Les Artistes

Mr. Magpie and I recently let our membership at the Phillips Collection lapse, and I’ve lately been regretting it.  (If you’re not local to D.C., the Phillips is a spectacular “modern” (it dates from impressionism to the present, so I use that term loosely) art museum in Northwest Washington in what was once a family-owned Dupont Circle mansion.  The property has since been expanded, but it retains a certain sense of “coziness” and manageability, despite its respectable collection of Picassos, Monets, Van Goghs, and Renoirs, among other esteemed pieces.)  I have always had a serious interest in art (let’s face it: I’m into anything that arranges color and shape into a beautiful, concerted “final look”), and, as an intern at the Phillips during my summers in college, used to enjoy every opportunity I had to pop into the space to check out the new exhibitions.  Nowadays, Mr. Magpie and I find ourselves with less and less time to spend there, and I suppose I’ll just have to lean on some of the spectacular painterly pieces that have currently weaseled their way onto my winter lust list.  (Seriously.  I didn’t even realize I was so obsessed with abstract-print dresses in splashy colors until I checked out my ever-expanding collection of “wants,” and saw a surprising trend in the lineup.)  I don’t know if it’s partly due to Tucker’s recent surge in popularity (the line is famous for its kitschily printed blouses and dresses, and they got so big, they ran a diffusion line for Target), but I just can’t get enough of the printed silk dress. For starters, I saw this Cacharel dress go on sale ($499, Edit) at one of my favorite e-boutiques, Edit NY, and I d.i.e.d.:

Ugh!  So fantastically vibrant and dramatic — like a Georgia O’Keefe painting.

{Georgia O’Keefe, “Red Poppy,” 1927 — via A History of New York}

I’d add some black-centric enorma-studs (saw these $25 newbies at TopShop and loved ’em), some fierce black pumps — I saw my Magpie Maven / celebrity crush Rachel Bilson wearing these Brian Atwoods in the blush color, and I was in insta-covet territory ($720, FootCandyShoes), a classy black tote ($517, Couture Candy) with this adorable YSL clutch/wallet tucked inside ($395, YSL), and — for whatever reason, I’m totally feeling a black headband with this get-up (I love France Luxe’s 1″ classic headbands, and have them in black and tortoise — $28, France Luxe):

Also high on the lust-list?  This artful Thakoon dress (on sale for $709, ShopBird):

I’d keep the add-ons to a minimalist minimum — this dress is a busy as a pointillist Canvas, after all.

{Close-up of Georges Seurat’s “La Parade De la Cirque,” 1889, via Wikipedia}

I’d pair with some statement-making earrings ($70, Charm and Chain), a structured envelope clutch in ladylike lavender (works perfectly with the softness and drapiness of the dress — $420, Forzieri), and some classic black pumps (l.o.v.e these new additions to the Vince Camuto line, both in classic black and to.die.for glossy coral — $79, Vince Camuto — and they’re running a special 25% off promo through 12/26!):

For something in a similar color palette with a bit more structure, try this DVF mini ($345, Matches), which I envision pairing with opaque black tights and smart black flats ($100, Dakota Collective) for work:

The above dress reminds me of a darker, more tormented version of Monet’s impressionist style (Monet adapted to the 21st century?) —

{Monet, “Water Lilies,” 1916, via Wikipedia}

I’m thinking that I’d keep the accessories in the gold family, with some cluster enorma-studs (Kendra Scott, $55, Zappos) and a tiered chain necklace ($45, Charm and Chain), my obsession watch of the moment (Freelook, $199, Endless), and a gold-accented, textured bag in the perfect nude/camel shade ($345, Brahmin):


Now, the next item is the big ticket piece: drool, drool, drool.  Missoni.  On sale at The Outnet.  In a radiant peach-on-pink-on-gold palette.  D.i.e.  (Still $819, but hey…it’s Missoni!):

Ugh!  Beyond.  I would keep extras minimal, as the dress should really shine through.  I might add a pair of pearl-adorned studs ($125, Kate Spade) and this delicate-looking pearl-and-gold vintage Trifari bracelet ($180, ASOS):

As for footwear: I’m torn between a sleek and lady-like pointy-toe puppy (like these Rupert Sandersons, which I’ve featured a thousand times over) and some heavier-looking peep-toes ($220, Kurt Geiger), to modernize the aesthetic a bit:

The Marc Jacobs clutch is, well, clutch ($521, My Theresa):

If the bold prints of the above dresses leave you a bit anxiety-stricken, test-drive with an artful, vibrant scarf ($132, Jules B) atop a standard issue all-black ensemble (I am into turtlenecks this season, and I am fa.na.tic about the big bow / front-pleating of this DVF skirt — on sale for $213, Matches):

Finish with some coordinating statement earrings (don’t you loveee these?!  – LK Designs, $146, Pret-A-Beaute), classic black pumps (Loubs, $595, Net-A-Porter), and the covet-worthy Marc Jacobs “Garbo Camille” ($1,850, Barney’s):

Alternately, spruce up your workaday look with a splashy headband (love the tropical vibe on this one — reminds me of a Matisse cut-out! — $22, France Luxe):

{Henri Matisse, “La Gerbe,” 1953, via Henri Matisse}

Can’t you see the headband with a cheery, cherry-red coat in a ladylike silhousette (on sale for $250, Karen Millen)?


{Accent with a black scarf (Love Quotes, $76, Shop Zoe), a chain-handle bag (Kate Spade, $295, Zappos), and some classic black flats (Jeffrey Campbell, on sale for $74, Lori’s Shoes)!

This silky, modern art-esque, abstract-dot top also caught my eye ($340, Rittenhouse), and I’d pair it with straight forward black jeans and nude flats(love these classic Lanvins — $495, Shop Zoe):

Finish with some oversized gold studs (adore these Alexis Bittars — $125, Charm and Chain),  bold, be-jeweled statement cuff ($120, Charm and Chain), and a ladylike ostrich-effect cross-body bag (Marc by Marc Jacobs, $225, Net-A-Porter):

Finally, and — somewhat in the same vein as the Rittenhouse top above, which isn’t exactly painterly, but has a certain artful feel to it, I’d urge the purchase of these darling flats (Kate Spade, $275, Nordstrom), which I’d pair with a  taupe bow clutch (Susan Farber, $322, Couture Candy), and some statement earrings (these puppies are only $10 at Target!):

Perfect with a snug black blazer ($260, TopShop), a hot pink scarf ($114, Farfetch), and some black skinnies!

Ah…already feeling better about my culture-related misdemeanor (shame on me for letting that museum membership lapse!)

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