Saturday, July 30, 2011


'Life in Color' is a fantastic book by Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo.  They provide great advice for how to find your best colours and then they take it one step further - they teach you how to work with your colours!  In their book you will find a style quiz to help you figure out what your style type is, so you can later apply it to your palette and have a custom, signature look that works for you.  I remember taking the quiz when I first got the book, but then forgot about it, not giving the style aspect of it much thought.  Since re-discovering my best palette, I've been doing 'a lot' of thinking about creating a personalized look for myself with my palette so that I buy peices that will compliment my makeup look and clothes and not work against them.  So I took the quiz, with very interesting results.  I seem to be a true mix between Chic and Avant-Garde.  At first, I thought the results of the quiz were a bit off, but then the more I read about what it means to be a combination of Chic and Avant-Garde, the more it made perfect sense to me.  You see, Chic is all about the monochromatic, sensual look with 'European sensibility', as the book describes it.  Style icons for the Chic look are Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Katie Holmes, Audrey Hepburn, Catherine Deneuve just to name a few.  The Avant-Garde look is described as including a little bit of art into fashion.  Its about making a creative statement, sparking conversation, owning peices that are original and a little but un-usual.  The style icons for the Avant-Garde women include: Marlene Dietrich, Cate Blanchett, Diane Keaton, Annie Lennox and Tilda Swinton.  I had to take a step back and look at the whole picture (since the book explains that often women don't fall into one style type - you are usually a mix of a few style types).  When I stood back and really considered what it means to be Chic and what it means to be Avant-Garde, the more I really say 'myself' coming out of the woodwork.  I have always loved that 'European Sensibility' of the Chic look and the icons mentioned have always been my icons.  I just seemed to always like these looks with something just a little bit 'extra' - a unique detail, a bold colour, a top thats a bit off the shoulder, a jacket that has an uber-creative feel to it.  Avant-Garde is about buying 'pieces' vs outfits and then putting them together in a creative way.  I really saw the two styles in one with me.  Its like I have that chic look, but with an artsy, bold edge!  I think this shows through in how I do my makeup.  I like a very chic look, but I'm not afraid of that pop of colour or doing something creative or innovative.  Anyhow - I decided to do a little bit of a tribue to the avant-garde look and I hope to study it in a little more detail, perhaps really play around with my style and let that creative, inner risk-taker out!!!

This is a jacket I would totally pick out for myself - it doesn't have the strait lines or an uber classic look - its a little bit different - and that's 'me' - chic, but a little bit different.  I actually have a few jackets in my closet similar to this.  I seem to be drawn to avant-garde type jackets and sweaters with more chic inspired black dress pants, pencil skirts etc

I abolutely 'love' and 'adore' this look - its incredible and I am so drawn to interesting necklines, off the shoulder looks, belts etc - the best thing is, this light/medium grey works with my palette!  I could completely see myself wearing this!!!

When I see looks like these, I get immediately inspired - I love the belt in the centre photo with the dress and those longer sleeves with the rouched details are amazing (a little bit out of my comfort zone, I would prefer if it I could wear one sleeve off the shoulder, but I would definitely give this look a try).  I also adore everything about the first photo - that jacket is amazing and I love it with a sleek black pant!

I love this red/black combination outfit - this red poncho inspired sweater is so intersting - I would love to have a piece like this is my wardrobe to put over a pair of black pants or a black dress - for me, its about taking something thats chic and classic and taking it up a notch!

I had to end with an evening gown-look.  This dress is stunning - I believe its an Yves Saint Laurent (who interestingly enough is sited in the 'Life in Color' book as an Avant-Garde designer.  The details on the dress are stunning - any woman who walks into a room and a work this dress is one powerful, magnetic woman!!!

I hope you enjoyed my little tribute to the avant-garde look - I kept it quite minimal, there are some very edge avant-garde looks, but i'm not that extreme in my taste!  I hope to write about this topic again - its very inspirational and I can't wait to go out there and pick up some more avant-guard pieces to add to my wardrobe!

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