isabel-ciara-bird1  I thought it was a good idea to start 2015 off with a new designer crush lol which is exactly what happened after I finished reading Roots of Style, the memoirs of Isabel Toledo filled with artwork from her husband, Ruben Toledo.

It was such an inspiring story about love, following your instincts and trusting your individuality and discovering your own personal style signature. Honestly, I wasn't very familiar with Isabel before reading this. I'd seen Ruben's work plenty of times and even own a few books he illustrated, but after referencing images of them for a photoshoot, I became intrigued by their style and ordered the book.. and now I will without a doubt be a lifelong fan.

I am always going on (preaching to the choir, I know, I know) about how different the world is now. Social media is a beast that will never die and has changed everything about the way everything happens. I cannot deny that I am obsessed with documenting every detail of my life in a way that our parents were not able to do, but I have to wonder if all that exposure and accessibility to so many things is good?

isabel-ciara-bird3   I love learning about creative people who really grew into who they are from an early age. That recognized the interests they had as a child and how those interests and hobbies morphed into skills that shaped them into the individuals they are today.

Reading about how Isabel and Ruben met and did the whole struggling artist thing in the old New York (that I love to read about) and met developed friendships with iconic artists, designers, editors, etc. through various jobs and mutual friends was so deliciously refreshing, because I feel like that doesn't happen anymore.

Everyone is a designer, everyone has a magazine, everyone, everyone, everyone. Everything is exclusive and limited edition and one-of-a-kind — which to me makes it seem like nothing is.

I loved reading about their partnership and her first fashion shows and how after many years she decided to jump off the endless wheel of pumping out shows every season so that she could focus on her work and more learning.

isabel-ciara-bird2   I love how she gave herself time to figure out what she was going to do in the begininning. She tried a bunch of different jobs, all while continuing to work on her designs (because it was like breathing) all of which she took little pieces from that helped her significantly in the end. Everything didn't have a purpose or a plan. It just flowed, like her style. I could go on and on, so I won't. But here are my favorite quotes:

If you can stay in love and keep your enthusiasm for what you choose to do with your life, you are living well indeed. Always keep in mind that patterns in life repeat themselves, so make a decision to own the patterns you want to keep.

Whether I was making a dress or Ruben was drawing a boat, we had both seen in ourselves, and in each other, that your creativity is your voice. It deserves to be sung often and at the top of your lungs.

You can make no better investment than spending time with your own ideas. Your generosity in granting time to yourself will be well rewarded. Doing this on your own time and by yourself is paramount to learning how to follow your own instincts and discovering your originality. Anything new, whether it's a dress, a song, or a painting, will not be easily understood right away— sometimes not even by yourself, the creator. You have to feel free to be misunderstood and allow time to work its magic.


…Besides the financial difficulties, Ruben had gotten a bit of advice from Andy Warhol, who told him to quit school. "Just do what you already do, but bigger, and you'll be fine," Andy said. So Ruben did just that and never looked back.

After high school graduation, I stopped seeing Ruben as often. It is curious that, when a piece of a pattern in your life suddenly goes missing, every other piece comes undone.

There is no truer fact than that you never really know the person you are with. But, better than knowing is having confidence in not knowing.

Staying raw means leaving room in your life for the unexpected and unperfected. The raw in you is often the most sincere response. There will be enough time later to refine and edit, but to keep the raw flowing, all of your life is a treasure. When your life partner appreciates the raw in you, too, that's divine.

Art reflects life, and life reflects art, so this was love at its fullest. This very nurturing time was the essence of what it means to grow into yourself and into each other, separate but ver together, and to intertwine like two healthy vines.

We grew up in a very inclusive moment in time, one where the vibrant society around us was truly a diverse, democratize quilt. you were not defined by your age, race, sexual preference, bank account, or education. what counted most was your individual creativity. your personal spark of genius—however you might express it—that was your identity.

During this time, we were caught up in the washing machine of life, being spun round and round by our circumstances. We had no specific mold to break out of, but no time to be idle, either. We were buddy generating our own existence with no time for reflection. We had only the raw ideas. There was no time for perfecting things yet, or even polishing up our thoughts. All of that was yet to come.

All ideas have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is sometimes a very raw place. Your imagination needs to be free of editing. The urge to create should never be burdened with perfection. This is the importance of appreciating every stage of your life and work. You will never be in the exact same place again. These raws seeds you will nurture to fruition soon enough.

Since I was so busy working and sewing my life had to become as simplified and easy as possible. I was the opposite of a high-maintenance woman: I effortlessly adopted the concept of a closet for two and put to work my theory of a "streamlined me."

When you're an artist, there is no map to tell you which way to fly or safely net to catch you. Art is about discovery, invention, and the way you define your vision.

