Edita reports | Is Fashion Freedom?

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I have been toying around with the idea of seeing Baku for a very long while. After hearing my mum’s Azeri escapades my desire to see Azerbaijan only grew stronger. Here’s why:

E: I want to go to Baku.
Mother: Child, in Baku’s finest restaurants, I was escorted out with security and using only underground exits!
E: You have a pop star past that I am not aware of?
Mother: No, there were lines of admirers outside. Fans of my face and blonde hair, to be exact.

I then facepalmed to the power of blonde hair in what was Soviet Azerbaijan at that time.

We then moved on to deepen my obsession with going to Baku for the arts, food and fashion. It’s no secret that I am captivated by traditional Azeri dress and jewellery.

While all of this travel lust was scrambled in my head – trust me I only voiced this compulsion to my mother – I got the most peculiar invitation. What are the odds that I was invited to celebrate Azeri arts by visiting an exhibition of photography by Alexandra Kremer-Khomassouridze?

The exhibition was called Faces of Freedom and displayed a simple concept: Portraits of women, three each, one without any veils, one with a hijab and one with a niqab.

Alexandra admitted that taking these images changed her and it changed her models. Some women came in dreading the fact that they would need to pose in a hijab, others shed tears at the idea of taking the scarf off. While photographed, the women were discussing what freedom meant to them.
Faces of Freedom

Back at the gallery, Alexandra observed me observing her works. I admit, I tend to look at art with the curious eyes of a child. We started talking about the reason why she felt the topic of freedom of expression was important to her. She told me about her personal test, trying to go hijabi for some time. Her findings shocked her. She wasn’t expecting to feel safe or secure. But that’s what she felt. She felt a different kind of freedom but that’s because she could take it off and pop it back on as she pleased.

Initially before going to the exhibition I assumed I had a pretty good idea what freedom meant. But as I write this, in a horribly crowded train barely able to move, I am not so sure anymore. Granted, I can wear a scarf or twenty at a time if I want but does that make me free? This led me to think that fashion or being a master of your appearance isn’t freedom – nor should it. I see it as a birthright or entitlement – one of the components of freedom but not freedom itself.

A free person can wake up and do whatever the hell he wants. Or not wake up – he’s free, isn’t he? A free person can wear whatever he wants or nothing at all. Who’s to say he is insane? Freedom is no boundaries, no restrictive opinions. In a sense, being free is living in a personally comfortable chaos.

I kept on picturing myself as Alexandra’s model and I was imagining ways to rock all three looks and in my head I did. That’s only because it happened in my imagination. In our own alternative universes we all are free. Just not in the real world where we’re forced to define what freedom is; that in essence automatically makes us captives.

Can you imagine yourself in these pictures?

Edita wears | Zalando Blogger Awards Winners Photoshoot

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Jumpsuit: Warehouse, Heels: KIO, Blazer: Topshop, Jewellery: Zalando

We wander streets. Eat lunch inside the bustle of a tiny café.
I want you to translate
‘Exhaustingly Beautiful’
Tell me
so I can describe you in German.

Bel Schenk – Notes for Somebody in Berlin

Here’s a look you don’t see me wearing every day. A jumpsuit mixed with boho elements, icons of the silver screen make up and some extreme heels. In fact, these particular high heels were not my first choice, but the wonderful team at Zalando insisted that they were very me compared to flatforms, clogs and thick heeled boots. I didn’t know I came across as such a vision of womanity.

These are just a few from hundreds of absolutely awesome shots from the day. The Zalando team were the loveliest to work with and they made sure I experienced Berlin as a true rock star. I don’t think a blog post nor even my entire blog can express how grateful I am to have met such positive, kind and caring people. Thank you Zalando!

Edita wears | On The Streets Of Berlin

Edita in Ghost dress, Toga boots and Chanel bag 2Edita in Ghost dress, Toga boots and Chanel bag 4Edita in Ghost dress, Toga boots and Chanel bag 1Edita in Ghost dress, Toga boots and Chanel bag 3Edita in Ghost dress, Toga boots and Chanel bagEdita in Ghost dress, Toga boots and Chanel bag 5

Dress: c/o Ghost, Shoes: Toga, Jacket: Zara, Bag: Chanel, Collar: Vintage Fox Fur and Amber
Images by: Rebecca Cofie

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
Ronald Reagan, Former President of the United States, speech at the Brandenburg Gate, 1987

And so they did.

I heard so many different points of view before going to Berlin. Some were praising the city, others were saying it was rather grimy. This made me very curious – what is the mystery behind the inconsistency of everyone’s memory of Berlin? Is it a Vienna kind of city or is it a Warsaw type?

That’s when I saw something that Jack Lang, former French culture minister, noted. He said: “Paris is always Paris and Berlin is never Berlin.” And that’s so true. If I come back in a year’s time, it will probably be a completely different experience – it’s constantly being constructed, reconstructed, deconstructed in a never ending circle. And that’s the beauty of Berlin – a city that’s buzzing yet isn’t as saturated as a beehive. A city that boasts memorable architecture but lacks in equivalents of the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame, the Big Ben.

