style fuss

The Lovely Bones.

Posted in Press Play, Uncategorized by Ciara on June 29, 2010

I recently watched Peter Jackson’s film of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones.  I’ve liked some of Peter Jackson’s films before (more Meet the Feebles than Lord of the Rings…) and I was intrigued by this film when I first heard about it, but kind of thought it might be too much of a thriller for my taste…  and it is, but incredibly so.

The film is set in Pennsylvania in 1973 and begins to tell the touching and heart-wrenching story of a sweet, and strangely beautiful fourteen year old girl, Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan).  This first part of the film is ephemeral and gauzy like the photographs Susie takes as an aspiring nature photographer.  The crux of the film is not that Susie is murdered (it gives that up on the back of the DVD case) but the struggle and resolution of what happens after.

This film is breathtaking.  Then terk-jerking.  Then absolutely horrifying as it runs the gamut of emotion.  Elements of the grotesque see-saw with images of utopia while many scenes that twist the stomach also please the eye.  For example, the bathroom scene where filth and blood exist in a highly-stylized and surreal white space.  (This scene reminded me a lot of Silent Hill.)  While chilling, the abstraction of this fervent drama evokes beauty and fantasy…  the best and the worst of it.

The entire film was thoughtfully made, from the perfect 1970’s styling and the attentive editing, to the wide and strange  palette of pieces this film is composed of.  For me, it was really Susan Sarandon.

(Images from IGN.com)


Alexander McQueen: Final Collection, Paris 2010

Posted in New Collection, Personal Note by Ciara on March 11, 2010

Sorry for my absence as of late – we have finally made the move to Asheville, NC!  I’ve been unpacking and getting all of those moving details squared away for the past while.  I will be getting some photographs of my new home and the style of the Asheville streets very soon.  But first I have to unpack my closet…  😉

Yesterday I came across images from Alexander McQueen’s final collection and a beautifully written article about the legend and his last works.  The 16-piece collection was only at 80% completion at the time of his death and draws inspiration from the art of the Dark Ages but with a new perspective, incorporating mohawk, feathered headpieces and specially ordered fabric that translated digital photographs of demons by Hieronymus Bosch and high-church angels.  I feel a kinship to this concept of juxtaposing the new and the old, the digital and the…  analog, art and technology.  It is one element as to why I’ve always been such a fan of Alexander McQueen.

Here are a few of my favorites from the collection.  View the entire collection at style.com.

I can’t help but think that these pieces are only a small part of the entire vision.  One can only imagine what artistry would have encapsulated this collection on the runway.  The simple and intimate showing of this final collection may not have been what McQueen had in mind –  it was his showmanship as well as his garments that made him what he was – but it offered his close friends and colleagues a moment to reflect and one last look.

Photos:

style.com via
Christopher Moore / Courtesy of Alexander McQueen

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. ♥

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.

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2009

Posted in New Collection by Ciara on December 2, 2009

I was happy to catch the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show last night.  There are a number of ways to take the show and a lot of elements to consider.  It was a very elaborate production with intense motion/video work projected (the transitions between which were sometimes amazing), The Black Eyed Peas performing, as well as a mini-ANTM-esque competition spliced in…  oh yeah, and then there was the lingerie.  It was part rave with a glow-stick armed audience, part concert, part performance art, and part (yes) fashion show.  Part of me enjoyed the intense mixture of stimulus overload, but part of me found it distracting.  While the fusion of fashion, culture, and art is inescapable and, I believe, a wonderful thing, I think there is also a fine line between extravagance and excess.

The range of aesthetics that the different collections spanned was very interesting as well.  Though some were not my taste per se, they were cohesive and unified in their own right.  In some, the blend of motifs within a single collection was unexpectedly genius.  The PINK collection keeps coming to mind with its blend of 70’s acid trip, retro Americana, and a pinch of uplifting patriotism.

This said, regardless of whether it was too much or spot on, each element had at least one moment of brilliance.  My main reason for watching a fashion show (as I’m sure it is for many) is for the clothes regardless of the installation/performance piece the show may become.  Here are a few of my favorites:

million dollar bra

The Million Dollar Bra

If you missed it, you can watch the whole thing on CBS.com.  If you saw it (or after you do), what did you think?  I wish I could find a picture of the amazing hot pink under-bust corset with the two thick, black vertical lines…  anyone notice it?  Gorgeous.


Lady Gaga: Bad Romance = Great Fashion

Posted in Obsession du Jour by Ciara on November 12, 2009

While my bestie was up our anthem was definitely Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.  We seriously danced around to it at least once a day during the week-long visit!  (I’m a bit of a fangirl and I don’t care.)  Now that the video is out I am thrilled!  (side note:  That last shot in the video?!  Seriously, I die.)

Bad Romance screenshot

Lady Gaga in Agent Provocateur

I am IN LOVE with the Agent Provocateur black Love Demi Bra and Briefs she rocks in the video.

Agent Provocateur Love Demi Bra

Not to mention pieces from Alexander McQueen’s amazing Spring 2010 collection.

I was also interested to find out that the over-the-top polar bear coat she dons later in the video is by New York-based designer Benjamin Cho. Originally created for his Spring 2004 runway show with the Human Society, the completely faux-fur coat was “reworked” just for Gaga’s video…  Gorgeous!

