style fuss

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


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

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

Inspiration: Chanel Coco Cocoon Campaign Featuring Lily Allen

Posted in Designer Watch, inspiration by Ciara on December 4, 2009

First, I will readily acknowledge that I am late to this party.  Pictures of Lily Allen for Chanel surfaced back in July and the line launched in October, so forgive me my tardiness.  I heard rumors circulating about the Chanel Coco Cocoon line way back but they seemed to get lost in the shuffle of my brain until recently.  I finally sought out the images and it was love at first, albeit belated, sight.

I was a Lily Allen fan before the now fashion darling was so well known.  There is no question about her musical appeal and edgy style.  I recently heard rumors about her plan to open a designer clothing rental shop with her sister and I must say that this news is pretty intriguing…

As for her work with Chanel, I find myself enamored of the aesthetic!  The classic, timeless elements of Chanel blown up in quite a literal way (note the gorgeous plush bag in the first and third pictures) paired with the iconic Holly Golightly styling but with such a refreshing edge…  just amazing.  The choice of black and white photography only emphasizes the drama and visual contrast, especially when in addition to the signature monochromatic styling choices used that Karl Lagerfeld often wears himself.  I think the element of contrast is one of the most important in this campaign, from contrast between shades of black and white to the sophisticated homage tinged with grit.

Inspirations for Winter

Posted in Polyvore by Ciara on November 21, 2009

click image to visit Polyvore for more details on this set and my other looks

I’ve been inspired by a few different things lately…  among them, Karen O (as always), a little dip back into Cabaret, skeletons, deer, sequins, studs, faux fur, and Bauhaus.

As the nights get colder and the days begin to gray, I find myself aesthetically drawn to dark themes, motifs from nature and how wolves can be juxtaposed with deer…  stylistically and metaphorically.

Beauty: The Fifth Element

Posted in Beauty by Ciara on November 18, 2009

I just watched The Fifth Element for the first time in several years.  I remember being captivated by the styling and attention to detail in the film.  This time, I picked up on some great beauty details.

The instant makeup kit that LeeLo uses…

Though I don’t know of anything quite this advanced, I have been curious to try products with a similar appeal lately like the ColorOn Pro Instant Eye Shadow Kit.

ColorOn Pro Instant Eye Shadow Kit shown here in Leopard Lounge

I also loved the nailpolish on Zorg’s secretary…

… so I got inspired.

© Ciara Pickering 2009

Inspiration: The Legend of Billie Jean

Posted in Polyvore by Ciara on November 10, 2009
Inspiration: The Legend of Billie Jean

style fuss at Polyvore - click image for details

“Fair is fair!”

I am a sucker for guilty pleasures and I’m sure for many the 1985 movie, The Legend of Billie Jean, falls easily into that category.  I hadn’t seen this movie since…  probably sometime in the mid-90’s and I found it on T.V. today!  I couldn’t help but love the Billie Idol hair that Helen Slater trades her Babysitter’s Club mane for and add some Pat Benatar… well, I was hooked.  Maybe it isn’t a great cinematic masterpiece but it was definitely a fun inspiration to stumble across.


What I Wore: Halloween

Posted in What I Wore by Ciara on November 2, 2009

skull face
© Ciara Pickering 2009

Halloween was AMAZING!  My best friend is up visiting me and he and I and The Boyfriend put together some pretty fun costumes.  I was inspired by a slashed top from Rodarte  Spring 2009.  I remember seeing it on Karen O on the cover of Nylon’s June/July 2009 Music issue and even back during those still hot days of summer my costume idea began to take shape.

(Pardon the low quality of my one full outfit picture – cell phone pic was the only one that kinda turned out.)

skeleton costume
© Ciara Pickering 2009
Dalton & Ciara
© Dalton Hughes 2009

My bestie and me.

Zombie Gray

© Ciara Pickering 2009

My zombie boyfriend.

space invaders

© Dalton Hughes 2009

monster mash

© Dalton Hughes 2009

dance floor

© Dalton Hughes 2009


© Dalton Hughes 2009

halloween puppy

© Dalton Hughes 2009


creepy love

© Dalton Hughes 2009


I hope everyone had a great Halloween!  We certainly did!


Halloween (Eve) Inspiration: Eraserhead

Posted in What I Wore by Ciara on October 30, 2009

© Ciara Pickering 2009

My best friend, Dalton, is here visiting and so I don’t have the time to make a huge post but…  I didn’t want to leave you hanging, so here is my look for tonight.  This is not my Halloween costume or really a costume at all I just got inspired by my favorite film, David Lynch’s Eraserhead.


eraserhead tattoo

tattoo by Dave Hammett © Ciara Pickering 2009


We’ve been making things for our costumes all day today so tomorrow promises to be incredible!  I hope to have a lot of pictures to share.  Have an amazing weekend!




Halloween Tips & Tricks

Posted in Uncategorized by Ciara on October 27, 2009


kitty cat costume

© Ciara Pickering 2009

Halloween Week has officially begun!  … and yes, because of my love of the holiday, I am in full support of extending the celebration all week long!  I have been planning a fun costume for myself for a few weeks now.  Of course, I don’t really need an excuse to play dress up!  This week I will share with you some of my favorite Halloween pictures from when I was a little kid.  The above photograph taken when I was about three during my cat phase – I was a cat for three years in a row at least. 🙂

There are some fabulous costumes out there, ready to buy and wear but personally I find it a lot more fun to get creative and see what happens!  Funds are tight for a lot of people this year but don’t let that dampen your Halloween spirit!

  • Thrift-store finds are begging to be transformed into your holiday finery!  Any  character you might be inspired by can easily be outfitted with a simple trip to Goodwill.  Not to mention many thrift stores’ proceeds go to benefit the less fortunate and with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming just around the corner the small amount of money you spend can definitely do some good.  Better than picking up a costume-in-a-bag and cheaper, too!  And if you decide to go gore-y this Halloween you won’t feel too bad about mucking up something you acquired with pocket change.
  • You’d be amazed at what a pair of cheap panty hose, some corn syrup, and food coloring can get you!  I’ve found some remarkable tutorials on YouTube for making all sorts of ghoulish delights for under $20…


  • Okay, so maybe blood and gore isn’t your ticket.  I found myself searching for inspiration photographs and making a style board.  The more images I collected the more inspired I got and the more my idea has progressed.  See something you like – rip it off!  There’s no need to shell out big bucks for a costume a bunch of other people will be wearing!  Instead, get a picture of it (or 50!) and figure out what key pieces you will need.  Usually there are distinct elements you have to nail – with my Margot Tenenbaum costume I knew I needed the fur coat, wooden finger, heavy eyeliner and blonde wig.  Sure I would’ve loved the Lacoste polo dress but I  knew if the other elements were right the costume would be a success.  Got the wig for $10, fur coat was my great-grandmothers’, and I made the wooden finger with papier-mâché and wood-look contact paper.  Total spent?  $15  Fun had?  Immeasurable.
  • This brings me to my next point:  Use what you’ve got!  Get inspired by your own wardrobe or that of a close friend or relative.  We all have things in our closets that we rarely wear.  What better time to utilize these unique pieces?  Take a shopping trip through your own closet or host a clothes swap with friends and come up with ideas together.
  • For my costume (which I will reveal in good time…) I took inspiration from the runways!  (Particularly Rodarte with their sometimes spooky, goth edge.)  Some trends really lend themselves well to being reinterpreted as costumes.  There is no need to make Halloween too oh-my-gawdy and sacrifice being chic…  unless of course that’s your goal! 🙂
  • Finally, if you’re having trouble cementing a killer-costume (okay, pun intended) then find a buddy to make your Halloween statement with!  Dressing up as a pair or in a group is always fun and it is much easier to get into character when you create an atmosphere with others.

With all of this said, I would LOVE to hear some of your ideas for Halloween!  Costume ideas, tips and tricks of your own, memorable Halloweens past…  all of it!  Spooky or otherwise, what are you going to be for Halloween?