At home with Eva Cassis – fashion design with a slow living ethos

Eva Cassis is a fashion designer with a mission to create exquisite sustainable keepsake pieces that make all women feel beautiful, comfortable and confident, to tackle whatever their day-to-day looks like.

She crafts quality garments, expertly handmade that you fall in love with and cherish for a lifetime.

I chatted to Eva about daily rituals, the meaning of home and finding silver linings during the lockdown.

Tell us about yourself and how you got to be doing what you’re doing.

When I was a little girl I always knew I wanted to be a fashion designer. I taught myself to draw and sew dolls clothes on a toy sewing machine that I absolutely loved. I then studied fashion design at East Sydney after high school.

Years went by and I worked at some pretty amazing luxury labels (you could say my dream jobs), but I never really used my qualifications. I marvelled at the exquisite craftsmanship and incredible construction details of all the incredible collections that I could never afford to purchase or had anywhere to wear them too anyway.

As I got older, my body changed and I started finding it really difficult to find clothes that flattered my figure. In 2011 I decided that I wanted to create what I was so desperately looking for but couldn’t find. Beautiful flattering designs, expertly hand made at accessible prices. After a year of planning and dreaming ‘Eva Cassis’ the label was born in early 2012.

Were there any silver linings for you when life slowed down during the peak of COVID-19 restrictions?

The lockdown was announced a week before my first market of the year and we were just coming out of ‘newborn lockdown’ so staying home wasn’t really that different to what we were already doing. After the initial shock wore off it was actually really nice having my husband home and spending all day in the yard with my boys without the pressures of work.

As COVID-19 restrictions have eased, is there anything that you’ll be doing differently, things you’ve let go of or decided to change about your daily life?

We eat almost all our meals together now and our family bond feels stronger than ever.

We definitely don’t feel the need to be out all the time anymore. We are much more efficient with our time and prioritise time together more than we ever have. Even though we are ALWAYS together, we try and define work time and family time. We feel a lot more present when we aren’t working and don’t want that to change as restrictions ease.

What is the meal you love making the most right now?

I have become hooked on very traditional Greek lentil soups and can’t get enough of them! Initially, I was really focused on staying super healthy with all the virus uncertainty but now we have soup regularly because it’s so darn tasty and really nourishes the soul especially with some crusty bread for dipping and a generous glass of red wine. Yum!

What does home mean to you?

Home is where my heart is. It’s where I connect with my favourite people and share wonderful ordinary moments that I will cherish forever.

Are there any daily rituals bringing you joy?

I look forward to my morning coffee every day. Usually, both boys are still pretty sleepy at that time so it’s one of the rare quiet times in our house.

What are the most cherished objects in your home and why are they special to you?

I have collected some really beautiful handmade ceramics over the years and love to use them when extended family and friends are sharing a meal with us, you could just be eating pizza but somehow handmade ceramics will always make the meal feel so special. I think knowing the artists and stories behind each piece only makes them more special. We’ve moved a few times the last few years and I never let the removalists move the box with my handmade ceramics.

What does slow living mean to you?

When I think about slow living I think about living life in a way that allows you to be present, in the moment. Appreciating the ordinary and enjoying simple daily rituals and routines. I think to achieve ‘slow living’ you need to first understand what is truly important to you and strip away everything else.

Are there any particular new products or stories about your collection you’d like to share with my readers?

During the lockdown many of my suppliers and local sewers shut down which forced me to become more resourceful.

All I had was an abundance of beautiful fabrics, my sewing machines and time. I focused on creating intricate one of a kind garments using luxurious linen offcuts and I also cut and sewed some glorious linens that I have been collecting for years! Making these special garments has been so rewarding and the response from my followers has been amazing! My last two releases both sold out in the first day and I am currently working on my next release of one of a kind garments that I will be sharing in a couple of weeks. 

You can find the collections over at her online store – Eva Cassis.

 Eva Cassis' studio with one of her linen dress designs

Eva Cassis, slow fashion designer in her studio

Brocolli and almond salad served in a winterwares ceramic bowl

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