UK-based Daniella Robins (24) of Lella Victoria has been experimenting with different styles and honing her eye since she was eleven. And it shows. At that young age she was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, and she started using her passion for fashion as a creative outlet. Over the years she has developed a signature style that is as varied as it is individual. From a touch of avant-garde to arty eclectic or vagabond chic, our blogger does it all with panache. Yet, there’s a common denominator: her inspiring layering skills and appreciation for good-quality pieces that will go the distance:
“I feel my style has developed massively over the last 5 years, I’ve really come to appreciate personal style rather than moving with the fast pace of ‘fashion’, and I’ve come to learn that investing in good quality clothing is well worth it. I would rather buy one well-made piece that will see me through season after season than bulk buying badly constructed pieces that I’ll probably want to throw out 6 months after buying them because they were just too ‘fashion’. As far as describing my style goes, this is something I often struggle to explain, as I love playing with many different styles and trends. To sum it up, I guess I would hope that my style is seen to be unexpected but with a consistent, classic undertone.”
When browsing Daniella’s blog, you’ll quickly notice how she has elevated creative layering to an art form. Studying her outfits is like peeling away the layers of an onion; more details reveal itself each time you look. By picking a neutral colour palette with taupes and greyish brown, she’s allowing each individual piece to shine. At first glance the belted knit vest looked like an artfully draped scarf. Love it. It has that cosy Fair Isle sweater feel, which is in soft contrast with the tougher vibe of the leather moto and the stiffer canvas of the military trench. That’s Daniella: Queen of Contrasts. The second clever juxtaposition is that this outfit feels slightly more tailored on top with the fitted jacket reining in the volume, before things start to get slouchy on the bottom with the peek of white top and the baggy BF jeans. The suede Miu Miu pumps and the oversized black clutch echo the darker shades in the outfit and add further textural interest.
Sporty nonchalance with iconic Converse. Or is it sexy librarian meets laid-back hipster? The answer is both. Daniella sure knows how to do various fashion personas all in one outfit without it looking contrived. The playfully arranged bun, the alluring fit of the midi dress and the striped button-down play up the strict and sexy. While the slouchy fit of the long cardigan with college prep stripe on the sleeve, and the open shirt cuffs carelessly peeking out from under it tone it down. Whether she’s going minimal or maximal, Daniella choses each component of her outfits with great care to make every single detail count. The leather sneaker, for example, is more interesting with the knits than the canvas version would have been. The brown buttons on the cardi and reddish brown belt add an earthy element. And the calm grey-blue colour palette is picked up again in the dark blue nail polish.
This is the most minimal look of the bunch, and it’s my personal favourite — spectacular in its bright simplicity. Look at the perfect pant length on these wide-legged trousers! I can hear Angie’s happy sigh all the way from Antwerp. Also, here’s definite proof that shorter lasses (Daniella is 5″3′ ) can absolutely pull off a head-to-toe volume on volume look. With the great drape of the bright yellow trousers and slouchy fit of the navy chunky knit sweater, Daniella gets the proportions exactly right. Notice how she’s added back in a little structure by rolling the sleeves of the jumper to partly bare her forearms. Opting for very refined footwear, we can just catch a glimpse of the pointy toe pumps peeking out from under the trousers, brings another tailored element to the mix. Not in a million years would it have occurred to me to pair sunny yellow with sci-fi metallic pink, but isn’t it the most delicious and unexpected combo. A sparkly necklace in neon candy colours provides the finishing touch.
Maximal layering without adding bulk, this is once again trademark Daniella. She created this outfit around a beautiful long teal gilet with asymmetric finish. The clean cut of the woven jacket keeps all the volume underneath contained, with an assist from the brown leather belt. Rolling the sleeves on the oversized shirt adds structure, the traditional checks are in brilliant contrast with the pièce de résistance of this ensemble: the sleeveless frock with photographic black and white print. Only in movement do we get to see more of this little work of art. What a treat! It gives the entire outfit an arty edge, while the gilet over the flared jeans — fitted on the thigh to smartly balance out proportions — and Daniella’s flowy long hair are somewhat modern boho. The black Chanel bag is the timeless classic element with which this exercise in sartorial balance is successfully concluded.
There’s something charmingly tomboyish about this look that just makes me smile. It must be the twinkle in Daniella’s beautiful blue eyes, combined with the ultra skinny fit of the jeans and the dandy-esque vibe of the scarf. Actually, this isn’t a scarf, but a graphic patterned tie wrapped around her neck to ward off the chill. Nice way to pattern mix with the long-sleeved striped tee, which further helps break up the solid head-to-toe blue. To my eye, the denim on denim look works particularly well here, because thanks to the roomy colour-blocked dress (worn as a top) we have three different shades of blue in the outfit. The two-toned stacked heel sandals provide a ladylike contrast to the masculine integrity of all the denim. The tougher black leather jacket helped keep Daniella warm, and adds just the right amount of rocker chic.
Our layering expert pulls off the skirt over pants look with aplomb. And she doesn’t stop there, also throwing a button-down, cardigan and tailored blazer into the mix. This type of maximal outfit doesn’t divulge every detail at once. It was only on second viewing that I noticed how the building blocks — crisp white shirt, navy pants and burgundy platform brogues — have a hint of strict Jil Sander to them. That the big chunky knit scarf and playful hat add a touch of grunge. That the untucked shirt, splash of orange and slouchy-fitting cardigan give this outfit its effortlessness. Or that the burlap-like fabric on the fab full skirt lends the outfit a bit of urban grit. A lot going on (ALGO), yes! But the blue colour palette and Daniella’s innate sense for great proportions tie it all together beautifully.