Orange Of Today | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

October in California is the best month, weather is mild warm and the breeze caresses softly. It is such a pleasure being seated outdoor at a restaurant and enjoy lunch with a chilled prosecco.

Today, I wanted to dress with a mix of intense Fall season colors to convey a certain strength and power nature has on me.
In a cool way, typical of my ability to mix colors, I composed my style with sulfur yellow tank, mustard yellow pants, brown leather belt,  mixed brown-gold silk scarf, orange light sweater jacket and mixed jewelry in orange-brown with gold.  A bit of leopard skin doesn’t hurt, especially if it is in the form of Kate Spade’s shoes. This combination is vibrant and very safe, colors are all warm and in the same family. That’s the reason they all work well together, especially if the wearer has a golden tone, olive or tanned skin.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

Trying a combination with a cool color on the other side of the color wheel it’s not just good, it’s excellent. Orange, purple and a bit of turquoise is dynamic, zesty, eclectic and playful. As for jewelry, gold tones will go better with orange and silver will mix better with purple, it’s up to the wearer getting the sun energy from the gold or the moon energy from the silver.

Of course, many more colors love orange, as green and blue, but I will leave it to your imagination.

It is time to color your clothes, your closet, your home and everything else around. Leave the Opaque Couché color types to Mark Zuckerberg.

Colors play an important role in the vibe you give off to the rest of the world. It keep away depression, sadness and minor sicknesses. If you wear colors that make you feel good, your brain will know it, your heart will be lighter, positive energy will flow from your veins out of your skin and on your lips forming a big smile. Smile is contagious, people will notice it! Ciao,
Valentina
Open this link and scroll down the page to find my
Fashion Services https://valentinadesigns.com/services

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina Cirasola is a trained Fashion and Interior Designer, born in Italy in a family of artists. Style has surrounded her since the very beginning of her life. Her many years of experience in design business led her to offer consultations in both fashion and interiors, so much so that she can remodel homes as well as personal images. She is passionate about colors and encourages her clients to express their individual style in their homes and with the clothes they wear. She is the author of three books, one of which is a book on color theory:  ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors

Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

 

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Torrid, Plus, Plump and Happy | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

Welcome to Friday Fashion.
For long time fashion designers have refused to design for Plus Size women. After so much efforts and countless hours spent at the gym, the population of women out there is not getting any smaller and fashion designers had to take notice of that. I don’t really know the reason we must be subject to accept the cheap and deceiving clothes sizes coming from China, actually I do, but I don’t want to talk politics here.  I am sure shopping for clothes it is hell for women size over 12. Sometimes the number is right, but the clothes don’t fit, because Chinese industry cut patterns based on the size of their population, not based on the size of people in the Western world. They want to sell us their clothes, but do nothing to improve the sizes that fit our bodies.

I am size 12 and I have tough time finding the right clothes as it is. I spend hours and hours in stores trying on various pieces of clothes and regularly leave without buying anything.  Those few times I do find something that fits,  I can’t match it to anything else I own, thus the search to match items becomes endless.  I can’t imagine how difficult it is for bigger size women.

(Photo: Torrid)

 

Watching the European news this week, I am pleased to have learned that a fashion company called Torrid finally showed its line for Plus Size women at New York Fashion Week. Apparently, Torrid is not the first fashion company showing Plus Size for the first time, as they claim. In 2013, designer Eden Miller of Cabiria showed her first collection of Plus Sizes at the Fashion Institute.

 

(Photo: Frazer Harrison, Getty Images For NYFW: The Shows)

(Photo above: Torrid Collection)

(Photo above and below: Torrid Collection)

I like how designers of Plus Sizes have conceived the healthy curvy women. In their collections there is nothing dumpy, dowdy, mumsy, or boxy. It’s OK to show off the curves instead of covering up with oversized clothes. The new lines look very shapely and embrace the body. Now, even large women can show cleavage, can wear corsets and leather jackets. They have choices of dresses with high slits, sheer fabric attached at the end of a short dress and flowing Bohemian dresses. They can have fun with flare sleeves and puffy sleeves on jackets and shirts. They can pair cigarette pants or short pencil skirts with longer blazers. Designers of Plus Sizes did not turn away from colors, flowers and patterns. They want large women to have fun, life is too short for not looking good. Ciao,
Valentina
Open this link and scroll down the page to find my Fashion Services
https://valentinadesigns.com/services

