OOTD: Style Imitating Art - "Renee" Scrappy Square by Anne M. Bray
Shelbee at Shelbee on the Edge is the curator for this round of Style Imitating Art, and she selected a set of 50 upcycled fiber pieces by her friend, the artist Anne M. Bray. The wide array of colors and prints incorporated in these works, described as "rug knot weaving on MDF board," make them a wonderful inspiration for an outfit. Shelbee shares some information about the artist and this work, including the origins of the "Shelbee" scrappy square on the fourth row, in this post.
I plan my SIA outfit on the weekend (along with the rest of the week's outfit) to wear and photograph on Monday. Last weekend I went through my list of outfit ideas for the Spring sartorial season (i.e., cool spring) and realized that I had only two weeks left for these outfits before the start of Spring/Summer (i.e., warm spring) on May 16. Once Spring/Summer starts, it's generally too warm to wear long-sleeved pullover sweaters (even lightweight cotton ones), so I was running out of time for any sweaters I wanted to wear one more time. One spring outfit I really wanted to fit in was my olive pants and light blue sweater, a combination I hadn't worn before but that seemed just perfect for spring. This was high on my priority list because I had recently worn the olive pants with a sky blue cardigan and loved it.
So I popped over to Bray's website and started digging through the 50 Scrappy Square pieces to see if I could find one that included olive and blue. And voila! The "Renee" had a sage/olive green and a medium blue (a pretty blue with a bit of green in it), which I thought was close enough to my sweater and pants to serve as an inspiration for an outfit based on these items.
With those pieces in place, I thought about the other elements of "Renee" that I could incorporate into my outfit:
-Colors: black, white, beige
-Black and white prints
I wasn't feeling the black and white prints or ruffles with my pieces, but that still left plenty of elements to draw on. I knew that I'd definitely want to include a print mix in my outfit and decided on a print scarf and print shoes to do that. The shoes were a super-easy choice because these cheetah Oxfords are in constant rotation in my wardrobe (worn once a week of late) and provide both a print and the colors black and beige. Where print scarves are concerned, I have a lot of options (about 248 to be precise!), but if I was going to bring in jaggedness, this is where it had to happen. My scarf collection came through for me with this (thrifted) tie-dye print scarf in grey-green, blue, and navy on a white background with significant fringe on the ends. By knotting the scarf so the two ends were uneven, I made the fringe on the ends appear a bit choppy and jagged.
I really like the scarf with this sweater + pants combo. It's a rather thin scarf made from a lightweight silky material so it doesn't have a lot of bulk, which is a nice change from most scarves I own. The color palette isn't a perfect match for my outfit, but it's actually quite close!
So this left the "scrappy" quality, which I interpreted in a fairly literal manner by adding a trio of DIY paper bead bracelets made from upcycled magazine and catalog pages, aka scrap paper. This bracelet stack includes DIY green paper tube beads with gold acrylic paint (originally an advertisement in The Economist); a DIY lapis lazuli bead bracelet (from Fire Mountain Gems); DIY dark green/navy bicone beads (originally a tree/river photo in Audubon magazine); a gold metallic bracelet (bought from Amazon); and DIY white/green leaf tube beads (originally a blouse in a Coldwater Creek catalog).
My earrings are another pair of the world's easiest DIY earrings: dark green-olive glass pearls and gold spacer beads on a premade hoop. My hair is dark brass braids because I had just washed it and put it into braids to dry. Luckily I wasn't depending on my hair style to mimic anything about the Scrappy Square.
My olive pants + sky blue cardigan that got me interested in combining the olive pants + light blue sweater was initially going to be my Easter outfit, but because I was sick on Easter and merely changed from one set of PJs to another, I didn't get the chance to wear it until last week. Yep, it's yet another variant on the floral top + olive pants combination that I've worn before (which I shared on the 30 wears posts for the top and the pants). I added the pink bow flats for an extra bit of girly Easter-egg-y goodness (and because Jodie from Jodie's Touch of Style pointed out that the bows look like lop rabbit ears!).
This layered necklace is uncharacteristically dainty and restrained because the centerpiece is this lovely rose gold bunny pendant that my sister bought me for my birthday (from Etsy). I had another delicate rose gold chain (from FMG) that I added to it. I finished the look with a gold herringbone chain from my mom and a simple strand of white faux pearls. I thought the pearls were large enough to provide some visual heft and draw the attention to the necklace while being just small enough not to overwhelm the little rabbit.
Three pieces of my daily bracelet stack overlap with the SIA outfit: the dark green/navy paper bicone, gold metallic, and lapis lazuli. I supplemented those pieces with a rose gold metallic (also from Amazon) and two DIY bracelets made from a mix of metallic spacer beads and faux pearls, all 4 mm. I like how a mixed metal piece or two can really pull disparate metal items together so making DIY bracelets with that quality were high on my "jewelry to be made" list. (You may be shocked to learn that despite my unstinting love of spreadsheets, I don't maintain a literal "jewelry to be made" list; it exists only in my mind...well, and on random pieces of paper that I take notes on and misplace.)
I wore the same DIY hoop earrings as in the SIA outfit plus this DIY braided headband I made from an old oatmeal heather t-shirt that I wear all the time because it's a nice soft neutral that is close to my hair color and works with gold, silver, and rose gold jewelry. (My other go-to headband is a glittery gold one from Amazon that has a more limited set of use cases since it looks off when worn with silver/pewter jewelry.)
As for the Rabbit Imitating Art selection this time, I went with the black color and jagged/uneven elements of the artwork in choosing a Black Jersey Wooly. The Wooly is a little rabbit (1-3 pounds) with a lot of fuzzy fur! It was developed as a cross between the wooly-furred French Angora and the aptly-named Netherland Dwarf, creating a dwarf version of the Angora. The Jersey Wooly is intended as a pure show/pet rabbit due to its tiny size (compared to the larger Angoras that are sometimes kept for their fur).
I normally like to "improve" the featured artwork by adding the rabbit mascot to the piece, but it didn't work out this time. When placed in proximity to the Renee Scrappy Square, the rabbit just flat out attempted to eat it! All those fluffy chewable bits were just irresistible. While rabbits will happily munch away on fabric, it's really not healthy for them to do so. Eating fabric can cause life-threatening intestinal blockages, which is no fun for any bun (or human)! Fortunately the Scrappy Squares are works intended to be mounted on a wall, far from the reach of a tiny rabbit.
To see other outfit interpretations of this painting, check out the round up on Shelbee on the Edge.
Do you have a favorite Scrappy Square? Do you like to wear mixed prints? Do you like interior design with mixed prints?
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