Friday, January 03, 2014

Building a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: "A Mysterious Hand Leads to Another Path" by Jan Toorop

This painting is currently at the Art Institute of Chicago, as part of the Celia and David Hilliard Collection exhibit.  I'm not sure if it's oil - I suspect it might be pastel - but it captivates me immediately...

My impressions from this were of warmth, and simplicity - clear lines and powdery soft colors, with matte finishes. 

“A Mysterious Hand Leads to Another Path” – Jan Toorop, blue topaz
 ring – Zayd Makarim, blue linen tee shirt – Isabel Marant Etoile, natural linen
 shorts – Comme des Garcons, denim blue sandals – Popet  seafoam linen 
dress – Paul Smith, scarf – U-NI-TY, silver sandals – Dr. Scholl’s

“A Mysterious Hand Leads to Another Path” – Jan Toorop,, tunic – Kristina Ti,  
rose capris – Amanda Wakeley, scarf – Jardin des Orangiers, espadrilles –  
Lauren Ralph Lauren, moonstone bracelet – Mahavir,  dotted tee shirt – Topshop,
 linen capris – Bikkembergs, patent flatsVince Camuto 

“A Mysterious Hand Leads to Another Path” – Jan Toorop, peach tee –  
T by Alexander Wang, linen gauze skirt – Michael Kors, flat sandals – Bernardo ,
 scarf – Coast,  tunic – Maliparmi, blue scarf – Jardin des Orangiers
espadrilles – Azura by Springstep

“A Mysterious Hand Leads to Another Path” – Jan Toorop, dress – Silk and Soie, 
 agate bracelet – Caipora Jewellery, ballet flats – Wanted, earrings – Clizia Ornato,
 mint tee shirt – T by Alexander Wang, blue shorts – Megan Park
green sandals – Chinese Laundry

Don't these eight outfit, when assembled together, give you a great summer wardrobe - especially for travel?  Okay, you may not want to pack eight pairs of shoes...

I love working with art - do you have any suggestions?  

 blue linen tee shirt – Isabel Marant Etoileblue topaz ring – Zayd Makarimagate bracelet – Caipora Jewellery,
 peach tee – T by Alexander Wangmoonstone bracelet – Mahavirmint tee shirt – T by Alexander Wang 
dotted tee shirt – Topshopearrings – Clizia Ornatotunic – Maliparmiscarf – U-NI-TYblue scarf – 
 Jardin des Orangierstunic – Kristina Tiscarf – Coastscarf – Jardin des Orangiers natural linen shorts – 
 Comme des Garcons, rose capris – Amanda Wakeleylinen gauze skirt – Michael Kors,  seafoam linen dress
 – Paul Smithdress – Silk and Soie,blue shorts – Megan Park,  linen capris – Bikkembergs,denim blue sandals
 – Popet,  espadrilles – Lauren Ralph Laurenflat sandals – Bernardo  espadrilles – Azura by Springstep 
silver sandals – Dr. Scholl’sballet flats – Wanted green sandals – Chinese Laundrypatent flats – Vince Camuto


  1. I love it when you do this, Janice. I have always used art to inspire my color decisions! Being in Chicago, you are surrounded by great artwork and you always create your own masterpieces. Stay warm and safe!

  2. Love this. Being from a hot climate this is much more practical for me. Thanks Janice.

  3. I've always loved your art inspiration posts! But it never occurred to me to use them as the next step for a travel wardrobe. It does lend a cohesiveness. I'd love to see what you create with Luncheon of the Boating Party

  4. These are some of my favorite colors! I would love to see you do more with taupe, gray, and these lovely dusty pastels. The painting is beautiful and I think you did a wonderful job of pulling all the different colors out of it. I also love how you said that you felt warmth in the painting and found the right colors to reflect that exact level of warmth, not going too far. I think this wardrobe looks so beautiful and cohesive because all of the colors are at the same level of heat and softness.

  5. From those of us in the Northeast, digging out and bundling up, thank you for this breath of warm softness.

    1. It's below zero here in Chicago right now, so looking at these clothes was SUCH a nice change from 14 layers of wool...

      Take care in the blizzard!

    2. I like your art inspiration as well. As a matter of fact is has given me a lot ideas. Compared to your weather it feels balmy at 16 degrees here. :) Stay warm.

    3. Love your work- so enjoy starting my day with it! One suggestion for art would be Rembrandt's The Jewish Bride, which is in the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum ...Love with the rich colors.

  6. I love these kinds of posts, but admittedly am not a pastel kind of girl. Would love to see something more colorful and a bit edgier. Picasso perhaps? Happy New Year!!

  7. Am I dreaming or does that pastel painting look like a scarf? I vote for Van Gogh's "Bedroom in Arles" (Van Gogh Museum) or his "Cafe Terrace at Night" (Kroller-Muller Museum). He sought the warmth, too, just like all the people in the cars with the northern US and Canadian license plates we see in Tucson this time of year. It's supposed to be in the mid-70's and sunny (of course) at my house today. You have my condolences. I lived in Cincinnati when the Ohio River froze over. I have some idea of what it's like up there.

  8. Beautiful colours! I've got a bracelet made my a relative who's a jewelry maker in lovely subtle pastels like those above. Similar to this one, but a double row of smaller beads:

  9. Great post! And it was VERY helpful to show how the inspiration can become a travel capsule. I would vote for anything from Rothko. Thanks Janice!

  10. My favorite painting is Albert Bierstadt's Lake Lucerne:

    1. One of mine too!

      -Marianne from Vancouver

  11. I visited the Cluny Museum in Paris a couple of years ago and loved the beautiful tapestries of the "Lady and the Unicorn". The colors are somewhat faded, but, were a beautiful blue and rust color:

    Beautiful color combinations!

  12. nice but too pale for me... I'm more of deep cool color (winter ) but the concept of hot climate is my kind !

  13. Gorgeous. Your art inspiration posts are my favorite, especially this one as my main color spectrum is pale pink/dusty rose/burgundy. I was wandering around the Art Institute yesterday and these colors also remind me of the beautiful pastels of the impressionists.

    1. Dottie!!! Send me a note and we'll visit the Art Institute together some time - I can literally see the museum from where I'm sitting. theviviennefiles at gmail dot com.

  14. Oh lovely, finally something in a more delicate color way. They are so soothing to the eye but maybe not as easy to find. I know I am always inundated with black everything when I look, both in stores and on the internet.