The exhibition “Gender Bending Fashion” (opened last week at MFA) features a unique collection of examples that reveal the ground and history of fusion between previously strictly separated gender-centered clothes. As timely as it is, this idea did not appear overnight, instead we already made centuries-long way to the point where it doesn’t matter what gender you are or prefer to be, it matters what you personally like or dislike to wear. This point of freedom does not eliminate your gender identity, but adds the possibilities to the way you would like to highlight yourself. The exhibition begins with a chronological outline, however items are grouped based on the themes. Most of garments are contemporary but there are a few older items that highlight the historical roots of this phenomenon. The first opening dress of “Gender Bending Fashion” is a dress created by an Italian-born designer with Japanese experience and inspiration, Alessandro Trincone. The dress comes from his “Vfiles runaway 7” award- winning collection Annodami that was later used in an album cover photoshoot of rapper Young Thug, thus sparking public debates about men wearing dresses. The novelty of Trincone (@alessandrotrincone ) work is in usage of typical feminine fabrics like shiffon, to dress up men. In my opinion, his work also brings a significant portion of traditions and cultural notes into this high quality fusion. This takes an interesting turn, as with times, conservative traditional clothes is almost gone from wardrobe of our houses. Blending traditions with contemporary concept gives fresh vibes and reminds society about the fact that traditions have more value in our life’s in their contemporary reincarnation instead of their passive existence outside of a daily context. One of the most appreciated dresses at “Gender Bending fashion” is look32 from Viktor & Rolf (@viktorandrolf ) 2003 “One women show” collection. The show was inspired by their muse Tilda Swindon. At the time of show, the collection aimed to dress a modern women in a high couture men-style clothes. “It’s our tenth anniversary already,” said Viktor Horsting. “We wanted to do all our signatures, with the menswear and the couture influences, for an ageless modern woman.” The layered collars are simply timeless. Retrospective look at the show let me think about the idea that was in the air of exhibition but was not said loudly: women began to dress in men- styled clothes way before men began to dress in women- inspired ones. There are many social reasons behind this phenomenon, but I would like to believe that now as a society, we are more flexible in acceptance of new things. At that time, masculine suits for women were intended to create a classic power-suit in order to open doors to men-dominated professional world, hence the androgenic ageless beauty. Indeed, power-suits add seriousness. However, we should keep in mind that in reality, this trend tends to emphasize feminine nature often working as a contrast with shapes of fuller figures. Looks great, but I guess the result is different from the initial intention. What does it means and what we will see in men with women-inspired styles? Will it highlight masculinity or tone down the aggression? Just asking – time will show! •
P.S. dress presentation is one of the key components of the experience, was done by @chelsea_garunay •
Personally, I think, color matching is a tricky area for reasons that I am going to discuss here. This post also aims to provide a general guide of how to match colors if you decide to do this.
One of the classic situations: you need to dress up for an occasion and you find a red bag and a red pair of stilettos to match the color. At first glance it looks like a perfect match but once you arrive to the location, you feel that it looks strange. But why?!
First, this situation is called “anti-effortless chic”. In addition, matching shoes with bag is a very outdated idea. I am not saying you can’t do this. You can, if you are aware of it and have enough sense of humor to go out looking as if you have spend a lot of time in front of the mirror :))
Another situation is when you see a very cool little red bag but decide that you have nothing to match it at home. You opt not to take it just to spend the whole afternoon regretting. But why?!
This is because your intuition tells you that you don`t have to match your little red bag with anything to look chic. Just wear it with jeans and shirt. Done.
Now, how to match then? Here are few advices that one might found helpful:
- Match unusual items like earrings with shoes.
- If neutrals, I do match shoes with blouse or jacket. It often gives a finished look but without overdoing. With brighter colors it becomes tricky.
- Pick matching tones for a better siluette. The trick is, however, to pick very different textures – otherwise the outfit will give an impression of a poorly and tastelessly matched look (nothing to do with effortless mess !!!).
- Match colors of bag and shoes if they contrast with each other stylistically ( one is sporty, another is office ).
Have fun matching!
So how an artwork influences dressing sense and style? For me, it is first of all the interplay between harmony of colors. The artwork provides amazing examples f how crossing the limits can be interesting or not at all. Kind of a study material to deal with my reactions. Here I would like to discuss a specific example of an impressionist artwork that I enjoy. I choose impressionist Paul Signac`s work as a first painting to discuss because of bright colors that I adore.
Inspired by Instagram posts from @denis_gardari, I aim to pay more attention to how I observe paintings. In addition, I felt like clarifying a question about pointillism – what kind of style is this?
So here is a work from Paul Signac “Golfe Juan” (1896) as an example of pointillistic style. The painting is currently a part of a armament collection in Worcester art museum. The specifics about this particular painting is in different from classical Impressionism structure: the canvas is “framed “ by bay and trees. This work was painted in the South of France, showing St Tropes in the opposite side of the bay.
Many of current SS18 collections present pink-green combination. However, no matter how naturally these two colors look in nature, it is hard to incorporate them in everyday personal style without going over-the-board. And by this I mean not the brightness of the colors but the fine borderline between a great taste and kitsch. I found this particular painting to be the gemstone that provides a guidance for a very tasteful combination of these colors that are expressed in painting but are taken from nature. If you take a closer look, you ll notice that the ratio between green and pink is far away from being 50:50. There are dark green shades that rather serve as a frame and add accent. I think, this would be a great example of how to blend green and pink into an outfit. Little accents of darker green are just enough.
