Don’t be fooled by the frocks that I’ve got…
I’m still the Lady from the block!
All my life, I was fascinated by the Sahara: movies, tales, science lessons in school, my grandfather’s personal experience, you name it.
So when I finally set my eyes on those dunes, a whole new me came to life!
As a part of my Tunisian adventures in the last three years, the desert was always both an exciting destination and a problem. While it had enormous fascination power for all the obvious reasons, there was the “small” obstacle of how to get there. You see, the motorbikes me and my husband own are all roads-only, meaning that they are not built for desert, or even off-road tracks. Yet the true desert was on the south of the country, attracting me like a magnet with little glimpses of its vast beauty while we travelled: every now and then, on the sides of the road I could see true sand, soft like magic dust, and my mind was just blown by the sheer beauty of the landscape, so far from anything I had experienced up to that point.
When the opportunity arised for me to go to visit a spot where one of the episodes of “Star wars” was filmed (I think it’s called Mos Espa) I jumped at it!
I decided I was bringing along one of my favourite dresses, a red Simone Rocha. That piece is so out of the box yet so me: the shape is 100% Lady V, but the fabric and the transparency shocked me when it first arrived: how would I ever pull that off with my curves?
Apparently my boldness was superiour to any kind of fashion-wise perplexity, so I embraced my own body shape and have worn the dress since to a few events, gathering nothing else than compliments.
I get asked often how I dare do wear what seems to be made for models only.
Well, for starters, I am not shy by nature: I never was, never will be. In fact, many say I can be intimidating because of my own self-confidence. The truth is in the middle: I have a gentle yet firm character, I rarely take a no for an answer and I am never afraid of taking risks. When I first started my Instagram / Blog project, I got so many offensive comments and bullying from people that it made me realise I must have been doing something right. You see, nobody truly interesting is universally liked, and the fact that I dared to wear high fashion and not to be a size 38 (or USA 0, if you prefer) made me stand out.
Then I started receiving messages from women all around the globe saying how seeing me inspired them to love themselves more, and generally remarking on the fact that I made them believe a “normal woman” (a term which I take with maximum caution) could wear fashion and look good in it. That almost shocked me: why would they ever think that a woman that did not conform to models’ proportions could not be fashionable, could not be confident – and above all, who said a woman could not be happy and loved regardless of her size?
So, this love for fashion and traveling brought me to Africa, on a motorbike (sooner or later I will make a small video on how exactly I manage to pack high fashion without ruining it), with a fabulous dress…. and some very, very bling shoes:
I can already see you asking me: where in God’s name did you change?
Well, that movie set is really a small village, although inside of the houses there’s nothing. So I used them as a changing room, despite all of the locals who were curious as to what I was doing.
Once I managed to change from bikerchick to Lady Violante, I started walking. What you see around me is partly real desert sand, and partly Chott El-Jerid, the salt lake near the city of Tozeur. If you look closely (you can click on the first photo of the dress and it will open in full resolution), you can see the sparkly salt crust on the ground!
Then I went up to the dunes, kicking off my sandals, and despite the amazing sunny day and an almost summer temperature, I was quickly reminded that it was indeed December when I touched the cold sand with bare feet 😀
Yet not even my fear of crawly desert creatures (I know, I know, in the winter there are none… ) could stop me from enjoying this experience completely!
Perhaps it’s all about attitude: I know I am not a model. I could not be one, and I would never want to be one: my physique was always true to my eastern roots. But I love myself, and I am loved, and that to me is the key: my size might change but my self-confidence comes from love. I celebrate my shape just like I celebrate those of other women I know, ranging from a IT36 to an IT 48. Fashion is for every woman, my friends, and those who do not agree with this can go and hide in their mental caves, while the rest of us celebrate life.
The pictures were taken by a photographer who loves his muse: my husband. Another key to a happy woman: someone who supports you every day, even in things that aren’t really his/hers thing – because fashion is the most remote thing from my man! Surrounding myself with positive people, and ignoring any form of negativity – that was the wisest decision I have ever made. In fact, you will never see me get on the same level of trolls who come on my Instagram or even here: “Let it go“, anyone? 😀
One thing I miss from this Saharian day is the silence.
Oh, the silence! I have never experienced anything like it. There is absolutely nothing for kilometers around, and there is also almost no wind, so the only noise was my laughter and the clicking of my photographer’s Canon. Can you imagine that kind of isolation? Milan is a city permanently humming with noise, even in the middle of the night, so that was between astonishing and surreal for me!
Yet, the day came to an end and we rode back into the sunset towards civilization, but the Sahara’s charm was to produce another adventure…
To be continued…
LOCATION: CHOTT EL-JERID (TOZEUR), TUNISIA
DRESS: SIMONE ROCHA
SHOES: SERGIO ROSSI