(featured image: Gita captured by Param P. Tomanec, wearing “Castle in the Sky” from the Mandali Mendrilla Wish Tree Dress collection)
(photo: Gita captured by Madhu Van Paare in ‘Alexander’ of The Wave Mendrilla Limitedition demi-couture collection)
I met Bergita Gjergjaj, or Gita, as friends call her, through a mutual friend who recommended her for her modelling. On our first meeting, I noticed her deep personality and expressive, peculiar beauty, so I decided to ask her if she would work with our team on the Wish Tree Dress editorial that we photographed with Param P. Tomanec at Chateau de Petite Somme (to where, after the experience, we relocated our atelier since the atmosphere suited our meditative couture activities).
I wish to introduce Gita to you with a bit more than images. In celebration of her appearance in the March edition of VOGUE UK, I asked her a few questions which i combined with a gallery of her illustrations:
MM: You are a fine artist and illustrator – how did you develop love for expressing yourself in this way?
Bergita: Ever since I can remember, I have always been into drawing and painting. It was, so to say, ‘my thing’. My aunty was really good at creating art, and now, my younger cousins are too, so I guess it runs in the family. I feel blessed to be able to project my mind and feelings on a piece of paper, it’s liberating!
MM: what are the most recurring subjects in your paintings?
Bergita: As a soul that’s always seeking aesthetic pleasure, I mostly draw female figures. This might sound a bit superficial, but I get really inspired by strong expressive eyes, lips, curves.., divine and powerful feminine energy, at the same time vulnerable and emotional.
MM: i heard you used to study ballet and noticed you often dance in your photoshoots? how long have you studied dance and what did you like best about it?
Bergita: Oh, that was a loooong time ago! I did a good couple of years. Well as I was a kid, obviously it was something imposed by my parents, so I was quite naughty at the classes, however I did manage to learn something. Good posture, elasticity, steadiness, and the most important, discipline (which I’m still struggling with).
MM: please tell me a bit about your growing up on the Croatian coast and how do you find your life in Belgium?
Bergita: I grew up in a tiny town in north west of the Croatian region Istria, Buje. My childhood was quite carefree and fun, as for the breathtaking nature I was surrounded with, so for my unlimited imagination and daydreaming abilities. I did benefit growing in a such tourist place because I got to learn quite a few languages and received training in hospitality. I can say for sure that the Croatian coast is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen, and I love and miss the healing Adriatic sea. Belgium, as we all know, is a more economically developed country in comparison to Croatia and one can lead a decent life here, so I can’t complain, however, I wish there were more warm and sunny days.
MM: Favorite book?
Bergita: The Paul Street Boys by Ferenc Molnár
MM: Favorite movie?
Bergita: Mostly ‘’junkie’’ movies and European movies..
MM: Favorite music style?
Bergita: I listen to all genres, although my taste in music changes all the time according to my surroundings and association. Right now I’m into classical Indian music.
MM: Favorite period in art history?
Bergita: I’m somewhere in between impressionism and expressionism
MM: Favorite period in fashion?
Bergita: The fashion of the future
MM: you practice yoga – what is your favorite benefit of yoga practice?
Bergita: Yoga is a great way to keep your body and mind healthy. It affects all the systems of my existence. All I can say is that I feel achy and down when I get lazy and don’t do yoga, so it benefits me in all possible ways.
MM: Favorite scientific discovery?
Bergita: I guess I could say the CERN project – what’s more intriguing then scientist trying to find God.
MM: Favorite travel destination?
Bergita: Any place I haven’t visited yet.
MM: Gita in a nutshell – your message to the readers
Bergita: This is a quote that I resonate with, and its by a person much more qualified than me – Nikola Tesla: “It is paradoxical, yet true, to say, that the more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations. Precisely one of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects.”