Discussing this painting further, lets talk about pointillism and how it is related to impressionism. Pointillism was invented by French (any doubts about it?:)) impressionist George Seurat. Intriguingly, he studied a book that was written by a French chemist Eugène Chevreul, who worked on developing oils and dyes; Charles Henry and American physicist Ogden Rood, who worked a lot on color theory. Interestingly, color theory at first was an idea of de Vinci 9 Circle: artist-scientist-artist?:)). Anyways, the work from scientists influenced impressionists in a way that lead Seurat to come up with a new technique that he termed a “ separation of colors”- divisionism. The quintessence of this technique is in use of pointed application of pure color that results in optical mixture for a person who looks at the painting from a certain distance. The main advantage of this technique is the possibility to achieve more vibrant colors.
Signac was establishing Salon des Independents where he met Seurat. Signac followed and helped to develop Seurat’s technique and he named it a pointillism. Not so long after, however, Felix Feneon ( a writer and an art critic) renamed this style one more time and referred to it as neo-impressionism. Therefore, divisionism, pointillism and neo-impressionism is the same technique.
In accordance to impressionniste.net, “Seurat’s first large painting (206x305cm) “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” – 1884-1886 may be considered as the founding masterpiece of Divisionism.”
Even if you are tied from pink outfits of your little daughter, it is hard to resist a temptation and use this super bright combination in your outfits. It is very trendy (although not the main official according to Pantone) SS18 color combo and even fall collections have some traces of this bright, rather “sprinish” outfits ( just take a look at fall ready-to-wear Dice Kayek). At the same time, many will object that this combo is too bright and unnatural. To wear or not to wear, here I solve this question.
The very first rule that can be useful once it comes to color combination is to check the nature. Looking at the beautiful orchid flowers, it is amazing and obvious how often red-pink combo can be observed and how natural it is. So, if your concern is to go with natural colors – go for it without hesitation!
The next question is how to wear it in everyday life? Getting one pretty dress means that you ll wear this piece once, maybe twice. And then everyone knows, this is the same dress. Does not really sound that practical. I suggest getting two different items and once in a while pair them together. For my office look, I wear red coat ( that can be all worn in multiple combinations with greys and blacks and navy) and fuchsia pink pants that similarly can be combined with other colors. This way, you invest in many looks and get many variables instead of one non-exchangeable combination. If you are concern about the outfit being too bright, use darker shades and one item that can be removed in the office ( like coat).
Have fun with coloring your inter season days:)!!
Recently, statement jewelry pieces took the central stage. To balance the situation for the purpose of well-styled wardrobe, I feel the need to write about studs as an essential jewelry. Unlike large statement trendy pieces, studs are timeless. We need them to highlight our beauty but not to override it. As if you whisper instead of shouting. Sometimes, whispering delivers message better than loud voice. Same is true for studs.
You wear a party dress with bold necklace, power suit or sporty track pants – studs will fit to any role. Many stylists and jewelry companies recommend diamond studs. Perhaps, the investment is justified, but think that you can pay the similar price for larger diamond in your ring. Personally, I prefer simpler pieces like these London topaz silver studs that I got from overstock for $17 ( maybe now $24). They look pretty and unlike their trendy sisters – tassel earrings – I wear these studs for several years, not just one season. Thanks to their price tag, I do not have any fear of losing the earring. In fact, I already did, and got another pair – so now have enough of them. One critical thing regarding studs, is that they should have some sparkle – it lights up the face.
So this post is just to remind of how we can whisper with studs to get a great effect. The beauty of minimalistic style is to highlight the personality not the dress. And the main quality of an artist is the feeling of harmony. Studs fit this role beautifully.
As absurd as it sounds, the relationship between life crisis and dressing up does exists. I am not sure if there is some gender specifics in this concept, but I would suspect that both, men and women has this connection.
Obviously, there are many reasons for life crisis, which is a very general term that has different manifestations depending on particular individual, his personality, reason, and lifestyle. One common thing, however, is the need to change something. Whether it is job, family , lifestyle or health habits – all these require lots of energy, efforts and patience. But the crisis does not wait. It is heavy on everyday life. Right now. I found out that changing the way you look and dress helps to change the feeling about yourself and add spark to everyday life. It is like a spring to a bigger change. Interestingly, it is not necessarily the better dressing up ( although this helps!), but rather a different one. It can be also a downscale for sometime – why not if it makes you feel free from rules. From the other side, extra perfume and makeup paired with nice dress does wonders to many people.
In short, to begin the life change from changing the look is easier. And clothes is the easiest way to change the look. So why we forget about this? I think, partly, because once we get into philosophy mood, we stop thinking about clothes – as it represents materialistic and superficial way people consume goods. Does not look as an attractive model for spiritual development and anti-crisis therapy. I already hear the argument about yogi who do not care about their outfits. hahahah! On the first place, they will not allow the crisis into their lives, and second, they are not supposed to care about many other things as well (like job and relationships). So if you choose yogi path, clearly, my advise will not work. However, if you care about every day life, outfit change might help:) and besides, it is fun too!
In the times when the transition between a workday and a dinner is narrowed to the distance between the workplace and the restaurant, an ability to modify the outfit in no time is precious. Statement accessories are the key to such transformation. Below is the solution to this “no time – pretty me” dilemma.
Whether you wear yellow scale high heels or a pair of sneakers to your work, going out requires a little of an upgrade. Jewelry is one of the best ways. However, nobody will carry extra golden pieces in their bags the whole day. A super-hot trend that costs very little and provides plenty of room to experiment is tassel earrings. Tassels earring represent a simple and beautiful way to upgrade most of outfits. For the cost of a fraction of a jewelry, they make a statement and boost the mood.
I also found out that wearing tassel earrings with very causal clothes (grey pullover for my yellow tassels) helps to create the everyday cozy chic. Bold colors and textures are the key. At the same time, the simple shape and less kitch always is an advantage. Have fun!