Tanja Gacic has graced local and international fashion runways and magazine pages since the tender age of 15. Now a mum, Vogue contributor and blogger behind My Empirical Life, we were keen to catch up with the talented Ms G to hear all her Sydney-insider know how.
Living in Bondi, with partner Stephen Pavlovic of Modular and daughter Coco, Tanja fills us in on her favourite spots to dine out, exercise and shop, of course.
TUL: How have you found the transition from modelling to full-time blogger and Vogue contributor?
Tanja Gacic: At the beginning, it was just a hobby I did whilst modelling, a little thing to indulge my passion for travel, writing and photography. The posts were terribly sporadic—I was shocked when people told me they liked it—I thought no one read it! When I started doing fashion and 'Vogue' approached me, it quickly moved from a hobby to a profession.
It has been a steep learning curve, having to produce so much original content, but I have learnt so many useful tools and a lot about fashion on the other side of the lens. Blogging is really about multitasking—sometimes you end up doing everything a whole team does on a shoot on your own. It's exciting to use my 17 years of experience in the fashion industry in a different way. There is a lot more I want to do besides fashion too—watch this space!
TUL: Your shoots are stunning, can you tell us where you get your inspiration from?
Tanja G: I get inspiration from clothes themselves, trends, colours, jewellery, light, backgrounds . . . I'm always looking for the perfect background with great light! Also Photoshop—I love playing with the settings—it's amazing how you can create different moods with a change of light, more contrast, colour saturation or fade. Being able to create something that appeals to my aesthetic is hugely satisfying.
TUL: Australian Fashion Week is coming up, a hectic schedule for you I can imagine?
Tanja G: Yes, fashion week is always hectic. I'm not complaining! It is much better being in the audience than on the catwalk—your hair isn't yanked 10 times per day and your skin isn't raw from all those rushed make-up changes. Models really have it tough at FW!
TUL: Good to know! Are there any winter trends we should be looking out for?
Tanja G: This season is all about pastels, metallics, double denim, colour blocking, longer skirts and the new nude tones. I still love mannish tailoring and the 90s.
TUL: Where do you go for retail therapy?
Tanja G: I am a huge vintage fiend and I love perusing markets, eBay and antiques. I also shop a lot online, mainly Net-a-Porter, Matches and Farfetch. In Sydney I love Land's End Store, Parlour X, Belinda, Tuchuzy and Robby Ingham.
TUL: You are 'out-of-control' in shape; can you tell us your favourite workout spots in Sydney?
Tanja G: Oh thanks! I love food and wine so it's easy for me to put on weight but I mainly lead a super healthy lifestyle and exercise a bunch, so that helps put it in check. I jog around Bondi, do Pilates and Power Plate workouts at Pilates Physique, and am crazy about infrared heated yoga at Body Mind Life.
TUL: Any quick daily beauty tips?
Tanja G: I am the worst! I always do my make-up sitting at lights whilst driving as I'm forever in a rush. Hence my routine is really simple. I love Armani foundation, Elizabeth Arden bronzer, YSL mascara, Hourglass eyebrow pencil and Rawesome coconut mint lip balm. I apply it in five minutes! I don't know if that's a good thing . . . At night I take it all off and put some great rosehip oil on and organic moisturiser.
TUL: When heading out for dinner, where do you like to dine?
Tanja G: Currently I am loving Nomad, Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta, and Alpha. I always love Mr. Wong for the crab, the view at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, Fratelli Paradiso and the homestyle awesomeness of Sean's Panaroma.
TUL: And your top Sydney breakfast spots?
Tanja G: I kinda love eating breakfast at home. I cook up mean organic green eggs with chunky grass-fed bacon and corn bread; brown rice flour crepes with raw coconut hazelnut spread and mascarpone; or Asian-style prawn, brown rice, egg and chilli. Still, when I do eat breakfast out, I go to the Bondi Farmers Markets on Saturday for the awesome natural beef pho; to Porch and Parlour for ocean trout, kale and egg . . . and I love the breakfast with all the great sides at Cornersmith but it's so far from Bondi!
TUL: More importantly, where do you like to have a drink?
TUL: Finally, how is the beautiful Miss Coco?
Tanja G: She is the most awesome thing that has ever happened to me! Funny, smart, kind and the best teacher. Every day I wake up and she runs into my room with the biggest hug and just wants to chat and snuggle. The enthusiasm is boundless! I'm so grateful for her. Pav and I lucked out.