Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Build a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Mariana by John Everett Mlilais

Mariana by John Everett Millais

Mariana by John Everett Millais, with a color scheme and style ideas

Deceptive


But not in any damaging way; she doesn't meant to mislead anyone...

core of four garments - two tops and two bottoms - in black, for cool weather
Sweatshirt – L.L.Bean; tee – L.L.Bean
 pants – L.L.Bean; jeans – L.L.Bean

But in her heart, she longs for castles, and brocade hangings on stone walls...

two tee shirts, and two pair of black jeans
1st tee – Robert Cavalli; 2nd tee – Roberto Cavalli;  
velvet jeans – Citizen of Humanity; corduroy pants – L.L.Bean

In reality, her life is casual. Relaxed. No need for ANY dress - certainly not a fluid, draped, swinging and swaying swath of velvet in a rich, luscious color... But she keeps these feelings in mind when she's shopping: rich colors, intricate prints, and indulgent details and trims.

four tops with qualities of richness or an ornate feeling
Red tee – Lands’ End; floral blouse – Equipment;  
embellished tee – Armani Collezioni; stretch silk tee - Missoni

The boldest thing she might do is mix a pair of deep, saturated colors. She does dare to wear a velvet hoodie, as well as one in cashmere. They are small rebellions, but essential for her well-being.

four tops in vivid colors or rich textures
CardiganJ.Crew; blue sweater – Etro
velvet jacket – T by Alexander Wang; funnelneck sweater – L.L.Bean

Her jewelry might be a bit more detailed than is absolutely necessary, and her footwear has a plush texture that's not required, either. And a brocade bag feels right in her hands...

four accessories - scarf, earrings, boots and backpack - with qualities of textures and depth of color
Scarf – Marc Jacobs; earrings – JCPenney
boots – Bella Vita; backpack - Eastpak

She's not extravagant, nor wasteful:

4 by 4 wardrobe in black and intense brights, leisure, for cool weather

2 outfits for cool weather, including black pants

2 outfits for cool weather, including black cordoroy pants

2 outfits for cool weather, including black velvet jeans

2 outfits for cool weather, including black jeans

Someday, she just might explore the idea of previous lives. For now, it's enough for her to know that her heart looks out to sea from a parapet window, even while loading the dishwasher...

love,
Janice
Build a Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Mariana by John Everett Mlilais
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33 comments:

  1. £300 for a T-shirt is a bit extravagant!

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  2. I'm very taken by this combination. There are plenty of colors, and they are so rich. It's true they seem to ask for velvets, brocades, silks and satins. Even before I scrolled down to the clothes, the palette gave a feeling of winter, of interiors, of being layered.
    I suppose one could take the yellow/green items and summer them up with lighter colors like khaki or a pale blue. Or take the bold red and blue and add lots of white and khaki there for summer. That would take impressive organizational skills and shopping discipline.

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  3. I think one would probably need to have a slightly larger wardrobe if you have a love of patterns. Patterns add vibrancy, but they also can create limitations in the mixing and matching.......

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  4. Love the painting and the colours - but have to admit that I'm rather disappointed in the wardrobe choices, I really don't see the connection. I realize Janice that you want to show that you can use these colours in a more casual manner than we might expect but this is such a gorgeous painting and evokes such a feeling of luxury, of cosiness, of a more slightly old fashioned (in a good way), elegant way of dressing that this is what I wanted to see.
    Perhaps you could revisit this painting later in the year when those velvets & cashmeres would be more appropriate - perhaps in time for a Christmas wardrobe? Just a thought.

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  5. This was unquestionably one of the hardest wardrobes ever, because the request was specifically for casual clothes, but the inspiration is anything but casual! What I was trying to show was how much you can focus on fabrics and patterns to give that lush gorgeousness, even while you're being appropriate for day-to-day activities.
    Maybe you'd have to actually touch this wardrobe to appreciate it?
    hugs,
    Janice

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  6. I love this set. It only takes knowing a few "goth" people to know how great this set is for someone who loves comfort, androgyny and medieval aesthetics.

    As for me, I am happy to see a set not drowning in skirts and dresses as I rarely wear them. I can't wear heels or loafers so it's really hard for me to figure out how to dress up my feet enough to wear dresses. Lol.

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  7. Oh my gosh I LOVE it! Thank you so much! So beautiful and so inspirational. And I have to say, you got me, dishwasher/parapet and all.

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  8. I love this set. It only takes knowing a few "goth" people to know how great this set is for someone who loves comfort, androgyny and medieval aesthetics.

    As for me, I am happy to see a set not drowning in skirts and dresses as I rarely wear them. I can't wear heels or loafers so it's really hard for me to figure out how to dress up my feet enough to wear dresses. Lol.

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  9. Janice, is there any way to get your full posts through my blog reader? I used feedly and loved when all the pictures showed up in the feed. My computer doesn' t handle your website well. It freezes up. ๐Ÿ˜ž Thanks for all you do. I have learned so much from following you!

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  10. Your site tends to freeze my computer as well. I use a different browser, which helps, and only leave the site open as long as I am actually reading it. - nancyo

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  11. You probably don't need any more issues with your website, but to add a bit to the pile--it's not possible to post a comment from my iPad and there doesn't seem to be a mobile friendly version of your site--always have to enlarge the page just to see anything. The enlarging thing is pretty common, but I've never encountered the inability to post on another site when using the iPad.

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  12. The comment I tried to make via iPad--what's up with the flower placement on the Cavalli tshirt! Might be a bit challenging for the well-endowed ;)

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  13. I was very happy when I saw the inspiration painting and the storyline. I too really love textures and colours and rich mix combined with an increasingly casual lifestyle in a city which is beginning to dress up a bit. So how to do this and maintain some level of comfort in groups and situations where many women are still dressed very casually? Well, one thing, striving to have the confidence to dress for me and find a velvet hoodie!!
    PS, I appreciate it very much when you show clothes and accessories that are aspirational because even though I would not purchase them, they show us what to aim for. I would really enjoy a post using only high end items as a learning experience. Helping us hone our aesthetic sense, but I am afraid that some readers would be very upset.
    Deb from Vabcouver

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  14. Hi, even though Vancouver is fab, I didn't do that intentionally!!
    Deb from Vancouver

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  15. What a gorgeous painting, and a wonderful casual interpretation. I think you're probably right that we would need to feel the fabrics for this one. As I was reading, I was envisioning a velvet hooded scarf that I could make for winter.
    I read your blog via Feedly, although I always click into the website for the full view. Never had any problems.

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  16. I really like the second Cavalli t shirt, but the design on the first one gives me pause. So much richness and energy in this wardrobe!

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  17. Love love love this! This is my wardrobe: black with bright colors. ( and I'm no goth. I'm in my 60's)

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  18. Thank you for sharing your ideas, expertise and inspiration through The Vivienne Files. To those "commenters" being unnecessarily critical, just take a moment and think before posting. Are you constructively adding to the conversation or simply pecking at the keyboard? Specifically to those complaining about computer issues: check your hardware and your software settings before lobbing stones. This site is not your tech support. And to those complaining about the garment choices, please keep them to yourself or start your own website. Then you'll find out how "easy" this is. In addition to the beautiful ideas today, there was the heartbreaking line, "For now, it's enough for her to know that her heart looks out to sea from a parapet window, even while loading the dishwasher..." So much loaded into that. Your work is very much appreciated. Love, from a longtime lurker.

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  19. Luxurious and luxuriously comfortable! And, yes, even enough to make loading the dishwasher an event. Love this post!

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  20. The richness of the colors and textures of the fabrics ooze understated sophistication and confidence. The person with this wardrobe is someone I'd like to get to know better - she seems so interesting! And that backpack is perfection for her. Love the interpretation of the painting as well as the story line.

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  21. What fantastic personality comes through your wonderful posts Janice. I have to say I am not velvet and parapet woman, however perhaps I need to find some way of describing who I am (landscapes and leaves?)

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  22. I really love the backpack! I've moved away from florals in recent years but these pieces are rich and sensual. Certainly, the quotidian would become an event with this wardrobe.

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  23. Great idea to put the beautiful fabrics with the casual styled clothes. I too wear a lot of pants because of foot issues and its great to see how you make things casual and elegant. Thanks

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  24. Oh dear, I certainly didn't mean to sound critical with my question about the photos coming through the feed. I simply meant that I will miss your posts if I can't access them, because I thoroughly enjoy them and look forward to seeing them in my feed. I am so sorry if I caused problems. ๐Ÿ˜ž

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  25. The great thing about this post, to me, is how it takes inspiration and brings it into real life. So many of us are guilty of buying (or making) clothes that fit a fantasy life....

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  26. If medieval and modern were in a Venn diagram, these would be perfectly situated in the overlap. Since all of the trousers are black, the issue of matching pattern is taken care of, as well as providing the dramatic background to the tapestry. Well done. Now I must go install a parapet around my dishwasher.

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  27. I think I am rather offended at Anonymous who said

    . To those "commenters" being unnecessarily critical, just take a moment and think before posting. Are you constructively adding to the conversation or simply pecking at the keyboard? Specifically to those complaining about computer issues: check your hardware and your software settings before lobbing stones. This site is not your tech support. And to those complaining about the garment choices, please keep them to yourself or start your own website. Then you'll find out how "easy" this is. In addition to the beautiful ideas today, there was the heartbreaking line, "For now, it's enough for her to know that her heart looks out to sea from a parapet window, even while loading the dishwasher..." So much loaded into that. Your work is very much appreciated. Love, from a longtime lurker.

    While I always appreciate the effort that Janice makes I think it's unrealistic to think that everyone will always like a particular post - for whatever reason. Perhaps the colours don't speak to us - perhaps the options aren't something that we can wear because of our body type or work/life situation. Perhaps we just "see" things differently, especially when a piece of artwork is the inspiration as art speaks to us all individually. Please remember that Janice asks for feedback and I think that all of us express ourselves politely - just because we don't like one post as much as another doesn't mean that we are criticizing Janice herself.

    As for those mentioning tech issues - perhaps they are expressing concerns because they want to click on a link so that Janice gets her commission and they are finding it difficult and simply want her to know this. There have been days when, for whatever reason, I've had difficulty reading a post or find that the connections don't work and sometimes its at my end but occasionally Janice has experienced issues herself so perhaps people just wanted her to be aware of this.

    If you are going to be so judgemental yourself then please have the decency to sign your name!

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  28. I will freely admit that my computer has become old and slow (kind of like me, lol!), but, that being said, I read a lot of blogs and this is the one that takes the biggest toll on my computer. I mentioned it to reinforce what Tricia T said. Not that I expect Janice to be my tech support (I only wish!) but she might want to know that some of us struggle to access her content. There just might be something that she could streamline on her end some time that could help the site load more smoothly.

    And as for the fabulous painting: It will be fun to use Janice's great ideas as inspiration for my own (fairly casual) cold-weather wardrobe. I might substitute some pieces in mustard or tobacco for that bright yellow. - nancyo

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  29. Oh Janice, Your lovely story and use of so many colors with our beloved black was DIVINE! A day without your Vivienne Files is like a day without sunshine but I'm so happy that you are now taking the weekends off! Take care!

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  30. I love SewRuthie's description of herself as 'perhaps landscape and leaves'. It's a charming thought.
    Although I am basically a 'neat and clean' dresser, I've often been inspired by Janice's posts and stories. Hence my extravagant purchase a few years ago of a midnight blue, drapey velvet jacket to wear to evening concerts. There is also a 'souvenir of Bruges' cream lace scarf that sometimes goes with it. Now, I live in Retirement HQ (lots of polar fleece and sensible shoes) so sometimes feel a tad overdressed, but I also feel like a pre-Raphaelite heroine despite the lack of long red hair. And no-one knows I'm wearing a merino t-shirt for warmth underneath.
    Hurrah for luxury now and then!
    Robyn in Tasmania

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  31. I see myself coming back to this post in the future- so inspiring! The colors are far from my colors, but this demonstration on how to merge one's sartorial dreams with a casual reality is priceless. I don't like super casual style either though I live in a casual environment, and this post shows that there is a happy balance between looking outlandish and wearing clothes one really doesn't love just to fit in.

    -Sara K-

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  32. I don't see that letting Janice know about site issues is "unnecessarily critical", and hope we don't yet live in a world where trying to correct something or voice issues is always perceived as negative. I, for one, would greatly appreciate knowing if my own site wasn't working properly for my clients, since it's not possible to test every possible computer permutation without paying a consultant huge amounts of money! Yes, it's annoying to have to be your own tech assistance, but I think it's better to know than just to lose readers. Maybe everything can't be fixed, but at least it's identified for future improvements.

    As to "negative" comments on the clothes, I am happy to know Janice IRL, and always hear that she's open to all comments. While it's nice to always be told everything is wonderful, in no situation in life is that ever likely to be true. Feedback helps us grow and improve, and I know Janice is adult enough to appreciate that.

    That said, this site is wonderful and precious. I have read every single post on it, and it's transformative, entertaining, and just plain a joy in the morning.

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  33. Janice,
    I know that I am coming to this post a day late, but I have to say that you have opened my eyes to the creation of luxury via fabrics ! I've been drooling over the clothes on " Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries " , trying to figure out how to incorporate that sense of elegance and refinement into my own casual wardrobe, without the 1920's styling, and obvious use of those silhouettes. This was the answer, thank you, thank you !

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