The Chest of Drawers

Gina Ciaccio-Holmberg -

  • The Introduction.
    The Introduction.

    When I decided to start The Chest of Drawers a few months ago, I began by making a list of all the women in Kansas City who I deemed to have inimitable style. These were the women who when I saw them, I thought Jesus, I wonder what their closets looks like.

    And I kid you not, Gina Ciaccio-Holmberg was the first name on that list. From the moment I met her a little over a year ago, she became one of those people whose style is cataloged in my mind- ready to be referenced in a moment of fashion crisis. WWGCHD? We may need to work on your initials, Gina. But in all seriousness, to have Gina as the inaugural feature of theCoD is an honor and a privilege.

    Gina’s been around the block a few times. And by block, I mean the ol’ U.S.of A., working as a freelance make-up artist. From applying blush in the “magical” original Barneys store in Chicago to working her own magic on celebrity clients in the Beverly Hills location, Gina has been there, done that. Now firmly planted in Kansas City, Gina freelances for NARS and loves every minute of it.

    When I arrived at her home on an early, January morning, The Rolling Stones (among other rock ‘n’ roll icons) played softly in the kitchen throughout our shoot. Lest you be confused, the bands were playing via her iPod; Mick Jagger was not in Gina’s kitchen serenading us. This background harmony would set the tone for what was revealed as an extremely rock-influenced lady. “I love anything that has an edge to it. Studs, fringe, rocker tees, ripped jeans. I also love late 60s and early 70s-platforms, long flowy dresses, and crocheted knits. Even if I’m dressing super casual for the day (which is more often than not being a mom), I always incorporate one of the above into my outfit.”

    To say Gina’s wardrobe is enviable would be an understatement. As someone who considers my own knowledge and collection of vintage to be somewhat sophomoric, standing in the presence of Gina’s room-closet was awe-inspiring. Crazy prints, sequins, and textures abound! Often when I’ve seen closets filled to the brim in this way, half of it is throwaway material; items bought on a whim at Forever 21 or sweaters gifted from grandparents that haven’t seen the light of day in years. Egh. Not the case here. You can tell each and every piece was bought with thought and consideration and has been held onto for its unique merits. This is equally clear when you hear Gina talk about her clothes. As you thumb through each item, she can’t help but interrupt and say, “Oh, let me tell you about that piece” or “I’ve got a great story behind that.” This woman is a curator, a collector. And she’s a badass at her job.

    Enjoy.

  • The One with a Clothing Rack.
    The One with a Clothing Rack.

    Advice for fellow wardrobe-enthusiasts:
    You always hear people say, “Buy pieces that you will wear for years.” I don’t work that way. I’m all for dropping some cash on a jacket or a bag that you will have forever, but when it comes to my wardrobe, I like to have a lot to choose from. It’s a good thing I love to thrift! I think it’s way more special to find something authentic that’s in style. I also have pieces that I wear for years and years that don’t go out of style because they’re special and they’re unique.

  • The One with Gina's Chest of Drawers.
    The One with Gina’s Chest of Drawers.

    “I love jewelry and accessories, obviously. You can tell from this little area as well as my necklaces. [Editor's note: see previous slide.]
    Purses are my thing, for sure. It’s something I will splurge on. Especially since having kids, I used to splurge on shoes, but I don’t anymore Purses are it for me. I’m pretty spoiled. I get one good bag a year.”

  • The One with a Close-Up of All That Clothes.
    The One with a Close-Up of All That Clothes.

    Favorite places to shop?
    Kansas City has two fantastic local stores that I love. The first is Standard Style. I was thrilled to find this gem when I moved here. They carry amazing designers, and you literally can find all that you need there from amazing undergarments to outerwear. Halls is another locally owned store–an upscale department store with a great cosmetics department- thank God for that! I also LOVED to shop at Barneys when I had the discount!

  • The One with a Not-So White Wedding.
    The One with a Not-So White Wedding.

    “My wedding dress isn’t very typical. My husband had already found his suit- this Marc Jacobs seersucker suit. I thought I was going to wear this cream Betsey Johnson dress that had these blue rosettes all over it, but the dress wasn’t going to be ready until 2 months after our wedding. So, I went on Net-a-Porter, and I found this dress, and I knew it was either going to be really perfect, or it was going to be terrible. The second I tried it on, I knew this was the dress. The color is amazing, the cut is amazing, and it’s Anna Sui, who I love. Hopefully I can wear it again someday.”

  • The One with a Mother and Daughter
    The One with a Mother and Daughter

    “Now that I have a daughter, I always think of her. Even if I find something that I might not necessarily wear that I think is really cool or special, I will buy it and put it in storage for her. When I edit my own closet, if I’m tired of a piece, but I know it’s awesome, I’ll throw it downstairs.”

  • The One with Cuffs in the Cake Stand... Oh My!
    The One with Cuffs in the Cake Stand… Oh My!

    “I love gold. I don’t have much silver.”

  • The One with a Giraffe Wearing a Watch.
    The One with a Giraffe Wearing a Watch.

    Items you can’t stop wearing:
    Jennifer Zeuner cross necklace, enormous gold Nixon watch, and Joie ankle booties. Jewelry is something I still will buy in boutiques and stuff like that, but I prefer to find them vintage- it’s just harder these days.

  • The One with a Rocker Chic.
    The One with a Rocker Chic.

    “I grew up listening to rock’n’roll. Sometimes I had to do it in secret because my dad didn’t want me listening to it. [My style] has always been influenced by rock’n’roll as long as I can remember. I’m still a rocker girl at heart.”

  • The One with a Row of Rings.
    The One with a Row of Rings.

    “I love a good rhinestone. I love, love metal. One of my favorite pieces is this amazing falcon-kinda bird ring- it’s turquoise and coral.” (far right)

  • The One with a Lady in Her Chamber.
    The One with a Lady in Her Chamber.

    “I started really loving vintage in my twenties; I didn’t really have a lot of money for clothes at that time. As you hunt, you get a better eye. You can edit a little bit better. So now I only will buy a really special piece. That said, when it comes to thrifting, I do not discriminate! I will go into any thrift store I come across! I’m also obsessed with garage sales and estate sales.”

  • The One with All of the Chanel.
    The One with All of the Chanel.

    Beauty products?
    Being a makeup artist, I try all sorts of brands and products. Some of my favorites are Laura Mercier and Cle de Peau concealer, Chanel Aqua Lumiere Foundation, all things NARS, Josie Maran Skin Care, Oribe Dry Texturing Spray, and I cannot get enough of Weleda’s Rose Body Oil.

  • The One with Fringe.
    The One with Fringe.

    “I love a good leather. I love anything with studs. Anything with fringe.”

  • The One with a Lovely Legacy.
    The One with a Lovely Legacy.

    “I got [this necklace] through a family friend. Their mother had passed away, and they wanted me to help go through all her pieces. In turn, they gifted me with some of her pieces and this was one of her’s. I love that it’s gold, it’s big, it’s kind of obnoxious, but at the same time it goes with everything. I don’t think it will ever go out of style.”

  • The End.
    The End.

    Three things you would die without:
    My husband, Jared, and my kids, Addison and Frankie.