Lady In Red: Joy Cioci

In my column for Lookbooks today I interviewed contemporary womenswear designer Joy Cioci, whose neon and leather Meagan dress you might have seen on the blog a couple of weeks ago.  Joy is a busy lady right now, preparing for New York Fashion Week in September and partnering with Fashion Fights Cancer.  I wore this dress, another of Cioci’s designs, full of beautiful layers of romantic chiffon and with a gorgeous cut out back detail, for Independence Day celebrations here in the US*.

Something about this dress is a little dangerous but also soft; a hint of romance mixed with a whiff of power.  In my recent interview with Joy she spoke of her collections telling the stories on her mind.  Although this dress is from a previous line, it is also in keeping with her theme for autumn winter 2012: ‘Seductive Survival‘ speaks a tale of feminine strength, instinct and animalistic urges…

I’m quite drawn to the sense of romance in Joy’s designs and this dress is a delight to wear. If you’re looking for a stand out dress with lots of impact then do take a look at her website.  Where do you usually turn for such clothing, Blog Reader?

I’m very excited to see what Joy brings us this September.

Wearing: Red dress by Joy Cioci.  Feelin’Good heels in sapphire suede, Nine West.
Photography by the wonderful Lydia Hudgens.

*Yes, I know I probably shouldn’t have been the one celebrating but still a party is a party, Blog Reader.

You can read my interview with Joy on Lookbooks here.

StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Lydia Hudgens Photography

When I moved to New York last year I never dreamt I’d have the amazing opportunities that I’ve been presented with in this exciting city.  I recently started writing a column for the online fashion community Lookbooks, focussing on designers I’m inspired by on both sides of the Atlantic. Lookbooks is a fantastic site with up to date information on style, art and design so I hope you’ll check it out sometime.

I decided to invest in some professional photography for profile pictures for the new work I’m doing (as much as I love my tripod and my friends, sometimes it’s so difficult to get the right shot).  Lydia Hudgens was recommended to me by Lynzy of Sparkling Footsteps.  I adored Lydia’s portfolio and the collection of images and inspiration she posts to her tumblr ‘Little Bits of Random‘.  We arranged to meet for a shoot and I was really happy with the results.

Lydia agreed to take part in a little Q&A for StyleOnTheCouch:

What is your favourite type of subject to work with? ~ I’m obsessed with texture, light & the structure of things. Initially I loved photography the human body & did a lot of typographies & an almost scientific exploration of human expression & the face itself. But as I continued with my studies, I realized I wanted to go a more editorial route. I love the way clothes can make a story come alive & while I don’t entirely consider myself a fashion photographer, I definitely lean that way – what is history, film, etc. without the right costume?
Where do you find your creative inspiration? ~ Other photographers, movies, books, real time life and blogs.
What advice to do have for aspiring photographers? ~ Experiment & never be afraid to push. I think that the climb to being successful as a photographer is almost less about your talent then your motivation & dedication to the craft. I personally have changed so much over the years since graduating with my Bachelors degree & all of that has come from shooting constantly, reaching out to local designers, talent, etc. You can’t be afraid that someone will say no. Be gutsy, be genuine, be yourself.
Above: An extract from Lydia’s blog, her shoot with Amelia Arsenic and Nubby Twiglet
Tell us about one of your most exciting photoshoots / projects ~ It’s funny that one of my favorite photo projects revolved entirely around the texture of skin. Especially since currently, with my blog & fashion work, photoshop has become such a large part of the post production of my work. I used a medium format camera, black & white film & experimented with different filters over my light source to create dynamic texture in a diverse range of women (young, old, skin color, etc.). I arranged the finished project in a grid & it was almost startling when you looked up close, skin is beyond intriguing & truthfully, I love the way it ages. My grandmother, one subject was probably my favorite to photograph. So much can be said through age!
What’s your guilty pleasure? ~ Film totally. I haven’t indulged in a good long while but for a long time, it’s all I worked with. I used black & white film, worked in a color lab, took advanced printing classes & spent hours & hours in the darkroom. There’s a part of me that will always long for it!
Above: another extract from Lydia’s blog, her Halloween photo shoot with the amazing Gala Darling.
Tell us a secret… ~ I really, really want to do an alternative process project based entirely around fashion. Possibly shot with a pin-hole camera, or a film camera & used to create sun cyanotype images? Probably will wait until summer though when the sun is more on my side!

I’m hoping to work with Lydia again in the near future.  If you’re in need of her services in NYC Blog Reader, do not hesitate to contact her, I know she’ll do an amazing job for you.