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.]


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