Edita reads | Mario Valentino by Ornella Cirillo

Mario Valentino book review

Mario Valentino book review

Mario Valentino book review

Mario Valentino book review

Mario Valentino book review

Mario Valentino book review

Mario Valentino book review

Mario Valentino book review

Mario Valentino book review

Mario Valentino book review

Mario Valentino book review

Mario Valentino book review

Mario Valentino book review

Mario Valentino book review

Mario Valentino book review

Mario Valentino book review

Is Mario Valentino THE Valentino? You know, Valentino Valentino. Or is he a different Valentino? Is he maybe a rip-off Valentino? Or is he the Valentino from the catwalks? Also, what is this Valentino by Mario Valentino? If it’s Valentino Valentino, how come it’s so cheap?

These are legit questions, everyone.

Consumers are struggling to know the difference between Mario Valentino and Valentino Garavani. One of the reasons for this is that Valentino Garavani has become THE brand on par with Chanel, Dior, Gucci and Prada in terms of desirability, while Mario Valentino has become… forgotten. A catastrophe for a designer who reinvented the stiletto, pushed leather craftsmanship to new heights, worked with names such as Versace and Ferragamo, and actually started his business way before Valentino. The latter being the brand of the bag you’d want to own today.

Mario Valentino was born in Naples and took over the shoe business his father started building. Known already for their craftsmanship, the family-owned business had commissions from royalty, celebrities – even Jackie O’ was partial to a pair of Mario Valentinos. At the peak of the designer’s career, not only supermodels including Naomi and Verushka were wearing his stilettos, Helmut Newton was photographing his high-heeled shoes, bringing to us something we all now refer to as shoe porn. For Mario, it all started with a coral sandal concept that has landed his design the cover of Vogue, shared with a Cartier high jewellery piece. International fame followed which allowed the design house to explore connections between art and fashion. Besides, even the likes of Andy Warhol were keen on Mario Valentino leather goods. Andy’d look damn good in a pair of beautiful shoes as he’d walk through The Factory.

Mario passed away in 1991. In some way, so did the unique selling point of the design house. The business was left to the family but not much else is now known about the brand. The interest has come back ever so slightly about Mario Valentino as a lot of bags have started popping up with a Valentino logo, leaving consumers confused yet hopeful that they were buying a Valentino Garavani bag for a scandalously cheap price.

But alas.

The aforementioned low-cost bags are something of a revival of the Mario Valentino brand. Some would argue that it is a poor attempt at banking on confusing consumers and leading them to purchase goods with a hope they are something the are not. A sad, sad state of affairs considering Mario Valentino is a genuine legend when it comes to leather craftsmanship and innovation.

But it’s not all bad news – keen-eyed vintage lovers may be able to find a Mario Valentino gem in vintage outlets. If you are not that lucky, don’t worry, the book photographed for this review is a celebration of the Mario Valentino brand, complete with artistic references, sketches, Helmut Newton photography and quotes from Mario himself.

For fashion lovers, fashion historians and fans of Mario Valentino this book is a must-have. It’s a biography, diary, and most importantly a well-researched bible of Mario’s work. It celebrates the rise, and allows us space to discover the fall for ourselves. When it comes to Mario Valentino, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Get your copy of Mario Valentino: A History of Fashion, Design and Art by Ornella Cirillo here.

Edita Reads | Under Another Light: Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferrè

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Under Another Light Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferre Book Review

Flicking through the pages of Under Another Light: Jewels and Ornaments Gianfranco Ferrè felt like looking into a mirror. Here I see Ferrè without a certain consistency. Yes, the architect of fashion did not focus on one look when it came to his bejewelled creations. Finally, someone with a similar lack of consistency as me in my style, someone whom I could relate to, someone who created to experiment, to build, and to push boundaries. I am not comparing myself to fashion’s architect, I am merely happy to see an almanac of works, rather than a book with a set look, zooming in on small variations on a single idea, that a lot of designers stick to as this is their trademark.

To me, Under Another Light is a book of photography that pushes you intellectually: You view the images, you interpret the pieces and only once you have analysed and understood the experiment that every item is, you decide whether or not you are warming up to the work, or as the book refers to it “body of jewellery”.

