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Monday, September 29, 2014

Fashion loves Mondrian

Chances are you have already spotted this iconic pattern, of black grid like lines accompanied by three primary colors created by the paintings of Piet Mondrian.  Whether it be in stores, streets, or the runway, it is rather difficult to miss. There is something very catchy about the simplistic form, and it is easily remembered. 

So who is Piet Mondrian and what exactly are these lines and colors all about? Piet Mondrian is a Dutch painter who contributed to the De Stijl art movement and group, founded by Theo van Doesburg. He was the leader in a non-representational form, which he termed Neoplasticism. This consisted of white ground, upon which was painted a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and the three primary colors.

"I construct lines and color combinations on a flat surface, in order to express general beauty with the utmost awareness. Nature (or, that which I see) inspires me, puts me, as with any painter, in an emotional state so that an urge comes about to make something, but I want to come as close as possible to the truth and abstract everything from that, until I reach the foundation (still just an external foundation!) of things…

I believe it is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true." 

-Piet Mondrian (written in a letter to H.P. Bremmer in 1914)

Mondrian's art always was intimate. They represent his spiritual desires and philosophical studies. In 1908, he became interested in the theosophical movement launched by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. The work of Blavatsky and Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy significantly affected the further development of his mind and taste.  Blavatsky believed that it was possible to attain a more profound knowledge of nature through empirical means, and much of Mondrian's work for the rest of his life was inspired by his search for that spiritual knowledge.

Composition No. 10" (1939–42), oil on canvas. A suggestive piece linking between non-representational works of art as ideals of peace and spirituality. 
His attempt was to strip nature bare, and to represent in its most simplistic form. Those lines forming grids, colored by vibrant blues, yellows or reds, all represent a deeper meaning on life. If you are going to wear "Mondrian" you must think like "Mondrian". This is the point of Art, and the point of Fashion. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fashion influence on Infamous Portrait: "Girl With a Pearl Earring"

"Girl with a Pearl Earring" is a painting by Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer. Considered as Vermeer's masterpiece, it is often referred to as the Dutch Mona Lisa. The painting has even inspired a movie in 2003 starring Charlotte Johansson and is frequently used in ad campaigns and fashion magazines all over the world. Originally titled "Girl with a Turban", it was later changed in the  second half of the twentieth century. 

What is it about this painting that sets it apart from all other portraits? What is it about this particular painting that we find beautiful? First, lets think about where our eyes naturally focus. The eye begins at the pearl earring, and forms an invisible triangle, connected from the pearl to the mouth, then the eye, and back again to the pearl. Hence, the reason for the change in title, the focal point is cleary the pearl and not the turban. Notice the feminity in her lips, and the softness in her eyes, which is all off set by the pearl. Her profile has capture the same softness and glow as the earring she wears.  

                   A pair of my favorite teardrop pearl earrings.
Personally, I cannot tell you enough how every girl must own at least one pair of pearl earrings. Pearls are unique to the gemstone, and inherently adopt a soft glow without being overtly bright. They add instant grace, feminity, and beauty that instantly enhances your existing beauty. 

The girl in this painting is believed to be Vermeer's eldest daughter, Maria, who was about twelve or thirteen-years-old at the time it was created. Her facial features appear in several of Vermeer's works but his various techniques on his subject make it difficult to compare the female faces in his paintings, as the woman are portrayed in different lighting conditions and poses.

The turban being worn in this painting was a popular prop at the time and its elaborate folds and rich materials were a great way of showing off the artists' skill and injecting color to capture a mood or character.
The turban also demonstrates the influence of other countries. Various slaves came to the Netherlands and explorers would bring new exotic artifacts and inventions.

                      2003 Movie "Girl With a Pearl Earring"

            Photo Campaigns Inspired by "Girl With a Pearl Earring"

Designing for My Car

I have often stated my "Fashion Philosophy", is a way of life. As most of you may already know, I design clothes and accessories as a form of expression and Art. The ability to create things that float in my thoughts and actually create them into my reality, is truly the submerging of two worlds. 
The more I experiment with my freedom to create things, the more I realize how limitless the boundaries really are. 

This made me think, why not design an outfit for my car? With so many hours spent there, why not create an environment that represents my style, and keeps me inspired?
                                        THE DESIGN
The style Is heavily influenced from 18th Century France. The materials used were all recycled from materials found within my home, and therefore, cost me nothing. The cushions are created from silk table cloths that I purchased in France, and they are stuffed with down feathers that I used from an old down comforter. The smallest pillow, is hand embroidered with red lace to form the letter "M" which represents the first letter of my Name. The rosette fabric was purchased in Belgium and was formally a table mat. 

