On a sunny afternoon we met Michela Zedda, creator of the site and profile Falling of style, recording an episode of our podcast channel (Audio-à-porter on Spotify, Spreaker, ApplePodcasts). With her we went to the discovery of the world of style slips, of things hidden in wardrobes, of the vintage of the 80s and 90s and also of the most feared customers by those who have an online shop! Michela is also a photographer and with some shots from that afternoon she shows you the tests of clothes and accessories from her shop, in an all green set. If you listen to the interview, you will get all his irony, inventiveness and passion for finding the right piece for a fall in the doc style!
Hi Michela, thank you, I am very happy that we met today in Villa Borghese on this beautiful sunny day. I was very keen to have you as a guest to tell about your page, site and on line shop, not only because we always like to talk about the sustainable option of second-hand fashion.
“Clothes your mother despises and your grandmother approves.” “The out of fashion just before it gets cool”. “The button that is missing from the jacket of good taste”: I had to know you! Because with this presentation of Cadute di stile (“Lapses of style”) I really wanted to meet you and to discover more about you. First of all, let’s tell who you are and what you do, Michela.
“Thank you Arianna, thank you for your interest and for the work you do to promote sustainable fashion. I have been involved in photography and web design for about 3 years, maybe even more. In these 3 years I started Cadute di stile in my free time from activities”.
So you come from another world, that of photography! Even if taking a look at the site you immediately see the photographer’s eye, because the lights and colors attract, in addition to the very original slogans. Cadute di stile: what is it?
“It is a small amateur activity of selection and resale of vintage and second-hand clothing and accessories”.
We always talk about this ‘vintage’. We also write about it a lot on the Dress Ecode website and page, but why don’t we remind what vintage means and above all what is vintage fashion?
“Speaking above all of clothing and accessories, by vintage we mean any type of object produced at least 20 years ago and which has an iconic quality. For example, Swatch watches are vintage. The Naj Oleari schoolbag from the 80s may be vintage. Vintage fashion is the fashion that brings together modern clothing and garments that come from the past, especially considering the fact that fashion is cyclical. What may be out of fashion now will no longer be in 10 years. There is this constant re-circulating pieces of clothing or accessories that are part of the past but will be part of the future of fashion”.
Like now with the 80s. The clothes we saw in those years have disappeared for quite some time and instead lately they have come back into fashion. What do you like, Michela, about used and vintage items? How did your passion start?
“I started visiting the markets when I was a teenager and I started dressing like that, even against my mother’s complaints! ‘What are you going to buy in those shops, it’s all dirty, it’s all half broken!’. But I liked it, also because I saw its charm, certainly not the worn or used component. I liked it and I still like it above all because it allows you to get out of the canons of the already seen, the uniforming fashion that makes you dress exactly as 10,000 other people around you dress. And then there is also the ecological component, caring for the environment and the use of resources, so with vintage dressing something that already has a past behind it, you avoid buying something that perhaps has an unclean production mechanism”.
So you have always dressed yourself in second-hand and vintage clothes. It is a passion born for some time.
“Yes, by the way, up to a certain point I was wearing everything I bought. From a certain point on, I started wearing everything in gray and black, but I kept the pleasure of looking for coloured pieces, with particular patterns. The next step was ‘Ok, I like to look for them, find them, maybe I don’t wear them anymore like I used to, but I also like to put them back in circulation for someone else”.
You mentioned earlier your mother, who saw this your passion for second-hand purchases a bit like this. Did you tell me about the business they still have, what they do and where? Because today we meet here in Rome but your family is…
“In Sardinia. I am originally from Cagliari and I have been moving to Rome for about 15 years. My parents now have a business of tailoring repairs, until 20 years ago they were trading fabrics. So as a child, in the 80s and 90s, I would go around their shop and dress with the scraps of fabric that I found around. I think a lot of the taste for fabrics certainly comes from the fact that these fabric samples were circulating where I saw gold trims, spotted patterns, flowers and florals of all kinds. I would never have said that I would pay in this way!”.
Sei cresciuta in mezzo al vintage e ai tessuti. Oggi che sei qui e ti occupi di questo deriva da tutta questa serie di esperienze che hai fatto fin da bambina, immagino che ti divertivi con gli scampoli! “Cadute di stile: mi sono chiesta tanto come ti è venuto in mente questo nome!” You grew up in the midst of vintage and textiles. Today that you are here and you take care of this comes from all this series of experiences you have had since childhood, I guess you had fun with the offcuts! “Cadute di stile”: I wondered how much this name came to your mind!
“It occurred to me because Cadute di stile started out as an Instagram profile. You may have noticed that on Instagram there is always a tendency to give more space to the aspect of wild self-promotion. Everyone all looks his/her best, with the right profile, the best angle for pictures. Instead Cadute di stile really wanted to be in contrast. Here there are slips and it is good that everyone knows! It’s a programmatic thing! All the phrases you mentioned earlier were also born from there, because the fall in style is precisely the imperfection that betrays you when you least expect it. And that I actively seek because it is beautiful!”.
It’s nice, but it looks simple and in reality it isn’t either. Just as you search for the perfect style, so even the fall of style is not easy, you have to work hard!
“You have to train, yes!”.
Returning to the slogans you remembered now: they are fantastic! also the names you have chosen for the sections that are found within the site, where we can browse your shop. I wanted to see them with you to understand what these names hide! Let’s start with “Clothes from a distant future: antics from the dark wardrobe door”.
“These are names that I am committed to making as less understandable as possible! It is the clothing section where the remote future is what we were talking about before about vintage, so something that was out of fashion, that will come back into fashion and therefore connects the future and the past”.
Wonderful! “Bizarre bijoux: little value, dubious taste, great effect!”. What do we find in this section?
“This is the section that concerns jewelry, bijoux in general, mainly earrings”.
It is in this section that I found the earrings I bought, because I couldn’t resist seeing the photos of Cadute di stile not to buy! Then there is a section that is a bit of a mystery: “The Great Accessoriati: maybe initiates, always dress up”. Tell us what’s in here!
“There are handbags, my beloved bum bags and everything that falls into the accessories category. Always very dark, because in fact we go to rammage in the darkness of the wardrobes and not only, also of the second-hand sections, of the shops, of the markets”.
TYour eyes light up when you talk about it, Michela, we can see that you really like to go in search of these pieces. How do you find these particular items?
“Can I give you an answer like a real fool? They are the ones who find me!”.
They call you!
“Yes, when I see something particularly colorful or with a particularly strange shape, some absurd shapes, I can’t resist and my heart beats. I feel that at that moment the love at first sight has taken place”.
For example, today you brought with you some pieces that we show in the photos. Can you tell us about these pieces?
“So we have earrings that come from a warehouse fund of a Roman perfumery, which I adventurously found on the internet. Going through advertisements that are months and months old I found this supply, about 80 pieces, of earrings. very simple clip to the very elaborate, very baroque one, to the even more playful one, which has a slightly strange shape, star, pointed.
I also brought some watches that are the poor cousins of the Swatches, they unquestionably come from the same period, the 80s-90s, for the graphics that are above and the illustrations and are a more or less fullosome copy. Nostalgia also makes us plausible what we would never have considered at the time! ‘If it’s not a Swatch I don’t want it!’.
Then a shirt, also from her from the 90s, with a dark blue background and teal triangles”.
What about this brightly coloured skirt?
“This is a purple skirt with small grosgrain inserts of various colors and it is by Versus (Versace). I say this with a bit of fear, because I am not among the hunters of vintage pieces who love brands. On the contrary, I am going to hide because it is very little a style drop! This is style with the stamp approved!”.
Brava per essere riuscita a trovarla! Prendiamo Cadute di stile in modo ironico, ma in realtà ci sono pezzi belli, non è per forza lo scivolone! Ti avevo chiesto di vedere il pezzo invece più assurdo e incredibile, quale hai portato? Brava for being able to find it! We take Cadute di stile in an ironic way, but in reality there are beautiful pieces, it is not necessarily a slip! I asked you to see the most absurd and incredible piece instead, which one did you bring?
“It is a tunic with a belt of the same fabric. This discovery took place in the shop of my parents who have kept the old shop that used to be fabrics, now it has become a tailor’s shop. Mom’s clients occasionally bring clothes they basically don’t know what to do with”.
So they don’t just deal with repairs, they still have contact with these old fashioned pieces!
“Yes, from time to time there are some really beautiful pieces. This I think is the most spatial of all. Just spatial as it was intended in the 70s in the Earth Wind and Fire videos. Because there are these small golden inserts, an iridescent color that we were talking about earlier, mentioning the lizards. Reptile fashion is the new must for next season!”.
Fantastic! A unique and particular piece. As soon as you took it out of your magical bag it reminds me a lizard, it’s spectacular!
I also really like the support you offer to those who carry out the same business as you, giving advice to those who, like you, sell online. For example, on your blog you explain where and how to sell vintage clothes, how to survive the Facebook Marketplace and also tell “How to recognize problematic customers and walk away painlessly”. I immediately made myself an examination of conscience…! What are the problem customers? Tell me about the most feared by those who have a vintage and used shop!
“Yes, then, mine is a predominantly online business. I’ve done some flea markets, where the customer is different because when you meet him face to face, however problematic it may be, he always has an additional modesty. Which often loses on line, because you don’t see the person you’re talking to. The worst thing that can happen is that they ask you for millions of details about something they absolutely have no intention of buying or they magically disappear despite having already made an appointment for delivery”.
In the article you also give some advice on how to deal with these problematic customers.
“Yes, I think anyone who has a minimum of familiarity with social networks realizes that if you contact someone who has 10 followers and no profile photo it is obvious that it is a fake profile. It is simply about putting together little clues and not ignoring them”.
I really liked the article because you don’t just think about you but write for people like you who do this job, it’s a bit unusual and I really appreciate it. We talked a lot about your shop, if we want to buy your fabulous pieces where can we find you?
“On Instagram, with a private message we can arrange the delivery. And on 2 platforms that are Depop and Vintag, exclusively dedicated to the sale of vintage and second-hand items, accessories and clothes”.
I have a question for you, I can’t help but ask you: what is the most slippery slip you’ve seen or wore?
“I recently saw a documentary about Anna Piaggi, a fashion journalist. I think one of the first to have cleared vintage fashion. I bow to her because she is the master of all the failures of style. In the good sense, that is to put together so many styles that it is an explosion of colors, patterns, fabrics, materials that at that point the fall in style becomes a work of art”.
Era il discorso a cui accennavamo prima. Sembra molto più facile rispetto a vestire con stile, in realtà anche fare scivoloni con gusto richiede un certo impegno. It’s the aspect we mentioned earlier: seems a lot easier than dressing in style, actually slipping tastefully takes some effort too.
“Yes, certainly and in her case also a certain culture”.
But you have chosen a true blue slip!
In fashion interviews usually people ask for style advice. But no, this time we ask for a (fall) style advice!
The basic faux pas that even absolute beginners can do is for example to mix two different patterns, such as a striped t-shirt and a tartan skirt. What does it take? There it is, the fall of style! Which, however, depending on how you take it can be something that also has its own credibility. It is always in the eye of the beholder the fall of style, after all!”.
Michela, thank you so much for taking the time, for the fun afternoon also taking pictures. Thanks, we will see you in person for sure!
“Thanks to you, it was a great experience, I had a lot of fun. Thanks!”.