Thursday, March 31, 2011

FISH AND FRUIT



I'll admit I've been spoiled by a week of wearing my brightest prints and gauziest fabrics--it will be quite a challenge to return to April showers and rain slickers.



This ensemble was inspired by the work of Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), a Post-Impressionist painter-turned Primitivist.



Born in Paris, Gauguin lived in Peru as a child. After returning to Paris and starting a family, Gauguin began to yearn to live in a place where he could simplify his life and "live on fish and fruit".



After leaving his wife and family behind, he eventually settled in Tahiti.



Though his lifestyle was criticized, many of his most famous works were produced during his time in Tahiti, where he realized his goal of finding a simple life in which his art could flourish.



The bold hues and primitive elements of the resulting work beautifully reflect the aesthetic of the islands.



The colors and flora of this vintage caftan reminded me of Gauguin's Tahiti paintings, and I decided to wear it out to dinner in Waikiki.



I'm wearing a vintage caftan, beaded necklace purchased in Kailua, vintage leather clutch borrowed from Jess, and Cynthia Rowley x Roxy leather shark tooth sandals.
Thank you to my patient vacation photographer, Jessica Vandagriff, for taking these photos!



In other news, the StyleLikeU book was just released! You can see my photo in the book in the company of dozens of the most inspirational style icons that have been featured on the site. Click here to buy the book on Amazon.
Congratulations to Elisa and the StyleLikeU team!


View my Stylelikeu interview here.

[Gauguin images from mimifroufrou.com, allartclassic.com, jamesbrantley.net, and wholesaleoilpainting4u.com, respectively.]

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hau' oli lā hānau


Aloha!



I am currently writing from the island of O'ahu, where I've been enjoying lovely sun and sand for the past week, spending time with my best friend from middle school and making my birthday last as long as possible.



I've enjoyed experiencing Hawaiian culture, particularly local art and style. Though Hawaiians are exceedingly laid back, and greet every day with a shaka, I've adored the bright colors of local artists and designers, which reflect the surroundings so perfectly.



Though I've enjoyed the local art, I can't help but think of my very favorite artist, Henri Matisse. His cut outs are some of my favorite works, and I think they really relate to the mood of the islands.


I shared here that, after a lifetime of painting, Matisse turned to producing paper collages when he was bedridden and could no longer wield a paintbrush.



The bold, bright colors of these works, and themes of nature and jubilation encapsulate my experience of the island aesthetic.



I wore this outfit to my birthday luau at Germaine's in Honolulu, where I learned how to hula dance and that I don't like poi. Hau' oli lā hānau means "Happy Birthday" in Hawaiian.



I'm wearing a silk Diane von Furstenberg maxi dress, Miss Trish of Capri leather seahorse sandals, and a fresh orchid lei.


Thank you to the lovely Jessica Vandagriff for taking these photos!

[Matisse images from archimuse.com, redyellowbluemakeyou.blogspot.com, and madamepickwickartblog.com, respectively.]

Friday, March 18, 2011

SCHIELE SUNFLOWERS



Now that spring is nearly upon us, I can't help but feel inspired by flowers. A traditional decorative art motif, sunflowers have often been depicted throughout art history, most notably by Monet and Van Gogh (see my Van Gogh sunflower post here).



Generally considered to be jubilant subject matter, sunflowers take on a macabre meaning in the works of Egon Schiele.



As I discussed in previous posts (here and here) Schiele (1890-1918) was an Austrian Expressionist painter who is well known for his hundreds of figural works, despite his tragically short life.



Many of the artistic techniques he employed in depictions of the human form are utilized in his paintings of sunflowers.



Spindly, emaciated, and somewhat sad, many art historians have seen Schiele's paintings of sunflowers as an analogy for his life and work.



Here is a wonderful short article by Michael Glover on Schiele's Sunflower II, which compares the work to the sunflower paintings of Monet and Van Gogh.



Inspired by Schiele's unique take on the common subject matter, I created an outfit that I hoped would express the character of the works.



