"First thing you do when you meet someone is somehow find out if you have shared values, isn’t it? With having my own brand for some time now, it’s been easier to connect to people that admired my work and me theirs, cause my work with MURMUR was the ice breaker...
There’s so many amazing people I’ve met and that I have inspirational conversations with that I decided to share them with you.”
Andreea Badala – founder and head designer of MURMUR
MURMUR 〰 Pillow Talk: Hannah
I met Hannah a few months ago during a MURMUR pop-up store event. I’m always fascinated to find out who wears my clothes and therefore believes in the same things I do: femininity, sensuality, fantasy…
She was at the fitting rooms and trying on a few dresses. I remember my first thoughts about seeing her: she is beautiful, I thought! I often find out that a lot of women home in Romania are obsessed by their looks and ignore so many other amazing features or talents they have... I secretly hoped this was not the case.
When she spoke I immediately realized that she is this rare breed that lives her own fantasy and owns the balance between self-confidence and vulnerability. She is tall, beautiful, with a soft voice and shy and curious gaze. She picked this long white dress that nobody else could have picked. The neckline perfectly framed her beautiful tattoo just below her collar bone.
Few months later I wrote to her asking to know more about her and to share her mind with you. I am currently listening to her playlist and thinking “This is a woman that I like to fantasize about when I create MURMUR”, I’m almost afraid to know her better, as keeping her in my mind as a muse is so precious.
Let’s start by knowing you a little bit better. Who’s Hannah and what does she enjoy doing most?
My parents were young beautiful dreamers and they tried for years to sum their love into a breathing soul without luck. Finally, after almost a decade, there I was. My father wanted to give me a Jewish name, since that's my main ethnical background, therefore I was named Hannah, which in Hebrew means "Light". I was also born on the Annunciation which means good news. Now that I look back at it, it amuses me, I guess nothing in life is a mere coincidence. So with this short history, Hannah is an artist, whether she likes it or not, she's a beautiful little fool who will never stop dreaming. Hannah is a little box filled with life, joy and love for everything in this world. I enjoy painting, singing, making hats for my brand Mandarinés, I enjoy cooking and dancing, living and loving. I enjoy waking up and seeing the world for what it is, a great beauty. Life is like a Ludovico Einaudi song, a blindfolded peaceful walk on the beach - you can hear the waves, you can feel the breeze, but you never know if you'll hit the sand or the water with the tip of your toes.
Your definition of freedom? And 3 rules you disobey when it comes to fashion.
Freedom for me is the ability to live by your own principles. Freedom is to not be influenced by outer forces. Freedom is being able to think and feel through your own personalized spiritual and psychological process. Its being able to smile at those who do you wrong, it's being able to trust yourself as being capable of accomplishing what others always told you that you could never do. Its loving with your eyes closed and your heart open. Freedom is being in the best relationship with one's self.
3 rules I disobey when it comes to fashion - I guess
- I don’t follow the fashion influences, I’m a retro Lana Del Rey vibing old timer. I think that retro will never be out of fashion and is a style that always come back in each season.
- I like to wear summer clothes during the winter and winter clothes during the summer because each season I miss out on wearing what I am supposed to wear because I feel nostalgic towards the season left behind, therefore I am in a constant wardrobe mayhem. Some people have their summer wardrobe and their winter wardrobe, mine is all mixed up, I want the best of both worlds. Is that a sin?
- 3. I combine thin fabrics with thick fabrics. Some of my friends always tell me, your slip dress is out of silk so you can’t wear a wool coat on top. I don’t mind, I think it makes it funkier and nobody ever hesitated in turning heads round when they saw me on the street so I guess I’m doing something right haha!
How do you manage to keep your spirits up now that everyday life’s on hold?
I'm not gonna lie, this whole situation for me is like a Stanley Kubrick movie gone wrong, but I guess we have to take life as it is. I don't consider myself to belong to any given religion, but I do agree with many Buddhist concepts. I do believe in Karma and maybe this is the price we need to pay for years of ignorance towards ourselves and the world. Anyways, the first rule to staying sane is not giving up on yourself haha. I have a daily routine that helps with this. I wake up, I wash my face, I add some black eyeliner, do those Anna Karina cat eyes and throw on some red lipstick when I feel extra. I put on a white chemise, some James Deane denim jeans and make a cappuccino, followed by an entire playlist of Edith Piaf songs. After breakfast I do a short HIIT workout and after that I read (mostly art history books). In the evenings I enjoy painting, sketching or just dancing. I think the best way of keeping yourself sane is taking every day as it is. I don't expect this world to ever go back to what it was, but I do expect for us to evolve and better ourselves in the process of isolation. It's hard to be with yourself, alone with your thoughts and self isolation is a perfect way of befriending those hidden emotions. I'm learning to be kinder and patient with myself in this period and that is something that I am forever grateful for.
Positive new habits that you’re implementing? Things that inspire you nowadays?
