Coming Of Age | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

This article was published in Electric Press, literary magazine, London. Here is the link:

It feels like yesterday my coming of age, 18 is a magic number. One feels on top of the world, invincible, unbeatable, conquering the world seems easy as it should be at that age, beauty is just blooming, strength is at its best, everything is possible. Kids dream of the day they will become 18 years of age, then that day comes and goes, it lasts one year and it is over. Life after that takes a different meaning.

In the high stratosphere of society, youngsters coming of age, are presented at court, just as in Downton Abbey, when rebellious Lady Rose is presented officially to the King and became a legal adult, that also means the chaperon is no longer needed.

In a less stratified society, youngsters are still presented today to their friends, teachers, family, neighbors, and perhaps to some city dignitaries as it happened to me many moons ago. The mayor of the city was invited to my party. It took place at the “Sail Club” an upscale place for the upper crust and notables of my native city of Bari in Puglia, Italy.

I arrived at the Club in a landau carriage with a horse and a coachman. I was dressed in a long shimmering silver dress my mother made, the kind Hollywood actresses wore, tight at the waist, spaghetti strap at the top with ample décolletage and flared out at the bottom. The dress shaped me like a siren at the shore.
My first dance was with my father, we glided on the dance floor like two leaves in the wind at the sound of Strauss’s Waltz. We opened the dances. The night went on with special food and drinks served by waiters in white gloves and formal livery. My head was muffled, I felt in a precious glass bauble.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).


Coming Of Age Key

At one point, during the evening, the Mayor of the city came up to me with a red velvet cushion and presented me with a symbolic key to the city. He declared me officially an adult with all the duties and responsibilities the coming of age brings. It was magical and powerful, it felt important. The Mayor of the city kissed me on the cheek and wished me a good life. I heard someone crying in the background…

Next February, I have been invited to my goddaughter’s coming of age, she will make 18 years of age.
I received the picture of her red dress she will wear on that day for a party in the same “Sail Club” in my hometown, still there, still celebrating so many young women.

I will refrain from showing the beautiful red dress she has selected, perhaps she will want to blog about it, instead, I will show you what I will wear at her party. My outfit is a bit retro. These are my accessories, my dress is red and black, short a bit above the knees, the nylons have a seam in the center back, very 1950’s.

Red Pochette Vernice                                                                                                                                                                            Red Pochette

My father was not royal or a blazoned noble, he was a regular bloke with a regular job, who wanted the best for her daughter and a memorable 18 years old party. He is no longer in this world but the memories are grand.

Let’s enjoy the small things in life, those are the things that make life worth living. Ciao.

Fashion Services


Copyright © 2020 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola is a trained Fashion and Interior Designer, born in Italy in a family of artists. Style surrounded her since the beginning of her life. Her many years of experience led her to offer consultations in both specializations and now she can remodel homes as well as personal images. She is passionate about colors and encourages her clients to express their individual style in their homes and with the clothes they wear. She produces her own line of clothing and accessories and designs custom outfit for special occasions when her clients requested it. To better help people all over the world, she offers consultations online. She is the author of four books. Get your copy of Valentina’s book on colors: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors on

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