Originally Ran Feb 23, 2015
Though we shot nine rockstars in our Twin Peaks’ pictorial, the biggest diva of the shoot proved to be a dress – an exact replica of the Double R Diner uniform worn by Peggy Lipton, Heather Graham and Mädchen Amick in the cult classic series. Despite the show’s an iconic Northwestern vibe, we had to go all the way to Tel Aviv and designer Anat Berman to find it. Berman is a 32-year-old mother to 2.5-year-old daughter Ellie and studio/ store owner in what she describes as “a beautiful, old and romantic district in Jaffa, Israel”.
Getting the dress to the Seattle proved as problematic as tracking one down, and at one point we had to reschedule the shoot due to international snail mail, where-in I issued the most Anna Wintour email I’ll ever send stating we had to delay because “our international couture had not arrived.” But then “she” showed up and couldn’t have been more of a stunner, with a standard medium perfectly fitting both Jen Ayers and Mackenzie Mercer. You can find Anat and her work on Etsy and her online store Biantika.
Can you tell me a little about your background? How did you become a seamstress/designer?
It was never really my dream to become a designer.
After graduating from university where I studied Media and Communication, I worked as a producer on various projects. At some point, I felt bored and unsatisfied and so I started to collect and sell women’s vintage clothing. I realized that it made me happy and that the girls love it. None of the vintage clothes I collected were perfect – some were too big, others were torn, some too loose and some too tight, therefore I had to repair them. I started with basic and simple stuff and eventually, most were completely Re-Designed. At this point, I started creating my own original designs, all inspired by the vintage clothing I used to collect. This is how BIANTIKA was born.
What inspired you to start making the Double R Diner dresses? Are you a Twin Peaks fan or was it something done on request?
The story about the Twin Peaks dress is quite amusing. The first dress I ever designed was a shirtdress (short dress?) inspired by Diner uniform dresses. I designed it in three different colors, one of them was mint green. I began selling them Online on Etsy and the mint green dresses were the most successful.
It was only after a few conversations with the girls who purchased them I got to know Twin Peaks and the RR Diner dress, I never heard about them before. I received many requests from girls all around the world to create the exact replica of the dress for them, and since the base of the dress is similar to mine, this last Halloween I completed the design and started selling them.
The Diner Dresses I’ve designed did not only evolve into the RR Diner dress, they also fitted perfectly for actual diners, cafes, ice cream trucks and many other businesses that searched for retro uniforms. Since then I create custom made uniforms for such businesses, along with my Ready to Wear fashion clothing which I continue to design. Recently I have Launched Biantika’s Uniform Design Online Store which is rapidly growing.
What is the toughest part of the re-creation?
The first and most important thing for me in creating uniforms and costumes such as the RR diner dress is to first make a beautiful and flattering dress using high-quality materials, and only then it can be a uniform or a costume as well. It is my wish that women who wear these dresses to Twin Peaks’ events will feel comfortable and beautiful.