I'm wearing a silk See by Chloe blouse, vintage hat, thrifted military issue cargo pants, suede Lauren Merkin clutch, and leather Dolce Vita wedges.
The necklace was a Christmas gift (thank you, Kristen!) and the lovely sunflower bracelet was made by my Aunt, using Swarovski crystals. You can visit her Etsy shop here.



Over the next few weeks, I'll be traveling through San Francisco, Honolulu, and Atlanta. I would love to hear suggestions of places to go/art to see, so feel free to leave a comment or email me!



[Schiele images from oceansbridge.com, saleoilpaintings.com, and oilpaintings-sales.com, respectively.]

Sunday, March 13, 2011

TAMARA DE LEMPICKA



Although I gather outfit inspiration from all over, I very rarely find an outfit that I want to recreate head to toe. However, when I came across photos of this Miu Miu ensemble worn by Anna Dello Russo, I was immediately inspired by its Art Deco feel.



The main reason I was drawn to the look (other than the electric green color and striking accessories) is because of its affinity to the work of Polish artist Tamara de Lempicka.



Lempicka (1898-1980) is one of the most well-known female Art Deco painters.



Her style is a combination of synthetic cubism and Art Deco, and the resulting work is geometric and exacting, yet still maintains a keen appreciation for the female body.



The majority of Lempicka's paintings depict assertive, independent women. Her self-portrait Tamara in the Green Bugatti (below) imbues her own image with a sense of independence that was not widely accorded to the women of her time.



Her notoriously glamorous yet alternative lifestyle made Lempicka the subject of a number of books and screen productions. After a life spent solidifying her social and artistic importance, Lempicka became known as "the baroness with a brush".



I tried to capture the Art Deco feel of these works by combining a beaded jacket with a structured shift dress and geometric accessories.



I'm wearing a vintage beaded and sequined jacket, H&M silk dress, Falke Pure Matte tights in Emerald, Divided shoes, Gap belt, and vintage gold clutch.



In other news, my birthday is just around the corner! I was so excited to see daffodils (my birthday flower) in bloom this week.



[Lempicka images from sarahfullercostume.blogspot.com, vintagegal.tumblr.com, fashionstylist.net, and dailyartist.blogspot.com, respectively. ADR images from streetpeeper.com, alltheprettybirds.com, and jakandjil.com.]

Saturday, March 12, 2011

WHO'S AFRAID OF RED, YELLOW, AND BLUE?



Color in its purest form--unmixed, straight out of the tube--is very powerful. The primary colors, red, yellow, and blue (of which all other colors are made), are highly saturated and contrast beautifully with one another.



For this reason, many artists have relied on the primaries to make bold statements and/or illicit responses. From Fauve landscapes to the Suprematist compositions of Kasimir Malevich to Barnett Newman's zip paintings, the color triumvirate has become an important artistic motif.



Newman (1905-1970) is technically considered an Abstract Expressionist because of his relationship with the group, but he also ushered in an era of post-painterly abstraction and eventually Minimalism.



His most famous works consist of a solid ground with thin vertical strips of color or noncolor--called zips--which simultaneously divide and unite the canvas.


He relied on the use of red, yellow, and blue in a number of these works, both for their vibrance and impact, and art historical importance.


By championing boldness of color and simplicity of form, Newman challenged the viewer to confront his large-scale works, which are enveloping in size.



The canvas above, entitled Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Blue? (1966), encapsulates the challenge implicit in these works.



I took Newman's challenge to prove that I am not afraid of red, yellow, and blue, and styled and outfit with the sole purpose of combining the primaries (and an excuse to wear this cape).



Are you afraid of red, yellow, and blue?
If you feel inspired by Newman's challenge (as I was), and document a primary-colored outfit of your own, send me a link or a photo--I would love to see it and be more than happy to share it!



I'm wearing a vintage cape, vintage silk blouse and pants, vintage snakeskin clutch, J. Crew beaded belt, and Jeffrey Campbell suede and mesh heels.



[Newman images from artupdate.nl, americanwiki.pbworks.com, safran-arts.com, and friendsofart.net, respectively.]