Fashion Thread By Rina (From La Vida Prada) On Twitter – My Answers

Image Credits: Toa Heftiba

This fashion thread was created by Rina from La Vida Prada on Twitter a while ago. Her account is one of the most popular on the platform and it is part of High Fashion Twitter; I find the thread comprehensive and I think it touches on many different aspects of fashion so I chose to include it on my blog. 

1. How would you describe your aesthetic? (use pictures if you want)

Being born in the 1990s, I grew up following the Y2K aesthetic because I became a teenager in the early 2000s; during that time I often wore low-waisted jeans (which I later came to dislike) and mini tank tops. Even looking back at photos from that era, I realize that I would often wear belts with large buckles with big Gucci or D&G logos. Over the years, my style has changed a lot, and I have to say that the old money aesthetic is the one I identify with the most; it is an aesthetic that focuses mainly on quality instead of appearance and also includes the preppy style, which I have always loved very much. I don’t like to sport brand logos excessively; I usually prefer high-quality outfits and accessories with a sophisticated and elegant touch. I also love Parisian style and the recent quiet luxury trend. 

2. What other aesthetics would you like to be? (use pictures if you want)

I was very fascinated by the coastal grandmother aesthetic (think Diane Keaton in Anything Can Happen, with comfy, light-colored clothes) and the coconut girl aesthetic (which communicates a 2000s summer vacation vibe), which I got to learn more about thanks to one of the brilliant YouTube videos by ModernGurlz. I would also like to try the dark academia (in homage to The Secret History by Donna Tartt, one of my favorite novels) or light academia, which uses a more neutral color palette following the white and beige tones.

3. What is the next item of clothing you’re planning to buy?

Probably a few pairs of high-rise jeans by Zara. 

4. What items are on the top of your wishlist?

I don’t list them in any particular order, but I think they are a Saint Laurent clutch, a black jumpsuit by Norma Kamali, and a short floral dress by Dolce&Gabbana. 

5. Do you own designer anything? If so, what? (makeup and perfume included).

I became aware with the world of Made in Italy luxury fashion from an early age through my father’s work (I also currently work in the fashion industry), so I own several items from European designers. As for clothing and accessories, I love mixing and matching high-street fashion with luxury designers and brands. A Burberry trench coat from the Christopher Bailey era, a Burberry cashmere scarf, and a pair of Giorgio Armani men’s scarves that my father used to wear when he was younger. I really love my Chanel graffiti hobo bag from the 2007 resort collection because my mother gave it to me for my birthday a few years ago. My Balenciaga Triple S black/pink sneakers. A long evening dress in blue from Ralph Lauren’s Lauren line. As for perfumes, I mainly buy those from luxury maisons, mainly Armani and Dolce & Gabbana (of the latter brand my favorite is Light Blue, one of the first I bought) but I also love the more youthful ones from Juicy Couture and other niche perfumes. For makeup I mainly use products from the beauty industry (BioNike, Max Factor…), but I have a fondness for lipsticks by Dior and I also own a couple of Chanel nail polishes (although I generally buy nail polishes from brands that belong to the nail care industry). 

6. What is a designer item you really want?

Is the book on the history of the Burberry fashion house published by Assouline to be considered a designer item? If not, I’m mainly interested in vintage garments going back a few years or decades (e.g. Ossie Clark’s vintage dresses, since I recently visited a retrospective of the British designer and wrote about it on the blog. If we are thinking of something more recent, I saw pictures of the Jacquemus giant bag parade in Paris a few days ago and would be interested in a Jacquemus Le Bambino bag. 

7. Do you buy sustainable?

I try to buy sustainable as much as possible, despite the fact that this often means spending more money. However, I believe in buying clothes that will last and that come from a “transparent” supply chain; I like to buy from sustainable brands such as Reformation, Sézane and Faithfull The Brand, as well as People Tree, which is one of the most popular brands in the sustainable fashion field.  

8. What are your thoughts on sustainability?

I studied the concept of sustainability in detail during my graduate course in Fashion Business with NYC Parsons School of Design and analyzed the negative impact of fast fashion on our planet. I have always been environmentally conscious and have often donated to causes that are concerned with the preservation of the planet and its inhabitants. I believe that all brands should move toward sustainability; we should buy less and focus on key wardrobe items that are primarily quality garments and whose making does not come from the exploitation of workers in developing countries. 