Positive new habits that I took on now are quite a few. I am practicing awareness, implementing it into my day to day life. When I sit down and eat my breakfast I like to be aware of the smell of my coffee, the taste of my toast, be grateful for every morning. I try to practice more self-control regarding my thoughts, emotions and actions since I am quite an impulsive person. I also started pushing myself to learn one new song a week on my piano. When I was a little girl I used to play the violin and piano, but you know how it's like when you grow up - life manages to get in the way. Now that I came back to Brasov to spend some time with my Grandma, there it was, my rusty little piano. I cleaned it up and started singing again, which is something amazing for me. I also started documenting my grandmother's and mother's life, along with mine, like a journal following the lives of three different generations. Listening to my grandmother's stories about her youth, my mother's youth, I realized that no matter the times, we're all the same in emotions, desires. I think that all these new habits I took on really help me connect with myself and everything that surrounds me, it makes me more grateful for what I have and who I am.
Reality or fantasy? Nature or the sanctuary of your own home? What’s your favorite playground?
Fantasy all the way, I think dreaming with your eyes closed is a reality, it's your own. As for the second pair, that's a tough call. I love nature but I also love my home so this is a tie for me. If I could have a house in the woods, those type of stone French country style houses, somewhere in a mountain area, I'd be the happiest. I imagine it being like the house from one of my favorite movies, La Belle Noiseuse. A stone house with high ceilings, a huge interior garden and a terrace with a view of the whole village, situated on the highest hill. I think I am dreaming again haha.
What MURMUR items would you wear for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
The Diversion Dress and Top for me are classics and a must have in any respectable woman's closet. I'd wear it for breakfast to add a classy touch to my french toast, Viennese coffee and Edith Piaf playlist. For lunch I'd tone it down to a terrace sun bathing look in the Escapade slip dress, add a sun hat to it and voila! I'm not one to search for comfort when it comes to dressing up, so for dinner I most definitely would go for something tight and elegant that matches up to a candlelit dinner. Without a doubt, my go to would be the Ivy Red Dress, it's a gorgeous piece!
Do you enjoy dressing up at home? What’s your favorite MURMUR item to wear around the house?
I love dressing up at home. I do not own a pair of sweatpants because leisure wear is just not made for me. I'm an Audrey Hepburn kind of girl all the way so even if I am in the house I'll be wearing some silk slip dress, or linen pants with a white shirt, jeans with a silk shirt, something stylish but also comfortable, for my tastes. My favorite murmur item to wear around the house is definitely the Diversion dress because I can wear it as a nightgown, a day dress or even like a robe.
How does wearing MURMUR make you feel?
MURMUR makes me feel elegant, it makes me feel retro but also modern, it makes me feel how all women should feel, feminine. I disagree with all this sex appropriation movement. Men are men and women are women, why are we trying to be something else? I mean of course, if you’re a tom boy, go right ahead, but that doesn't mean that most of the fast fashion has to downgrade to leisure baggy unisex wear. MURMUR makes me feel like me, a radiant feminine breath of fresh air. I like being fancy, being extra, going the extra mile and MURMUR gives me that every time.
How do you see the MURMUR woman?
I see the MURMUR women as being successful, playful, strong and independent, but also fragile and sweet. The MURMUR women is a walking piece of art, a Belle Noiseuse, a hidden smile that comes to light. MURMUR has timeless pieces for all body types, offering a woman elegance, and that never goes out of style.
If you could choose anyone, from any time, who’d you like to spend your quarantine with?
This is so hard because I have such a long list of people I would have liked to meet, people that have inspired me. I guess that if I could, I would spend my quarantine with Louise Bourgeois. I adore her, her creativity, her wit, her character and charisma, her strength. I love being surrounded by artists and I always thought that she had thousands of stories to tell. Her art inspires me for she always dug deep into the motif of childhood, family, memory and her works "The Spider" and "Cells" that I saw at MOMA and Tate really moved something in me. If you're interested in getting a glimpse of her personality, look on YouTube for "How to peel a tangerine with Louise Bourgeois". This is what initially inspired me to name my hat brand after an orange fruit.
Your soundtrack for this unusual spring? And a movie recommendation?
Here are my favorite artists that give me a happy mellow spring vibe: Ben Howard, Bon Iver, Paolo Nutini and Jack Johnson. Indie rock is my go to for dancing dreamy vibes. I'm quite a cinephile so I'd go for a hidden gem. I believe in soulmates and am entirely obsessed over love and the idea of love, therefore this masterpiece tore me up into tears. I highly recommend watching "Cafe de flore". It's a Canadian french film that follows two story lines that actually interfere in the end. It's amazing, artistic, filled with emotions. My favorite line from this movie is "If it's supposed to be a soulmate, it's not supposed to happen twice, right?". Give it a try if your into complex dramas.
Find Hannah Blaga on Instagram @hannahblaga
Photography: Hannah’s personal archive
Orlando Edward @orlandoedward97
Hair: Alex Somandroiu @alex_somandroiu