In July of this year, I had the privilege of meeting my favourite designer, and of gaining an insight into her world. Riwaa Nerona is a self-taught seamstress and corsetiere based in Prague, who specialises in luxurious foundations, beautifully embellished corsets and outerwear which pulls inspiration from the Edwardian and Victorian eras, as well as from the 1940s and 1950s. Riwaa, in my opinion, stands out as a designer, not only because of her bewitching designs, but because she cares deeply about the relationship between the wearer and her garments. Great care is taken to ensure that her customers feel physically comfortable in her pieces, but she also asks that her creations which she has poured so much love into, be treated with as much care.
Let me start by telling you a little about Riwaa, because in order to understand her work, it is important to understand her. Riwaa has been practising her trade for eight years, starting straight after school. I was shocked when she told me that she taught herself as, having been lucky enough to own some of her pieces, I know that the quality and craftsmanship is of the highest standard. However, she does not have an ego and is always open to suggestions, and listens to her customers. I really respect her for genuinely being a master of her craft, yet still having an insatiable appetite to learn and improve her product.
Throughout the day that I spent with Riwaa, I became more and more aware of how disciplined she is as a person. Every action is well considered, from her facial expressions, to her speech and her body movements; she is unapologetically the person she wants to be. Her garments truly reflect her own style and aesthetic, while adapting to the needs and taste of her customers when required, and I can guarantee that nothing will leave her studio in any other condition than perfect. Riwaa demands perfection in all that she does.
Riwaa’s underwear designs can be grouped into three categories – ‘La Femme’, ‘La Femme Fatale’, and ‘La Femme Noire’. She described the ‘La Femme’ collection as being flirty and retro, and inspired by burlesque. ‘La Femme Fatale’ has attributes of sex and seduction, and ‘La Femme Noire’ reflects the darker side of a woman’s personality. Below are some examples of her stunning work.
I am happy to say that I now the proud owner of several pieces of suspension and a corset created by Riwaa, and that I will be posting reviews and photos of them in the next few weeks.
I would like to thank Riwaa for letting me into her world and being extremely kind to me, to her husband for being so welcoming (and SUCH a gentleman!) and to her friends for making the day extra special. I feel extremely lucky.
I will leave you with a clip of her trying on one of her corsets: