Painted Lady

The past few seasons, tie dye has been all over the place, much to the chagrin of ladies born and raised in the ’60s, who had likely hoped to see the trend die and never return.  The hippie staple even made its way to haute couture (here, runway looks from Proenza Schouler, Blumarine, and Tibi):

You could scarcely open the glossy pages of a celebrity magazine (I’m an unabashed trashy mag junkie — they get me through my workouts on the elliptical) without seeing Vanessa Hudgens in some sort of tie-dyed scarf-and-ripped jeans or enorma-maxi-dress look.  And I’ll admit it: I thought it was kinda cool for a hot second.  I even considered buying this Gypsy05 asymmetrical dress (here worn by Ashley Tisdale):

I’m glad I didn’t, though — I’ve been noticing  a much chic-er, much classier “tie dye 2.0” look this season, involving painterly washes of color and broad brush stroke prints.  I’m Into it with a capital I.  Consider this lovely Michael Kors silk camel-colored dress —

Lovely, ladylike, and yet versatile.  I’d slip into some neutral pumps (below, Christian Louboutin, $636, ShopSavannah) and throw on some big studs (below, David Yurman, $495, Saks)for work or for brunch with the in-laws.

Another feminine watercolor-inspired dress?  J. Crew’s asymmetrical “Bridget” dress in lilac.  As I mentioned yesterday, I’m sort of falling in love with soft violet shades — this one has my name written all over it.

It reminds me of the impressionist painter Claude Monet’s series of lilac paintings — he painted the same cluster of flowering bushes in different sunlight conditions.  This one — “Lilacs in Gray Weather” is one of my absolute favorites.

I’m not sure I’m too thrilled with the leather gladiator sandal pairing here — taking a cue from the Monet canvas above, I’d much rather see it with some gray peep toes and some lovely femme studs, like these diamond and kunzite bank-breakers by Sazingg (available at for $7,500):

(Note that Bounkit has a number of lovely big studs featuring amethyst as well — they’re priced more reasonably at around $300-$400/pair.)  While on the subject of my newfound favorite color, aren’t you head over heels for this artful Rachel Roy masterpiece?

Pretty as a picture.  You can find it at Shopbop for just shy of $2K.

If you’re warming up to the idea of a painterly dress but find the above looks a bit too dainty for your taste, you are in for a treat.  There’s the “tie-dye 2.0” Halston Heritage dress I featured in my Yellow Fever post ($323, Farfetch):

Love the palette — infinitely wearable with any number of accessories.  Very Andy Warhol.

Shoshanna has a comparable Warhol-approved print in an even brighter color palette out this season:

You can snag this strapless version at Revolve Clothing for $340 and a more ladylike strappy silk version at Hampden Clothing for $298.  As you know, I love me some neon — but these are so day-glo, I’d try to minimize add-ons.  Just some unfussy shoes and a necklace in lucite, clear glass, or white.  Check out my post “Neckwear for the Preppy Set” for ideas like this affordable Aqua brand lucite bead necklace:

Like the concept, but concerned about the volume?  Try this M Missoni asymmetrical top ($295, Shopbop) with white jeans:

Because the top has almost a chain-link pattern to it, I’m envisioning a long gold chain necklace or maybe this tiered House of Harlow 1960 variation ($330,

Or, to tone down the look differently, imagine an all-black ensemble with this kickin paint-inspired “Love Bird Leather” tote by Marc Jacobs:

I think you’d make quite the statement wearing it with an all-business tailored black dress (the one below by minimalist Calvin Klein — $895 at Shopbop), some sky high black heels (Louboutin patent pigalle 120s, $565, Net-A-Porter), and huge shades (Stella McCartney, $200, Net-A-Porter).  Think Victoria Beckham meets pop art.

To conclude, consider picking up this to-die-for wearable brush stroke print dress by Olivia Rubin ($379, MyWardrobe):

With some refined, jet-black accessories, you’d be the portrait of a lady.

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