Simplicity with Chopin

WEARING: FOREVER 21 HIGH-SLIT MAXI SKIRT |

FOREVER 21 CREAM OFF-THE-SHOULDER PEASANT TOP |

MICHAEL KORS SANDALS


Happy Friday! Today's post is focusing on a new outfit look, (think Chanel meets affordability 🙊) but with attention also on my deep love for Classical music. Lately, I've been feeling inspired to do a black and white film 'look', but I wanted to evoke feelings of playfulness, intensity and the art of simplicity, which to me, is the key to sophistication, and remaining effortlessly chic.

I've been listening to Classical music since I was a young teenager. The reason being was because of my training as a competitive figure skater, where a lot of time was spent on researching and choosing the perfect piece of music to go with the perfect skating dress and choreography. I was immediately drawn to Vivaldi, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven. But my interest really peaked while in college, where I spent many of those first lonely freshman nights studying while listening to 'my men'. That is, until I actually made some friends! The only person I knew was my cousin and she was on the other side of campus. (And Michigan State's campus is one of the hugest in the country.) Freshmen stuck out like sore thumbs with their stationary parked bikes in the middle of the sidewalk with their faces immersed in the map of the campus. Trust me, I was definitely one of them, ha ha! 

When I wrote my first novel, most, well to it's near entirety, music was filled in the background with Classical music. If not that, lots of original soundtracks. Dark. Soundtracks. Why do I love Classical music?  It transports me to places I've never been. Eras, even. It sometimes uplifts me, fills me with intense anticipation of the unknown, melancholy, nostalgia, and even sometimes great sadness. But each time, regardless of the mood or set tone, I am never left without feeling fulfilled in some way. It gives me life! How many times has music saved your life? 

I styled my hair in three knotted ponytails, bringing them together in a sort of french-braid kind of way. My makeup is inspired by the new Chanel campaign with Kristen Stewart shot by Mario Testino. What I love is the variation to the smokey eye, with different vibes like a tomboy, being mischievous or playful, to even feeling like a glamorous star. Eyes are, after all, the window's to our soul. We are whoever we want to be. #EyeCanBe

My off-the-shoulder peasant top has subtle floral embroidery in the bell sleeves, and my high-slit black maxi skirt, are both from Forever 21. I've had these Michael Kors's gladiator sandals for a few years and love them during the summer season. Just because you're on a budget when it comes to fashion doesn't mean you can't look like like one of the runway girls! Make it your own, in reflection to your personal style and taste. There's no price to chicness! Take a look at my editorial video created for this look of the week. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE for new videos every week. Please scroll down to directly shop the look. Have a lovely weekend, everyone! :)


photos + videography by Gilles Decamps | director, editing, styling, hair + makeup by Suzanne Spiegoski

Classical music with black and white film, two of my faves put together. Here is my latest editorial video, inspired by simple chicness, knotted ponytails, and Chanel's most recently updated smokey eye makeup. To me less is always and will always be more.

LOVE & XX'S,

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OTHER SIMILAR POSTS

Autumn Playlist

Well... (take a deep breath) the past few days have been Hell. I've been fighting an awful respiratory infection of some kind (thanks to the temperature drop) and, after nearly ten years of living in New York City, I officially got pick-pocketed this weekend! Just when I thought something like that could never happen to me, alas, it did. Hence, the reason behind my unintentional absence. Bullocks.

Long story short, I'm okay and all is good. Just annoying. And petty. To the person who stole from me, all I gotta say is Karma is a B!TCH and I know she will arrive at your front door when you think you got away with it scots free! Grrrrr! Who wants to send me a pint (yeah, right- let's make it 3 buckets) of Moosetracks ice cream? :-/

But I refuse to take it going down without a fight! I'm a Spiegoski, dammit! Music never fails to cheer me up, get me pumped up and ready to take on the world. One problem at a time. And no matter how bad things might get, music and the power of lyrics always re-center me, bringing me back to my good ole' self, remembering who I am, where I come from, and what I stand for. And that hope is never a bad thing... as Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption once said, "Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies." I like to think of music that way. ♥

And how could this face not cheer you up? A couple of licks and 100lbs of pure love trying to sit on me will always get the job done. MaQ wanted to listen in on my current Autumn Playlist and get the full scoop of what's new in the industry. Ha ha ha! Check out the list below.

