Elena Vera Stella fashions: Beauty of being you

Elena Vera Stella has had a passion for fashion since she sat at her nonna’s knee and watched her grandmother create wonders in embroidery, crochet and knitting. At four years old, she already thought she too “could make something pretty”.

From that inspiration amid the days and evenings in Lamezia Terme, Calabria grew the determination to start her own brand, atelier and school to train others.
Fashions by Elena Stella Vera, Calabria, Italy
Elena Vera Stella loves the power of clothing and the transformative quality of dressing up, showing it is a language all its own.

Today she runs the Academia della Moda at a villa on the town’s Piazza Stocco, where fashion conscious students arrive from across Europe to learn the design and craft of garments. “My fashions are made with the stamp of quality,” says Elena.

Twelve years ago she also launched her eponymous brand Elena Vera Stella that creates three collections a year.

Knowing well her calling, Elena Vera Stella studied at the School of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Florence in an experimental program specialized in fashion and customs. She then took internships at Guess, Emilio Pucci, Gattinoni and collaborated on a catwalk show with Chiara Boni.

After her studies, she returned to Lamezia Terme and opened her atelier La Maison on Piazza Stocco across from the cathedral in the heart of the city. She lives on the top floor of the 19th-century villa with her showroom and workshop below.

The showroom also serves as a cultural lab where a range of art exhibitions and literary readings are held. “I plan a lot of events around the year. My place is a local hub for creative young people,” says Elena. “They are a source of inspiration to me”. Elena promotes good taste. “There is a new generation of talented artists in Calabria and they are worth of being promoted,” she says.

Her inspiration is also drawn from travel. “I have a thirst, a necessity to see different places and cultures,” she says. Her fashions reflect the flavors, scents, sounds and music of what she discovers, what she calls the essential essence. The result is a free and whole expression in design.
Fashions by Elena Stella Vera, Calabria, Italy
Casual chic skirt, part of the feminine ensemble that makes women shine in their daily street look.

“The dress is a second skin that tells a lot about who we are,” says Elena. “Your wardrobe says a lot about you. It shows not only what kind of person we are, but also our attitudes and our intentions.”

Her graduate thesis was on the psychology of garments. “Clothes are so revealing of our personalities. We are sending messages through them,” she says. Also at the core of her work is her intrinsic honesty. “I am a woman of the south. I have never compromised my honesty and have respect for my own intellect and freedom.”

She works on custom-made garments that are also honest, reflecting the personality and total look of the wearer. “Women come like searching pilgrims,” she says. “They might not think they are beautiful, but they actually are with the beauty to be themselves.”

As the brand moves forward, Elena Vera Stella increasingly produces prêt-à-porter fashions for a bigger presence in the industry and wider distribution. Her dream is to expand the brand of course, but her biggest ideal is that her daughter will always be proud of her. “I want her to be proud of the little I did, that I did it with absolute veracity,” she says.

Elena Vera Stella began collaborating with the San Remo Festival in 2002 and still does. She had a show in Milan in 2012 and at Turin Fashion Week in 2016.

Now she continues to work on her prêt-à-porter production and in March will finish a collection of evening and cocktail dresses that use silicon thread in traditional lace to impart a special shimmer. It is an approach she first showed at New York Bridal Week last year.

Her summer collection will be made of vivacious colors: Violet and acid green that still maintain sobriety and elegance. “I like to dress real ordinary women. It’s where I prove my skills,” she says. “My goal is to make that ordinary woman beautiful and boost their confidence in being themselves. Beauty is who you are, not trying to become somebody else.”
Fashions by Elena Stella Vera, Calabria, Italy
Elena Vera Stella (center) with models during a moment at the Ottima show dedicated to bridal and formal dresses.

At the moment Elena Vera Stella is producing a cool prêt-à-porter collection of casual chic skirts, part of the feminine ensemble that makes women perfect in their daily street look. The current skirt collection is made of upholstery fabrics, particularly brocades and tapestry. Something exclusive to wear with plain clothes.

When she begins thinking about a collection, she does extensive research and then she look at how certain colors tie in with the theme and her structured garments. Elena Vera Stella loves the power of clothing and the transformative quality of dressing up. Clothing is a language all its own.

You can find authentic Elena Vera Stella garments in Lamezia Terme and Pizzo, Calabria and in her showroom in Milan at via Pestalozzi.

More of her designs