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

I am Valentina, a trained Fashion and Interior Designer, born in Italy in a family of artists. Style has surrounded me since the very beginning of my life. My many years of experience in design business led me to offer consultations in both fashion and interiors, so much so that I can remodel homes as well as personal images. I am passionate about colors and I encourage my clients to express their individual style in their homes and with the clothes they wear. I am the author of three books, one of which is a book on color theory: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

La Modiste and Le Trottin | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

My mom, in her life as a fashion designer/tailor, often used a Modiste (stylist) for her client’s special requests and employed a Trottin (errand girl) the same as the girl on the Champs Élysée painted by Jean Béraud (below). The woman in the painting is as flirtatious as Carlina, the errand girl working in my mom’s tailor shop. Carlina took that time to run errands as her own playful time to flirt and act coquettish with the guys. Often, she returned to the shop out of tune, with her head in the clouds. My mom used to say she had taken too much sun on her head while she was out. Blessed youth!
(Click on each photo to view it larger).

 

Degas had the deepest admiration for the creative work of young shop girls. In the painting The Millinery Shop (below), Degas is clearly absorbed in the Modiste’s gestures working with colors, textures, silk fabrics combined with straw hats and the gentle touch she puts on each hat decoration. Degas focuses also on the environment in millinery where ribbons, plumes and artificial flowers are laying around in the shop.

(Below: The Shop Girl by James Tissot-French)

In this visit to the Legion of Honor Museum, where Degas, Impressionism and Paris Millinery Trade was showing, I have learned the names of what I wear on my head these days:
Boaters, Boudoir caps, Bowlers, Bonnets, Capots, Peach Basket hats, Gainsborough or Picture hats, Touring hats, Riding hats, Fascinators, are some of the names given to various women’s hat styles in the 1800s. I am not surprised to see many of those hats have passed the test of time and are still being made in our third millennium. Of course, today we wear them for fun and not because they are required to complete an outfit.

 

(Above: Tall Hat from Musèe des Art Décoratifs, Paris – UFAC Collection)

 

In the latest works, Degas placed his attention on skilled women working in milliners under difficult or hazardous conditions, their creativity and hard labor, he depicted their working life. Having reached a certain wealth and not having the pressure to paint for a living, Degas painted millinery scenes for his own enjoyment and never sold his latest work, which was found in his studio when he died 1917.

(Above: hat with a dead awl)

Birds of Paradise, Purple Tangaras with black tail, Septicolor with shimmering breasts and ostrich were some of the tropical birds imported to Paris from France’s African colonies. Parisian hat industry supported a massive trade in exotic feathers from South America and Asia as well. Feather, stuffed birds, wings or bird heads were popular ornaments. To stop decomposition, milliners used arsenic, a new toxic substance unknown to be toxic and dangerous for the workers. Mercury, used to soften animal hair and felting of animal fur, was another hazardous material present in millinery work.

 

At the same time, the artificial flowers became indispensable accessories on chapeau de paille (straw hats) and that industry employed thousands of women. Maison Virot successfully created seasonal hats with intricate flowers even dyed in new colors and hats with velvet fabrics embellished with plumes.


(Above: Capot and Bonnets Hats: Philadelphia Museum of Art – Gift of Mr. and Mrs. George K. Rodgers)

Purple dye color, especially mauve, extracted from mollusks, appealed to the wealthy and soon was established as the color for royals, power and wealth. The use of purple has continued through time. Men’s hats took a small space in this exhibition, even though men, just like women, were not completely dressed without a hat.

The caricatures, just like in any era, makes us laugh and ponder on the futility of our customs.

It is a small exhibition and would have liked to learn more, as the 1800s were a time of novelties, inventions and preparation for modernity. If you have a chance to visit this exhibition, it’s well worth and it includes a few famous impressionists of the era. It will be on until Sept.24, 2017. Ciao,
Valentina
Open this link and scroll down the page to find
my Fashion Services https://valentinadesigns.com/services

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is a trained Fashion and Interior Designer, born in Italy in a family of artists. Style surrounded her since the beginning of her life. Her many years of experience led her to offer consultations in both specializations and now she can remodel homes as well as personal images. She is passionate about colors and encourages her clients to express their individual style in their homes and with the clothes they wear. To better help people all over the world she offers consultations online. She is the author of three books. Get your copy of Valentina’s book on colors: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

 

Chartreuse Mix Inspiration | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

Welcome to my Friday Fashion episode.
This year, I have written many times about green and gold colors, alone or with other colors and I haven’t yet exhausted all the possibilities. Think about it? Green represents the lawn, the grass, the leaves, gold represents the sunlight. We feel good under the sunlight that energizes us. If we sit on a green lawn and greenery surrounds us, we feel infused with peaceful relax, just by simply looking at it. Green and gold are perfect together for our emotions and wellbeing. Nature does it, we can too.

