The Art of Dressing: Art-Inspired Fashion

A dab of Seurat, a dash of De Kooning, and the crisp grids of Mondrian: It’s not the Louvre, it’s your closet. This spring, designers have swapped neutrals for inspired painterly prints.
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Model Cynthia Bailey, 41, wears her art on her sleeve. Malandrino’s dreamy organza dress was inspired by Klee and Matisse — or maybe those jumbo boxes of Crayolas we cut our teeth on. Elsa Perretti for Tiffany earrings.

Wear it or frame it? At these prices, the latter is tempting, but Chanel’s stretch silk jersey dress has the refined bohemian aesthetic we want to slip into now. Devi Kroell patent leather sandals. Ben-Amun Lucite bangles.

A perfect composition: Cynthia Steffe’s stretch cotton jersey dress and matching cardigan make the coolest twin set ever. Nine West orange silk platforms. Subversive necklace.

Closet curator that you are, acquire Piazza Sempione’s tailored stretch cotton dress — classic lines and a multicolor print work with every shoe and bag. A palette of brights completes the picture. Lauren by Ralph Lauren linen knit cardigan. Oscar de la Renta patent sandals. Alexis Bittar pendant.

Riffing on the artist’s smock, Marni’s edgy cotton tunic is bound to capture attention. Toss it over lean capris or skinny black jeans like OMO by Norma Kamali’s in poly gabardine. Cara Croninger bangles.

Be a portrait of a lady (with attitude) in a Basso & Brooke silk charmeuse peplum blouse and Simply Vera cotton pencil skirt with silk border. Malandrino chunky mesh pumps and a Pono necklace stand in for slingbacks and pearls.

Make a graphic statement. DKNY’s dress in tropical wool raises office dressing to an art form. The look is balanced with colorful wedges by Diego Dolcini. Cara Croninger earrings. M & J Savitt cuff.

Off the grid but on-trend, a lean stretch organza dress by Prada gets a gypsy vibe from DKNY platforms, Robert Lee Morris dangly copper earrings and a spiky do.

Originally published in MORE magazine, April 2008.

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