Wednesday, October 27, 2010


In life, as in art, the lure of the new is difficult to ignore. By its very definition, fashion consists of what's new and now. However, I've found that sometimes the best inspiration comes from dusting off a favorite book, pulling on some worn-out jeans, or having a conversation with an old friend.

I've been revisiting one of my very first favorite artists recently. I grew up loving Salvador Dalí like many children, and was just as fascinated with the burning giraffes as I was with the melting clocks.

Looking into his early work this week, I came across Barcelona Mannequin from 1926. I was immediately inspired by the bold primaries, nautical imagery, and fashion world stance.

Another work from this time period, Still Life by the Light of the Moon, contains similar imagery and color palette. It's intriguing to see Dalí's interpretation of Cubism as well as the very beginning of Surrealism. These were completed only 4 years before The Persistence of Memory, which is widely regarded as his masterpiece.

By 1936, Dalí was deep into Surrealism, both as a lifestyle and an art practice. It was that year that he created my favorite piece, Lobster Telephone.

I wouldn't mind authoring an entire blog solely on the topic of Dalí as fashion inspiration!

I thought these pants, with their sailor-inspired front placket, were perfectly suited to carry out the nautical theme.

I think this is the very first time I've ever worn suspenders!

If you look closely at the painting, my shoes resemble the ones the Barcelona Mannequin is wearing.

I'm wearing a vintage silk blouse, no name suspender jeans I found at Goodwill, L.A.M.B. shoes, Marc by Marc Jacobs bag, and L.A.M.B. watch.

[Dali images from,, and, respectively.]

P.S. Thank you for your patience while Artfully Awear undergoes what I hope will be some improvements!

Monday, October 25, 2010


I wore this outfit yesterday in honor of Pablo Picasso's 129th birthday. Arguably the most important artist of the 20th century, Picasso is mostly known for Cubism and political works like Guernica. [Click images to enlarge.]

However, my favorite Picasso pieces are from his earlier Rose Period. The intimate portrayals of harlequins and their families have always fascinated me with their uncharacteristic warmth and peculiar subjects.

A traveling family of circus performers.

What great outfits!

This family portrait is my favorite--that monkey is just too human-like!

I'll admit that I picked this sweater dress off the rack at Goodwill almost solely because it reminded me of Picasso's harlequins. The rose color and diamond motif immediately brought these works to mind. The fact that it is sequined and actually fit me were added bonuses in my decision to spend a whopping $3.99 to take it home.

I'm wearing a vintage sequined sweater dress, Hue tights, and NYLA wedges. I've really been getting a lot of wear out of blue tights recently! The color of these is more Cornflower than last week's Windjammer.

Happy Belated, Picasso!

[Picasso images from,,,, respectively.]

Friday, October 22, 2010


If you read this blog frequently, you've probably noticed that I'm very partial to painting as an artistic medium. Having been trained primarily as a painter during my undergraduate studies, I have a deep understanding and appreciation for the use of paint on canvas. I'm of the opinion that painting techniques can be applied to almost any area of life, the most obvious being personal style. [Click images to enlarge.]

If I had to describe my wardrobe in one word, it would be "painterly". I enjoy the contrast between colors and textures, and arranging a composition out of multiple elements. I like to think of each outfit as a work of art!

This outfit is unmistakably painting-inspired, due to the print of the tunic. The bold primaries and visible brushstroke print evoke some of my favorite paintings which literally take the action of painting itself as their subject.

Joan Mitchell, Yves.

A very active De Kooning.

Lichtenstein's graphic take on the painter's mark.

I also wore this tunic/sweater combination in my first ever outfit post on Artfully Awear.

This is my second favorite pair of boots. My favorite green engineer boots have not yet made it onto the blog which is quite a travesty!

I'm wearing a Moth sweater from Anthropologie, Blue Tassel tunic, DKNY leggings, and Franco Sarto boots.

[painting images from,, and, respectively.]

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I've never characterized my style as "edgy". However, once in a while, I feel the need to channel bad girl Sandy from the end of Grease. It's pretty empowering to wear heels that cut and shiny pants after a week or so of bright vintage frocks and boyfriend jeans. [Click images to enlarge.]

I found this blouse at the Zachary's Smile attic sale, and immediately noticed the print's resemblance to Abstract Expressionist Clyfford Still's paintings.

With the Abstract Expressionist New York exhibition on view at the MoMA, many new discussions have opened up about the movement.
I thought this article about Clyfford Still's conflicting relationship with the MoMA was particularly entertaining.
These paintings have always been a bit eerie to me, like the paint is slowly creeping around the canvas, and could change at a moment's notice.
I think this blouse definitely captures the creepy feeling, too!

This blouse complements the slick pants pretty well, but I think I'm going to try them with a white eyelet tunic next time for even more contrast.

The metal heels on these shoes are intense--at 6 inches, they are pretty dangerous. No ankles were harmed in the making of these photos.

I'm wearing a vintage blouse, H&M leather pants, and Ruthie Davis platforms.

[Clyfford Still images from,,, and, respectively.]

Monday, October 18, 2010


Yesterday's outfit started with the color. Bright blue is what I often turn to when I'm in a rut--artistically, stylistically, or otherwise. Behr calls this color Windjammer, which sounds refreshing to me. I am a firm believer that there's nothing a pop of Windjammer can't cure--not even a bad case of the Mondays. [Click images to enlarge.]

I've always admired the use of this color in Matisse's Blue Nude (Souvenir of Biskra). It seems so unnatural to think of outlining the figure in blue, yet it makes so much sense visually and compositionally.

Here is another of Matisse's Blue Nudes from much later on in his career. When he was old and grey and could no longer paint, he resorted to paper cutouts which I think are still very powerful.

I came across this hilarious cartoon by Gordon Gurvan during my image search:

I think the blue tights are just the right accent for what could have been a somewhat blah outfit.

I'm wearing a vintage dress and hat, Topshop tights, a beaded necklace from World Market (worn as a belt), and Juicy Couture leather lace-up booties.

[Matisse images from,,, respectively.]