Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NEW SHADOWS



One day I'm wearing woolly tights and fur-lined boots and the next I'm tromping through the underbrush barelegged. Not that I'm complaining--I'll take fall as long as it wants to stick around.


This outfit and setting was inspired by an artist I recently discovered while perusing the MoMA collection. Per Kirkeby is a Danish Expressionist, currently living and working as a painter, sculptor, and filmmaker.

The painting below is entitled New Shadows. I love how Kirkeby's work appears abstract at first glance, but incorporates subtle figural elements.


Kirkeby began painting late in his artistic career, and is probably most well-known for his architectural works and set design for the New York City Ballet, but I think his paintings are extremely interesting.


There is something eerie about Kirkeby's paintings--the way the colors shift from dark to light and the unintelligible figures are quite mysterious.

I love the incredibly bold palette used by Kirkeby to achieve the deep space in these works.


I've really enjoyed utilizing the fall landscape as a background--it automatically adds a whole new dimension to my outfits.


I'm wearing a vintage silk dress, vintage belt, Franco Sarto boots, and a vintage button ring.


[Per Kirkeby images from moma.org, 30.media.tumblr.com, likeyou.com, and amblodon.um.dk, respectively.]

Sunday, November 28, 2010

COGNAC BISQUIT



Now that the sun sets shortly after five o'clock, and the last of the leaves have begun to fall, I'm fully embracing the colors of the landscape. I love the warm, rich hues of late fall, and the hint of winter on the horizon.

The color cognac, represented by my sweater and boots and the surrounding landscape, is named after the red-brown hue of French brandy. The rich shade of cognac in an autumn vista always brings to mind the work of Czech artist Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939).


Interestingly enough, not only does Mucha use the color of cognac as a signature in his work, he created a poster for Cognac Bisquit brandy, which is one of his most well-known prints.


Widely regarded as the earliest and most famous proponent of Art Nouveau, Mucha's prints and posters are characteristic of the prevailing artistic style of the Victorian period.


The stylized print and neoclassical drama of these images reflect the Art Nouveau idea of overly ornate work with a focus on the expertise of the artist.



Although Mucha's work was considered passé at the time of his death, it has been cemented in the history of art as the greatest example of the Art Nouveau style.

I can't help but see Mucha's palette and romantic sensibility in the late fall landscape.



I'm wearing a vintage cardigan and skirt, Sally Tseng cutout henley, Betsey Johnson tights, Sam Edelman boots, and an H&M Fashion Against AIDS necklace.


[Mucha images from illusionsgallery.com, abcgallery.com, dailyartfixx.com, and backtogether.org, respectively.]

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

CURRIN GIRLS



I can't believe the holidays are here again. Time really does fly nowadays--does anyone else think so? I'm so very thankful for another season to spend with friends and family and hope this month and the new year bring loads of inspiration our way!


Speaking of inspiration, after recently perusing the work of John Currin, I felt the need to unearth my grandmother's mink from the army of dust bags in my closet.

Currin is a contemporary American painter who is well-known for his new realist paintings of overly-feminized women. In his somewhat allegorical works, women are often depicted in tradition feminine settings and roles, and great attention is given to figure and what they are wearing.


Though many of the works appear to be carefee, they definitely have an undercurrent of meaningless frivolities of modern life.


Currin is admired in the fashion community for his lovely depictions of womens' clothing, like the mink coat in the first image and the crinkled gold lamé dress below.


To complete my Currin look, I paired my grandmother's mink coat with other things I think are decidedly feminine--like a fitted pencil skirt, cheetah print booties, and a collection of vintage brooches. I toughened the look up with a denim chambray shirt.


The heels of my boots kept impaling crunchy fallen leaves.


I'm wearing a Ralph Lauren denim shirt, vintage red leather skirt, DKNY tights, Dollhouse booties, a varied collection of vintage brooches, and my grandmother's mink.


In the spirit of the holiday, I'll leave you with this:

John Currin, Thanksgiving, 2003

May you enjoy a delicious holiday surrounded by the ones you love,
and successful shopping on Friday!

[Currin images from mintdesignblog.com, schools.walkerart.edu, artobserved.com, farm1.static.flickr.com, artinbars.com, respectively.]

PAINTED FLOWER



In kindergarten I was christened as Painted Flower, my Cherokee name. Looking back, I think it's funny how apropos my Native American name is to my interests!



Since I'm 1/8 Cherokee, I've always been interested in Native American art and artifacts. Native American handiwork has never really been given a place of status in art history, but it has come under more scrutiny in recent years, both for its "primitive" influence on other American art, and for its own cultural and artistic value.


I inherited this reproduction blanket/poncho from my mother. It's one of my favorite garments, not only because I remember her wearing it, but also because of its beauty and versatility.

The tradition of Native American weaving has produced some of the most striking tapestries and blankets. The bold, graphic color combinations are completely relevant to fashion today.

Brands like Pendleton have been producing collections inspired by these Native American works for decades, and they are back in vogue in stores like Opening Ceremony in New York.

It's important to appreciate these woven works as art as well as for their intended utilitarian purposes.



These boots were sent to me by Cougar, a Canadian company that specializes in stylish and practical winter footwear. I love that they're rain boots incognito as motorcycle boots--much easier to work into my wardrobe.


They are guaranteed waterproof and warm to -11F degrees, so I thought the perfect place to try them out would be in the chilly shorebreak. I couldn't believe how warm they kept my feet! That is, until an unsuspected wave crashed up to my thighs--but that was all my own oblivious fault. Thanks to Cougar for the awesome boots!



I'm wearing a vintage woven poncho, Zehana Outfitters turtleneck, DKNY leggings, and Regal boots, courtesy of Cougar.


If you fill out this short survey of your impression of Cougar boots, Matchstick will donate $2 to the American Red Cross.

[Native American blanket images from lunacountryweddings.com, trendyrugs.com, theoregonstore.com, and mink-blanket.com, respectively.]


Monday, November 22, 2010

THE GIRL IN THE GREEN STOCKINGS



I've really been relishing the late fall weather we've been having on the East Coast. It's been practically perfect--the sun is warm and the breeze is cool; but there's a chill to the night air that foretells the coming winter.


This glorious late fall weather is also a lot of fun to dress for--and this outfit was inspired by one of my top five favorite artists, Egon Schiele (1890-1918). An Austrian Expressionist painter, Schiele produced an astounding body of work in a tragically short career.


A protégé of Gustav Klimt, Schiele is well-known for his sensual images of women. In a number of these drawings and paintings, Schiele depicts his subjects in green stockings--a very specific artistic decision, and one that I've chosen to emulate in my own ensemble.


Schiele was a masterful draughtsman, and his unusual sense of figure drawing precluded his obsession with the macabre.


Most of these works have titles that are variations of Girl in the Green Stockings, which should be my own personal alias.

Schiele was not a very well-known or well-regarded artist until the end of the 20th century. Many argue that this is because he was simply ahead of his time.


I must see new things and investigate them. I want to taste dark water and see crackling trees and wild winds.
-Egon Schiele


My green stockings are an ode to the women of Egon Schiele, and to the artist himself, whose work has inspired me in myriad ways, both in my sense of style and my personal artwork.


I'm wearing a Sparrow dress, Odille Leaf Creeper coat, ancient silk blouse, H&M tights, and Schuler & Sons wedges.


[Schiele images from fineartmuseum.net, wikimedia.org, artchive.com, and fineartmuseum.net, respectively.]