Saturday, August 29, 2015

Building a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Nature Morte by Georgette Agutte

The wealth of colors in this painting lead me in all sorts of directions, so I thought I'd share with you my thought process as I finalized a color scheme for us to work with here.


Nature Morte by Georgette Agutte

 My very first instinct was drawn to the fabrics in the background of the painting - the vivid blue was the first thing that I envisioned as a lead neutral for a color scheme, with accents of the white fabric, all of the red flowers, and the oranges.




But where this would make a great scarf, or piece of jewelry, I realized that there wasn't going to be any easy way to find enough garments in that shade of blue to put together even the smallest capsule wardrobe. (this is a BIG advantage to being able to sew - you could make your core garments yourself!)

So I turned to the color in the vase - this year's supposedly trendy marsala/burgundy/wine whatever... Giving myself the ability to use a range of shades in this color opened up more possibilities:


But I'm still just a little bit too stuck on that gorgeous blue - there's no way it can carry its own weight as a 2nd neutral. So I shifted it back to a role as an accent color, and at this point, this is the scheme with which I want to proceed:


After my mad color wanderings, I decided to keep this travel capsule to a super-small Four Pack. First step was to find a gorgeous coat in the primary neutral! I underpinned it with a very simple black outfit, maroon boots, and a tote bag. For accessories, I tried to find things that reflected the ornate and detail-filled nature of the painting.

Boucle coat – Karl Lagerfeld; boots – Munro; scarf – Sam Edelman; sweatshirt
 tunic – Uniqlo; pants – J. Crew; earrings – Kendra Scott; cuff bracelet –

Maybe because I keep hearing about people having to make this kind of a trip, but I envisioned our heroine making a quick overnight trip for a wedding. These are a cinch to pack for, once you know what you're wearing to the wedding!

This wedding will probably be somewhat dressy, but we're not entirely sure, so an outfit that balances a really over-the-top skirt with a simple cashmere sweater will keep our options open. If she arrives and finds that the wedding is REALLY more casual than she expected, she can tuck her amazing necklace into her equally amazing clutch bag. At least across a dinner table, she will look as if she's just wearing simple black...

(if your mortgage is paid, and your children are through college, take a look at the absolutely gorgeous lace skirts at Dolce & Gabbana - they are art works in fabric... and the lace shoes...)

Necklace – Oscar de la Renta; print blouse – Mother of Pearl; sandals – Pelle Moda; 
black cashmere sweater - J. Crew; bag – Dolce & Gabbana; scarf – Halogen;
 maroon lace skirt – Dolce & Gabbana 

An early afternoon wedding, with dinner and dancing to follow, will eat up the entire day, so the only other clothes she really will need is for the trip home. The same trousers from the first trip can be worn again, as well as the sweater from the wedding. In order to keep everything happily in harmony, a print blouse in the maroon of the winter coat will look great with the black. Grab the wrap from the wedding and throw it around your neck, and you're ready to head home.

The day after a wedding is no time to agonize about what to wear!



I have to admit, as much as I personally adore all of these things, I also have a completely different vision about how this could have turned out, still using our color scheme. So next week, this painting, and this scenario will be back, with a very different approach to things.

There are so many possibilities in life!

love,
Janice

p.s. It has come to my very HACKED OFF attention that many of you aren't getting emails when I post. Rest assured that, even in the absence of email notifications, I'm probably posting every day but Saturday, and you can just check in here to visit with me. I'm trying to fix this problem, but Google isn't exactly fully engaged in the process with me, if you know what I mean...  xo

Annoushka

16 comments:

  1. And that is the problem, so many options so little money!!! How to refine and refine. This is a wonderful collection. Marsala is a tricky colour. The right balance is elegant, the wrong balance is burgundy. I have seen some very perfect marsala clothes this year. Boden has some excellent cashmere sweaters in the right balance.

    Deb from Vancouver

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    1. No, the wrong balance is maroon! I like burgundy ;)

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    2. Well, there you are! Each of us has our preferences and it would have been better if I had phrased it that way. My preference is marsala. However, we might find that we are referring about the same colour using different names.
      Also, the cashmere I was referring to is at Brora not Boden.
      Deb from Vancouver
      Deb from Vancouver

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  2. I'd like to see a version with more of that gorgeous blue! It's my absolute favorite shade of blue - anything in that color is instantly beautiful to me :-)
    - Kaci

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    1. I love that blue as well. And as I sew, I'm always on the lookout for fabric in that color..........

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    2. I just noticed that Banana Republic is featuring a lot of cobalt this fall - perhaps you could start there! Happy to see that you're going to do another one - this is terminally elegant, but I always crave more COLOR!

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  3. What is so encouraging is that I have all of these colors in my closet right now...if I just go use a little creative thinking, I can do similar styles as stunning as the painting and ensembles and not spend a dime more. Thanks Janice!

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  4. Yes, please do flesh this out some more! These are not my colors, but they are soooooooo gorgeous I wish they were!

    Gwendolynn

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  5. The lace skirt is gorgeous! But alas we have a mortgage & private school...any other options perhaps in navy or black?

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  6. I love how you could wear the coat to the wedding if the weather turned cooler.

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  7. You do give me so many ideas! I do own a lace skirt (grey with traces of cobalt and violet). With my black merino sweater, I could be fit for a special occasion. A cobalt wrap might finish the outfit. These are very beautiful colours.

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  8. I am surprised that you couldn't find more cobalt. It is a fabulous colour and a keystone in my wardrobe. I would have liked to see you ditch the black and use the orange and white and cobalt with the lovely Marsala. The skirt is fabulous though, as is that Sam Edelman scarf, and the little gold clutch is to-die-for.

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  9. Janice -- in case this helps with your email delivery issue: Your 8/29 post landed in my inbox (at Gmail) at about 9:30 pm. Your posts never come earlier than that, and often come later. Do you know whether your posts are supposed to be distributed all at the same time, or are they staggered? Thanks, as always, for giving me something to think about besides questions like these!

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  10. So very beautiful. It is easy for me to picture the remaining colors in a casual wardrobe but not one that retaims the floral elegance of the original painting. Do you think color schemes tend to dictate the level of dressiness, or can you push any scheme toward any level of refinement? Can't wait for your next take on this lovely painting

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  11. I get your email around 9:30 pm on the day you post. I'm on yahoo.

    I love the blue so much! I hope you find enough for a collection! I'm not really a fan of the marsala, burgundy, or maroon. I would use black mixed with the blue. :) That lace skirt is gorgeous though!

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  12. Where did the bright red from your color circle go? When I look in my closet I see both burgundy and bright red, but I have trouble bringing them together, so I was looking forward to that when I started reading this post. Alas, no red.

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