In a new wave of Russian feminism, hundreds of thousands of women are posting selfies on social media showing their pimples, cellulite and even hair loss to challenge beauty stereotypes that women’s rights activists say fuel low self-esteem and even eating disorders.

Russia is still a very body conscious country, where strict beauty standards and body shaming are an everyday reality.  Why do men not succumb to this same pressure, I ask myself.  My mind boggles with both frustration and annoyance.

Take Spain for example, or most Mediterranean countries, women’s roles are set out for them, the happy homemaker cannot be seen to fight, to fend for herself, but instead looks to the “man” for his approval.  As a Sicilian child, I grew up seeing a lot of this. Women who are seen to be tough are frowned upon, not feminine enough, not ladylike, yet some of these same types see beauty in a matador, tormenting and fighting a poor animal that sadly has no choice or say in the matter. A sport that is glamorised in both its act and its attire.

In Japan, a fighting form for women that has not only been accepted but also highly recommended and praised, is known as Aikido.  A Japanese origin, one in which I practice myself in between sketching designs, pattern cutting and watching Reality tv! This is my outlet, my escapism, my very own personal anger management class.  A great mindset and focal vision is achieved. When in the zone, my space in which I practice becomes my ring, my cage, entering the ring gives me this upmost feel of self worth, power and belonging. One cannot disturb the protective powers in which one feels when she is in her ring. I encourage every girl, every woman, to find her ring.




Whilst I was designing garments for my ‘Girls of Outlaw’ theme, I was heavily inspired by the film Kill Bill and Madonna’s Erotica. It has always been made clear, by myself, that music and film are what inspire me, and not other fashions. Grainy film and distilled imagery is of great interest to me, creating both mood and atmosphere- which are my two key words within most, if not all, of my creative outputs.




Kill Bill, the story of a warrior heroine simply named ‘The Bride’ played by the beautiful, androgynous Uma Thurman, who acquires the sword of wisdom to overcome five internal enemies, known as the five poisons, her fighting techniques aroused my creativity, slick movements with a sharp cool edge, a girl you don’t fuck with. This, coupled with Madonna’s 1992 concept album, Erotica, in which she incorporated an alter-ego, Mistress Dita, a misunderstood masterpiece of female empowerment, both aggressive and sensual in its sound. This became the mental stimulation, the theology, for me, as a designer, when creating the garments and directing the shoot for ‘Outlaw.’



“I never did mind about the little things” (Bridget Fonda – Point Of No Return/The Assassin)


Gia Giordano.