Styling Blue and White for Winter for SIA: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Shelbee at Shelbee on the Edge is the curator for this round of Style Imitating Art (SIA), and she picked the 2001 portrait Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Lucian Freud. She has wanted to feature a painting of Queen Elizabeth since her death in September but had difficulty deciding which one to pick. She eventually settled on this "controversial" portrait, which some viewers hailed as a brilliant work and others as an "ugly" painting. I personally see it as a bit of both: it has a lot of character and depth but definitely makes her face look more unattractive, unfeminine, and oddly bulbous than it actually was.
I quickly zeroed in on the blue and white color scheme and the queen's crown as the elements I wanted to represent in my outfit. As we are in the depths of winter in Minnesota, I chose a heavy sweater as my anchor piece: a classic cable knit Lands End cotton "Drifter" sweater in blue ombré. (I find wool and even cashmere itchy, so I stick with cotton when possible.) For the crown, I selected this sparkly crystal statement necklace that I purchased to wear at my mother-in-law's evening wedding.
I was actually able to tweak one of my pre-planned outfits featuring this sweater for the challenge, which was good because I was not feeling well over the weekend (nor was I when I wore this outfit on Monday, nor am I now writing about it) and was short on mental energy to start completely from scratch! I took this outfit with the cobalt blue pencil skirt, white quilted vest, striped scarf, and navy tights/boots and simply added the necklace to it. And by happy coincidence, this turned out to be the 50th wear of this necklace! Only one of those wears was a fancy event; all the others have been normal work or weekend outfits. The cost per wear currently stands at $1.04...I will have it down to $1 with just a couple more wears.
Normally I would have worn this infinity scarf wrapped twice around my neck in the traditional style, but because I wanted to feature the necklace, I left it as one long loop (which is basically the infinity scarf version of Method #1: Tuck a Scarf into the Neck of a Jacket [or Vest] and Let it Hang shown here with the same necklace). Luckily it wasn't so cold in my apartment that I needed the scarf wrapped around my neck for warmth...with the layers I was wearing (including a t-shirt under the sweater), the outfit was quite comfortable this way.
My migraine brain fog did make me forget to add my white pearl bracelet to my DIY bracelet stack! That was a disappointment because of course the queen is well-known for her pearls, and she is wearing both pearl earrings and necklace in the portrait. Oh well, at least one of my paper bead bracelets has white glass pearls as spacer beads...that'll have to suffice.
I wore blue square crystal earrings that coordinate well with the blue in the necklace. I left my hair in its usual style, and though it is clearly very different from the queen's, at least the waves in front are reminiscent of her trademark curls.
I really liked how this outfit worked out for the SIA challenge. Blue and white is a gorgeous color combination for winter, and mixing a variety of blue shades and fabric textures makes for an interesting outfit.
Now it's time for our Rabbit Imitating Art selection for this painting. I considered looking for a senior white doe with presence and gravitas, but when I saw this cute little blue-eyed white Polish rabbit with her perfect match to the painting's color palette, I couldn't resist. Just look at that sweet face!
To those who find the painting ugly, I hope that the addition of this adorable little bunny increases the cuteness quotient of the artwork for you. To those who think it's brilliant, consider the long hours the queen spent posing over the course of 19 months and how her strength and determination in all things comes through in this portrait...doesn't she deserve to have a lovely and charming bunny at her side through this ordeal?
Thanks for joining me today for this Style Imitating Art + Rabbit Imitating Art post!
To see other outfit interpretations of this artwork, check out the review on Shelbee on the Edge.
Do you like wearing blue and/or white in the winter? Do you prefer wool sweaters...cashmere...cotton...or other yarns? Would you wear a bling-y statement necklace in casual/business casual outfits?
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