Written and photographed by Lais Lacher.
The space was dimly lit and filled with foliage with a mysterious melody playing in the background. Glimpses of snake, leopard, and owl prints and leather, fur and feathers were seen throughout the room. Their demeanor was bold and their gaze was piercing… This scene was the setting for Joy Cioci’s Fall 2012 presentation at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. The twenty models were staged on a two sided platform with the room decorated to resemble a forest at dusk. The theme of the collection was Seductive Survival and a woman’s basic instinct to use manipulation to get what she wants.
Cioci presented these themes in subtle and unexpected ways such as manipulating the original texture and form of the fabrics by treating them, washing them, and deconstructing them. To convey the sense of danger she used leopard, snake and owl prints in shades of oranges, blues, and purples. The solids were vivid oranges and reds as well as teal, plum, ivory and black. These prints and colors were also used in sheer fabrics, which was a trend throughout the collection. The collection had a range of looks that went from highly structured to ethereal. The tailoring included peplums, V and T darts and pleating using wool, cashmere and charmeuse. There were sensually draped jersey and figure hugging silk crepe dresses. The more delicate pieces included a beautiful vermillion chiffon and ruffled organza gown and black chiffon and lace feathered shirt gown. Fur, leather, and feathers were also a trend throughout the collection and added to the animal theme. The collection was also heavy on trims. Piping was used as a way to tie the pieces together such as the leather dress with boucle piping paired with a boucle jacket with leather piping and details. Flowers, ruffles and lace added feminine touches to some of the pieces while emphasized cuffs, collars and plackets added a more masculine look. The makeup followed the seductive theme with dark smoky eye makeup and intricate black fishnet tipped nails which all of the models wore.
Overall the collection had many different looks for the Cioci Woman to wear doing her different attitudes. Sometimes a woman wants to be feminine and other times she has to be strong, knowing the real jungle is out in Manhattan where only the most stylish survive.
Can you tell me about your inspiration for the collection and your design process?
My inspiration for this fall 2012 collection was based on seductive survival and the thought of manipulation and how a woman can manipulate to get what you want. I went with that concept to manipulate my fabrics to make them more textured or seductive so a lot of the fabrics are washed or pleated. Then I did the same thing with the prints and I used animals because I thought they had a lot of seductive, dangerous, and instinctual qualities to them and I took them not in the most predictable way. For example I took shedded snakeskin and turned it into a print and manipulated it and I turned an owl wing into a print and a leopard and that was fun. And I used furs in a way that they were cut up and then put back together. And you know it evolved into this.
Can you tell me about your training and how you got where you are now?
I taught myself in the beginning when I was younger about fashion and how to make clothes and then I decided to pursue it as a career. I went to college at FIT and they taught me so many different techniques. I also was fortunate to have wonderful internships and apprenticeships. I was at Gucci and that was my foundation layer into luxury and into fashion itself. Tom Ford was very into detail and gets inspiration from everything that surrounds him, so I took those influences with me so they are very strong in my sense of design. Going into another luxury brand such as Carolina Herrera and Nina Ricci was more ethereal, romantic, and French and I absolutely fell in love with that. I tried to combine those elements into my work. When I went into the contemporary world I liked mixing very wearable apparel with luxury detail into all of my collections.
Can you tell me about what causes your line is involved with?
As a business owner people have to be socially responsible for what’s going on around them and my business partner feels the same way. Her family started a foundation that helps communities in East Africa and it helps build their education and medicine and everything to do with their culture and to make it enriched. So we pick an article of clothing from each season and the full proceeds from that item go to the charity.
BONUS INTERVIEW 1
Interview with CND – Creative Nail Design
How did you make the nails worn by Joy Cioci’s models?
We took two coats of CND’s Putty Polish. It’s a fleshy nude and painted it halfway down the nail leaving the other half exposed and clear so that when we glued pieces of actual fishnet to the clear part, you could see through. That was done using fabric glue and then we cleaned up the smile line using CND Black Jack so that it has a nice clean crisp line.
BONUS INTERVIEW 2
Interview with Uzo, NARS International Makeup Artist
How did you decide on the makeup look and how did it complement Joy Cioci’s collection?
The main inspiration for the makeup look was Joy’s inspiration, which I think works well with the NARS idea of the modern women. She said her inspiration is a complex woman, a woman with many moods. I think in real life we are all complex. Some days you are moody sometimes you are fun and flirty. And that was the inspiration behind the collection, and that was my inspiration behind the look. We did a moody, mysterious, intriguing, sexy, seductive kind of smoky eye, but then we kept it fun and flirty by having a beautiful pink sparkly cheek and a cotton candy pink lip. It is your quintessential fall look which is a smoky eye but it had a fun twist. Instead of using a black liner to finish off the smoky eye we used a grey liner with a hint of blue. I am sure you have heard of our Orgasm blush. We have a new one to add to the collection called Undress Me which is a beautiful pink with hints of silver sparkle that on a darker complexion will work as a highlighter, but on a fairer complexion works as a beautiful pink blush. Day and night, it’s very discreet, it’s very pretty. For the lips we did a cotton candy like in a lip-gloss, but we all know lip-gloss has a tendency to swipe right off so we used a traditional lipstick. We used our longwearing formula pure matte in Madère, which is a similar color to the lip-gloss a light pink.
Can you give our readers some makeup advice?
It’s all about beautiful makeup, but you want beautiful skin first. We used our new foundation, actually our tinted moisturizer called Pure Radiant, which is really more about making the skin look like you are not wearing any foundation. So we like to say almost bare but even better.