(Click on each photo to view it larger).


I take inspiration mostly from my food to make up an outfit. Strange as it sounds, going to a grocery shop for me is more about taking photos of food first, thinking of exciting ways to use those colors in my various life expressions and manipulating photos to feed my creativity, than the banal act of buying food. I put those photos together when I need to come up with original outfits. It’s so much fun!
People stress so much about getting dressed, complaining of not having anything to wear and the wardrobe is full of clothes they might not even be aware of having. I don’t think much when I put together my outfits, nature provides me with all the colors I need to make excellent combinations. If it looks good in nature, it will look good on me and my food photography helps me immensely.

I feel good in any green colors, better if it is a yellow-green, Chartreuse, or blue-green. I use any green tone as a daytime color, as well as for evening dressing up. I hear people saying green will make them feel “potted”. Green and golden tone skins are a perfect match, but green-bluish tone color works well on people with pinkish skin tone. That’s the secret.

For this time, I am having a close encounter with Chartreuse (my purse and necklace), arugula green (my pants) and gray mushrooms (my top). I have a great ability to mix jewelry metals and manage to make them look attractive together. I wear gold and silver together without inhibitions. A small touch of pearls won’t hurt either. The detail, which makes this ensemble more interesting, is the tapestry sabot shoes by Steve Madden.
There you go, as I often say, don’t be afraid of colors. If you do it right and tasteful, color will change your life. Ciao,
Valentina

Open this link and scroll down the page to find my Fashion Services
https://valentinadesigns.com/services

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

As a designer in business since 1990, I am interested in helping people designing their interior and exterior spaces with an overall feeling of peace, relaxation and harmony that will draw them home eagerly. I am always looking to add that special touch with original findings to the spaces I design. Color is the focus of my business today, changing people’s energy and life force just by introducing them to colors they would have never imagined. Vogue Italia magazine, Gentry and many prominent magazines in California featured my work, I appeared on RAI, National Italian T.V. and nonetheless my story continues. Find copies of my book on colors ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors , and  the rest of my  books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Safari In The City | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

Most of the people I know are trotting the world now, cruising, exploring world cultures, tasting ethnic food in foreign countries, safari in the Serengeti and some are doing a quiet staycation.

A few months ago, a client brought me a blue-green fabric and an off-white cotton lacy fabric wondering what I could do with these two rummage fabrics. I asked a few questions and if she was going to a special event or on a special vacation this year. Good enough she was planning a safari.
Immediately, a jumper shorts with an oversized duster came to mind. The blue-green color with some brown details is a subdued color, ideal for making a safari garment, it would mix and camouflage well with the nature. We don’t want animals to attack my client because she is wearing bright colors. In fact, the colors of a safari outfit gravitate around earth tones, from shades of white, off-white, to cream and beige; from rust to olive-green and military green; some grey and browns are also present.
I designed my client’s safari outfit on paper, took the fabrics to the seamstress, made the outfit and off she went to capture the soul of the animals in their eyes through the lens of her camera. (Click on each photo to view it larger).

What are the essentials for a safari outfit? This is my concept, easy, doable and not terribly expensive. Links of each item will take you to the products.

 

French Pith Helmet.  – It goes with any men and women’s safari outfit and it is equally attractive for both.
A Pair of Sunglasses – always protect your eyes from sun glare and dust.
A Safari Binocular to observe the animals from a distance and in silence.
Convertible Pants – they conveniently change from long to short pants as the necessity of the moment requires and occupy less space in the luggage. One pair of convertible pants makes two pieces.
A Vintage Belt – it’s always needed, even in emergency situations, you never know how it will be used. Somehow a rugged, vintage belt feels better for a safari outfit.
A Safari Coat with a millions of pockets. You never know what you will collect to take home.
Ankle Boots – protect yourself from brushwood, dry branches, stones, pointed plants and possible snakes. I choose Nero Giardini.
I throw in a pair of Animal Print Loafer for the evening casual relax.
A Safari Scarf, just to “look good” for the animals, or to wipe the sweat off the forehead. Those felines might work you up.
Travel with a light Duffle Bag. Going to a safari there isn’t much to show off to or to buy, other than bringing back a lot of memories and digital photos.

