasis on sustainability. Creating highly wearable, versatile garments is the first step towards sustainability in the world of fashion but Natalija takes this one step further by emphasising an effort to be as ethical and environmentally friendly as possible. Her biggest achievement of late is moving all of the production back to Sydney with her most recent collection. Garments will now be produced locally in lower qualities, going against the grain of the traditional fashion calendar. This is done so with the vision of creating a closer relationship for the customer to the garment but also ensures a production model that is much lower in waste than traditional garment manufacturing systems.
For Natalija there is still space to love fashion yet support sustainable practices. With fast fashion accelerating the need to consume more but pay less for poor quality garments, there is a push to be more mindful as consumers. It was nice to hear that Natalija comes from the same angle as I do, maintaining that one can still have a passion for beautiful clothes but seek out better ways to consume. The key to breaking the chain of trend driven throw-away culture is by firstly making mindful decisions about additions to your wardrobe, curating a collection of garments that you truly love and cherish. Natalija's silks are designed with exactly this in mind, and stand the test of time from both a design and material perspective.
Natalija designs for a woman similar to herself. Her daily style is tailored to simple, classic pieces in modern yet relaxed fits. “I always wear the same things. I need to be well dressed but comfortable. I wear a lot of shirts, loose-fitting camisoles, tee’s, denim and relaxed pants with sneakers or slides. If I’m dressing up, I wear heels, but they’re generally very minimal, simple – nothing too crazy.” It is with this approach that you can see a timeless quality to her style, whilst maintaining a simple aesthetic a process of careful consideration goes into every addition she makes to her wardrobe. Natalija recalls this habit being sparked quite young, “When I was 10 or 11, I was inspired by what I saw in the magazines... I would sit on the floor, surrounded by coloured pencils and paper, and sketch out looks: “Oh, this dress is for when I go here, or this swimwear is for when I’m on holidays.” Looking back at it now, each design was purposeful and made sense in that environment.”. Two things sprung to mind as she mentioned this, firstly I was glad I wasn’t the only one that did this! And secondly was how transparent this purposefulness was in her collections today.
This latest collection marks a special time for NATALIJA with a newly inspired outlook and the shift to move manufacturing back home. It is an exciting moment for the brand and one that seems to be the beginning of a new chapter honouring Natalija's own true style and beliefs. Upon getting to know Natalija it is clear that this brand is a labour of love and that it is growing to be so much more than just a clothing label. Considering she has built this brand with no formal qualifications in fashion it just goes to show that a lot of passion and brilliant ideas are behind her success, of which I am sure that there is more to come.
NATALIJA's latest collection is available online now.