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Fashion Inspired by Art: Suzuki Kiitsu’s “Asagao-zu Byoubu”

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As the weather starts to heat up, why not try rocking a cooler color palette? Our last Fashion Inspired by Art post leaned towards warmer, bolder colors, so if you’re a fan of the cooler end of the color spectrum, this post is for you!

This week’s Fashion Inspired by Art features “Asagao-zu Byoubu” (“Morning Glories”) by Suzuki Kiitsu, a Japanese painter from the Edo era.

Suzuki Kiitsu's "Asagao-zu Byoubu"
Suzuki Kiitsu’s “Asagao-zu Byoubu” (Edo period, 1615–1868) via Wikimedia Commons. (Full version.)

Read on to learn more about Kiitsu, and to see three outfits inspired by his floral painting.

About Suzuki Kiitsu

Suzuki Kiitsu (1796-1858) is known as a painter from the latter Edo period, and studied the art of painting with Sakai Hoitsu.

Kiitsu was known for his techniques of employing bright colors – especially bright blue – and defined outlines. He is often regarded as a pioneer of modern Japanese painting styles, and he drew great influence from the style of textile design.

His painting, “Asagao-zu Byoubu,” emphasizes the abundance of morning glories by omitting a specific background and setting. In this vein, I wanted to put together a series of outfits focusing on shades of blue and green.

Outfits Inspired by Suzuki Kiitsu’s “Asagao-zu Byoubu”

Spring Blues (and Greens!)

Suzuki kiitsu outfit 1
Dress, Lip Color, Bag, Boots, Jacket

Outfit one is perfect for checking out that hip new cafe by campus. You’ll definitely make an entrance with this chic interpretation of the trendy moto jacket!

A flowy white dress balances the colorful structured bag and unique outerwear. If you want a sleeker look, try a bodycon dress. Though the frock might be on the fancier side, these brown Chelsea boots add a casual touch to even the most delicate of fabrics.

Lastly, add a pop of warm color with a coral lip. It’ll look great on your nails, too!

Pastel Punch

Suzuki kiitsu outfit 2
Sweater, Shoes, Pants, Rings, Nail Color, Wallet

Who says you can’t be bold with pastels and light colors? White trousers are just as versatile as black pants, but the former stands out better against a textured sweater. Plus, the white ties the pastel shades together so nicely!

To channel the background in Kiiitsu’s painting, I included pieces with neutral accents, such as the wood of the shoes, and subtle gold on the bag and rings. Just like the background in “Asagao-zu Byoubu,” they help bring out the vibrant colors.

Not a fan of lime green nail polish? Try Essie’s “Navigate Her” – it’s a lovely soft green. And if jewelry’s what you want to play up, swap out the small rings for a large jade ring. Better yet, rock both!

Office Blossom

Suzuki kiitsu inspired outfit 3
Blazer, Bag, Dress, Earrings, Shoes

If you want to look both fresh and elegant for spring, try wearing classic pieces in fun colors, like this green dress. It’s a playful spin on formal, structured business wear, and it’ll definitely make the morning commute a lot brighter!

The beige pointed-toe shoes are a cute alternative to your go-to loafers or ballet flats. Yet sometimes, small details – like the floral earrings and the rose pattern on the blazer (take a closer look!) – are all it takes to update your everyday look.

Another way to instantly change things up is by pairing your outfit with a white accessory, such as this bag. If you need more room for your things, try out a tote.

Craving more accessories? Put on a gold necklace to wear with the green dress – gold and green make for a great combination.

Final Thoughts:

When someone mentions “spring fashion,” I immediately think of the pastels and floral patterns currently sweeping every rack of every store.

However, upon seeing Kiitsu’s painting of morning glories – and the deep blues and rich greens it includes – it reminded me that not all spring garments have to be especially warm or bright.

Since colors like blue and green are on the cool end of the color spectrum, wearing cool colors in varying intensities is a more subtle way of easing into spring fashion fever than, say, wearing neon yellow or bright red. Give it a try and see what new looks you can come up with!

What do you think?

What are you favorite ways to wear cooler colors like blue and green? Has Kiitsu’s work inspired you to try out anything new with your wardrobe? Which of these three outfits do you like the most? I’d love to hear your input in the comments section below!

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DIY Tutorial: Beyoncé-Inspired Bunny Ears

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Diy bunny ears

I’ve noticed recently that animal ears have been popping up as hair accessories. Personally, I’m conflicted on this trend: they are cute, but perhaps they’re a little too silly for anyone older than twelve (though to be fair, the inner child is quite strong in me).

