style fuss

Alexander The Great: R.I.P. McQueen

Posted in Uncategorized by Ciara on February 11, 2010

Photo courtesy of

I had every intention of writing a post today that centered around the start of NYFW – a joyous event in my mind and in that of every  fashion darling.  However, when I came across the news of Alexander McQueen’s death this morning I felt anything but joyful.

The official statement found on



Alexander McQueen’s runway shows were always ones that I looked forward to the very most.  More than just a fashion designer, this man was truly a very talented artist in the truest sense.  According to the articles I’ve been able to find, it is believed that McQueen’s cause of death was suicide though no official statement from his family has been made.

Lovers of his eccentric and controversial work are saddened today but we can take comfort in the amazing art he created through which he lives on.

Alexander McQueen Paris Fashion Week Fall 2009

Illustration by me of the same © Ciara Pickering 2010


How to Wear it: Ombré

Posted in How to Wear it, Trend I Love by Ciara on January 14, 2010

My most influential design professor often reminded my classmates and myself to use gradients with caution.  It’s a good rule to follow in graphic design and, perhaps, in fashion and beauty, as well.

In fashion, ombré generally refers to a fabric-dyeing technique that results in a subtle-to-dramatic color gradation.  Recently, this term refers not only to the clothes on the runway but models’ hair as well.

photo courtesy of Stazee's tumblr

As with the gradients one might attempt in Photoshop, ombré hair should also be approached with wariness – while this beauty trend can look amazing in photographs and on runways, in real-life it might seem as if you’ve just let your roots run wild…

This actually makes me wonder…  Is this some sort of ironic homage to the recession?  Wealthy individuals paying hundreds of dollars to get a dye job that looks like the hair of lower-income women who haven’t the means to maintain their own (at-home) color…?  I’m not sure of the implications.  I’d definitely like your thoughts on this, whether you love this look or hate it.

So, all subtext aside, maybe this (hair) trend is not for you.  There are still a lot of ways to embrace the ombré trend, from a fabulous ombré-inspired manicure to some sweet lace, color gradation tights from Urban Outfitters.

Click image to view set details via Polyvore

Obsession du Jour: The Runaways

Posted in Obsession du Jour by Ciara on January 13, 2010

I have been a long time Joan Jett fan.  Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, The Runaways…  ♥♥♥ Perhaps it’s because my mother was such a huge fan around the time that I was incubating/developing.  I have quite a few of her albums on vinyl and I remember my naive, “tough” high school self rejoicing when I discovered the song “Cherry Bomb” in 11th grade…

Cherie Currie and Joan Jett from The Runaways Live in Japan

This said, I am anxiously anticipating the bio pic featuring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, The Runaways, which is debuting at the Sundance Film Festival January 21-31, 2010 and will be in theaters later this spring.

Kristen Stewart (as Jett) and Dakota Fanning (as Currie) on the set of The Runaways

From the trailer and the pictures I’ve been able to find I’m pretty excited about this film.  I’m a big fan of Dakota Fanning (recently enchanted by her Teen Vogue pictures and she was great as Jane in New Moon).  I think Kristen Stewart — though perhaps not the first person to come to my mind for this role — will do a great job as well.

For more inspiration, view the Joan Jett Beauty Icon slideshow here.

Trend I Love: Digital Prints

Posted in Trend I Love by Ciara on January 11, 2010

As a fashionista with a background in graphic design, I can’t help but be completely elated when I see my two passions co-existing together so seamlessly!  Needless to say, there are many emerging trends to watch for on the Spring 2010 runways and I must say that one of my favorites is the abundance of digital prints.  There are a lot of beautiful prints around this season — from the inescapable florals that one can expect for spring, to the emergence of ikat from Gucci and Marc Jacobs — I am most drawn to the striking, optical, and often graphic prints of Balenciaga, Givenchy, Versace, and, as to be anticipated, Proenza Schouler.

Balenciaga Spring 2010 RTW

Balenciaga Spring 2010 RTW

Givenchy Spring 2010 RTW

Givenchy Spring 2010 RTW

Versace Spring 2010 RTW

Versace Spring 2010 RTW

Proenza Schouler Spring 2010 RTW

Proenza Schouler Spring 2010 RTW

I particularly enjoy the juxtaposition of such strong, graphic prints with flowing fabrics and soft edges (see Givenchy).  The contrast within the prints themselves might be enough, but this pairing of hard and soft can be seen through out all of the aforementioned collections and adds such a nice dynamic element.

For all of you graphic design buffs, if you haven’t played around with it, try Processing, an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions.  It is an incredible tool to explore and can (among infinite other possibilities) help one create images quite similar to these fabulous digital prints.

Images from

What I Wore: Rodarte for Target

Posted in What I Wore by Ciara on January 10, 2010

© Ciara Pickering 2009

Beret – AA

Tunic – thrifted

Cardigan – Rodarte for Target

Belt – Old Navy

Slashed/Crocheted Leggings – Target via D.I.Y.

