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How to Wear Stripes With Stripes: SIA Hallucinogenic Toreador by Salvador Dali

Shelbee at Shelbee on the Edge is the curator for this round of Style Imitating Art (SIA), and she selected the amazing painting The Hallucinogenic Toreador by Salvador Dali. This work is chock full of colors, shapes, symbols, visual illusions...it's a complicated painting with a lot going! Although Shelbee is not a huge fan of the typical "dark, disturbing, and plain old ugly" works of Dali, and the "illogical scenes that are trademarks of this genre" make her uncomfortable, a hallucinogenic journey of her own got her investigating Dali's oeuvre, as she discusses in this post. She shares a significant amount of information about the artist and this particular painting in her outfit post. In case you have difficulty seeing the toreador in this painting, here's the description she provides:

"The green skirt on the left Venus turns into the matador’s necktie while the white skirt becomes his shirt. As your eye travels up the figure, Venus’s abdomen becomes the toreador’s chin, her waist becomes his mouth, and her left breast turns into his nose. There is a pink arch forming the top of his head with the arena turning into his hat. The matador has a tear in his eye for the bull that appears at the nape of Venus’ neck and the red skirt on the right Venus becomes the bullfighter’s cape."
source: shelbeeontheedge.com

In a couple minutes of looking at the painting, my eye picked out the toreador...in addition to what Shelbee describes, you can also see a pink hat shape (filled with a grid of flies) above his head and to the left of the white shirt and green tie, another grid of flies that looks like his shoulder. But what I find disturbing in this painting is the second face to the right! The toreador's face above the green tie looks smooth and gentle, but next to it above the red cape (created from the shadows of the rightmost Venus de Milo) is a lumpier open-mouthed face that upset, perhaps in pain. I found that face, along with the giant mayflies coming toward the boy (representing young Dali) at the bottom right, the creepiest part of this work.


I did not have any immediate thoughts for an outfit when looking at this painting, so I started a list of elements in it...and they are numerous. I started by looking at the painting overall, then zoomed in on it and scanned each section.

-Colors (background & details): sandstone, light pink/blush, lavender, beige, warm yellow

-Colors (toreador): white, green, red, black

-Areas of soft/muted color that wash together

-Lines/grids

-Bright polka dots

-Doubling

-Flies and "dots" (that are distant flies)

-Venus de Milo sculptures

-Dalmatian

-Bull

-Boy in blue sailor suit

-Roses

-Blood/pool of water

-Swimmer on a raft


I was inspired by the sandstone colors in the arena background to start my outfit with a piece from my collection of CJ Banks sandstone coral items. I chose the cropped pants as a nod to the short pants traditionally worn by bullfighters. This gauze shirt with a neutral ivory background and soft stripes that match several of the colors in the painting was my next choice. I like the way that the wrinkly striped gauze fabric and the stretchy denim with a subtle herringbone pattern look together.

I have a matching tank that would work well to layer under the striped shirt, but I decided on the short-sleeved T with horizontal cream stripes instead to bring in the full "lines/grids" element from my list with the two sets of stripes crossing each other at a 90 degree angle. These double stripes also evoke the "doubling" in the painting.

OOTD 6/13/22

And of course, I just like a good print mix on general principles! Mix and match stripes is not an extremely popular way to mix prints, but it can look really great. Here are some tips:

-Wearing the two striped items separated in space is an easy way to go (such as a striped top with striped shoes).

-The adjacent or overlapping stripes on stripes approach can work very well, especially when the stripes are oriented in different directions.

-It's a good idea to keep your color palette tight when mixing stripes (here both the ivory/cream and sandstone colors in the t-shirt are also present in the button up shirt).

-Varying the width of the stripes can also make them pair easier (here the stripes on the button up are a bit wider than those on the T, even though the spacing between the stripes is similar).


Next I honed in on the bright polka dots to the left of the toreador's green tie (atop the dying bull's head). I knew I had a thin silky scarf that is a great match to this dot design, so I wore it as a headband. Does that placement make me the bull in this situation? Hmmm.

