Saturday, April 02, 2016

Building a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Lunar Eclipse Montage by Dr. Robert Vanderbei

Yes, I'm currently in Paris. (!!!!!!!)

But there are posts here, queued up in advance, for 6 days a week while I'm on vacation. Just because I go away doesn't mean that you don't need your almost-daily dose of The Vivienne Files!

Now, back to the beauty:

Sometimes, scientific documentation of natural phenomena is executed so perfectly that it becomes art:

Lunar Eclipse Montage by Dr. Robert Vanderbei

Two colors, but WHAT colors:


She spends almost all of her time in her studio, alone. Her work is such that she wears only the most disposable of casual clothing, usually purchased from thrift stores. The materials with which she works, and the abandon with which she uses them, precludes neatness; an apron will NOT be helpful...

But now, an exhibit!

One pocket linen/cotton tee – L.L.Bean; earrings – Shana Gulati
pants – Uniqlo; cardigan – Olive + Oak; scarf – Nordstrom; watch – Movado;
 flats – Eileen Fisher; tote – Street Level

So she thinks, and dreams, and THINKS, about how she will appear to others, finally. And she chooses the moon as her inspiration; the efficient, complete, very satisfying wholeness of the circle...

1-button sweater – Vanessa Bruno; moonstone braceletMelinda Maria
grey pants – Uniqlo; grey cardigan – Splendid; scarf – Faliero Sarti
suede loafers – L’Amour des Pieds; black pants – Uniqlo; grey top – Uniqlo
moonstone necklace – Ela Rae; clutch bag – Baggu; moonstone 
earrings – Pomellato; flats – Jeffrey Campbell; silk top – Stills

Not the moon of ancient legends, nor the moon of fringy, hippyish astrology. The real moon, always near us, and always remote.

Always the same but looking different. A new place in the sky, a new degree of illumination...

She feels like ever-changing constancy is the perfect reflection of herself, and the woman that she puts into her art.


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  1. That tote with just the right color brillant. Another wonderful wardrobe and fun story.

  2. How thoughtful of you to prepare a whole lot of posts in advance....... Thank you

  3. This post left me breathless. It was a color combination I would never have imagined in a million years. It opened my eyes to so many new possibilities.

    1. "Breathless" is just the word I was looking for. I actually gasped at the luminescence of this photo, this colour scheme, this wardrobe,... this woman! Exquisite.

      Thank you for preparing posts for us during your absence. So generous and thoughtful.

  4. Dear Janice....have you considered writing a book? If you have, forgive me. But you are so multi skilled. Love the colours ...enjoy Paris.
    Chris Australia. X

  5. Hi Janice, how sweet of you to do these posts for us prior to your trip. I'm probably with most of your admirers in that your blog is the first one I go to every morning .. I get inspiration every day on new ways to use my existing wardrobe. What a lovely beautiful post today. Though these are not my colors, I will copy this wardrobe for my Early September train trip with girlfriends to Quebec and surrounds, where we will attend book author lectures and presentations , my friend will be presenting. I'll use this template for navy, cream and peach. Have a great trip! XXX Janice Collins, Washington DC

  6. Janice,

    Thank you, dear lady, for all of your advance prep so that your readers might enjoy our daily "fix " of the Vivienne Files ! A day without always seems a bit empty ! So glad that you have landed safely, but did you really buy all of those other seat tickets ? 😄

  7. Oh, I like this woman in your story, and her wardrobe is gorgeous. Love that wool/silk blouse!

  8. How stunning! I wish I could wear that color.

  9. Oh, this story is a dream come true! And such a sophisticated palette.

    You often feature Uniqlo, so I headed off to the mall to finally visit one the other day... only to discover that the Uniqlo was in a mall with the same name... but in a different state!!! I've now ordered from them online - fingers crossed! Oh, and I bought a Baggu leather sac for a friend for Christmas and it was BUTTER SOFT - their stuff is really nice. I have a set of nylon grocery bags from them that have worked hard for a decade and still look great!

    1. Oh, let me wax rapturously about the Baggu grocery bags. I have carried everything in them including rocks and books, and nary a tear because of the ingenious ripstop fabric. I love that they can be popped in the wash, because otherwise reusable bags can build up bacteria - blech! - nancyo

  10. I happily join your congress of faithful and appreciative readers/admirers to say another thank you. Thank you for not leaving us bereft of your blog and a very special thank you for this post today. This is a beautiful collection, very well selected and curated. In my mind, this incredible woman has gorgeous gray hair and luminous dark grey eyes with very well used articulate hands.

  11. P.S. I second the idea of You, Janice, as a worthy and successful book author! I would buy anything you would write immediately. Also, I so relate to your heroine here. She wears pants like me, works alone, ventures out sonetimes. I agree with Deb as I pictured this special artistic lady as having grey hair and deep dark eyes. These colors are so lovely for her - artistic perfection! Write a book, JAnice, and include you imaginative and inspiring characters and vignettes. Janice Collins, Washington, DC

  12. i agree wholeheartedly with the previous comments.

    Now off to pack four a few days' hiking. So much easier than packing for a normal holiday :)

    Looking forward to catching up next weekend, especially on hearing about Paris,
    Robyn in Tasmania

  13. What a beautiful inspiring story and wardrobe! It is just lovely!! Thank you for leaving us posts during your vacation! So thoughtful! I agree with the others, you should write a book!

  14. I love this! --photographer friend

  15. Maybe it's the artist in me, but I love this post! I have that grey Uniqlo top and it's pretty and drapes nicely. - nancyo

    1. oh, and could that ombre scarf BE any more perfect for this wardrobe?! - nancyo

  16. One of your most beautiful posts. IMHO, this one transcends wardrobe advice and goes straight into art. :)

  17. There's something about this one - it's almost 2 weeks later, and I keep coming back to it. I would not be attracted to these colors normally, but this is so striking, so elegant, so unusual. You have combined art and fashion and created something more here.