While reading on my flight home from New York I wrote this note to myself: it's not what you do. it's who it makes you. You are not what you do. I finally understand "the woman I wanted to be" ... who knows what I'll end up doing. Probably something I never thought of, BUT I know it will end up with me traveling around constantly all over the world, with a quiet homebase in a fun city with a great group of friends and a man I love.



ciarabird2014  Things I loved this year.

Personal Style Blog Maja Wyh / Karla's Closet / Fashion Toast / Hippie, Hippie — Milkshake! / Gary Pepper

Art/Design Blog Sketch42 / Miss Moss

Designers Kelly Wearstler / Christine Dovey / Sasha Bikoff

Cities London. Barcelona. NYC.

Music Jhené Aiko / FKA Twigs / J. Cole / Blood Orange

Magazines PORTER / CR Fashion Book / Suitcase

Artists Nina Chanel / Donald Drawbertson / T.S Abe / Delāno Brown

Movies The Grand Budapest Hotel / Mademoiselle C / The Eye Has to Travel / Gone Girl / Beyond the Lights / If I stay

Books Crazy Rich Asians / Swans, Legends of the Jet Society / Irreverent / Erotic Art 2

Colors Pink green green green black white nude gray + touch of orangey red or spicy yellow


DSC01030  DSC01038   The High Priestess of Fashion.

"allure" is a word very few people use nowadays, but it's something that exists. allure holds you doesn't it? whether it's a gaze or a glance in the street or a face in the crowd, someone sitting opposite you at lunch... you are held.   DSC01042   DSC01052   DSC01057   style was a standard. didn't hurt anyone... but you gotta have style. it helps you get down the stairs. it helps you get up in the morning. it's a way of life. without it you're nobody. i'm not talking about lots of clothes.   DSC01062   DSC01071   now brodovitch was the tutor of all these people of harper's bazaar of layout, and many of them had gone to his classes at night. he was a very remarkable man, he loved his white space, he loved empty pages-oh, he couldn't stand me. i mean, i wanted, of course, to put in as much as possible. i only wanted fashion.

anyone who's afraid and does not search and give as much as possible to the world of pleasure is a totally ignorant person. we were put here for the joy of it, for the hell of it, and it's all here now; nothing has been taken away. it's a question of creating it.   DSC01078   DSC01085   DSC01091   DSC01102   style: all who have it share one thing—originality.   DSC01108   DSC01126   UNDER VREELAND, VOGUE BECAME A COMBINATION OF CULTURE, ART, HAPPENINGS, AND VIBRANT FASHION. "I THINK PART OF MY SUCCESS AS AN EDITOR CAME FROM NEVER WORRYING ABOUT A FACT, A CAUSE, AN ATMOSPHERE. IT WAS ME—PROJECTING TO THE PUBLIC. THAT WAS MY JOB. I THINK I HAVE ALWAYS HAD A PERFECTLY CLEAR VIEW OF WHAT WAS POSSIBLE FOR THE PUBLIC. GIVE 'EM WHAT THEY NEVER KNEW THEY WANTED."   DSC01116   can you tell I LIVE for diana vreeland!? i mean. she's just wonderful. hideous and marvelous. in her documentary "the eye has to travel" there was a quote about her that went something like "she was never a very beautiful woman and she was never a very wealthy woman, but she created beauty and wealth."


all quotes from diana's book, the eye has to travel.


tumblr_md3a6aGFUs1r2buuoo1_1280  Beauty is boring.

I have this crazy obsession with people (women) that have their own definition of style and what's chic.. Especially older women. To me they are the true tastemakers. Completely unaffected by trends. Michèle Lamy, wife & muse of Rick Owens is certainly one of those people. I'd seen pictures of her before, but never knew anything about her or who she was until I read this article via the Manrepeller and now I'm obsessed and just want to know everything.   LAMY1   So so good. Here are my favorite parts from the interview:

Nick Axelrod: Did you always wear black, even as a child? Michèle Lamy: First, I don’t always wear black. I often wear black. As a child, I was in boarding school in the French Alps, and I was in uniform, which was dark navy. I always think of darker things to wear — the eyes have to be brighter than the clothes. There’s something about wearing bright colors that is masking who you are.

NA: Articles always call you a “muse”… ML: Before, this name was making me pissed off...

NA: Why? ML: Because there’s this sense that you’re just there… But then, it’s a word that covers everything in a way.   LAMY2   NA: How do you pick out what you’ll wear in the morning? ML: There are no rules. It’s always tights, a t-shirt, and then something over it. It changes, but it doesn’t change every day. I’ll wear mainly the same thing for three months, and then I change to another jacket. I don’t know. It depends, also, if it’s cold or not.

NA: Why do you have to do the line everyday? ML: That, I don’t know. I don’t know if it was something aesthetic or if, instinctively, I feel more proportionate like this. I don’t know. But I know that I don’t feel good without it.