Growing Up With Vampires: Twilight, The Originals and Other (Vampire) Stories

The Originals (2013). Image Credits: CW Network

I was born in the ’90s so I had the opportunity to witness the mass phenomenon that was Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novel; I was 14 years old when the book series became incredibly popular in Italy and I still remember when the first book in the series, with its iconic cover featuring two white hands holding a red apple, became a common presence on school desks thanks to word of mouth among my classmates. It was the year 2008 (it had been three years since Twilight was published in the States); at that time Facebook was in its infancy, while Instagram and TikTok were yet to be founded. The concept of “viral” as we know it today did not yet exist (think of what is happening these days with Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie movie, whose teaser trailer has accumulated more than 13 million views on YouTube in just 48 hours), but in 2008 the popularity of the book series was mainly due to the imminent release of the Twilight film adaptation starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. I remember spotting the Twilight novels everywhere, passed from hand to hand and read by dozens of my peers, including those who were not particularly fond of reading. Having been an avid reader since I was a child (my parents recall that I learned to read when I was less than four years old), I was urged to buy Twilight and immersed myself in reading the novel that was probably my official introduction to the world of vampires. I say official because I have actually been a fan of horror tales since primary school; I used to love R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series (to which I would like to devote a separate blog article), published during the 1990s and early 2000s and including more than 60 titles. Although there was no vampire present as a recurring character, the 21st Goosebumps book, titled Vampire Breath, was among my favorites in the series.

The book numbered just over 100 pages and was both chilling and humorous. Although vampires were already present in the history of film and literature, Twilight signified the birth of a genre of its own, which became one of the main subcategories of the fantasy novel.

Twilight book cover. Image Credits: Little, Brown and Company


Reading Twilight was like discovering something completely new and distinguished: the books helped establish the paranormal romance genre, and Twilight was one of the first novels in which the human protagonist falls in love with a supernatural being. The plot revolves around Bella Swan, a teenager who has recently moved to live with her father in the rainy town of Forks( in the Washington state), where she falls madly in love with a schoolmate, the vampire Edward Cullen. The series consists of four novels, and although it is full of supernatural elements and fights between fantastic creatures, the story focuses mainly on the love story between the two main characters, which is also full of twists and turns. Twilight created a real cult following in those years, especially with the release of all four films based on the books; the Bella/Edward/Jacob love triangle helped create Team Edward and Team Jacob “groups” (I remember changing my opinion on this matter several times back in the day) and fifteen years later the series remains a staple of late 2000s/early 2010s pop culture. The love story between Bella and Edward was a perfect representation of thwarted love and the meeting of different worlds; moreover, Bella’s character is portrayed as shy and clumsy, so it was easy for most teenagers of the time (including yours truly) to identify with her. Twilight has recently been rediscovered by today’s teenagers, who review the book series, make parodies of scenes from the movies and mimic Bella’s style on TikTok; personally, however, I would be very interested in visiting some of the places where the series was filmed, especially Cannon Beach in Oregon and Montepulciano in Central Italy (Volterra in the books).


Golden Hour Photography: Five Sunset Pictures From My Portfolio

I believe that the love of sunsets is something that most human beings share. The emotions one feels when watching a sunset may vary; happiness, relief, melancholy, sadness… Emotions that differ from each other but are all united by a particular beauty. It is rare that people do not stop to observe the beauty of a sunset. As I have already mentioned in this article that is a kind of homage to the art of photography, I started taking pictures as a child and the camera has always been my faithful companion, whether it was a simple disposable Kodak, a standard digital camera, a Reflex camera or a smartphone with an advanced camera (and it should be pointed out that I was also taking pictures with early models of flip phones of about 2 megapixels). However, sunsets began to be a consistent subject of my photographs only when I received my first SLR as a gift (just a couple of years after the first iPhone model came out), and over the years I have photographed hundreds of sunsets. The richest period of sunset shots dates back to the outbreak of the pandemic; at the time I was living in Bordighera, a town on the Ligurian Riviera that offers breathtaking sunsets, especially in the winter time. I had a balcony overlooking the sea so it was a prime location to observe sunsets and capture them on camera.

For this article I have decided to create a top five of my favorite sunsets photographed over the years; each sunset comes from a different location and I have assigned poetry excerpts to each picture because I believe that every sunset has something poetic about it. Also, I just realized that all the photos I have chosen were taken in Italy; this is probably due to the fact that many places in my country are famous for golden hour beauty.

More sunset pictures taken in Italy and other countries can be found on Flickr in my Sunrise & Sunset Photography album, which also includes one of my most viewed sunset photos on Flickr; it was taken in Calabria (Southern Italy) and served as inspiration for my first WordPress blog post.

1) Lignano Sabbiadoro and the Countryside (North-East Italy):

Lignano Sabbiadoro: The Beauty of Clouds

Beautiful Evening – Mary E. Nealey

I love the beautiful evening
When the sunset clouds are gold;
When the barn-fowls seek a shelter,
And the young lambs seek their fold:
When the four-o’clocks are open,
And the swallows homeward come;
When the horses cease their labors,
And the cows come home.

2) Milano Navigli (Northern Italy):

Navigli Sunset - "Milano da Bere".
Navigli “Milano Da Bere”

In Gold Lacquer by Bliss Carman

The air is flecked with filtered gold, —
The shimmer of romance
Whose ageless glamour still must hold
The world as in a trance,
Pouring o’er every time and place
Light of an amber sea,
The spell of all the gladsome things
That have been or shall be.


