Triggered by a photograph, Petra Vanessie has a vivid memory of the first day she chose her own outfit. In the image, captured forever, little Petra stands, at the age of six, with her mother, aunty, brother and sister who were all wearing mostly dark blue and black outfits blending together, and almost into the background.
Not little Petra though! She is dressed in a jump suit with an African inspired pattern of bright greens and oranges; next to her grandmother (Oma), who although wearing blue clothes like the rest of the family has a pair of striking fire-engine-red heels.
“I clearly remember this day because it was a day where I was allowed to wear whatever I wanted – and that was a big thing for me.”
"I was (and still am) a shy person. Unique clothing that's a little bit different and stands out was my way of showing my individuality. The way I dressed has helped me to be more confident at work and meetings and feel more feminine when I need to be."
"That's what I want to convey through AVA Designs - positive feelings, memories, a little boost of whatever you need."
After a series of office jobs and moving from countries to cities, Petra decided to take the plunge in 2010 and created her own design label. She spent over a year living back in Jakarta to learn dressmaking from her Oma before coming back to Perth to launch her label in 2012.
With a commitment to making quality, affordable and beautiful clothing that is also ethical, Petra works with single mothers, widows and young women in Indonesia on a social enterprise basis, giving many the opportunity to work from home, earn a regular income that is above national standards and develop their skills through paid professional development.
Today Petra can be seen taking the AVA label to grass roots artisan markets around Australia, fashion weeks in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia and other new adventures where she can share her love for quality, timeless and socially responsible fashion.
AVA - The Label
An AVA garment shines in a crowd, whilst transcending time.
Unique elegance and classical versatility are woven through a creative process with a commitment to quality and affordability.
Designed and established in Australia, AVA offers something new, something different, and something for everyone.
Inspired by ageless elements of days gone by and infused with the needs of modern comfort an AVA piece is confidently selected by a lady when she wants to amaze and feel amazing.
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