Autumn Playlist

  1. Nora en Pure - Come With Me
  2. X Ambassadors - Gorgeous
  3. Odesza ft. Shy Girls - All We Need
  4. Drake, Future - Big Rings
  5. Drake, Future - Diamonds Dancing
  6. Great Food Fine Ok - By My Side
  7. Sigala - Easy Love
  8. Hayden James - Something About You - Extended Mix
  9. GRiZ, Big Wild, Talib Kweli - For the Love - Big Wild Remix
  10. Little Giants - Lately (Love, Love, Love) Monsieur Adi Remix
  11. Pharrell Williams - Freedom
  12. Nu Shooz - I Can't Wait
  13. LION BABE, Childish Gambino - Jump Hi
  14. Karen Harding - Say Something - Zac Samuel Remix
  15. Ella Eyre - Good Times

No, I can't sing to save my life, but it sure looks like MaQ doesn't mind hearing it! Since he was a puppy, he's really been into music. When he was only 4 months old, he heard a man play a saxophone on the streets of New York and was completely taken aback! Truly enamored with the instrument, we sat there and listened to the man play jazz, as MaQ wiggled his butt ever so slightly, getting his jam on. It's probably one of the very few times I've missed out on documenting the pup, because we were actually enjoying a moment together and (oh, the horror!) I forgot to take my phone out. It's funny because out of all the memories I've collected through the years with photographs and even video, the ones I hold deepest in my heart are the memories that are not documented.

Even so, I'm compelled to capture as many photos/videos as I can because life is precious and short. If there was one wish I could have, it would be that MaQ could live forever. Obviously this is not possible, but as a photographer, I find photographs so important and a wonderful tool to help those grieve and mourn, celebrate a new beginning, or just to reflect and remember a certain moment in time, or a feeling you projected during a photo. This is forever. This is everlasting. This is power.

Life can sometimes feel very long, but with this furry pal around, he just lights up my life when I'm feeling blue or down. I'm so grateful I've got him to help brighten up my days and to get me to smile like a little girl again. Thanks for making this less than perfect Monday somehow quite perfect! I love you to bits, Toots.

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz

Type and Listen.

The only kind of music I can actually concentrate to while writing is and has always been classical music. I'm a lover of all things instrumental, but was quickly drawn into the classical music realm when I was a young teenager. Truthfully, I'm kind of a geek about it. I still, as a hobby, collect CD's but only in this genre. I could care less about the digital crap when it comes to looking for treasure. There's something rare in its form when you by happenstance come across gems all over the city. I use to go crazy at the Virgin Megastore while it was still around in Union Square. My husband and I would go every weekend, and go our separate ways; him with his movies and me with my music.

I've got a stack of reasons not only to enjoy classical music, but to appreciate it. Classical music has been shown to lower stress, make people smarter (!), and can even be a lovely sleeping aid. A 2001 study out of Southern Methodist University supports that listening to classical music heightened the emotions in the study subjects. They were more expressive and effusive with their comments, and they were more openly available as well.

Want to learn more about the transformative power of classic music? If you have the time (the video is about 20 minutes long), check out this TED video of Benjamin Zander. It's probably, in my opinion, one the best discussions I've ever listened to regarding classical music. It is truly significant. And it is special.

I have an endless amount of favorite composers but I'd thought I should name at least a few. (In no particular order)

  • Chopin
  • Rachmaninoff
  • Jules Massenet
  • Brahms
  • Erik Satie
  • Johann Strauss I
  • Liszt
  • Schubert

I didn't want to list the obvious! Of course I worship Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and others but like I said, the amount is endless. If you're anything like the pianist loving freak that I am, you'll love Mitsuko Uchida (I've seen her play live at Carnegie Hall and it was completely amazing) and Dong Hyek Lim.

The pages upon pages of sonatas, concertos, you name it, that I've kept with me through the years, is what I go back to when I'm looking for a certain tone to work with into my writing. When it comes to writing, I always use a computer for manuscripts but I do enjoy using my Olympia typewriter for poetry and short stories.

It even comes with its own case, so it's portable but it's too bulky for me to carry around. Hence, the digital computers. I use Macs and also have a Microsoft Surface Pro 3. I've always wanted to use the typewriter to complete a screenplay. Though when I do type, I make far too many errors, it could get technically frustrating. But regardless of what I just said, isn't she an aesthetic beauty? With a name like Olympia, how can she not be female? ;)

Lastly, today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and I wanted to leave you a quote in relation to this ever-growing dilemma. Let's all take some time today to become more aware of what we can do to help the ones we love who are going through this. Sometimes all it takes is a person to listen. Your story isn't over yet. You're worth another chapter.