“In each jewel lies a world. Or rather, the world. Ever an object of incommensurate symbolic value, for me a jewel makes makes an infinite number of things tangible: references, refferals, glances at the most varied kinds of reality actual as well as dreamlike, from which I draw inspiration. Therefore, I do not feel the slightest difference between ‘dreaming’ a dress or a jewel. So the impulse to search for stimuli and suggestions is absolutely similar, in an infinitely heterogeneous dimension, with neither spatial nor temporal borders.” Gianfranco Ferrè

Truly, Gianfranco showcases a whole myriad of worlds in his jewellery:

  • Those that focus on beautiful workmanship make his trips to India evident. They open a world where you can imagine yourself entering an opulent room worthy of his majesty, the Maharaja, and peek into his jewellery box to find incredible traditional pieces. In this world, you are forgiven to forget that these were designed by Gianfranco Ferrè.
  • Those that mix wood, brass and copper reveal the designer’s love for working with unusual materials. The experimental, almost industrial, pieces displayed in the book can be worn even today by the trendiest folks from the hipster crowd.
  • Those that simply must be styled with hauntingly beautiful and almost ghostly chiffon dresses by McQueen. Although in your mind you understand that you are looking at metal work, your heart sees feather light, delicate, almost vulnerable jewellery pieces that portray frozen movement. In this world, Gianfranco made time freeze, and within it a captured emotion raring to get out, but never able to.
  • Those that embody luxury. Ferrè’s take on luxury jewellery is not like any other designer’s. In this world, he did not focus on what an elderly wealthy socialite might be keen on, although that segment of population was probably the only one able to afford his jewellery. Instead, he continued pushing his knowledge of architecture, building monumental pieces that would make the loudest statement in the room.

There are more “worlds” that you can discover in Gianfranco Ferrè’s jewellery – but you need to find them yourself. Use this book as a map, and every “world” you locate – a treasure. It’s an adventure you won’t regret embarking on.

Thank you Skira and Fouchard Filippi Communications for sending me a copy of the book to review.

Edita reads | Andrew Gallimore by Rankin

Edita-Reads-Andrew-Gallimore-by-Rankin-1

Edita Reads Andrew Gallimore by Rankin 4

Edita Reads Andrew Gallimore by Rankin 10

Edita Reads Andrew Gallimore by Rankin 9

Edita-Reads-Andrew-Gallimore-by-Rankin-14

Edita Reads Andrew Gallimore by Rankin 8

Edita Reads Andrew Gallimore by Rankin 7

Edita Reads Andrew Gallimore by Rankin 6

Edita Reads Andrew Gallimore by Rankin 5

Edita Reads Andrew Gallimore by Rankin 13

Edita Reads Andrew Gallimore by Rankin 11

Edita Reads Andrew Gallimore by Rankin 12

Edita Reads Andrew Gallimore by Rankin 3

Edita Reads Andrew Gallimore by Rankin 2

You know it’s a good coffee table book when you simply can’t put it down. There are no words, just visuals. Addictive, addictive visuals.

I am talking about Andrew Gallimore by Rankin. If you are into make up, can’t leave the house without mascara, are more particular about your contouring rather than your coffee – this book is your new inspo-board.

This is a chronicle of many faces created by Andrew Gallimore – Nars’ make up ambassador, Hunger Magazine’s Beauty-Editor-At-Large – and immortalised by Rankin. I don’t know why some of these looks still haven’t debuted in edgy pop music videos. Iconic status guaranteed.

Like the book itself, which only has a short interview with Andrew towards the end, almost reminiscent of a bibliography section, I will not speak too much about it. It’s a clever tactic by the publisher who is clearly keen on giving art a chance to speak for itself. Sometimes with all of our interpretations, reviews, thoughts we dilute the art itself. What do you remember more: all of Da Vinci’s paintings or the conspiracy theories in the Da Vinci code? I personally just see the Mona Lisa in front of me and a list of thesis stated by scientists and fanatics. Only if I focus my grey cells, then I see more art pieces by Da Vinci. We, the reviewers, journalists, scholars at times tend to put our words on the same pedestal as our subjects. That definitely is not right.

Not this art tome. Here, we shut up and enjoy. Silence and appreciation. I shall leave you to it.

I’d like to thank team Rankin for my copy. You can get the book here too.

Edita reads | Edie: Girl On Fire By Melissa Painter And David Weisman

Edita reads Edie Girl on Fire 1

Edita reads Edie Girl on Fire

Edita reads Edie Girl on Fire 14

Edita reads Edie Girl on Fire 13

Edita reads Edie Girl on Fire 12

Edita reads Edie Girl on Fire 11

Edita reads Edie Girl on Fire 10

Edita reads Edie Girl on Fire 9

Edita reads Edie Girl on Fire 8

Edita reads Edie Girl on Fire 7

Edita reads Edie Girl on Fire 6

Edita reads Edie Girl on Fire 2

Edita reads Edie Girl on Fire 3

Edita reads Edie Girl on Fire 4

Edita reads Edie Girl on Fire 5

Edie’s life was a dream. In the end she just had to wake up. I genuinely have no other way of describing it.

If you are interested in the life and times of Edith Minturn Sedgwick, you won’t want to miss this tome purely for the photographs, some seen before, others – never. My edition came with an audio of Edie’s voice where she described her Factory Days and spoke about life as she saw it. Most of these you’ve probably heard if you’ve seen Ciao! Manhattan (1972).

The book doesn’t really have a bio or a narrative. Instead, it is a collection of quotes from Edie and about Edie. It’s just mesmerising to see how fondly her friends remember her. Their quotes make her into a mythological creature, a fairy, certainly not of this world. She must have been quite the presence.

Edie Sedgwick was an American socialite whose notoriety rose to fame in the 60s. She became Warhol’s first superstar and the first “it” girl. Many claim that it was her who coined the phrase about everyone having 15 minutes of fame in the future that Andy Warhol is currently credited for.

The pair collaborated on a number of projects including a series of photography and underground films, the most popular of which was Poor Little Rich Girl where Warhol follows Edie as she gets ready, puts clothes and make up on while talking to the camera. Call it the first reality show of its kind.

I’d make a mask out of my face because I didn’t realise I was quite beautiful. I had to wear heavy black eyelashes like bat wings and dark lines under my eyes. Cut all my hair off, my long dark hair, cut it off and sprayed it silver and blond. All these little manoeuvres I did out of things that were happening in my life that upset me. I’d freak out in a very physical way, and it was all taken as a fashion trend.
– Edie Sedgwick

Edie died at a devastatingly young age of 28 due to a barbiturate overdose. After a lifetime of partying, forced time in mental institutions, family tragedies (alleged fear of her father, Fuzzy, deaths and suicides of her siblings) as well as incomprehensibly epic drug abuse, Edie just stopped breathing one night.

Just stopped.

I would like to finish this article, giving Edie the last word. I think it was her devil-may-care, completely anti-fashion attitude that made her into a style icon celebrated to this day.

Fashion as a whole is a farce, completely. The people behind it are perverted, the styles are created by freaked out people, just natural weirdos.
– Edie Sedgwick

You can get a copy of Edie: Girl on Fire here.

Edita reads | Brooklyn Street Style By Shawn Dahl And Anya Sacharow

Edita reads Brooklyn Street Style By Shawn Dahl and Anya Sacharow

Edita reads Brooklyn Street Style By Shawn Dahl and Anya Sacharow 2

Edita reads Brooklyn Street Style By Shawn Dahl and Anya Sacharow 3

Edita reads Brooklyn Street Style By Shawn Dahl and Anya Sacharow 4

Edita reads Brooklyn Street Style By Shawn Dahl and Anya Sacharow 5

Edita reads Brooklyn Street Style By Shawn Dahl and Anya Sacharow 6

Edita reads Brooklyn Street Style By Shawn Dahl and Anya Sacharow 7

Edita reads Brooklyn Street Style By Shawn Dahl and Anya Sacharow 8

Edita reads Brooklyn Street Style By Shawn Dahl and Anya Sacharow 9

Edita reads Brooklyn Street Style By Shawn Dahl and Anya Sacharow 10

Edita reads Brooklyn Street Style By Shawn Dahl and Anya Sacharow 11

Edita reads Brooklyn Street Style By Shawn Dahl and Anya Sacharow 12

Edita reads Brooklyn Street Style By Shawn Dahl and Anya Sacharow 1

Brooklyn Street Style: The No-Rules Guide to Fashion by Shawn Dahl and Anya Sacharow is not really a book about Brooklyn and its style icons. No. It is a book about you, the reader. It is about how you see the world and how you interpret style.

This paperback is a salad made of the most delicious stylish Brooklynites with a very cosmopolitan seasoning. You will see a variety of styles influenced by different countries and ethnic backgrounds starting with Kenya, India and ending with Poland and Russia as well as everything in-between.

One of my favourite quotes from Brooklyn Street Style is by Jenn Rogien, the costume designer of the popular HBO series, Girls:

It’s hard to describe Brooklyn style because as soon as you come up with a way of describing it, it’s moved to something else. It’s constantly evolving.

Much like the other book I reviewed, Paris Street Style: Shoes, this is an easy breezy read that is designed to inject positivity into your life. Brooklyn Street Style does it beautifully: The colours, the eccentricity, the down-to-earth, human approach to fashion – all of these aspects get the reader’s endorphin levels up.

Suddenly, style is not something only grand couturiers can dictate, it is something that you, yourself, can participate in the creation of, just like the inspiring icons in this book.  Think of Brooklyn Street Style as fashion caffeine. Within five minutes your pupils will widen, your heart will start beating faster as your mind puts together a few new looks to try out this week.

This is why Brooklyn Street Style is about you, the reader. It’s about the outfit you’ll wear after you put this book down. It’s about how you’re going to feel wearing it. And most importantly, it’s about you being happy in your own skin.

A huge thank you to Abrams & Chronicle Books for my copy. You can get one here.