What’s the connection between fashion and cakes? For Saadia Masood, owner of local business La Ombre Creations, there is a small distinction between the two – Saadia turned her previous career of being a dress designer to designing and making cakes. We were privileged to ask Saadia questions about her influences and inspirations and a little about herself and La Ombre Creations.
Bec: When and how did you get into baking?
Saadia: Back in Pakistan, I was a casual dress designer and always loved to create and bring my visions to life. After moving to Australia in 2005, I was blessed with 3 children and always enjoyed baking for them. It was not long before I realised that this was a great form of creative release and a source of self satisfaction for me. I experimented with recipes to find the perfect cake combination and in 2015 won an award for one of my cakes at the Royal Canberra Show. This award was one of the main motivations I decided to launch my own business. So this is how my brainchild La Ombre Creations came into existence.
B: How would you describe your decorating style?
S: Runway ready! It is exhilarating when a client gives me the creative license to design something unique. To be able to infuse the best of my creative self is something that I live for. And I believe every unique design in cake is no less than a milestone that speaks for itself. At La Ombre Creations, design and taste is finely incorporated together.
B: From what do you draw inspiration?
S: My biggest inspiration comes from fashion, dress designing and incorporating Islamic architecture and stunning henna art. The rich Islamic culture inspires me to bring these concepts to life. Representing these elements is what La Ombre Creations is all about.
B: Are there any bakers that you admire?
S: I would say Jasmine Rae. In all honesty, her cakes are amazing works of art! Looking at her work, you can tell she draws inspiration from her surroundings and the way she plays with textures and muted colours is extremely impressive and inspiring.
B: Do you have a favorite type of cake to bake?
S: I am a shameless chocoholic and always enjoy baking a rich chocolate cake!
B: If you could describe yourself as a cake, what would you be?
S: Well, that’s an interesting one! Hmm, if I were a cake, I would like it to be in sync with who I am as a person and my moral fibre. A beautifully baked confetti cake that exudes modesty on the outside but is layered with rainbow swirls and veiled chocolate chips on the inside. And adding a pop of fun and colour to the cake makes it oh-so-delectable!
Baking is my passion and it serves as a powerful medium to express my perspective on life & my person. Every cake has its own unique character and symbolises modesty, empowerment as well as hidden goodness that reflects through the colours and styles I choose. It is exactly in line with how our personality shines through in our day to day dealings with people. Which is why most of my clients are usually pleasantly surprised on seeing me in person for it may astonish them to see a rather simple, free from vanity face behind La Ombré’s far reaching and edgy hues and designer cakes. Well, there’s a bit of me in every cake you know… modest on the outside but delightfully attractive on the inside!
B: What do you think/hope the next cake trend will be?
S: The cake industry has evolved so much over these years. It has reached beyond the conventional limits and is contemporary in nature than ever before. Imagination is the key!! I have a vision for La Ombre Creations but that’s a secret for now. Stay tuned!
B: What’s the most fun/interesting cake you’ve made?
S: I designed a cake with the creative brief being themed around a winter woodland wedding with white and gold. Building on this very idea, I created a cake with a stunning drip and whimsical flowers on top. What makes this cake design even more special is that it was featured in the first edition of Canberra’s online wedding magazine, “Unveiled Canberra”.
B: Tell us a little more about your fashion cakes. How do you translate fashion to a cake ?
S: My dress designing experience has definitely helped me in this regard.
As a fashion designer, one should know how to work different textures, cuts and colours. Having an eye for detail and enthusiasm for creative spark coupled with experience in dress designing has enabled me immensely. I try to incorporate my experience with embroideries, laces and beadworks into cakery. That’s where my unique colour contrasts in buttercream come from! Even though, this technique is commonly used but I always endeavour to take my cake designs up a notch by adding one of my statement pieces to it .
B: What fashion designers influence your cake design?
S: I can’t go past bridal and fashion designers from Pakistan and India, this is where I am originally from. Some of my biggest inspirations from world renowned Eastern designers are Ellen official and Sabyasachi. From western fashion designers I love Viktoria Novak, her head pieces are stunning & Alexander McQueen for the drama in his work, Balmain for amazing jaw dropping details, and Versace for the stunning cuts, the list can go on and on …
B: What’s your favorite part of your job?
S: I absolutely love designing and decorating. From Conceptualising to working and bringing into life a cake that is in line with my clientele’s needs is simply magical.
It is extremely fulfilling to have a satisfied client & the glint in their eyes on getting a dream cake made is what compensates for all the hard work!
B: What has been your greatest challenge?
S: Without a doubt, being bullied.
Let’s just say, La Ombre Creations hasn’t had it easy and unfortunately still struggles from time to time. Needless to say, that I’m lucky to have an amazing support system who has consistently helped me through challenging situations.
B: Do you have any advice to people who want to start their own business?
S: Definitely. Plan everything ahead of time get yourself organised and have a strong strategy.
B: How do people find out more about you and your cakes?