Edita wears | Victoriana

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Fashion blogger all black outfit

Dress: Ghost (Similar Here), Pumps: Clarks, Hat: ASOS
Photography: Tina Muller
The dress that I am wearing is by one of the loveliest brands out there called Ghost. Their dresses are genuinely addicting (I bought three, so no #spon here). This specific one had to be in my wardrobe. After watching Winchester (2018), I was inspired by the beautiful authentic detail in the movie. This of course meant that I got obsessed with Victoriana style and wanted to do a modern take on it, hence the photoshoot.

Having said that, the Victorian era was rather interesting in the UK. I wanted to share some of the very buttoned-up insights I found while obsessing over everything that is to do with the Victorian period (1837-1901). By the way, there are tons more! I mean TONS. Considering that I wearing head to toe black, I decided to look at the darker facts from the era.

  1. Mourning Jewellery: Queen Victoria made mourning not only fashionable but also a lucrative business. The Widow of Windsor as some called her was known for (among other things) mourning her husband’s passing for forty years. That’s forty years of trying to avoid public appearances and wearing exclusively black. Following in the country’s leader’s footsteps, the savvy businessmen saw a gap in the market. If mourning is a thing: we will capitalise on it, they thought. And so, mourning attire, mourning jewellery was widely popular. By the way, if you pop to an antique shop or two, you still might be able to find mourning jewellery worn by women of the Victorian era.
  2. Spiritualism: Oh yes, seances were considered a cool leisure activity. Imagine a dark room, a circular table, people holding hands while a medium attempts to speak to those who are no longer with us. I am no expert in ghosts or mediums, but I know for a fact that charlatans had tons of success during the Victorian era. After all, a person who lost a loved one would do anything to feel they are still there. Hello emotional exploitation.
  3. Curiosities: People LOVED weird things. From collecting unique items, ie a brain in a jar, in their “cabinets of curiosities” to side shows or freak shows, people loved a bit of a shock here and there – only a little though, as society life was rigorously controlled, so enjoy it too much and you will be judged and shunned.
  4. Death Photography: Pink once sang, “In our family portrait we look pretty happy, Let’s play pretend, act like it goes naturally”. In the Victorian era they’d sing a slightly different song. Death photography was quite fashionable. This meant staging a scene where a dead family member would look alive and sit or stand among his or her relatives. Or look like they are sleeping, or just you know… Chilling. The creepy thing? No matter how well a photo was staged, you’d always know who the dead one was.
  5. Horror Literature: Hello Dracula, Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – among many more goodies were penned in this era.

Do you know any other dark facts about the Victorian era?

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 reports | Disaronno Wears Roberto Cavalli

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Edita at Disaronno wears Roberto Cavalli 12

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You know what’s fun? Sipping Disaronno cocktails at Roberto Cavalli’s on a very casual Wednesday. And after that? Trying on Cavalli’s finery. I am not sure I can imagine anything more luxurious than the gold leather jacket I refused to take off for a considerable period of time (but I did eventually – I didn’t want to be kindly asked to).

Generally Cavalli is a brand loved by fellow Eastern Europeans. It helps to define confidence, decadence, opulence and all of those terms combined. To explain it a bit better, I shall use Gossip Girl style metaphors: if Roger Vivier is Blair Waldorf, Cavalli is Chuck Bass.

When it comes to the design aesthetic, the label’s cuts are often so sharp, the wearer almost feels limited in his or her movement. But that’s okay. Anyone wearing Cavalli is not in a rush and is worth waiting for. That’s what makes the brand so timeless yet current.

This is why the brand’s collaboration with Disaronno is exciting. It’s giving some sexy skin to a sexy drink. I think I know what liqueur bottle will look most alluring when picking drinks for your New Year’s Eve soirée. It will be the one that wears Cavalli.

Edita reports | The Making Of A Collection

Edita at Fashion Capital 4

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Edita at Fashion Capital 14

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Edita at Fashion Capital 1

Edita at Fashion Capital 2
As LFW approaches, I get a call from a great friend of mine and couture designer, Omar Mansoor. He is keen to share with me the process behind the making of a collection, and I, in turn, want to illustrate to you why I am more likely to save up a little in order to buy a dress, even if there are cheap equivalents all over the market.