Bad Romance - Lady Gaga

photo from The Cut

lipssignature

Rachel Zoe for QVC

Posted in Designer Watch by Ciara on October 19, 2009
Rachel Zoe

It is no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Rachel Zoe!  (“I die.”)  I have been anticipating her collection for QVC for some time and I was really curious what it would be like.  A few Saturdays ago (while channel surfing in my flu-nest) I came across Rachel on QVC.  I’m not going to lie, the actual on-air presentation was pretty awkward at some points (not at all Rachel’s fault of course, just the awkward, plastic host woman) but the items were pretty great.  I’m a big fan of the look of fur but not so much the dead animals part so a lot of these pieces were definitely ones I would like to add to my wardrobe.  The chinchilla?  BANANAS!

Here are a few of my favorite pieces that you can check out for yourself at QVC.

photo from QVC.com

photo from QVC.com

photo from QVC.com

photo from QVC.com

photo from QVC.com

photo from QVC.com

photo from QVC.com

photo from QVC.com

photo from QVC.com

photo from QVC.com

photo from QVC.com

photo from QVC.com

xoxo

Bookmark: The Teen Vogue Handbook

Posted in Bookmark by Ciara on October 13, 2009
© Ciara Pickering 2009

© Ciara Pickering 2009

This afternoon I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had a package in the manager’s office at my apartment complex and what could it be?!  My deeply anticipated copy of The Teen Vogue Handbook!!!

I must confess I am a devourer of books (and magazines) – a monster to be appeased only by print on page and the occasional glossy, gorgeous cover.  I was delighted when I got this fabulous book in the mail today and so far it is surpassing my expectations!  Not only is the layout wonderful and the colors vivid (as a graphic designer I can’t ignore these great details) but the interviews I’ve read so far with such fashion industry superstars as Marc Jacobs, Thakoon, and the lovely ladies behind Rodarte have been both amazing and inspiring.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in fashion and its seemingly impenetrable gates!  I plan to keep my nose buried in it for the next few days!

xoxo

I Love: Jason Wu – Spring 2010 RTW

Posted in Designer Watch by Ciara on September 13, 2009

How much do I love Jason Wu?!  His Spring 2010 RTW collection just gives me such a charge!  His approach to American sportswear for this collection bumps up more casual pieces with luxe fabric choices and, as always, an impeccable eye for color.  He initially caught my attention with the inaugural ball dress worn by Michelle Obama last year and again, more recently, in the September 2009 issue of American Vogue where he teaches Florence Kane how to sew!

Going through the images from his show was utter eye candy!  It was hard to narrow down a few favorites but here they are:

photo from style.com

photo from style.com

photo from style.com

photo from style.com

photo from style.com

photo from style.com

photo from style.com

photo from style.com

photo from style.com

photo from style.com

photo from style.com

photo from style.com

photo from style.com

photo from style.com

See the rest of the collection here.

Have a fabulous Sunday!

xoxo

Panty Raid – Agent Provocateur Autumn 2009

Posted in New Collection, Uncategorized by Ciara on September 10, 2009

Though gorging myself on trashy reality tv is not one of my guilty pleasures (Project Runway is still acceptable, if not still great, even after this bizarro bump to Lifetime), the occasional melodramatic-primetime-teen-soap opera makes its way into my heart.  I adore Gossip Girl for all of its dramatics and even more for the clothes, of course, but my secret addiction is Smallville.  It was initially The Boyfriend who introduced me and at first I could only chid him over it.  Eventually, he convinced me to watch the first season and about a month later I emerged having digested the entire series, all seven seasons, with great satisfaction.  We recently rushed to the store and got season 8, the night it came out, like a midnight raid for Harry Potter…  I confess, I’m a nerd.  For whatever reason, I love the show.  Maybe it’s the absurdly over-the-top special effects, the escapism that this type of program can offer, the unfurling of the semi-relatable past of Clark Kent as he juggles the challenges of being an alien…  and going through high school…  whatever it may be, it makes Smallville particularly addictive.

All this to say I was particularly drawn to the new collection by Agent Provocateur.  I’ve been a huge fan for years.  The lingerie is seductive and spans a wide range of what one might choose to portray sexy.  The new Autumn collection plays on the idea of superheroes with a beautiful and other-wordly toothsome way.  It is dramatic and striking but not costume-y or vulgar.  The lingerie itself is gorgeous, as always, and the photography and photo-manipulation is… well, out of this world, pardon the pun. 😉

Some of my favorites include:

Crystalina

Agent Provocateur Autumn 2009

Agent Provocateur Autumn 2009

Pantheria

Agent Provocateur Autumn 2009

Agent Provocateur Autumn 2009

Nymphette

Agent Provocateur Autumn 2009

Agent Provocateur Autumn 2009

Kameelion Black

Agent Provocateur Autumn 2009

Agent Provocateur Autumn 2009

Melody (my verrrry favorite!)


Agent Provocateur Autumn 2009

Agent Provocateur Autumn 2009

Even without all of the glitz and space age styling, these pieces are classic and incredibly sexy for anyone looking to feel amazing.  I for one can say that in spite of a moderately higher price tag than I might love, I will very soon be adding some of these extraordinary pieces to my wardrobe.

See the full collection at Agent Provocateur

xoxo