My style is also a bit of French shabby chic. Very much like my own fashion style, I love mixing textiles, and playing with different patterns that work cohesively. Having the passenger seat offset the driver's cushions was also intentionally done to create visual interest. The "heart pillow" use to be a a bag that carried my knitting needles. 

At the very back of the rear windows, peeks two white bows that are actually the supporting straps of the down cushions. They are a bit influenced by the signature, black and white of Coco Chanel. It was intentional chosen to use tweed black in order to let the eyes center on the white bows and to add a bit of whimsy and surprise to the entire design. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Million Ways to Style One Necklace

I was recently sent a beautiful Tahitian South Sea pearl  pendant from The Pearl Source .
Normally, I am not easily impressed with items that are sent to me by various brands or gifted to me by friends or family. My picky ways usually  find something I do not like, whether it be, quality, taste or color. Sometimes, even resorting to transforming a necklace completely. (READ ABOUT IT HERE)

This is why, I am pleasantly surprised to say, I love the necklace I was sent. Made of sterling silver and a gorgeous AA+ quality pearl, it was imported from the secluded lagoons of Tahiti. 

I have literally worn this necklace everyday, and in a million different ways.  The amazing thing is how versatile it is in layering with my other collection of necklaces. The luxurious luster creates a vivid glow of iridescent colors, allowing it to mix with almost all metals, gemstones, and colors. As you match the necklace with another necklace, the colors that pop out are unexpected, and surprising.

Here are some ways I am currently styling my "Tahitian South Sea Pearl". 

                                          MIXING METALS:

                           STACKING PEARLS ON PEARLS

                       MIXING WITH DIFFERENT STONES:

                               PLAYING WITH COLOR

                                     MIXING IN BEADWORK

                               ADDING CRYSTAL GLAMOUR

Saturday, September 13, 2014

3 Ways to Use Fashion to Celebrate Your Body Shape

It is a common misconception that fashion is meant only for the skinny tall girls. Runways and Magazines showcase models that are thin and tall simply because it is the"easiest" body type to dress. It is a body type that is no fuss, quick, and easily "fashionable".

Does this mean everyone else, with their unique body shapes, are not physically capable of fashion? So many times people have the mind set to change their body shape in order to fit the "fashion stereotype". Whether it be through dieting or plastic surgery, there is a universal obsession to fit one specific shape of beauty. The reality is, fashion should be "used" to celebrate you. Don't change yourself to fit fashion, shape it to fit you.  Celebrate your body, personality and your individuality. It is a tool that enhances your features, and identity. Finding what suits you, is as important as finding who you are. 

Here are 3 of My Favorite Ways to Use Fashion to Celebrate your Body Type.

1.) Beauty Hunt

The first thing to do is to spot your strongest features. What do you like about your body or a certain facial feature? Perhaps they are your beautiful blue eyes, or long legs, make a mental note of what part of you makes you feel confident. Once you find at least one beauty spot, it is time to work around it, as if it is your start line. This is where you want a invisible spotlight to showcase the spot you are confident. This is the core of your visual confidence and focusing on it will grow your confidence encouraging you to see more positive aspects of yourself. 

For example, if you like the shape of your lips, showcase them by coloring them a soft pink, or red, and get inspired to match that shade with either your shoes or nails. Keep everything else one color or neutral, and you will be surprised how the positive confidence you have for your 'lips' will also attach itself to other parts of your body adorning the same color. 

2.) Contour Yourself

Contour is well known in the use of make up, but most do not know that the same concepts can also be used in fashion. Basically the key aspects of contouring, is "shade" what you dislike, and highlight what you like.  It is a simple, visual illusion "trick" that boosts your confidence while reducing negative body image.

For example, if you are self conscious about your "thick" thighs, try to find jeans that are shaded darker on the places you want slimmer and lighter near the ankles. 

 "Ombre" shirts or dresses are also a smart way to visually play with your upper body.


If you are self conscious about your large breasts, wear a ombre top  that is shaded darker on top and shades lighter towards the bottom. Similarly, if you dislike your protruding waistline, try an ombre that is darkest along the waist.

3.) Fashion Fingerprint

The ultimate goal is to find a "look" that you can confidently call your your own. It is customized to your shape, size, age and personality. It is like a fingerprint, and no one can pull off this look better than you. 
This is a combination of multiple factors.

 Firstly, you need to know your body type, and what type of shapes work well with you. 
Secondly, know what colors enhance your skin tone, hair color, eyes, or personality. 
Lastly, don't be afraid to combine, mix, and experiment with different styles that break popular trends. Anything is a possibility as long as you believe in it.
When you finally find your fashion fingerprint, it changes your perception on how you react to trends, or body image. Instead of wanting to be someone you see in magazines or runways, you see the clothes in relation to how or if it works with you. The power is in your court, and now you will make your own fashion choices.