With these elements in place, it was time to think about my shoes and jewelry selections. These pointy-toed leopard print flats were an easy pick since the animal print references the (somewhat camouflaged) bull and Dalmatian images. To continue the feeling of the "dots" that are actually the distant flies at the top and left of the painting, I added a round faux pearl/gold bead necklace and a long open circle necklace. With the black stripe in the shirt and the black in the leopard print, I decided to ramp up the black in the outfit with this fierce-looking necklace that I call my "tooth/claw" necklace to finish off a 3 piece layered necklace look.

I also featured black in my DIY bracelet stack, using the plain black and black/spacer bead bracelets, a gold cube bead bracelet, and 3 glass pearl bracelets that I made last summer to coordinate with this striped top. (I know it's rather macabre, but in the context of this painting, I can't help but see those round maroon beads as drops of blood. Yuck, sorry!)

My last touch of black is these leather earrings in a leaf shape...though considering the painting, perhaps they're better called "teardrop" shaped (since the toreador has a small tear hanging from his eye). I also added a maroon red lipstick to coordinate with the maroon in the bracelets.

To revisit my list of elements in the painting, I have bolded the ones that I included. I got quite a lot of them into this outfit!

-Colors (background & details): sandstone, light pink/blush, lavender, beige, warm yellow

-Colors (toreador): white, green, red, black

-Areas of soft/muted color that wash together

-Lines/grids

-Bright polka dots

-Doubling

-Flies and "dots" (that are distant flies)

-Venus de Milo sculptures

-Dalmatian/bull [animal print]

-Boy in blue sailor suit

-Roses

-Blood/pool of water

-Swimmer on a raft


Since I missed out on the green in the painting, I offer this outfit of the day from last weekend in which I wore the same crop pants + leopard flats combination with a floral top, aloe vera green cardigan, and a layered necklace made from a mix of DIY and purchased seed bead strands.

Mint T + black capris - Summer plus size outfit idea for women over 40
OOTD 6/11/22

This outfit also marked the inaugural wear of a new DIY paper bead bracelet set made to coordinate with the floral blouse!

Mint T + black asymmetrical skirt - Summer plus size outfit idea for women over 40

Also since the toreador didn't get a lot of love in my outfit, I put together a warmer Christmas-y colored outfit for December inspired by the toreador himself: white shirt, green scarf (in place of the necktie), red cardigan (in place of the cape), skinny black pants, black buckle flats, the same black leather earrings as in the outfit above, and a green/red/black DIY paper bead bracelet set with wintry motifs (snowflakes and Christmas plaids).

Mint T + black skinny pants - Summer plus size outfit idea for women over 40
The December Toreador

Today's Rabbit Imitating Art selection brings in another aspect of the painting I haven't mentioned yet. In the upper left of the painting we see the frowning face of Gala, Dali's wife, who loathed bullfighting. Well, the rabbits of the world also disdain all blood sports. This mini satin rabbit (with a "broken" fur pattern that resembles the chaotic mix of shapes in the painting) has his ears back, his disapproving face on, and is ready to thump!

Broken mini satin rabbit

Our intrepid and critical rabbit has entered the painting in a commanding position at the top center, standing with Gala to condemn the act of bullfighting. (Note that he has wisely stayed well clear of the bull itself, who is unlikely to distinguish between friend and foe while in the ring.) I declare this painting improved with the addition of a disapproving rabbit! And it was already so overflowing with imagery that one little bunny fits in quite easily.

The Hallucinogenic Toreador "improved" with rabbit

Seeing this bunnified artwork made me wonder whether Dali had ever painted any rabbits...then I remembered, Oh my, there was an article in The Economist a few years ago about a release of a version of my beloved Alice stories to coincide with the 150th anniversary and it had illustrations by Dali! Or am I imagining that? Nope, it's real. You can see them here, including a rabbit for "Down the Rabbit Hole." If you're a true Alice/Dali fan, you can order the book on Amazon for $19 (as I just did!).


To see other outfit interpretations of this artwork, check out the review on Shelbee on the Edge.


Additional reading on stripes with stripes print mixing:

-Print Mixing: Double the Stripes

-Pattern Mixing: Stripe on Stripe Outfit

-Stripes on Stripes: Our Love For Stripes Continues


Are you a fan of Salvador Dali? Do you like to wear stripes? Double stripes?


Blogs I link up with are listed here.

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