The Art of Dressing

This season, be the curator of your own wardrobe by taking artful, graphic looks out for a spin.

Art and fashion hold many parallels. For one, dressing each day is a form of self-expression, just as the act of sculpting or painting can be. And since the inspiration behind a collection often derives from the art world, a wardrobe can also take cues. Liken yourself to a canvas where color-blocked pieces and vivid accessories are the supplies. Here, we break down styling methods or little “masterclasses,” if you will, to spark endless creative outfit ideas.

Handkerchief Hem Dress
Olivia Palermo Collection

Handkerchief Hem Dress

$288
Olivia Palermo Collection dress.
Trapeze Tank
Olivia Palermo Collection

Trapeze Tank

$148
Olivia Palermo Collection blouse; Derek Lam 10 Crosby trousers; Fratelli Rossetti bag; Christian Louboutin loafers.

Color-Blocking 101
In art: This technique is an exploration of different solid hues placed together comparatively. Recall Yves Saint Laurent's famed "Mondrian" dress, which took inspiration from Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. Then there's abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, who also used blurred blocks of color in his most well-known work.

In dressing: Color-blocking had a major moment with the mod subculture in the '60s, and still makes a striking statement today. Wear various colors together via bold separates or all-in-one with a punchy dress, as seen with our Olivia Palermo Collection.

Chanel dress; Aspinal of London bag; Dior boots.
Versace jacket; Brunello Cucinelli shorts; Alexandre Birman sneakers.

Mixed Media
In art: A term used to describe works composed of a combination of several materials or any mixture of things. Think the cubist collaging oeuvre of Pablo Picasso, popularized in the early 20th century.

In dressing: When various textures are worn together, the juxtaposition of different fabrics truly elevates a look. Try pink tweeds against smooth leather culottes or a patent bag draped over a fully woven dress. The final result? Visual interest at its finest.

Neck-Tie Pleated Midi Dress
Olivia Palermo Collection

Neck-Tie Pleated Midi Dress

$248
Olivia Palermo Collection dresses.
Printed Neck-Tie Blouse
Olivia Palermo Collection

Printed Neck-Tie Blouse

$175
Dior jacket and skirt; Olivia Palermo Collection top.

Pattern Player
In art: The repetition of particular arrangements is quite frequent in contemporary art, especially with leading figure Damien Hirst who creates kaleidoscopic designs. Whether altering geometric shapes or creating an optical illusion, pattern art is as clever as it is distinctive.

In dressing: To achieve the best print on print display, wear two patterns together that share similar shades. Neutrals are foolproof as are beautiful mixed florals that guarantee you'll pull off the look.

Ermanno Scervino dress; L'Agence shirt; Longchamp briefs.
Hellessy blouse; See by Chloé skirt; Tory Burch shoes.

Lines & Dots
In art: Russian painter and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky once said: “everything in art starts from a dot.” Fashion has a similar analogy where each garment begins with a sketch, and later a single piece of thread. One of the most viral examples of polka dots in art comes from conceptualist Yayoi Kusama, and with lines, it's the fluorescent installations of Dan Flavin.

In dressing: Stripes and dots may cycle in and out of trend reports, but these simple patterns will always be en vogue. Wear various sizes of the shapes together or get experimental by combining dots with crafty plaids.

Credits Hero Image: (Wide) Olivia Palermo Collection blouse; Cuyana scarf; Gissa Bichalho bag; (Vertical) Amédée Paris scarf; Sally LaPointe pants; Jimmy Choo flats. Photographed by Danilo Hess; Styling/Creative Direction by Jacqueline Zenere; Makeup by Mark Edio; Hair by John Ruidant; Modeled by Katy Ching and Daniella Davis at Supreme Management.
Related Articles