Saturday, February 26, 2011


In my experience, many artistic triumphs come in a flash. They aren't labored over and they come together organically, with a short time span between their inception and completion.

In my opinion, truly creative individuals, though they have the skills to create masterpieces over time, also have the ability to make something meaningful, given little time or materials.

This is true of Swiss Surrealist artist Méret Oppenheim (1913-1985). At age 23, she created what is now known as the most important Surrealist object, Le Déjeuner en Fourrure (Luncheon in Fur).

According to the record of Art History, Oppenheim was dining with Picasso in Paris when she showed him the design for a bracelet lined with fur. Picasso responded that she could line anything with fur, "even this tea cup and saucer", and thus, Déjeuner came to be.

Along with artists like Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, and Andre Bréton, Oppenheim championed the Surrealist idea of psychic automatism and Freudian fetishism, covering or juxtaposing everyday objects with fur.

These works, which have been categorized as "dis/agreeable", challenge the viewer to think about what it would feel like to use them, and creates a Freudian bridge between the fetish object and the everyday object.

To evoke the Surrealist objects of Oppenheim, I centered an outfit around a vintage fur jacket and added a few tonal pieces with a bright yellow skirt reminiscent of the above work, Squirrel.

I'm wearing a vintage scarf, vintage fur, thrifted cashmere sweater, vintage leather mini bag, vintage skirt, gifted pavé cocktail ring, Betsey Johnson wool tights, Gold Toe socks, Chloe sunglasses, and leather Marni heels.

There are still a few more days left to enter my $35 CSN stores giveaway! Just follow Artfully Awear via Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin, Twitter, or Facebook and leave a comment on this post.

Also, thank you to Sara for the Most Creative blog award and Vanessa for the Newbie award!

[Oppenheim images from,,, and, respectively.]

Friday, February 25, 2011


A few readers have asked if my outfits begin with the art as inspiration, or whether I style up a look and then find art that coordinates. To be honest, it goes both ways. But more often than not, I'll see something in my closet or on the rack--a color, a print, a shape--that reminds me of a work of art. Then I build around that idea to come up with an outfit that reflects the work I had in mind.

In the case of this ensemble, I immediately knew of the comparison I would draw when I spotted this outfit at a local thrift store. I loved the bright colors and cartoon-like shapes, two elements that undeniably correlate with the work of Elizabeth Murray.

Inspired by a range of artists, including Cezanne, Johns, and Rauschenberg, Murray (1940-2007) created large-scale wall pieces, utilizing meticulously shaped canvases and kindergarten colors.

Murray began her works with an object in mind, and then let her imagination run wild, creating sculptural paintings that reflected the inner and outer workings of the object and her own mind. Actually, that's a lot like the way I put outfits together!

"Art is an epiphany in a coffee cup." --Elizabeth Murray

For me, the print of this outfit was undeniably reminiscent of Elizabeth Murray's colorful forms. To balance it out, I added black boots and a belt, and a few colorful accessories as well.

I'm wearing a vintage silk blouse and skirt, BCBG booties, vintage pink purse, vintage leather belt, and African and street vendor bangles.

If you haven't had a chance to enter my giveaway, there is still time! Just follow Artfully Awear via Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin, Twitter, or Facebook and leave a comment on this post.

[Murray images from, and, respectively.]

Monday, February 21, 2011

RICHTER (and a Giveaway!)

I think the greatest thing about fashion is not having to stay true to one style. Though most people have certain aesthetic looks that they gravitate toward, there is no rule that you can't try a different one every day. And if you're looking to revamp a bit, check out my giveaway at the end of this post!

The idea of continuously experimenting with different styles relates to the artistic practice of German artist Gerhard Richter (b. 1932). He is well-known for his abstract paintings, photorealist works, and photography.

Richter works with numerous artistic media, purporting the idea that an artist does not need to have one, recognizable style. Throughout his career, Richter has been associated with Expressionism, Minimalism, Realism, Color Theory, and even created a breathtaking stained glass window for the Cologne Cathedral.

One aspect that ties his work together is the representation of physical activity or movement.

