What a wonderful year it has been. I would like to say thank you to everyone that reads Coco Zaza- subscribers, partners and friends: you bring me a joy that I will never fully be able to express, but I appreciate you continuing to stop by.
In 2014, I started Coco Zaza as a way for me to stay creative in my ever-increasingly business-oriented world that I was living in; design, art and music turned to spreadsheets, strategy and growth plans. Sooner or I later, I felt my creativity, which was always my unique disposition, slip away as each additional quarter passed. I felt compelled to stay in tune with my artistry that always included: designing clothes, modern dance and performing music- so when the opportunity for me to launch Coco Zaza came along, I took it and put my heart and soul into making it happen. Next year, I hope to release some really cool things that I've been working on for quite some time, but haven't released due to constraints with work. This is something I need to start really trying to manage better; I would love to post city guides of all my favorite spots that I find so charming and wonderful that I normally send to each friend that ventures into a city that I have previously explored. I would love to include collaborations with brands and businesses that I admire, but have previously turned away from since I couldn't figure out the logistics of brand building, while working full-time in a growth start-up.
Traditionally, holidays have been devoted to family, shopping and cheer. I hope that you spend time with your family, pick up all the wonderful gifts for your loved ones, and enjoy the festive season that makes us all feel thankful. After all, this is the time of year when consumerism is very much on our minds. I remember a holiday that I once took with my mother. We traveled to Italy where we were being merry and enjoying our bond together- a bond that has always been the most cherished relationship to me. Besides bicycling together into the village on those beautiful vintage bicycles, we spent our days on a farm there growing our own crops and preparing elaborate dinner parties for local friends we made along the way. We wore Dolce & Gabbana black lace dresses with bright red lipstick, Prada leopard coats with ridiculous Marni fur and 5" inch Miu Miu embellished high-heels that we danced in for hours- twirling & letting life carry us away. There was an old record player playing tunes from the late 40's, Italian wine dripping through our veins and the mindset of seeking a dangerously passionate existence, because you never know what will happen next. That is what my mother always taught me- to live, breathe and experience life. She told me to always keep moving. Keep experiencing. Keep living. Keep loving. Keep being kind. Keep being true. Keep being passionate.
That trip I discovered something that I needed- it was like I found a new religion; it was a suction pulling me in and forcing me to decide the life that I wanted to live and then doing whatever I had to do to make it a reality. This was before the time of Facebook and Instagram and all things digital, and as I sit here remembering a memory that I would have loved to share with you today, but realize that I may have, if anything, one photograph of our time there which was taken on an old film camera that we acquired in town. We were sitting under a large tree of life, in our fluffy gingham print and floral dresses with vintage petticoats underneath. I had lemonade in one hand and she had a paintbrush in the other- we were creating during our picnic, and in true Coco and Chae fashion, we were laughing our bums off. But I have my memories- such beautiful and wonderful memories- that are forever engrained and locked away in my mind for me to revisit when I close my eyes, when I daydream or when I want to be thankful for the woman that I admire and love so much.
Some people say that, as holidays approach, we start releasing endorphins that make us suddenly feel thankful for family and friends, inspired to set new goals and achievements, and we start thinking with a clear mindset, sometimes even morphing creativity and sometimes experiencing weird thoughts, we wouldn't normally have. Maybe it's because we have time off from work and we are constantly inhaling the scent of Christmas trees and everywhere you go, you are seeing cookie-cutter holiday lights, decorations and music that force you, whether you like it or not, to be in holiday spirit.
Every so often even the most creative people need a jolt to the system; a new adventure that surprises them, a piece of clothing that makes them feel fabulous or meeting someone that lifts them off their feet. These experiences, things and people sometimes look and feel different than anything they have had before and oh is it refreshing! I've always been ahead of the curve in all regards, thanks to my mother, and am happy that the two most important people in my life were around me when we took these photos- my Momma and my best friend, Bethany.
I have so much to be thankful for and so much love surrounding me. As I sit here, I count about ten friends that are like family to me- friends that I would do absolutely anything for. Some of us don't live in the same city, or even see each other often, but we share a connection that makes us bound by our past lives, our interests, and our values, that make us more like family. I hope that you have find people like this in your life; it truly makes the world of a difference. I look forward to seeing you in 2016 and all the magic that you are creating with that "dangerously passionate" life that you are living. As they say, "Que Sera Sera" and Happy Holidays to you and your family.
Coco wears a Roksanda Ilincic dress from Harvey Nichols (one of my favorite stores and possibly my new favorite frock, thanks to my latest trip to London), La Perla lace bralette & my Momma wears a Prabal Gurung cut-out mesh dress. Photography: My dear Bethany Halbreich