International Women’s Day: Five Inspiring Women That Have Influenced Me Over The Years

Image Credits: Jacqueline Macou

As you all probably know, March 8 is International Women’s Day. Conceived in the early 1900s, it has always been understood as a remembrance and reflection on the political, social and economic achievements of the female gender. There is still a lot of work to be done in this regard, but it is also an occasion to remember the political movements to claim women rights, which date right back to the beginning of the last century.

I grew up having my mother and grandmother as role models; strong, resilient women with innate charisma. They taught me to fight for what I believe in, to overcome my limitations, and to have confidence in myself, even at times when I had less self-esteem and when I felt most discouraged.

In addition to them, I have had various female role models among the famous ones who have been a source of inspiration for me over the years; they have inspired me not only in terms of style and attitude but also in terms of what good and positive changes they have helped bring to the world.

On the occasion of this International Women’s Day, I have chosen five women in history who influenced me in my formative years (which still last today, because I think you never really stop learning):

Audrey Hepburn on a pier of the East River in NYC / Pinterest

1) Audrey Hepburn : I think Audrey was one of the most charismatic actresses of all time. I was about thirteen years old when I first saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s, probably the film for which she is best known worldwide. I spent my teenage years reading books about Audrey and copying her style, supported in this by a high school friend of mine, who also loved Audrey very much as an actress and style icon.

What is most striking about Audrey is that certain “je ne sais quoi” as the French say, meaning an unintentional and completely natural charm, devoid of any construction or falsehood; Audrey always conveyed her inner beauty not only through all the roles she played but also in her civic commitments off the set. Born in Belgium but raised between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, she lived under the Nazi regime and studied dance and theater before beginning her film career. After a series of successful roles (which also earned her an Oscar for Roman Holiday), she later preferred to devote herself to her family and toward the end of her life she became an official UNICEF ambassador, committing herself full-time to humanitarian work and the less fortunate (perhaps partly because she remembered all the suffering she had endured firsthand during World War II). Even thirty years after her death, she is remembered primarily for her role as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and her style on and off the set is still an inspiration today (even for the character of Blair Waldorf in the book-series-turned-TV show Gossip Girl). Many of the items worn by Audrey Hepburn (who was also a friend and collaborator of Hubert de Givenchy) have now become wardrobe staples, such as the ballet flats and the trench coat. Not forgetting her iconic short haircut, which my mother also sported recently; she looks a bit like Audrey because of the dark colors and thick eyebrows, and I still remember when a guy who was carrying one of my Audrey paintings when we were moving out asked my mother, “Excuse me ma’am, is this a picture of you when you were younger?” In addition to the paintings, I also have some magazines with Audrey Hepburn covers, many coffee-table books and a DVD box set of her most famous movies inherited from my grandfather; Audrey is and will always be a great inspiration to me.

Annie Leibovitz at work / Pinterest

2) Annie Leibovitz: I have loved photography for as long as I can remember, like I wrote in this post that is a bit of a tribute to the art of photography. As a child I would take a lot of pictures with the disposable Kodaks that were in vogue in the late 1990s/early 2000s, encouraged also by my father who has always had a passion for videography and photography. At that time he was among the first to buy the new digital cameras available on the market and always filmed our family vacations with a camera. The art of photographing and documenting everything was partly influenced by him as well. As you can see from some of my work on my Flickr profile, I’ve always been the “official photographer” in my group of friends, both with the Canon EOS cameras I have owned over the years and with my smartphones. I have always loved photography of all kinds and admired the work of the world’s most celebrated photographers; Annie Leibovitz has always been one of my favorite photographers especially for her portraits and editorial shoots done for Vanity Fair and Vogue. She has a special empathy that allows her to tell stories through every photograph she takes, and this is particularly evident in her portraits of celebrities. Although she is now recognized as one of the world’s greatest masters of photography, it strikes me how everything she does is preceded by a thorough study of the subject and the story she intends to tell through her work. In 2011 she told the Italian online photography magazine Sguardi: “I always do my homework. For example, to prepare to photograph Carla Bruni, the new wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, at the Élysée Palace, I looked at many photos of the palace. I got pictures of other people who had lived there. I looked at several pictures of couples in love, as well as all the pictures of Carla Bruni taken by other photographers. She was immortalized several times, but I think Helmut Newton saw something in her that no one else ever caught. Finally, knowing that she was also a singer, I listened to her songs. Of course, I always carry with me a large “memory bank” made of the images taken by the photographers who came before me, a kind of hard drive that has its seat in my head. I am a photography enthusiast. Or a scholar, if you prefer. I collect photographic books. It happens that some element belonging to the history of photography contributes to the style I choose for my shots. And the style of an image is certainly part of the idea.” I love the self-taught way she learned and her ability to find sources of inspiration on her own; I have not yet purchased her photography volumes but I am very interested in Wonderland. One of the editorials I love most by Leibovitz was made for Vogue US in December 2003; starring model Natalia Vodianova, it was inspired by Alice in Wonderland and it is truly something unique and never seen before.