The "blur" Richter is known for in both his representational and abstract works is created by applying paint onto the canvas and then squeegeeing it horizontally and vertically.

This creates an illusion of space that is surprisingly believable, given its somewhat natural occurence.

This Richter-inspired outfit began with the brushstroke-print tunic, which reminded me of the marks of his paintings. Then I added a few accessories in primary colors reminiscent of his works.

I'm wearing a thrifted silk tunic, Alice + Olivia blazer, Limited silk scarf, Habitual denim, Chloe sunglasses, vintage leather clutch, and leather Aldo boots.

If you need to fill a void in your closet or home, check out CSN stores. It is a great site that has everything from cute pumps to computer desks for home, so even if you're not a shoe fiend like me, you're likely to find something great! I'm giving away a $35 gift card to one reader from the U.S. or Canada. To enter, follow Artfully Awear with Google Friend Connect. For extra entries, follow on Facebook, Twitter, or Bloglovin. Comment here and let me know where you follow. I will choose one winner at random and announce it on Wednesday, March 2. Good luck!

[Richter images from,, and, respectively.]


The first warm day of the year is such a teaser. Even though I knew the mid-'70s would only last for a short time, it was difficult to imagine going back to cold weather after a balmy afternoon on the beach. At least it was a reminder that spring is on its way!

Since I wanted to take advantage of the springlike temperature and proximity of the ocean, my outfit was inspired by Belgian Surrealist, René Magritte.

Many of Magritte's (1898-1967) thought-provoking Surrealist paintings have become popular culture icons, like the one below.

He was interested in the juxtaposition of reality and fantasy, and championed a more representational style of painting than other Surrealists, like Dalí and Miró.

One of his primary artistic devices was placing ordinary objects in unexpected environments, causing the viewer to think about the object in a new way.

Though many of Magritte's works seem as though they should have a narrative explanation, he characterized them as "unknowable", like a mystery the viewer has to solve but that there exists no real answer.

"Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist." --René Magritte

My response to Magritte's work was to pair both menswear-inspired and nautical pieces with a beach setting, completed by the green apple necklace which represents a recurring theme in his work.

I'm wearing a Uniqlo tee, PRPS jeans, thrifted woven leather suspenders, Literature Noir chalkstripe boyfriend blazer, Marc bag, H&M socks and necklace, and Matiko wedges.

[Magritte images from,,, and, respectively.]

Friday, February 18, 2011


Clutter is something that has been a constant in my wardrobe (and my life!) for as long as I can remember. Dueling patterns, multiple colors, and interesting details all find their way into most outfits (and you should just see my bedroom). However, every once in a while, it's good to simplify things.

This was the aesthetic opinion of Piet Mondrian (1872-1944). He believed that everything in nature could be broken down into simple, empirical forms.

His early work consists of representational landscape paintings, but over time, they became more and more simplified until his mature style emerged, called Neo-Plasticism.

Mondrian still looked to nature and other representational sources as inspiration for his work, but broke them down into the most pertinent forms.

Mondrian was a member of De Stijl, along with Theo van Doesburg and Bart van der Leck, who championed aesthetic simplicity.

In Mondrian's case, his work truly mirrored his lifestyle--everything in his apartment was arranged perpendicularly, even his easel (which didn't function as well when oriented straight up and down). He even loved to dance the Boogie Woogie specifically because the dance moves in a square!

"I construct lines and color combinations on a flat surface, in order to express general beauty with the utmost awareness." --Piet Mondrian

Though the dress definitely reflects Mondrian's simplicity, my cluttered aesthetic could not be completely suppressed, and I added the necklace and purse to liven things up a bit. I'm not sure Mondrian would have approved!

I was delighted to find this dress, which reminded me of Yves Saint Laurent's Mondrian dress of 1965--a true mod masterpiece and lovely example of the marriage of art and fashion.

I'm wearing a vintage pieced silk dress that I altered to fit, a vintage eel skin purse, DKNY tights, Dolce Vita studded suede over-the-knee boots, and a vintage kitty pen necklace.

[Mondrian images from, karenwebb,,,, and, respectively.]