Merry Christmas to all of those who are celebrating today, and a warm and wonderful day to everyone!
Today I’ve got 12 works of art for you – 11 paintings and 1 pretty amazing photograph, along with color palettes, and a sense of how the colors might be made to work in a wardrobe.
I’ve chosen almost all “modern” works of art – for what we do here on The Vivienne Files, I need to have a relatively limited color palette. Paintings that are completely realistic tend to have every color of the rainbow in them, and THAT would make a carefully edited wardrobe almost impossible!
So, if you have time, and if you have an opinion (or 12!), tell me if you’d like to see any of these developed into a wardrobe. If you’ve a preference for warm weather or cool weather clothes, and/or a for casual, business attire, or evening/dressy, toss that into the comments too!
Some of these are pieces that have been sent to me (thank you!) for consideration, and others are pieces that I’ve wandered upon in my art browsings… I’m eager to hear your feelings and thoughts…
I’m personally VERY attracted to this Max Ernst… I know you’re SHOCKED!
This is such an utterly unexpected combination of colors, isn’t it?
A sense of humor, and surprising colors:
I’m not 100% positive that this is navy all the way through the darkest areas, but I’m going to roll with what I’m seeing!
I imagine that this piece might be too stark for most people, but I’m really drawn to it – I think that the possibilities of working with texture might be amazing. Difficult, but amazing!
A surprisingly warmly toned Impressionist… Those flowers are lovely…
To me, Gontcharova was a genius…
Surely you can see what I wanted to include this photograph is your holiday gift, can’t you?
The mood of this painting just fascinates me…
I love the tiny touches of gold here – to me it feels like gold jewelry on a cool blue and grey outfit…
You know that I’m not going to spend much time in art without some Picasso… his use of color always sparks my imagination!
I hope that you can feel the love and the gratitude that these works of art carry, to each of you, for your kindness and support through the year!
What a delightful present! Merry Christmas and thank you for your hard work. It is sure to be a great foundation for many wardrobes.Karen xoxo
Emily Handler says
I would be really curious about the blue and white wardrobe – have you ever created one that stuck firmly to two colors only? That seems like an interesting and challenging exercise.
Or what about the Study in Verticals with both navy and black as the neutrals? I'm wondering if you can find a way to combine navy and black harmoniously!
Linda J says
I love this, what a pleasant surprise. For me, casual wardrobes work best with a few pieces for a dressier dinner occasionally (although I still only wear pants). I love the first one and the idea of "neutral but not boring". Shallow Deep is fun and I would love to see those colors in a wardrobe. The Passion Flowers with Hummingbirds is gorgeous, and close to what I have in my wardrobe, although the pink is too bright for me. Lastly, the winter grey with blue and gold would be interesting to see as a wardrobe, I imagine more of a denim blue, I love gold jewelry and warm accessories with grey. Thank you for asking, it will be fun to see where you take this. Merry Christmas
Zaidie Brown says
Merry Christmas and what a lovely surprise.
I love the Trojan Gates (only with dark brown not black), Dame au Chapeau and A colourful Moon. Although I'm a SAHM I tend to wear business casual + jeans type clothes. Any of these developed into a capsule wardrobe would be delightful, thank you.
I second that using dark brown instead of black for Trojan Gates !
The Bride says
What a happy treat this morning! I love a bunch of these as art. I've had a print of the Heade botanical for years. The hard thing for me is separating art that I love from what would actually work for me in a wardrobe.
The Lee Ungno is pretty close to the colors is my existing wardrobe, so I'd love to see what you do with that. The stark blue and white by Hoffman would be a really interesting challenge and I'd love to see that one. The Manet and the Moon photo, even though I never wear browns – they are just so lovely and would be interesting to see in a wardrobe.
The Picasso – as a human being he was not my favorite, so I always begrudge saying that he was a great artist. But that is a wonderful picture with great colors. I always like seeing orange in a wardrobe. It looks very good on me but I never wear it because I don't want to look like I'm dressed for Halloween.
By the way, I'm reading a book – The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St. Clair. You might enjoy it. It's like short biographies of many many different colors.
I hope you have a happy Holiday season.
Merry Christmas! I would love to see the Max Ernst Or the Kupka in cool weather clothes. Business casual maybe?
Thank you for everything you do! I love coming to your site.
Mama Squirrel says
Thank you for this very colourful Christmas card!
Merry Christmas and thank you for a lovely year of wardrobe inspiration. Would love to see flowers in a crystal vase, dame au chapeau and a colourful moon as wardrobes.
Love the palette in Trojan Gates – I actually use it as my primary color scheme but add some coral for summer. Would love to see any (or all) of these. Always inspired by your posts. Merry Christmas!
I would love to see the following done as wardrobes; Flowers in a Crystal Vase, Colourful Moon and Paysage ne Neige. It's so interesting to see what you come up with. Merry Christmas!
thank you for this! it's delightful to ponder this over a cup of coffee on a quiet Christmas morning.
The Frankenthaler gets my vote — she's one of my favorite artists, and the colors featured in this painting are the ones I wear most, though I've never quite gotten the hang of incorporating camel into my repertoire. ANd like you say, the painting captures those contractictions I admire and would like to express better — neutral but not boring, strong but restrained.
I'd also love to see the Gontcharova worked into a wardrobe, especially that yellow. I think a lot more of us can wear yellow than we suspect, and that color combination is just startling and gorgeous.
Many thanks — next year, in Chicago! (We'll have tea, I mean — I'm sure of it!). xxoo
of course I meant to say "contradictions" up there.
Oh, the Manet… in a very girlie all dresses travel capsule… not all of us do well in separates…
Dame au Chapeau, in my favorite colors!
Nice selection, and I do like Blue. I can see some light shades of gray in it too. –photographer friend
Merry Christmas! I'd love to see the warm palate paintings developed further:the Manet in business casual; the Gontcharova in a casual wardrobe; the Heade in a travel wardrobe.
Flowers in a crystal vase. I would love to see a casual wardrobe. Thank you for your insight and inspiration. I enjoy reading every morning and have learned so much. Not only to think about colors but also my style. I have put together a wardrobe I am completely happy with while shopping frugally and second hand. I am looking forward to enjoying your ideas in the coming year. Bless you!
Merry Christmas! I’d like to see “Blue” because the painting is fabulous, these are my two favourite colours, and it calms my mind. I’d love to do this in my personal wardrobe but somehow I end up boring, staid and rigid. Your skill and ideas could help those of us a little less creative feel like the quiet and beautiful interesting part inside of us also shows on the outside.
Merry Christmas! I would love to see the Max Ernst in business or business casual. All of these are so beautiful.
This one was a really tough one, because I'd be scrolling along thinking 'I'm going to suggest she 'flesh out' that one!' only to have it replaced by the next one . . . and the next one . . . I finally ended up settling on the Renoir as my suggestion, but really, I'd be more than happy to see ANY of these masterpieces turned into a wardrobe!
Merry Christmas from Canada. My favourites are the Ungo, Hoffman and Renoir. Living in a four season climate either warm or cold weather would be great. Thank you for the Christmas presents. Looking forward to seeing what magic you come up with.
Merry Christmas from Austria! Would love to see a casual chic wardrobe based on the Kandinsky, for a more or less four season climate, also useful for activities with kids… Can you try to square the circle??? A.
Blue! That shade of blue is intoxicating. Not navy… Not royal… It reminds me of "midnight blue" from the Crayola sets of my youth–always my favorite color. It has so much depth. And paired with white, with texture… Yes, please.
Madeleine Prendergast says
While I was celebrating traditionally, our heroine was whipping up one of her usuals: wonderful ideas for wardrobe. –I've PAINTED the flowers in a crystal vase! Copied that painting, I mean. I think our heroine wants always to be in an art museem or a botanical garden — hence the artwork on scarves. This is imagination!
Merry Christmas from Texas! I love the Max Ernst colors!
They are all gorgeous, but I most love the Max Ernst and the Manet. What lovely color palettes!
I hope you and your Belovedest have had a marvelous Christmas ! And yes, yes, the Manet and Paillou speak to me for casual and travel capsule wardrobes , please ! I would love to see you do a “ Whatever’s Clean 13 ” with 4 bottoms, 5 tops, and 4 toppers, of which two of the toppers are neutral, both light and dark, and then the other two toppers in contrasting accent colors !
Thank you for asking! I wear warm colours, so would love to see Trojan Gates, Dame au Chapeau, A Colourful Moon and Passion Flower with Hummingbirds. I wear 99% casual clothes, and jeans most of the time. Simple A line skirts and knee length shorts in summer. In reality, I probably have most of those colours already, and tend to buy clusters rather than 4X4 as I don't like neutrals, except olive, next to my face.
Thank you for all you do. This time last year, I was just coming to the end of reading all your old posts. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your blog, I have learned so much!
Happy Holidays, and hope you are able to have your Paris trip before too long. Linda M
Thank you very much for your Inspiration, today and also over the year. I wish you and your family, as well as the other readers, a great start in 2018 next week.
It is interesting to me how I make a difference between a painting I like and the colour palette, which may not necessarily be my cup of tea, as there is so much brown in different shades in them. My absolute favourite is Blue, the texture of the painting, the simplicity of the set-up and the colour scheme. If I think of the many monochrome black-white outfits I see every day, I guess that midnight blue – off white should be possible, no?
Many thanks, regards from Belgium, M
Laura Jantek says
Merry Christmas to you! I think any of these would be delightful done up as a wardrobe! And since there are 12 of them it could be one a month?even when the palette isn't something I might wear I still learn something about putting things together and new ways of using items I have.
Happy Holidays! Blue and Shallow Deep get my vote for a casual chic wardrobe. I have a growing interest in incorporating subtle texture, and though yellow is not a color I particularly like in clothes the other colors in Shallow Deep are intriguing.
My picks would be the Ernst (for me with white rather than cream), Blue (fabulous idea!), and although Renoir generally sets my teeth on edge, I love the idea of gray+denim with gold accents. 4×4 is my favorite format. – nancyo
I hope you and Belovedest and all the wonderful readers here had a peace filled and Merry Christmas.
I'm looking forward to seeing wardrobes based on any of these works of art. I enjoy the stories and the beautiful wardrobes even when it's the exact opposite of what I would wear.
The texture heavy wardrobe based on Blue sounds interesting and educational though I doubt I'll ever limit my palette that severely.
The Kupka (Study in Verticals) is the closest to my personal palette with the Paillou photograph (my favorite of the artwork) and the Renoir palettes being the ones I'm next most likely to wear.
It wouldn't have to be one of these palettes and I am well aware it wouldn't appeal to a lot of people but I would love to see your take on a wardrobe that ran the range from very casual to church dressy (not formal party dressy) with only skirts and dresses as bottoms. I think I've managed some usable alterations to your wardrobes and you've made some very useful suggestions that help. If you ever have the time between other more popular projects I'd still love to see exactly how you would do it.
Janice Riggs says
You're not the only person looking for an all dress or all dress/skirt wardrobe – I'm going to give it a try!
Carole Hustead says
Merry Christmas and now, Happy New Year. Paysage de Neige by Pierre-Auguste Renoir would be my choice, in Relaxed but Pretty, 4X4. Someone asking for Relaxed but Pretty suggested a great style statement to me.
An exhibition for Christmas! What a wonderful idea, Janice, thank you. And a survey, with your customary generosity. You introduce me to wonderful paintings, photographs and artists I haven't seen. For my wardrobe education, the Renoir and Hoffman would be top picks. The Renoir because these are my favourite colours but I need my ideas opened up so seeing them with gold, as in the painting, instead of silver/grey (which I usually wear) would be great. And what you could do with the Hoffman could help wean me off busy patterns and help me to "get" texture better. It's been a lovely morning's browse with the artists. Thanks again.
I'd like to add that I'll be delighted to read the stories and ideas that you write for the heroines who adopt any of these works. They're always beautifully considered and there are always ideas that can be taken on board, regardless of the colour scheme. Robyn
So many beautiful combinations, it's hard not to choose all 12! And I'd love to see casual to casual-office wardrobes for cool weather in the following:
l'oiseaux forestier Max Ernst
Blue Kinuko Hoffman (gorgeous)
les flours Edouard Manet
Thank you and wishing you the best on Boxing Day!
Kay dancingbrushpainting.blogspot.com says
You had me at the Frankenthaler, Janis! I didn't need to go further, although I did, just to see…
Yes, please! Casual. Either warm climate or cool, I'm not picky.
Have a lovely New Year celebration.
Monica Reid says
I hope you and yours had a lovely Christmas! Trojan Gates grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go. I agree with previous posts asking for dark brown rather than black with this one, although that might be harder to find. Paysage de Neige also gets a vote, for the purely selfish reason that gray and navy are my neutrals in the fall/winter. However, the warmth and lushness of the Gontcharova is very appealing. I'd like business casual, with a dressy outfit for special occasions. All of these of wonderful, thank you for the embarrassment of riches!
A casual wardrobe based on The Blue by Kinuko Imai Hoffman pleeeease! It would be a fantastic lesson on how to deal with wardrobe colours restraint. :-)
The Renoir, for it's combination of cool with warm – I'm imagining denim and gray neutral clothing with warm gold jewelry, in a casual everyday capsule. The Passion Flower with Hummingbirds for it's conservative neutrals with lovely punches of accent colors (maybe for a spring/summer Whatever's Clean 13?). And Blue, for the very intriguing concept of a simple palette and adding interest via only textures and accessories – this one feels more sophisticated and definitely expensive!
The color circles from the Ernst, Ungno and Kupka look like they may be hinting at new way to create a capsule wardrobe. I'm intrigued… Looking forward to any and/or all of these works of art as inspiration for future posts.
Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year and continued success with The Vivienne Files in 2018.
Thank you for the lovely post, useful guidance in my planning and shopping, and for the joy I find in your posts all year long.
I think we could learn a lot from the simplicity of Blue – lessons like exploring texture as a wardrobe component, balancing high-contrast neutrals in outfits and throughout an entire wardrobe, and the various ways to use accessories to either highlight, accent, or blend in with outfits based textures and contrasts.
Of course, ANY picture you choose that inspires you will result in wonderful posts, wardrobes, and lessons. You are a gift. : )
Thank you for the post and for joy in my inbox all year. : )
I'd love to see Blue developed into a wardrobe — any level of dressiness — as the focus on texture would be so enlightening. I also love the idea of an all-skirt/dress wardrobe as I wear skirts and dresses for comfort very often, especially in the warmer months, and many women I know of various religious backgrounds wear ONLY skirts or dresses.
I've been in a really minimal mood lately, fo I'd love to see what you did with the Hoffman. In fact, it would fit my latest Polyvore playtime! https://www.polyvore.com/thought_experiment/set?id=232508494
Love Blue and Paysage de Neiges! Thank you and Happy New Year!
Awesome selection! Looking forward to the wadrobes – can't decide!
Sania from Zagreb