NA: You inspire a lot of people’s style — people probably tell you that all the time. Are there people who inspire your style? ML: I admire a lot of people that have their own style, but I don’t think… It has to come from you, the way you are. It’s in your head. Like I was telling you, I was very impressed by the older women in Tunisia, North Africa. I admire them. When I look at myself, I think I look like this now. And I like the style of Marlene Dietrich, but I’m not at all [like] Marlene Dietrich. I’m an old soul, and I always try to think that there is no time.

NA: You’re an old soul. But what’s not old is your grill — it’s very modern, very young. ML: Are you crazy? Golden teeth, that’s very old, with the gypsies and everything.

NA: Good point. ML: You are too young!


photos via tumblr


halloween  “I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain; and never shut myself up in a numb core of nonfeeling, or stop questioning and criticizing life and take the easy way out. To learn and think: to think and live; to live and learn: this always, with new insight, new understanding, and new love.” -The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath


matureloveosho In fact a mature person does not fall in love, he rises in love. The word ’fall’ is not right. Only immature people fall; they stumble and fall down in love. Somehow they were managing and standing. They cannot manage and they cannot stand – they find a woman and they are gone, they find a man and they are gone. They were always ready to fall on the ground and to creep. They don’t have the backbone, the spine; they don’t have that integrity to stand alone.

A mature person has the integrity to be alone. And when a mature person gives love, he gives without any strings attached to it: he simply gives. And when a mature person gives love, he feels grateful that you have accepted his love, not vice versa. He does not expect you to be thankful for it – no, not at all, he does not even need your thanks. He thanks you for accepting his love. And when two mature persons are in love, one of the greatest paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone; they are together so much so that they are almost one. But their oneness does not destroy their individuality, in fact, it enhances it: they become more individual.

Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. How can you dominate the person you love? Just think over it. Domination is a sort of hatred, anger, enmity. How can you think of dominating a person you love? You would love to see the person totally free, independent; you will give him more individuality. That’s why I call it the greatest paradox: they are together so much so that they are almost one, but still in that oneness they are individuals. Their individualities are not effaced – they have become more enhanced. The other has enriched them as far as their freedom is concerned.

Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness.

— Osho


0  A girlboss is someone who's in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it. As a #girlboss, you take control and accept responsibility. You're a fighter— you know when to throw punches and when to roll with them. Sometimes you break the rules, sometimes you follow them, but always on your own terms. You know where you're going, but cant do it without having some fun along the way. You value honesty over perfection. You ask questions. You take your life seriously, but you dont take yourself too seriously. You're going to take over the world, and change it in the process. You're a badass.   girlboss   I was super excited for Sophia Amoruso's new book, #GIRLBOSS, and so far it hasn't disappointed. Not a memoir or a feminist manifesto, just a story about what happened to her and the explosion of Nasty Gal. Her carefree, straight forward, ballsy writing style definitely reminds me of Kelly Cutrone's books. While it hasn't inspired me as much in a dreamy way like the alchemist, it is a true story about an under 30-something female that created her dream job without following societies guidelines. It's fascinating. Here are a few of my favorite quotes...   "I don't want you to look up, because all that looking up can keep you down. The energy you'll expend focusing on someone else's life is better spent working on your own. just be your own idol."   "I always suspected that I was destined for, and that i was capable of something bigger. that something turned out to be Nasty Gal, but you know what? I didn't find Nasty Gal. I created it."   "Who cares if a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it? The tree still falls. If you believe that what you're doing will have positive results, it will— even if it's not immediately obvious. When you hold yourself to the same standard in your work that you do as a friend, girlfriend, student or otherwise, it pays off."

there are secret opportunities hidden in every failure. -all quotes by Sophia Amoruso, Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Nasty Gal   My overall opinion on #GIRLBOSS is that it's the same success story and advice we've heard and been fed over and over just in a different setting. I don't mean that in a bad way at all. I think that it just further proves the mantra we all repin regularly— good things come to those who hustle.   Extras! A few of my favorite spreads from The WILD Magazine.   2   1   4   3


amazing  "If she's amazing, she won't be easy. If she's easy, she won't be amazing. If she's worth it, you won't give up. If you give up, you're not worthy... Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for." -Bob Marley   Surround yourself with people that reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel, energies are contagious.


DSC00848  I finally got around to purchasing Irreverent by Carine Roitfeld after watching her documentary, Mademoiselle C, which details the production of her first issue of the CR Fashion Book.   Honestly, I haven't been hit with a girl crush / icon / inspirational obsession / etc. in a long long time. I realize I'm a bit late to the game learning about her (especially since i have two copies of CR) but after watching the movie it was like a compulsion i HAD to have the book immediately and learn as much about her as I could. When it arrived earlier this week I was completely blown away. It's sublime.   DSC00870   DSC00864   Interestingly enough I've been shying away from fashion— (completely inspired by this Phoebe Philo for Céline post HERE and this trend post from the Manrepeller HERE) sticking to black, white and neutrals (which i realize is a trend right now, but i digress) and focusing more on art, design and interiors. BUT I literally devoured this book. I read every page (which I rarely actually do with magazines/coffee table books) but it was so clean. chic, interesting and erotic.   DSC00872   DSC00887   These are my favorite quotes:

"I don't know if I'm a Yves Saint Laurent woman or not, but I hate when people compliment me on what I'm wearing. It was Saint Laurent who said that you should compliment a woman for her beauty and not for her clothes, which are only supposed to set off her beauty."

Q: What do you attribute your success to? Can you define it, or is it a mystery to you? "There's certainly something mysterious about it. It's not my place to say whether I have any talent or not, but success is a mix of hard work and good luck. I met the right people at the right time, but I also knocked on the doors that I knew were the hardest to enter. I never chose the easy option. I have always gone after the most interesting things, even if they are the most difficult. Always!"

Q: Do you see yourself as an artist? "I don't see myself as an artist. In a way, I envy the freedom artists have. Artists can push themselves beyond their limits, in pursuit of their ideas and their vision, even if they are inhabited by demons that can also play tricks on them. I would love to have that purely creative side. But fashion has allowed me to collaborate with artists of all difference kinds—writers, filmmakers, as well as genius hair stylists and make-up artists."   DSC00878   Q: How do you manage to preserve your creativity? "Although I've very diplomatic, I've learned not to back down when it comes to my own vision. I stay inside a bubble so I can focus on my own creativity and not feel burdened by outside influences or pressure. I don't live in a fairy tale— anything but. But I remain inside my private, insulated space where I find my inspiration and my freedom."

Q: Do you think that real fashion has been absorbed by fashion photography? "Street fashion is real fashion now. Ultimately, that's what is driving the industry. The kind of fashion that I love exists only in images, where it becomes part of a world of dreams and fantasies. Only a few great eccentrics can wear it. But chasm doesn't bother me, because I think there's a tension– or a continual dialogue— going on between street fashion and the fashion depicted in photographs, which very few woman can afford to wear for obvious financial reasons, as well as certain social pressures."

"But luxury isn't an easy thing to do these days. Luxury has become so vulgar. Luxury items have become the symbol of nouveaux riches, of new fortunes made out of IT and the dot-com industry, and by people who don't have experience with this kind of culture appropriating historically luxury items."   DSC00884   DSC00867   Have I contradicted myself? Not too long ago I told my mom that I think my goal in life is to be an elegantly aged woman. After learning more about Carine, I think that's true.


DSC00754  Friday I picked up copies of Dazed, Porter, and The Hunger then the new issue of Interview came in the mail. While they are very different publications, the editorials and typography in each were stunning! A feast for my eyes. I mean really, Hunger printed 20 different covers.   DSC00750   DSC00765  DSC00776   DSC00787  DSC00796   DSC00798   DSC00811   DSC00813   DSC00817   DSC00821 

Extras: Another hilarious encounter with me caught on film here. My new favorite design focused tumblr. i spent a good hour scrolling through the images.


wishvsplan-1  "I knew who I was this morning, but I've changes a few times since then." —Alice in Wonderland

Twenty-thirteen was such an amazing year for me. Though I went from being super focused on a specific goal to once again feeling lost and unsure of my plans towards the end, I feel very confident and excited about what 2014 will hold for me. I pretty much summed up the year with my return post back in October so I want to focus on my new dreams, plans, and goals in no particular order (some vague, some specific) along with the quotes I want to carry with me.   wishvsplan-2 wishvsplan-3 wishvsplan-4   Over all I want to travel a LOT more. get lost. make more art, see more art. ruin plans, make new ones. reach goals, make new ones. maybe blog, maybe not. be young, disconnect, don't worry. and continue to change my mind..

**all images are from my tumblr archive. if one is yours and you feel some typa way let me know!

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Yayoi-Kusama-retrospectiv-006-e1340018123418  Apparently I've been living under a rock because I'm just now discovering the work of Yayoi Kusama— "a reclusive, colorful, and endlessly intriguing character." How I didn't see her collaboration with Louis Vuitton last year—and fall in love then—or during college, is BEYOND me. but oh well. I'm ashamed. She's amazing. I'm obsessed. and now I just have to decide which book to purchase.   1958-KusamaStudio_full   dots   Yayoi-Kusama-Self-Obliteration-Net-Obession-Series1966-copyright-Yayoi-Kusama-600x478   God I hope I'm this fabulous (and still doing what I love) when I'm 80.   polka_-dots_yayoi_kusama   whitney05   Yayoi-Kusama-Leaves-1954.-Tate-Modern-Retrospective-600x442   Yayoi-Kusama   books2 one, two, three, four, five