“It’s possible to see something that is when it’s not, but it’s possible to not see something when it actually is.”
— Cyrus Stewart

SUICIDE HOTLINE: 1-800-273-8255 

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz

LET'S CONNECT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!

Wild Child!

I live for words. But sometimes, being a writer, it's hard to find the right ones. In the exact correct place. In a particular moment. Sometimes, it's other mediums, like music, photography, and other art forms that help express those inner primal emotions.

When the words don't come, I go out and live my life. But even then, sometimes life wants to hand you the shittiest of lemons in the shittiest of circumstances, and even though I could produce an interesting concoction of what would maybe qualify as lemonade, I'd rather sing my heart out first. I always feel so much better after a sesh alone, therapeutic even. At least to me it is. I can kick it to any melody, but just like my father, the blues and more especially, rock n roll is in my soul. 

I find self-portraiture to be a journey of not only exploring and discovering many different characteristics in a person, but also the best way to get the creative juices flowing and hopefully for someone to get better at their work. Since I've never done a photo shoot such as one which includes my *obvious* talent for singing, I wanted to share with you my many different expressions of moods and emotions. All I can say is it was a blast!

I re-created a playlist I had going on during this self-portrait session. Though it's mostly rock n roll, I've got some alternative, post-punk and blues in there too. Check it out below!

Songs You Can Belt Out to:

  1. The Doors - Break On Through (To The Other Side)
  2. Nirvana - Come As You Are
  3. Guns N' Roses - Paradise City
  4. The Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want
  5. The Clash - Should I Stay Or Should I Go
  6. Supertramp - Goodbye Stranger
  7. The Animals - It's My Life
  8. Nirvana - All Apologies
  9. Cream - Sunshine Of Your Love
  10. Stevie Ray Vaughan - Little Wing
  11. Pearl Jam - Better Man
  12. Elton John - Rocketman
  13. Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun
  14. The Rolling Stones - Dead Flowers
  15. The Black Keys - Tighten Up
  16. Warren Zevon - Keep Me In Your Heart

What are some of your favorite rock n roll songs? A favorite band? Comment and share below!

Have a great day! :)

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz

LET'S CONNECT!

Rollerblading w/ MaQ + Current Playlist

After coffee most mornings (unless it's a downpour), I take maQ with me out rollerblading for a few miles to get in some exercise for the day. We'll also train and lastly, play with his Chuck-It balls. His favorite. I have a big rule with my pup though, and it's an orderly structure: exercise, discipline, THEN affection. I never rearrange this. It's Cesar Milan's way. So when anyone asks, "how is your dog so well-behaved?" I answer them with the order I use. Trust me. Follow this and you're golden. I'm always down to help others with their doggy problems, because everywhere I go there seems to be something. And you know what? It's perfectly okay! It's called being human. ;)  Why not help each other, and your furry pal too, instead of living the same way? Don't be shy, let's chat!

We really bond when we're out rollerblading. I find nothing more important than spending quality time with maQ. He's the only living soul I can share my secrets with and I don't have to utter a word. He is my special creature. I swear he possesses magical healing powers. He is my family and support. We are the definition of a pack. Our spirit animal must be the wolf! Howl!

I'm always scouting for new music, but will never betray the classics. Music is a definite passion of mine. My current playlist is all relatively recent stuff, but it's a great one getting pumped up to! So, to help you become better acquainted in my taste in music, here's what's on my Spotify right now (warning explicit content):

  1. Father John Misty - When You're Smiling and Astride Me (ON REPEAT- this guy!)
  2. Raury - Devil's Whisper
  3. Max Frost - White Lies - The Soundmen Remix
  4. Birdy, RHODES - Let It All Go
  5. Madeon, Kyan - You're On
  6. Disclosure, Sam Smith - Omen
  7. Meg Mac - Roll Up Your Sleeves
  8. CAZZETTE - State of Bliss
  9. SG Lewis - Warm
  10. FKA twigs - Two Weeks
  11. Majid Jordan - Her
  12. The American Dollar - Signaling Through The Flames
  13. Lecrae - All I Need Is you
  14. Wilkinson - Afterglow

Let's connect on Spotify! Click HERE for my profile. :)

Lastly, here's something to leave you with a smile or a chuckle (or two). Here's a video of maQ doing his thanng. Ha!

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz