I recently unearthed this vintage silk evening coat that belonged to my grandmother. It was purchased by my grandfather in Hong Kong sometime during the '60s, and is completely hand-sewn with her name embroidered in the interior. I had been saving it for a special occasion, which turned out to be a normal day when I was in need of a wardrobe pick-me-up.
The coat reminds me of a painting I've always admired at the Chrysler Museum of Art, Japonaise, by Jules Joseph Lefebvre. Lefebvre (1836-1911) is not very widely known, but he is noted for his role as teacher to many younger artists, including William Hart and Felix Vallotton.
Lefebvre himself produced an array of stunning portraits of beautiful women, including Japonaise, or Language of the Fan.
Probably the most interesting things about Lefebvre's portraits are their stylistic differences.
Each one is so completely different, it would be easy to believe that they were all painted by different artists.
Nonetheless, the portraits are beautiful works that individually capture what I can imagine to be the personalities of their subjects.
I decided to keep this look pared down, so the evening coat could shine.
I wore the vintage coat with thrifted Levi's, a Madewell pocket tee, pashmina from an NYC street vendor, vintage two-tone eel skin purse, and suede LA.M.B. wedges.
I imagine I'll wear this coat again for a dressier occasion, but one of the most exciting things about inheriting beautiful clothes is making them your own by working them into your everyday wardrobe.
In other news, Plenty for Pennies awarded me with the Stylish Blogger Award! In lieu of sharing 7 things about myself, I'll share 7 artworks that I love:
1. Egon Schiele, The Artist's Wife2. Henri Matisse, Open Window at Collioure3. Joan Mitchell, Yves4. Mickalene Thomas, A Little Taste Outside of Love5. Roy Lichtenstein, Cubist Still Life with Playing Cards6. Salvador Dalí, Lobster Telephone7. Mark Rothko, Untitled
1. Zarna's Runway because she is too cool, and I love her shoes.2. District of Chic because she pulls off vintage prep and still looks edgy.3. Fashion Forestry because she is a vintage diva!4. Blonde Bedhead because she has the best hair (and cute clothes, too).5. Fancy Treehouse because she is California cool and her dog has more style than most people I know.6. Chichichic because she's mastered the combination of vintage and modern.7. My Edit because she is a thrifting queen.
[Lefebvre images from arthousereproductions.com, oilpaintingfactory.com, commons.wikimedia.org, and allartclassic.com, respectively.]