yes Over the course of my trip I read 5 books selected to go along with the places I was visiting. While traveling through France, I read Perfume: The Story of a Murderer; which was set in the slums of eighteenth-century Paris. It was creepy, very strange, slightly disturbing but very passionate, tragic and beautifully written. and while in the French Riviera I was able to visit the Fragonard factory, one of the oldest parfumeries in the world (I believe) that happened to be playing the movie version of the book (lol).

Here are a few of my favorite excerpts:

He drank in the aroma, he drowned in it, impregnating himself through his innermost pores, until he became wood himself; he lay on the cord of wood like a wooden puppet, like Pinocchio, as if dead, until after a long while, perhaps a half hour or more, he gagged up the word “wood.” He vomited the word up, as if he were filled with wood to his ears, as if buried in wood to his neck, as if his stomach, his gorge, his nose were spilling over with wood.”

"Or why should smoke possess only the name “smoke,” when from minute to minute, second to second, the amalgam of hundreds of odors mixed iridescently into ever new and changing unities as the smoke rose from the fire … or why should earth, landscape, air—each filled at every step and every breath with yet another odor and thus animated with another identity—still be designated by just those three coarse words. All these grotesque incongruities between the richness of the world perceivable by smell and the poverty of language were enough for the lad Grenouille to doubt if language made any sense at all.”

“And what was more, he even knew how by sheer imagination to arrange new combinations of them, to the point where he created odors that did not exist in the real world.”

“Perhaps the closest analogy to his talent is the musical wunderkind, who has heard his way inside melodies and harmonies to the alphabet of individual tones and now composes completely new melodies and harmonies all on his own. With the one difference, however, that the alphabet of odors is incomparably larger and more nuanced than that of tones; and with the additional difference that the creative activity of Grenouille the wunderkind took place only inside him and could be perceived by no one other than himself.

“He was not out to make his fortune with his art; he didn’t even want to live from it if he could find another way to make a living. He wanted to empty himself of his innermost being, of nothing less than his innermost being, which he considered more wonderful than anything else the world had to offer. And thus Baldini’s conditions were no conditions at all for Grenouille.”


ciarabird-zing-magazine-1  I discovered Zing in a shop near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It was wrapped in plastic so i had no idea what was inside or where it came from, but I was obsessed with the cover and it's subtitle "a curatorial crossing". I discovered later that it's been based + published in Brooklyn since 1995.

I love their manifesto:

"zingmagazine came out of the idea that within certain disciplines, artistic and otherwise, various cross-references occur, both with individuals and the material of their particular interest. Rather than remaining isolated and apart, either through an unaware and uninformed (or aware and informed) malaise, there is a need to commingle arenas.

By establishing a forum of collaborative exchange, zingmagazine examines points of both similar and dissimilar articulations. Like sets and subsets in a mathematical diagram, having similar and opposite properties, parts of the exchange will share epiphanies while others will securely diverge.

But in the examination of these current issues, born out of the curatorial collaborative spirit, zingmagazine reaches for the crossing point, and it is from this "crossing" where fiction meets poetry for lunch, theorists mingle with artists over which they are, and while we all assume new boundaries with an excess of technology in the modern world that we find our inspiration. Likewise, it is from this crossing that the title is honed.

The format of zingmagazine is comprised of rotating curatorial projects. Each curator is invited to create a context of their choosing for each issue. A myriad of different disciplines are explored in each issue from architecture, design, fiction, poetry, drawing, photography, video, music, fashion, as well as a special projects including books, posters, and CDs. Lack of parameters or limits is the impetus, with the idea that the creative impulse, within each of the curators/disciplines, will produce individual projects both of the curators and the participants."

Devon Dikeou New York, New York 1995   ciarabird-zing-magazine-2   ciarabird-zing-magazine-3   ciarabird-zing-magazine-4   ciarabird-zing-magazine-5   ciarabird-zing-magazine-6   ciarabird-zing-magazine-7   ciarabird-zing-magazine-8   ciarabird-zing-magazine-9   This issue is from August 2013 so I hope they're putting out a new one soon.

Europe 02 / Paris

ciarabird-paris-0  so paris.

a status I posted on FB pretty much sums it up: "I think one of the things I like best about Paris is that it has so many buildings, doors and statues in all my favorite shades of green, lined in black white or cream with gold accents. Everywhere."   ciarabird-paris-4   ciarabird-paris-9   Honestly though, it kinda broke my heart. I think I built it up so much from what I've seen that when I was actually there and it rained majority of the time without my lover it just wasn't the experience I'd dreamt about. (unlike amsterdam — which I'll get to later— that I had no expectations for and it was insane).

That said, I do think that Paris was insanely beautiful and romantic and I cannot wait to come back someday with b and an unplanned schedule so we can just stroll and hold hands and make-out like all the other couples. i couldn't get enough of the gold, chipped paint, ornate ceilings, gorgeous marble, strange details.   ciarabird-paris-3a   ciarabird-paris-8   My favorite experiences in Paris: 1. the late afternoon river cruise (+banana/nutella crepes) that turned into a glittering night atop the eiffel tower. 2. getting caught in the rain in the gardens of versailles. 3. wandering through the Louve and accidentally running into a few of my favorite paintings (because i didn't realize/remember thats where they lived). 4. the evening in montmartre. literally was a movie— and certainly one of my favorite places. 5. running into slam productions (after seeing posters all over belleville) and walking out with 2 posters and a shirt gifted by the owner.   ciarabird-paris-10   ciarabird-paris-11   i remember throughout the trip having a hard time staying in the present. everything was so surreal, i kept telling myself this is actually happening right now. this is where i am. it sounds crazy, but it was going by so fast and i was seeing so many different things that it was hard to truly capture each moment and remember the details. and look, now it's over. almost as if the present is the past and the future is the present.   ciarabird-versailles-1   ciarabird-versailles-4   ciarabird-versailles-2   ciarabird-versailles-3   bon voyage.


YanaPuaca_Entrance_Coffey_06  I am seriously digging this girl's lovely home— and the fact that when she went on a tour of Egypt and Jordan she says that "the experience was so incredibly humbling { I } literally cried while seeing the Pyramids" means she is definitely a kindred spirit (because I completely see that being my reaction). Her space is airy and light, but still feels luxe and well traveled without being overly decorated. perf.

See the full interview and tour at The Every Girl and read her blog NoMad Luxuries.   YanaPuaca_LivingRoom_Coffey_29   YanaPuaca_LivingRoom_Coffey_21   “travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living” – Miriam Beard   YanaPuaca_Bedroom_Coffey_27   YanaPuaca_Bedroom_Coffey_16   Aidan or Big?
 I’ve always been drawn to the Big(s) of the world, but as Carrie says, “I've done the merry-go-round, I've been through the revolving doors, I feel like I met somebody I can stand still with for a minute”. I finally decided to stand still, and I couldn’t be happier. – Yana Puacas


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.