I moved to Italy for Love
... love of Fashion, Food and Italian Men. Or in my case A man, and an Albanian man at that.
I discovered Italy 3 years ago at the end of my marriage. An intensely religious Jewish background, my husbands family sent us here as a last ditch effort to keep our marriage intact.
Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love describes Rome's word as "sex", and although I will later change my mind - this couldnt be further from the word I could describe Rome on that last trip I would ever take with the man whom I vowed 'forever'.
"Despair" seeped in my blood like a plague and threatened to interrupt my holiday plans. But like any stubborn Aries, I put my head up high, and pulled my socks up higher and sauntered through the Vatican, Berghese and Valentino Galleries, husband luke warm on my heels.
We separated 3 months later.
Looking back (at the photos) I have no regrets. In fact it was the best move Ive made. You see I had married a professional surfer and my fashion sense had consequently been severely damaged. It didnt take me long to burn my Billabong wardrobe and squeeze into a pair of my sisters jeans. Its a great thing being a twin and being able to share. I guess I was lucky to have her closet to snoop through. Nothing to brag about though. She had been living in London for 2 years and so thought Sweat shirts and hoop earrings with Victoria Beckham jeans was suitable attire.
A quick escape from my marriage meant a mere couple of suitcases full of clothes, 2 states and a new city.
It was quite a cultural shock moving to Melbourne from the Gold Coast. I had just established myself as a Fashion Designer making wedding dresses and starting from scratch proved to be alot more difficult than it should have. I began teaching Fashion Illustration part time at Thread Den (www.threadden.com.au) and managed Menswear stores full time in the city. For 2 years it felt like I was banging my head against a wall wearing earplugs. My creativity was being completely sucked out of me by the retail job and my design and sewing projects were becoming few and far in between. It didnt help that my friends and family were insisting that I was wasting my life and mishandling my talent, so I decided I needed a change of scene.
I set my google maps to Paris.
Where is a better setting to be re-born as a Fashion Designer than the birthplace of Fashion itself?
June marked D day, so armed with a work visa, travel pack (containing my cutest summer dresses, lipstick and contrasting nail polish) and a couple of girlfriends, we headed for Paris...
... on route Italy ;)