In fact, the piece of architecture it is famous for is simply not there. And yet millions come year on year admiring this beautiful torn down nothingness.

Edita wears | The Quemondo Hoodie

Edita in Quemondo, Boohoo, BCBG, ChanelEdita in Quemondo, Boohoo, BCBG, Chanel 10Edita in Quemondo, Boohoo, BCBG, Chanel 1Edita in Quemondo, Boohoo, BCBG, Chanel 9Edita in Quemondo, Boohoo, BCBG, Chanel 2Edita in Quemondo, Boohoo, BCBG, Chanel 5Edita in Quemondo, Boohoo, BCBG, Chanel 4Edita in Quemondo, Boohoo, BCBG, Chanel 3Edita in Quemondo, Boohoo, BCBG, Chanel 6Edita in Quemondo, Boohoo, BCBG, Chanel 8Edita in Quemondo, Boohoo, BCBG, Chanel 7

Dress: Boohoo, Hoodie: Quemondo, Pumps: BCBG Max Azria, Bag: Chanel, Jewellery: From My Silver and Amber Collection
Photos by Maheen
Location: Richmond, London

Yes, I said it’s fine before
I don’t think so no more
I said it’s fine before
I’ve changed my mind
I take it back
Erase and rewind
’cause I’ve been changing my mind
I’ve changed my mind

The Cardigans – Erase/Rewind (1998)

If you were to say hoodie to me, I’d say sure, you will see me in one when I go to the gym or for a run. Or grocery shopping. You know, things we all do but don’t necessarily talk about or expect to see on personal style blogs. Hoodies have earned this unglamorous reputation of being a safe-choice for lazy days. Something that’s kind of velour, with bunny ears, pink and comes with its own partner in crime: the tracksuit bottoms.

But wait. Just like kicks and sneakers, the humble hoodie is having a rebrand as we speak. I bet you never expected me to blog about it. I don’t think I ever would, had it not been for Quemondo, a luxury hoodie brand that specialises in bringing sporty back with an emphasis on fashion.

The brand went as far as trying to convince me that it could serve as an alternative to my trusty old leather jacket.

No way.

And yet days later I still see my leather jacket. It’s hanging in the corridor, as I am dashing out of the house in my Quemondo hoodie.

I am not taking it off, mate. Get your own.

Edita reports | A Chat With Bruce Oldfield

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Today’s fashion trends are tomorrow’s fish and chip paper.

– Bruce Oldfield at the V&A while chatting to Bryony Toogood, Fashion Director at Brides Magazine.

There is a certain image that comes to my head when someone says couture designer. So let’s sit down on a nice sofa, I’ll grab a notepad, a pipe, dim the lights and put my pretend-Freud name badge on. You don’t have to call me doctor but if you do, you will definitely contribute to the theme.

And now, let’s compose a chain of words that come to mind when someone says couture or couture designer:

Expensive, beautiful, serious, detailed, unattainable, wedding, dress, lace, embroidery, luxurious, not affordable, not for everyone, desirable, dreamy, wealthy, rich, aloof.

Close enough. What you probably didn’t consider to include in the word salad was funny, approachable, humorous, down-to-earth and could-he-please-be-my-best-friend.

But this is exactly how I would describe Bruce Oldfield, one of the most famous British couture designers of all time. I don’t throw around titles lightly but Bruce Oldfield is a name that is synonymous with fashion legend. He has designed iconic dresses for iconic people, including Queen Rania of Jordan as well as Princess Diana of Wales. His designs are not only regarded as incredibly desirable but they are perceived as parts of history because of the calibre of Bruce’s clientele. Even Kim Kardashian was snapped in one of his pieces looking nothing like her usual self. At heart, I almost want to keep Bruce’s work exclusively to royalty, but at the same time there isn’t a designer out there who doesn’t understand celebrity appeal and Bruce is no exception.

But making the right business decisions doesn’t mean he has to follow celebrity culture. I don’t follow fashion, he tells us, the audience. This is because couture lives in world of its own. There are no couture trends. There is no theme that editors can sniff out and call it the next new thing. Couture is personal. It is what you want it to be as long as you can pay for it. Does that mean that the couture client is always right?

They come to me with ideas, I come to them with opinions. Then they come to me with more ideas and I come back to them with experience. It is evident that Bruce Oldfield would never consider compromising quality. I am considered by many to be, and I hate this phrase, a safe pair of hands. Hearing the intonation with which Bruce says this makes me understand why he dislikes this title. There is a hint of rebellion about him, a good dose of hearty sarcasm but there is also a softness. A safe pair of hands is just too boring a phrase to describe his work and that’s why he hates it, at least according to my pretend-Freudian-badge-moment.

Meeting Bruce Oldfield made me feel joyous and hopeful: Joyous because I saw another person who loves hopping from subject to subject as much as I do. Hopeful because all of the sudden couture stopped looking as distant and unattainable. A fashion legend gave me a hug, could I get any closer to couture than that?