Monday, September 29, 2008

Viktoria's Secret: Behind the curtains

As promised, I scored an invite to check out the private shoe collection and fabulous fascinator creations of Canberra's own Imelda. Viktoria Novak takes us behind the curtains and tells us all about her beautiful world...

Viktoria, how would you describe your personal style? Colourful, eccentric and quirky, with loads of vintage inspired florals and prints... Nanna style.

You have a dedicated vintage dressing room in your house, what can you tell us about some of your favourite things? I have a vintage handbag I found in an op shop a few years ago (above), it is beaded with a peacock on the front and, inside the lining is the most gorgeous bright red silk. I have and obsession with peacocks, so this one is a stand out. I also adore my vintage sequined butterfly top (above right). I bought this piece on ebay and have worn it many many times, I always get compliments when I'm wearing it and I love the fact that nobody else has one. And one more fave is a pair of shoes also found on Ebay (below right). The lady was hesitant to sell, only conceeding when it found 'the right home'. The shoes had been custom handmade for her great Aunt in 1902, the spookiest thing is that they fit me like a glove... I think there could be a fashion re-incarnation going on here!

Viktoria has studied Interior Design, Cosmetic Art and Fashion Design, for now finding a fabulous niche with her beautiful Millinery. "I find it's important to design with your instinct and just do it, no matter what people may tell you. It's always such a thrill to be able to show a remarkable finished product."


"In Millinery, things almost never turn out like I envisioned them, they take on a new turn and become even more incredible than I imagined. It's all about the right shaped feather in the right place at the right time."

Of the collection just launched, Viktoria says, "I use a lot of strong colours in my designs and I love mixing unusual objects with different materials. I can custom design pretty much anything and I love the challenge of looking for the perfect colour for that special outfit. My fascinators are the centre of attention and usually get people talking. I also make bridal fascinators custom made to order."

As of right now, you may consider yourself crowned as Canberra's very own Imelda. As owner of more than 400 pairs of shoes, how on Earth do you keep these babies under control? I have 3 rooms completely consumed by my collection. I keep them organised by style and in colour blocks and the really special ones live in their original boxes. I also have a "Carrie Bradshaw" style walk-in wardrobe set-up where I keep all my shoes in boxes with ID photos on the front of each box, I'm able to see exactly what I have without pulling them all out and making a huge mess... especially when I'm in a rush and I really need that special pair to match my outfit.

How did this remarkable collection begin? From the age of about 7, my gran would take me op shopping nearly every weekend. I would always be so excited and run straight for the shoes. I would beg her to buy me the prettiest, most colourful pairs just so I could play with them! Years later I spent 6 years as a visual merchandiser and retailer in the shoe industry for 32 stores around Melbourne. Today my obsession continues and I just can't stop buying shoes, I find it such a thrill to find that perfect pair. Someone sweet once dropped a little note in my lap reading "See a shoe and pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck", now it's my motto!

At the semi-rural property where she lives, Viktoria and her family love their animals, allowing Ben the rooster and Clyde (lorikeet mate for Bonnie, of course) inside to inspect the shoe collection. I can't help but wonder how the birds feel about the fab feathery fashions, and is this the very same reason why Larry the sheep kept his distance?


So what's next for Viktoria Novak, designer? I would like to pick up some more stockists and grow the business to Australian fashion hotspots Sydney and Melbourne and eventually internationally. In my dreams I would like to develop a range of fascinators and headdresses for an international couturier and have celebrities lining up to wear them!
Viktoria would also love to see her vast shoe collection immortallised in art, and Viktoria Novak shoe designer... watch this space!

But for now, you must check out Viktoria Novak's fascinators for spring racing and cup day, now stocked at Slave to Luxury, at the Canberra Centre. Faaaabulous!

1 comment:

Emily said...

400 shoes! I am so jealous - I thought my collection of 50 heels was impressive, but I know when I'm beat.