Tights – Bitten by SJP

Boots – Steve Madden

D.I.Y. Artist Creates Lady Gaga Barbies That’ll Leave You Speechless

Posted in Art Star, Found, inspiration, Obsession du Jour by Ciara on January 4, 2010

Beijing “doll player” and strong advocate of D.I.Y., Veik, has the most amazing Flickr stream with images of his Lady Gaga Barbie Dolls!  He says he doesn’t intend to sell the dolls; he just really wants to encourage others to get crafty.  “Crafty” isn’t even an appropriate word for what he is doing — this is fine art (I hate these labels, BTW and dislike that D.I.Y. is often dismissed as kitsch, etc. but that is a discussion for another day…).  He has the evolution of the Gaga-coif down to a science and the Alexander McQueen re-creations’ details are insane, especially considering working on such a tiny scale.  I, for one, feel very inspired – I’ve recently added some new dolls to my collection, maybe they need a few Gaga-esque accessories! 😉

Photo by Veik

Photo by Veik

Photo by Veik

Photo by Veik

Photo by Veik

Photo by Veik

Photo by Veik

Photo by Veik

style fuss’ Holiday Gift Guide

Posted in Polyvore by Ciara on December 15, 2009

Some last-minute holiday gift ideas! Enjoy!

click image to view details

click image to view details

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click image for details

All I Want For X-Mas: Full Rodarte for Target Look Book

Posted in Designer Watch, Wishlist by Ciara on December 14, 2009

When asked about my favorite designers, Rodarte easily pops to the top of my list.  So, needless to say, I have really been looking forward to the Rodarte for Target collection which will be in stores December 20 through January 31.  Here is the look book (in full, with prices).  I love the styling in these pictures so much!  Will definitely be on the look out for some combat boots…

Lace Bow Dress in yellow leopard: $44.99 Lace Tights in black: $12.99. Photo: Courtesy of Target

Slip Dress in black: $39.99. Bow Belt in yellow leopard: $12.99. Lace Tights in black: $12.99. Photo: Courtesy of Target

Lace Cardigan in mustard: $29.99. Lace Cami in black: $19.99. Lace and Tulle Skirt in mustard: $29.99. Bow Belt in black: $12.99. Lace Tights in black: $12.99. Photo: Courtesy of Target

Sequin Dress in gray leopard: $44.99. Lace Cardigan in black: $29.99. Bow Belt in gray leopard: $12.99. Lace Tights in black: $12.99. Photo: Courtesy of Target

Swiss Dot Dress in blue: $39.99. Bow Belt in yellow leopard: $12.99. Cut-Out Knee-Highs in tan/peach: $9.99. Photo: Courtesy of Target

Denim Jacket: $39.99. Tulle Bow Top in navy: $24.99. Lace and Tulle Skirt in navy: $29.99. Lace Tights in black: $12.99. Photo: Courtesy of Target

Sequin Rib Cage Dress in black: $49.99. Striped Tee in white/navy: $16.99. Lace Tights in black: $12.99. Photo: Courtesy of Target

Lace-Print Dress in tan: $34.99. Lace Cardigan in tan: $29.99. Bow Belt in gray leopard: $12.99. Lace Tights in black: $12.99. Photo: Courtesy of Target

Lace Tee in navy: $16.99. Asymmetrical Cardigan in gray: $44.99. Lace and Tulle Skirt in navy: $29.99. Bow Belt in yellow leopard: $12.99. Cut-Out Knee-Highs in tan/peach: $9.99. Photo: Courtesy of Target

Particularly fond of the lace tights, anything with tulle, and the last three looks.

♥ Kind of in love. ♥

Art Star: Investigation of Line & Form in the Abstract

Posted in Art Star, I ♥ Design, What I Wore by Ciara on December 12, 2009

© Ciara Pickering 2009

Gray with (my favorite) No. IX

at the opening reception

What I Wore

Inspiration: Diane Arbus

Posted in inspiration by Ciara on December 10, 2009

Diane Arbus

“I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.”

Diane Arbus - A young man with curlers at home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C. 1966 © The Estate of Diane Arbus

“The more specific you are, the more general it’ll be.”

Diane Arbus - Identical twins, Roselle, N.J. 1967 © The Estate of Diane Arbus

“The thing that’s important to know is that you never know. You’re always sort of feeling your way.”

Diane Arbus - Puerto Rican woman with a beauty mark, N.Y.C. 1965 © The Estate of Diane Arbus

“The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.”

Diane Arbus - Untitled (1) 1970-71 © The Estate of Diane Arbus

“I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do – that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.”

Diane Arbus - Mexican dwarf in his hotel room in N.Y.C. 1970 © The Estate of Diane Arbus

“Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot. It was one of the first things I photographed and it had a terrific kind of excitement for me. I just used to adore them. I still do adore some of them. I don’t quite mean they’re my best friends but they made me feel a mixture of shame and awe. There’s a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle. Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.”

Diane Arbus - Albino sword swallower at a carnival, Md. 1970 © The Estate of Diane Arbus