Mind you, the safari outfit in my concept board is also well adaptable for a weekend in the country, in the woods and for a hot day in the city. Why not?
In a hot weather, people tend to slack off dressing, it really doesn’t matter if they wear the usual shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops, as long as they stay cool. I agree, it’s so difficult to wear clothes that look good in a hot weather.  Choosing cool, light weight fabrics, cool colors to keep us from overheating is the utmost importance.

However, in the last concept board below, I am showing a safari outfit more suitable for the city, playful and cool looking for work or business.


Ciao,
Valentina
Open this link and scroll down the page to find my Fashion Services
https://valentinadesigns.com/services

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is a trained Fashion and Interior Designer, born in Italy in a family of artists. Style surrounded her since the beginning of her life. Her many years of experience led her to offer consultations in both specializations and now she can remodel homes as well as personal images. She is passionate about colors and encourages her clients to express their personal style in their homes and with the clothes they wear. To better help people all over the world she offers consultations online. She is the author of three books. Get your copy of Valentina’s book on colors: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Your Aura Color | Valentina Cirasola | Designer

Welcome to my Fashion Friday.
One of my most liked fashion colors combination has been apple green with soft pink. Pink exudes feelings of caring, tenderness, self-worth and self-love. Wearing pink presents a person as peaceful and not threatening. The softer shades of pink are very feminine and give out a youthful look. Of course, with this combination in the photo, I wore a piece of jewelry in a darker shade of pink to create a feeling of order and protection from hostility. That’s what dark pink does, protects the wearer from provocations. Pink lacy poncho is my crochet creation. https://www.etsy.com/shop/ValentinaExpressions

(Click on each photo to view it larger).

If pink has a suiting effect on our behavior, green is the safe color. Green has the powerful energies of nature. It symbolizes fertility, growth and life. Egyptians wore green eyeliner, as green was considered the eyes’ healing color. The energy of green is all about the ability of sustaining changes and the freedom to pursue new ideas. I am in constant evolution, new ideas, whether possible or not fill my days, the important thing is to have them. That’s the reason I wear green often.

Both colors are very friendly and easy on the eyes of the viewers. If your natural color, texture, and skin’s appearance allows it, please wear the apple green and pink combination, you will see a change of attitude to positivity.

Everyone has a personality color. It is that particular color, which excites you when you see it and it is not the color you wear as a habit.
It is, in fact, your aura color.

If you believe in the power of gemstones, carry or spread around the home and office:
Pink gemstones to promote love, order and protection.
(Photo Pink tumbled Mangano Kalcit – Peru http://www.stengarden.com/stenar/trumladstenar/mangano-kalcit-trumlad.html)

 

Green gemstones to promote wealth, growth and balance.
(Photo Green – Amazonite – Russia https://crystal-cure.com/amazonite.html).

Are you debating which is  the best color for you? I am here, take advantage of my online color and fashion consultations. Ciao,
Valentina

Open this link and scroll down the page to find my Fashion Services
https://valentinadesigns.com/services

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer working in the USA and Europe since 1990, specializing in interior and exterior, color analysis, kitchen, bath, wine cellar, and outdoor kitchen designs. Often people describe her as “the colorist” as she loves to color her clients’ world and loves to create the unusual. “Vogue” magazine and many prominent publications in California featured Valentina’s work. She also was seen on RAI – Italian National TV and has made four appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15. Author of three published books, the latest ©RED – A Voyage Into Colors is on the subject of colors.
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Summer Of Love | Valentina Cirasola | Designer


Welcome to another episode of Friday Fashion. This is a trip in the ’60s era and what a trip it it.
(Click on each photo to view it larger).

“Turn on, tune in, drop out” a famous counterculture-era phrase popularized by Timothy Leary in 1966. He spoke at the Human Be-In, a gathering of 30,000 hippies in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco where he pronounced the famous phrase. In his album with the same title Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out, recorded in 1966, we can hear his views about the world, humanity, nature, about adopting native American Indian symbolism, the meaning of inner life, the LSD experience, about keeping peace and many other issues, which afflicted youth.

And that was the atmosphere of the ‘60s, a “trip without a ticket”. The counterculture movement led by artists, poets, writers, musicians, designers and performers was an expression of arts as much as it was a political movement. San Francisco, Haight-Ashbury district became the center of the hippie’s movement. In 1967, The Summer Of Love event attracted as many as 100,000 young people from all over the country, protesting against political and social issues, the Vietnam war, social injustice and challenged the mainstream American society.

Making colorful posters with “trippy” graphics and bold colors became one of the arts of the counterculture movement in the ‘60s. Music events, gatherings, life expressions, drugs, fashion, free love, everything was publicized with posters attached from wall to ceiling in stores frequented by attentive hip crowds. DeYoung Museum did the same in this exhibition and dedicated a couple of large rooms to posters.


In these rooms one feels the commotion and confusion of the era. The baby boomers visiting the exhibition relived the decade as it was yesterday. I could hear some people singing along or repeating famous phrases pronounced in video clips of the era. “Sitting On The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding resonated throughout a few rooms and a few people danced to that tune. The psychedelic room was a “trip”. Bean bags on the floor invited to lay down and listen to music, relax and relive the Summer Of Love in full colors.

Say it with a button, or better attach as many buttons as you like on your clothes and pass on the message. Political buttons personalized the clothes of The Summer Of Love to let the bourgeoisie know how the youth felt about things they rejected and were no longer valid for that generation of the ‘60s. Messages on the buttons using satire, criticism and emphasizing the “good effect” of drugs were very clear.


(“Big Smith” jacket, circa 1970 by Jean Stewart)

Many of the youth of the ‘60s suffered confusion, anxieties and panic attacks. Psychiatric wards saw an increased in young adults hospitalized for a “bad trip” as it was described. To cure and to keep such patients distracted from their confusion, hospitals involve them in the making of elaborated embroidered hospital scrubs. This one below is a beautiful example of the intricate work done by hospitalized youth.

(Hospital scrub – Circa 1968 – Cotton plain weave with cotton embroidery from the collection of Arthur Leeper and Cynthia Shaver).

Fashion too marked the era. It was a non-conventional fashion, extravagant, colorful, geometric and free-flowing, aiming to liberate women from constriction of corsets and girdles of the previous decades. Many designers took inspiration from Bohemian life, native American Indian style and various ethnicities, adding denim to all the new natural fabrics ever used before. Denim represented the working-class fabric, it was durable, affordable and it meant rejection from the middle-class upbringing, thus denim mania became the counterculture look.

Crochet clothes returned strong from the past. Both women and men wore lace, appliquéd fabric, embroiders, fringes, tie-dye, silk screened clothes, hand painted shoes, colors and crochet garments became unisex, corroborated by button pins with messages mocking society. Everything and anything was fashionable as long as it was colorful.


(All work of art displayed are from the permanent collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco).

Not only in San Francisco. Youth of the ‘60s took upon themselves the counterculture revolution to change and transform societies all over the western world. A lot of the policies of today would have been unimaginable without the ‘60s visionaries.


(All photos taken in the De Young Museum by ©Valentina Cirasola).

However, almost sixty years later, all is to be questioned again. The kids and grandkids of that generation are still seeing wars, hatred and politicians making personal profits from their positions at the expense of people who work for the nations. Natural food so much wanted by that generation is almost inexistent, diseases related to artificial food are rampant, social injustice is still here and fashion…..well, there is nothing new, doesn’t teach individuality and it is not making any statement.

The Summer Of Love exhibition at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco is well researched and worth the visit. It is an inspiration for the youth of today. It will be open until Aug.20, 2017 and if  you are in the area, don’t miss it. Ciao,
Valentina
Open this link and scroll down the page to find my Fashion Services
https://valentinadesigns.com/services

 

Copyright © 2017 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


I am Valentina, a trained Fashion and Interior Designer, born in Italy in a family of artists. Style has surrounded me since the very beginning of my life. My many years of experience in design business led me to offer consultations in both fashion and interiors, so much so that I can remodel homes as well as personal images. I am passionate about colors and I encourage my clients to express their individual style in their homes and with the clothes they wear. I am the author of three books, one of which is a book on color theory: ©RED-A Voyage Into Colors available on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/qNxXrB
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

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