I enter Fashion Capital, a platform where independent designers can access a fashion studio equipped with pattern cutting, a myriad of fabrics, sewing machines to mock up ideas as well as get support from the true unsung heroes of fashion – seamstresses, as well as second opinions from fellow designers.

It’s convenient to forget about these skilled professionals when celebrity XYZ can simply parade in the finished product. So convenient in fact, that not only glory and acknowledgement have been reduced to nothing but also working conditions and salaries. We hear stories of sweatshop workers working in basements with their passports and dignity taken away – and think of them as just that, stories. Because of labour for nothing (or close to nothing), poorer synthetic fabrics and avoidance or completely minimising fees for hiring a factory (if the labourer simply works from the discomfort of their homes that are falling apart as there is no money for renovation), then of course the dress will sell for dirt cheap is making it an exciting prospect for bargain hunters. I mean it’s only a fiver like, I am totally getting this, but first – lemme take a fitting room selfie. And that is how this circle works.

After the catastrophe in Bangladesh which actually was reported on (many such examples are swept under the carpet), people are generally more aware of how sad and helpless the situation is. But simply knowing is not enough. If you want to know the more about the current state of fast fashion and how money is made, I urge you to read Lucy Siegle‘s book. I said it before, I’ll say it again – the book will open your eyes. And I am not paid for continuos endorsement of this book, it just IS that good.

That being said, no one is paying me to praise the platform that Fashion Capital is providing for independent designers. I feel very privileged and lucky that they kindly opened their doors to me – I could see people enjoying their jobs, progressing in their careers and working in a friendly and a pretty cool environment. But of course, it is hard work. If I am to purchase a dress by the designers who use Fashion Capital, I will know where my money is going. Sadly, having such knowledge is considered a luxury rather than the norm.

Fashion Capital – thank you for having me over, the world needs more places like yours. Another huge thanks to Omar for giving me a little intro into his newest collection – it’s going to be rock’n’roll!

Edita reads | Couture Wedding Gowns By Marie Bariller

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Edita reads - Couture Wedding Gowns

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We place so much expectation on a wedding dress. It has to be the “one”, “the” dress, the “most important dress a woman will wear in her life”. Sounds very stressful, if you ask me. Since we’re on the topic of questioning the system, here’s another thing I can’t figure out: Most important, eh… Says who?

Who said that one’s wedding dress has to be all of the above? With a tank full of questions, I opened the tome on wedding attire – Couture Wedding Gowns by Marie Bariller. This book is no laughing matter and I can afford no sarcasm, in fact I can’t afford anything at all – this is a catalogue of the most expensive dresses in the world. It doesn’t go above the prices of the creations listed here.

From Alberta Ferretti, Chanel through Jean Paul Gaultier to Zuhair Murad, this book has the biggest wedding dress masterminds profiled, quoted and their brilliant creations exhibited. There were a few names I expected to see but didn’t. One was Bruce Oldfield, the other Catherine Walker. I felt at least one traditional British couture house had to be in – but not on this occasion.

That doesn’t take away from the wedding lalaland that this book easily makes any bride (or not yet bride) escape to. If you didn’t know what dress was for you, after opening this book you will. You just will. Even if it’s not published in this bridal bible.

What made it interesting for me is that this book reveals what it feels for the designer him or herself to sketch, conceptualise and make a wedding gown. For these types of commissions fashion and trends take the backseat while personality and emotions are the Anna Wintours on the front row. Designing a wedding dress is an intimate affair for everyone involved.

I still find it mind-blowing that the couturier’s task is to summarise a woman as a dress, a white one. Sounds like an extraordinarily strict brief, but this is what separates the boys from the men of wedding couture: one white dress, not any two alike. That well may be the reason why it is “the” dress – it is an extension of the woman. Without her it is nothing and on her, everything.

Thank you Abrams and Chronicle for my copy. You can buy yours directly from the publisher too.