Thursday, December 23, 2010

JAPONAISE



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 Wife
2. Henri Matisse, Open Window at Collioure
3. Joan Mitchell, Yves
4. Mickalene Thomas, A Little Taste Outside of Love
6. Salvador Dalí, Lobster Telephone
7. Mark Rothko, Untitled
Check out:
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.]

19 comments:

  1. Love the last pic! The jacket is fabulous and I'm glad you wore it with jeans. I think it is a brilliant match. This jacket can and will go with anything! More love to it because it was from your grandmother! Love each of those paintings and now you've just awoken my love of art and will have to visit the museum next weekend. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas too!!

    www.plentyforpennies.com

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  2. Oh my goodness. This whole outfit is so utterly fabulous! The jacket is beautiful, and what a wonderful pieces to have from your grandmother! And I'm not sure I can express with words how amazing those shoes and bag are...!

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  3. oh i just adore your jacket! ;) thanks for the award! muchly appreciated!

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  4. cutecutecutecutecutecutecute x 239402834029430242.
    (especially the jacket)

    http://glamkittenslitterbox.blogspot.com/

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  5. sorry just have to say your booty looks amazing in those jeans! love a pair of good Levis!

    thanks for your comment and hope to see you in some of our vintage soon!!

    www.avintagelovestory.com
    www.lalalandvintageclothing.com

    x

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  6. What a lovely scarf!! The color combination in your outfits are so exciting to see! xxoxoxoo

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  7. Oh I love that first picture, so striking! Your outfits are always so exciting!
    http://haveyoueverfalleninlove.blogspot.com/

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  8. definitely in love with the shoes and the bag!!

    xx, Sabinna and David

    http://broken-cookies.blogspot.com

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  9. Wow, perfect. Am I making this up, or is Liza Minelli wearing something similar at home in the beginning of Cabaret?

    I see Japonaise as an example of the Oriental craze and bringing Asian pieces into a Western everyday culture, which is something I think you did beautifully as well although in a decidedly modern style drawing inspiration from rather than direct transferral of the Japanese garment. America can = casual / interesting / international mix!

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  10. Love it, inspiration and all, really cool outfits!
    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
    xx

    www.ohmyvogue.com

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  11. I love kimono!

    http://themessenger-bag.blogspot.com

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  12. i LOVE that bag, it's BOSS!!
    merry christmas!
    <3mode.
    http://modestylist.blogspot.com

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  13. Wish you happy holidays! You've got something to 'pick up' at my place..Love Eva

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  14. so awesome! i love the color combination... happy holidays! http://missbeatrix.blogspot.com

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  15. Hayhay!
    How are you? Your blog is great and I love your style! I'm glad that I've visited yours.

    Please, check mine, & maybe we can follow eachother? + join my giveaway!

    Thanks and love,
    Cindy from www.glamourblog.tk

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  16. i love that vintage coat and scarf! you look lovely!

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  17. also, thank you for the stylish blogger award :)

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  18. i love your blog! and i love your reference to art! (i was an art history major in underground and now getting a master's in museum studies) and i LOVE your l.a.m.b. wedges! they're incredibly awesome.
    ps: i'm adding you to my blogroll :)

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  19. I'm such a fan of your blog and I'm so sorry it took me this long to see this award! I'm so flattered!

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