She is a beautiful women, with exotic features and a unique accent. A successful model around the world for brands like Chanel, and also a successful fashion designer specialising in swimwear, Tali Jatali has made a big footprint in the world of Australian glamour and fashion – especially for a beachside lifestyle.
A kind and gentle person, Tali appreciates the simple things in life like her family, gorgeous young daughter Zsa Zsa and new Moodle puppy Verushka. Living a happy life, with the people you love is what Tali is about. But there has to be more about Tali right? Read on to find out alot more in my down to earth and relaxed interview with glamazon Tali Jatali…
What projects are you working on or have in the near future?
I’m working on my samples for Summer, so I can go to New York in August and instead of going on just a holiday to see my best friend and publicist Matt Dillon, I will be going to shoot my range as long as the samples are ready, which they should be. So I will be going for work and pleasure.
Who or what influences you most in fashion and home décor?
The people that influence me the most in fashion are people on the street, watching people. I don’t really watch fashions shows and copy that, I hate that.
At home, I’m not very good with interiors, so I constantly watch those home shows on Foxtel where they do make-overs and 60 minute renovations.
What is your favourite piece of clothing or accessory?
All of my favourite clothes are all the things I make, including my swimwear, but because I’m not a big brand person, like I don’t care about things like having to wear Chanel, I’m not really like that. But I like alot of vintage stuff and wear alot of vintage accessories and the only brand I really like to wear that is Australian is Sass & Bide, Alice McCall and girls like that, I’ll wear their stuff.
The girls aren’t just artistic and clever, they have got it together mentally and thats why their business is successful, not just because OH WOW, they have a good idea – anyone can have a good idea but it doesn’t necessarily mean you can pull it off and carry it on for ages. You might be able to do a few things for a minute, but then you’re finished. The longevity of it is really important.
What is a feature of your home you love most?
YES YES YES!! Ages ago my friend painted a feature wall in my apartment in black, because the rest of the apartment is white. Just recently my kid Zsa Zsa was bored, so I told her to just go and draw on the black wall. It’s amazing, I now have this big black wall full of kid’s drawings – it’s awesome, it’s very cool! I thought I would just let her have fun and if it looks bad, just paint over it. I don’t care about things like that, I just want to have a good life and not worry about little things.
What is your greatest extravagance?
PROPERTY DARLING! It’s property darling!!! Always! I’m a good girl. I’m not into shoes and shit. When people see me out and what I really am are two different things. Because my biggest love and biggest worry is my kid. Otherwise, I’m a strong business person and really together, but when I go out, I get really excited and always misbehave!
[As the interview takes place, we have a good laugh - Verushka decides it's time to "pee pee" on her newspaper, and begins to smell it. "Verushka is not very lady-like"]
What advice would you give someone if they were thinking of going into the fashion industry?
Definately only do it if you love it, because if you don’t love it, you will fail.
If you love it, no matter what it is that you choose, even if it’s hard to get there, the journey will be fun because you have so much passion.
Also, anyone that is young, definately go to design school. It’s tough for people who start at maybe 30 or 35 and have not gone to design school because they may not be good at sitting at school for 5 years, but at 18 or 20, you can go to Europe, do a year here and there. Just definately study, whether it’s pattern making or whatever, you might not use all of it in the future, it’s like learning another language, it’s always helpful even if you don’t always use it.
So then how did you get into doing what you are doing?
Well I was a model for 15 years and I started my business at 32, and i didn’t go to design school because I’m too old to sit there, but I knew from doing things like Chanel shows and traveling for 15 years, and modeled for so many different brands. Jamie who owns One Teaspoon, she is my house mate and we also formed Jatali together (Ja + Tali = Jatali), she actually new how to make clothes and cut patterns and stuff, she helped me.
The rest of my work I give it out, I have a cutter, pattern maker, I just do all of the fabric sourcing which I don’t want to share with anybody. There’s lots of thieves out there and I don’t want my ideas stolen again. It’s not good.
What is something your mother or father always told you…
To get a real job. Get a real job that pays you proper money every week.
They are still like “Darling, are you alright? Have you got a job?”
Where is your favourite place to relax in Sydney?
Just at home, Bondi Beach. I never leave Bondi much. Everything is here.
How often do you cook and eat out?
I eat out all the time, and I try really really hard to cook for my baby. My cooking is really average but I really do try. My dinners are quite hideous, I try to do meat because the kid likes meat, but I definately take her out more/ The only thing I cook that she thinks is really good is my scrambled eggs. I put cheese in it so she thinks it’s ok. The other day I made a bolognese thing, which it was ok, but she said “Mama, let’s go for pizza darling”, so I then had to buy pizza as well.