However, I’m never one to shy away from a bold trend, so I decided to make a pair of chic bunny ears for Easter. But these aren’t just any bunny ears: I was inspired by the ones Beyoncé wore in “Pretty Hurts” from her Visual Album. (For more Beyoncé goodness, go here, here, or here!) Read on to see how I re-created those vintage bunny ears:

Materials

Materials DIY Bunny Ears

  • A thin headband base
  • Wire (one thick, one thin)
  • Jewelry pliers: round-nose, flat-nose, and wire-cutters
  • Hot glue gun
  • Optional: rhinestone strand

Step One

Step 1 DIY Bunny Ears

Gripping the thicker gauge wire with round-nose pliers, form a three-loop spiral by twisting the wire around the nose of the pliers.

Step Two

Step 2 DIY Bunny Ears

Gripping the spiral with flat-nose pliers, use your hands to bend the wire upwards into a vertical position.

Step Three

Step 3 DIY Bunny Ears

Use pliers or, if your wire is soft enough, your hands to form the shape of a bunny ear.

Step Four

Step 4 DIY Bunny Ears

Wrap the wire around the base of the bunny ear to secure.

Step Five

Step 5 DIY Bunny Ears

Repeat steps 1-4 to form the other ear. Make sure to start forming the ear several inches down the wire to space them out.

Step Six

Step 6 DIY Bunny Ears

Snip off any excess wire with wire cutters, but leave behind a small “tail” of wire, approximately 1 centimeter long.

Step Seven

Step 7 DIY Bunny Ears

Make any necessary adjustments. Using the jewelry pliers as guides, I folded the spirals inwards and double wrapped the “tail” around to neatly tuck in the ends of the wire.

Step Eight

Step 8.1 DIY Bunny Ears

Secure the wire ears onto the headband base. Start by placing dots of hot glue onto the spiral ends.

Step 8.2 DIY Bunny Ears

Next, take the thinner gauge wire to tightly wrap the ears into place.

Step Nine (Optional)

Step 9 DIY Bunny Ears

You’ll end up with a mess of hot glue and wire that’s not so pretty. To remedy this, I decided to cover it up by wrapping a rhinestone strand around the base of the ears. It adds visual interest and a little bit of sparkle.

Finale:

Finished diy bunny ears

There are many ways to potentially wear this – try with all pastels for an ultra-festive Easter look, wear it to a costume party, or style it à la Beyoncé!

Feedback please:

Would you wear animal ears as hair accessories? Do you like holiday-inspired DIYs? What do you think of this DIY? Are there any other DIYs you would like to see the tutorials for? Let me know in the comments!

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Looks on Campus: Kyleah – Loyola University New Orleans

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Androgynous style seems to be the uniform for many around Loyola’s campus. It must be the colorful, fashionable history of New Orleans that influences this dapper style.

Kyleah is a fellow history major who’s also in my Medieval Women class. One day, Kyleah waltzed into class in a very smart outfit that stood out from the sea of t-shirt-and-jean pairings. She combined casual shorts with a dressy vest and tie to create a sporty yet stylish outfit, which you can check out below:

Kyleah 101

Student fashion trends at loyola university new orleans

Name: Kyleah

School: Loyola University New Orleans

Year: Senior

Major: History and Religious Studies

Let’s Talk Fashion

Who or what inspires your style? “I really like the dapper queer aesthetic. Sites like Queer Fashion and Dapper Q give a lot of inspiration.”

Where do you like to shop? “Thrift stores and consignment shops. I usually go to Gap, Banana Republic or H&M.”

How would you describe your sense of style? “I usually dress more simple [and] practical. Like I mentioned earlier, I really like the dapper aesthetic.”

Why did you choose this particular outfit? “It’s really beautiful and sunny outside, but I wanted to dress up a little bit, so this was a really good compromise.”

What fashion advice would you give to other students looking to improve their style? “Go with what you like. If you want basic advice, trade out school tops for [a] navy blue t-shirt. Trade your ratty jeans for chinos. Oh, and button-ups – you can be casual and dressy in a button-up!”

What do you do for fun do you have any unique hobbies or interests? “I play soccer, a lot of instruments, and I do a lot of activism in the city.”

If you could raid anyone’s closet, who would it be? Ellen DeGeneres and Pharrell Williams.”

Elements of Kyleah’s Outfit

1. Button-Down, Vest, and Tie

Menswear inspired fashion at loyola university new orleans

Kyleah’s button-down is a crisp and classic piece every student should own, and her vest adds to the menswear style that she loves. Kyleah’s vest dresses up her outfit, but is still casual enough to wear to class. Personally, I wear a black waistcoat with skinny pants and loafers to create a chic and comfortable outfit. You can also pair a luxe fitted vest with a skirt for a mix of masculine and feminine. I love that Kyleah finished her look with a tie – it’s a great layered look that really works on her.

