Saturday, March 19, 2016

Building a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Asiatic God by Paul Klee

This looks a little bit clown-like on my screen, but in person it's much more compelling, with a lot of texture. Almost mysterious, dark, and captivating, with amazing color highlights.

Asiatic God – Paul Klee

The frame is maroon and grey, and there are tiny accents of teal... the pink on the face is, in fact, the color PUCE! (I was searching around for the precise RGB combination to show the color on the color wheel, and learned this...)

This cried out for denim, to serve as a base for texture and a variety of accent colors...

Yes, the image of this skirt is TERRIBLE, but I really wanted you to see this skirt. It's a departure from a lot of denim skirts, in that it seems to have more finesse. So I've compromised on the image. I HATE to do that...

Sweater – L.L.Bean; tee – Theory
skirt – Talbots; pants – L.L.Bean

The trousers here look a LOT like Eileen Fisher's "slouch pants," but the price is literally a third of hers. I'm curious about their quality; has anyone any experience with them?

jacket – Sophie Stique; tee – H&M
jeans – L.L.Bean; draped pants - Uniqlo

The 3 accents colors are very different, each from the other; that gives you a wide range of "looks." I'm picturing this pink tank under the grey soft jacket, with grey jeans... that would be a relaxed but pretty outfit!

Tank – Uniqlo; print tee – Ojai Clothing
red tee – Vince; teal tee -  Hanes

Here I went sort of wild with print and texture, to reflect the complexity of our source painting. The painting itself is small, but uses gauze as well as canvas as a surface - it's pretty amazing, in person.

Cardigan – L.L.Bean; striped tee – Frame Denim
print long-sleeve tee – East; floral top – Christian Wijnants

This doesn't really require a mountain of accessories! Casual shoes, something boot-like to wear with trousers, sometimes, and a vaguely dressy flat. Some jewelry with a touch of color or texture, a couple of scarves that also pick up the accent colors, and a workhorse tote bag:

Teal earrings – Kenneth Cole; grey earrings – Chico’s; rose quartz and 
garnet earrings – Neeru Goel; flatsFrench Sole; booties – Naturalizer;
 sneakers – Converse; red scarf – Bindya; blue scarf – Hinge
 tote bag – Independent Reign

A very workable 4 by 4:

I love the possibilities here - there are so many different way that you could dress from these 16 pieces:

Has your eye been riveted by a work of art? Send it along to and I'll toss it onto the list!


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  1. That kimono-like jacket is captivating!

  2. I've noticed a significant number of patterned fabrics this past summer that have mixed the teal and burgundy together, so I was curious to see if you would incoporate a garment with this combo. I even bought some fabric with this combination but then haven't used it because it is almost too "in your face". Certainly the fabric I purchased is too strident for this painting with its very subtle use of colour.

  3. A beautiful composition Janice. I love these colors. Before I switched to warm this would have been what I'd choose.

    In response to the question of art to start I'd like to see The Noon Rest by Vincent van Gogh. I am a weaver and I've prepared to weave a cloth using these colors for a weaving guild challenge. It could become a blouse or shawl. One color I love from this painting is a green that can be found in the shoes in the forground and in the cart in the background.

    1. You had me hunting in close-up for that green Kay - I see what you mean, it is a pretty, soft colour. Van Gogh makes wonderful use of warm colours, doesn't he, alongside the stunning blues and teals that seem unique to his palette.

      I'm intrigued by your weaving. I'd love to see the finished cloth Inspired by the painting. Do you have a website/blog?

      Robyn in Tasmania

  4. This is beautiful and very evocative. Janice, do you see yourself wearing this? I visualize a woman with amazing curly greyish hair wearing this well.
    Deb from Vancouver

    1. I could see myself in any of this - very insightful of you!

  5. The use of pattern and texture in this selection is terrific Janice. It looks an excellent trans-seasonal capsule too. Useful ideas here as we head through Autumn in the southern hemisphere.

    Admitting to regional bias, could I suggest that you have a look at the prints of Tasmanian artist Kit Hiller? Some of her portraits bring to mind the heroines of your stories and her use of colour is intriguing I think.[gallery-1]/69/

    Robyn in Tasmania

    1. Thanks for posting Kit's site, Robyn. I love her work (crisp, graphic, with plenty of strong black and white), and would be very interested in seeing what Janice could devise. - nancyo

    2. Kit Hiller's art is truly wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Robyn.

  6. Ooh, Kit Hiller's prints are wonderful, and very evocative for this Australian living a long way from home. Reminds me of Margaret Preston. Thanks for showing her to me.

  7. Great combo of texture and color. Love that free form gray jacket!

    My favorite artists are Monet and Van Gogh.