Australian fashion in comparison to International fashion?
Usually, until I went to fashion week this year, usually if you had asked me the question the week before RAFW, I would have gone on and on about it, would have been so supportive and can I help anybody… But when I went this year, a designer totally copied one of my favourite looks I’ve been doing, I gt the shits so bad and I’m so over them all. I was so mad. Everyone that was there knew I was mad and reported it because they know what I do. But the girls we have already spoken about [Alice McCall and Sass & Bide] are very talented and very good, and there’s lots of great new people, like the people who were too young a couple of years ago, are now old enough to be taken seriously.
Gay boys are definately better designers then straight ones, they just are, and that’s a fact. They are better hair and make-up artists too. In the whole fashion industry they are the best.
What’s one thing you can’t leave home with out?
Oh my god, my KID!! Except for when she has school!
But seriously, my money… Lip gloss… I use that red Paw Paw cream stuff. I don’t really like make-up. Oh and my phone and if I’m driving, my drivers license.
So living on Bondi Beach, would you say it’s your favourite beach?
It’s my favourite. Love it, love it, love it, love it. It’s the best!
You just live longer living at the beach. Fresh air, no car fumes, and even though where I live is quite noisy, I like it because if it was quiet I would be really lonely. If Zsa Zsa gets bored, we’ll go to the playground, or she will fluff around in the sand. She is 7 and she is such a good baby. She is a good girl.
Where would your ultimate holiday destination be?
LOS ANGELES! I used to live there, but I also have family there. For me, going on a holiday sitting on my ass getting a tan and getting skin cancer – I’m already bored. I like to go to LA and go to some really amazing full-on hot parties with big celebs and having a couple of Vodka’s and just having the best time. I like to buy things, and if you go to an island or something like that, I get bored. I like LA because I can buy things like cool t-shirts and unreal things for people we know.
What is the one quality you have that you’d like Zsa Zsa to take from you and carry through life?
I’m really really straight-forward, honest and I don’t do wrong by people. I come from an old fashioned Jewish Daddy and in some ways, I’m like my dad I don’t want her to work as hard as me, because I will just give her everything.
What is a fashion trend you hope will never re-surface?
Ummmm… It would have to be those swimsuits that go straight up your legs, like the ones on Moscow, Russia. They look like idiots with it cut up really high at the back. I’m not a fan of people with fake boobs, so anything with that kind of style that shows them off is out of fashion. I don’t mind shoulder pads and all that stuff, that’s good.
Sneakers on the red-carpet is not a good look for girls. They are for boys. Girls should look pretty and edgy.
When was the last time you cried and why?
Today, because my boyfriend from when I was 25 who lives in Dubai called last night, and when I heard his voice I asked what was wring with him and he said his father had died. So I had to go to a funeral today and I’d never been to one before. It’s my first funeral. Caroline Byrne who was pushed off the Gap was my best friend when we were young and I didn’t go to hers. I was scared of going. So today was the first one. I also cry once a month before my periods, I always cry and I never know what’s wrong with me and I’m like “oh deeer, no wonder I’m crying!”, oh and sometimes I cry when my baby is asleep and she snores, because I can’t believe how beautiful she is. She snores like a small donkey, she’s so cute!
If you were admired by millions of young people globally, what would be something you’d like to be a role model of?
Drugs! I’m very anti-drugs and have never tried one in my life. Yuck. I don’t mind showing them that being a party girl is fun, but I don’t mean taking drugs party girl. I mean go to school, do well, get a job, still have a life, have fun and not be a lonely weirdo. Don’t sit on the Internet all day trying to get a friend, get out there and meet people. Dress pretty, have a nice life, because you live today and die tomorrow.
I’d want to show them about confidence, social-networking so they can have a good life.
What is one success you are proud of and one failure or regret you’ve tried to forget?
With my work, I’m so happy with Jatali in total, and my biggest regret is breaking up Jatali with Jamie who owns One Teaspoon, so we didn’t continue to do that together – my biggest regret and I’ll never get over that.
When it was new, it was too hard and we didn’t have much money and we couldn’t afford to have us both working on the business, which meant one of us had to get a job. Because she was younger, she did. But shit, that the biggest regret ever.
We are still friends and still live together. I think we would have been massive if we stayed together. That’s my only regret in work, I still love her and admire her and she’s 13 years younger then me, but I still in a way look up to her.
What are you 3 pet hates?
2. Marriage – it’s pathetic and retarded.
3. I hate fashion copy-cats! When you create something and people copy it, I find that really annoying. When people saying you should be happy, it’s flattering, but I don’t want to be flattered, I know what I do is good.
Click HERE to see the Jatali swimwear range.