2. Two-Tone Oxfords

College shoe trend oxfords

Oxfords have a classic yet dapper vibe, and they’re very on-trend this season. These shoes are comfortable and can be dressed up or down, which makes them an excellent addition to any wardrobe. Pair oxfords with a dress for a playful look or with a button-down and tailored shorts for a menswear-inspired ensemble. Kyleah’s two-toned pair is so adorable, plus the neutral color means they can be mixed-and-matched with a variety of outfits.

3. Brown Belt

Loyola university new orleans street style

You can never go wrong with a brown leather belt. While the concept sounds basic, Kyleah’s belt is far from boring! The gold buckle and bold stitching really make it stand out, plus it’s ultra-versatile. Try wearing a brown belt wrapped around the waist of your favorite dress, cinch it around a sweater, or grab it to add a little something extra to your skinny jeans.

Do you love Kyleah’s look?

Do you wear vests and ties? What about your multi-colored oxfords? What are you favorite menswear pieces? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment!

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Runway Looks for Less: BCBG Max Azria Spring 2014 RTW

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Bcbgmaxazria Spring 2014
BCBG Max Azria Spring 2014 RTW | ELLE 

As a personal fashion rule, I used to try and stay away from what I considered to be “traditionally feminine” fashions. For me, BCBG Max Azria fit into that category. However, as my fashion tastes developed, I began to like a couple of pieces by Max Azria, and when BCBG’s Spring 2014 RTW collection walked down the runway, I knew my love for the brand was solidified.

The loose-fitting pieces featured on-trend colors, like blue and white, along with the slightly darker but always chic combination of florals and black. Azria continued this juxtaposition by pairing heavy cottons with lighter silks and mesh. With this collection, BCBG Max Azria definitely showed the fashion world why, after almost twenty-five years, it’s still a household name.

Want a bit of this fashion house’s spring collection in your closet without spending a ton of cash? Read on for three budget-friendly looks inspired by the always fab BCBG!

1. Little White Dress

Bcbgmax spring 2014 rtw look 1
Photo: ELLE

Just like the LBD, the Little White Dress has also been accepted into the fashion hall of fame. In this outfit, Azria plays with the LWD concept with a spring-ready shirtdress. A snake-print jacket edges up the casual dress, but the neutral lace-up heels work to balance out the edginess and keep the outfit perfect for a dinner out or an internship.

Get the Look:

Bcbgmax spring 2014 rtw outfit 1
Product Info: Dress- Missguided, Jacket- Dorothy Perkins, Shoes- Charlotte Russe, Lipstick- Nordstrom, Earrings- Nastygal, Ring- Forever 21

Start off with a trendy white shirtdress in a similar silhouette. We love this brown snake-print jacket (remember: tan and brown are chic and spring-ready alternatives to black!) which we paired with cut-out, lace-up heels. Add a swipe of lipstick in a “your lips but better” hue, then finish the look with delicate boho-inspired accessories, like these drop earrings and daisy ring.

2. Delicate Edge

Bcbgmax spring 2014 rtw look 2
Photo: ELLE

From the crisp pleated bottoms to the asymmetrical embroidered mesh blouse, this outfit was quickly coveted by yours truly the moment I laid eyes on it. There’s something fun yet sophisticated about this look – it’s high-fashion, but it’s also totally wearable. Plus, who wouldn’t want these killer black shoes in their closet?

Get the Look:

Bcbgmax spring 2014 outfit 2
Product Info: Top- Nastygal, Skirt- Boohoo, Shoes- H&M, Flat Iron- Target, Heat Protectant- ULTA

For a runway-ready look, pair an on-trend midi skirt with a lace crop top that channels the embroidery on the original top. Choose a pair of chunky flat sandals that are both practical and appropriate for warm weather. To get the model’s gorgeous straight locks, take out your flat iron, but don’t forget heat protectant!

3. Flowers and Leather

Bcbgmax spring 2014 rtw look 3
Photo: ELLE

Nothing says pretty and feminine like a floral print, and in this look Azria expertly adorned the delicate print to a fierce strappy top. A leather vest adds a bit of a biker edge, while the chic tailored trousers ground the outfit.

Get the Look:

Bcbgmax spring 2014 outfit 3
Product Info: Top- Nastygal, Vest- Adidas, Pants- Forever 21, Shoes- Charlotte Russe, Bracelet- River Island, Rings- ASOS, Eyeshadow (in Chai Latte)- Target

Recreate this outfit by pairing a strappy floral top with loose yet structured pants. Choose a faux leather vest and comfy but trendy pointed-toe shoes. Accessorize with a gold-and-black cuff and thin gold rings to add some pizazz to the outfit. Lastly, play off the gold from the jewelry with a bit of gold-toned neutral eyeshadow.

Your Thoughts?

What did you think of this collection? Were you inspired to recreate these chic outfits from BCBG Max Azria? Which of these looks is your favorite? Would you wear any of them? Would you like to see a designer featured in upcoming weeks? Remember to let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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