~My entry for Currys' wonderblog competion, I'd like to win HP Envy Recline 23-m120ea Beats Edition. You can enter here! Ends Tues 6th May.~
Artfully Awear is a wonderful blog by Ariel Adkins. I started following her blog when she was working towards her graduate degree (in 2010) and seeing her successfully moving on is so inspiring. Her posts vary, expect to see her outfits inspired by all corners of art and fashion (my favourites Mike Kelley and champagne beige) to art to wear features. This blog is day to day art and beauty inspiration at it's best.
Read on for an interview I did with her. I'm always chuffed at how easy it is to discover and talk to amazing people on the tinternet. It's lengthy because I'm nosey!
At what age did you become interested in art and fashion?
Both of my parents were artists, so I grew up with a great appreciation for art and developed my creativity at a young age. My mother had an amazing sense of style, and I spent long afternoons at the Salvation Army and antique shops with her, in pursuit of great vintage clothes and household goods. In high school, I was forced to wear a uniform, which is when I really became interested in my own personal style; I wanted to develop ways to individualize what I wore.
How was your time at university? Do you recommend it to someone wanting to get in to the industry?
University isn't for everyone, but it was instrumental in setting me on the right path toward where I wanted to go. The experience helped to develop my interests and I was able to try new things and gain skills through experimentation. Even my graduate school years were spent honing my interests. I never want to stop learning!
What's been your favourite blogger experience so far?
By far, the highlight of my blogging experience thus far was the Artfully Awear + Pantone collaboration. They provided me with a palette of colors and I created an ensemble inspired by artwork that featured each of their chosen hues, 7 in total. It was a dream project, because I look to Pantone consistently for inspiration, and their team was very open-minded about the joint effort. I would love to work with them again.
What artist (dead or alive) would you like to collaborate with and why?
My favorite contemporary artist is Yinka Shonibare MBE, who creates stunning tableaux using mannequins adorned with colonial costumes fabricated out of Dutch Wax textiles. The tongue-in-cheek arrangements lend themselves beautifully to clothing displays and the textiles appeal to my color sensibilities, all the while making overt cultural and political statements. His work is closely related to Jean-Honoré Fragonard, who is another great inspiration of mine, albeit from a completely different time period and style, Rococo. I love Fragonard's depictions of excess, and the way clothing is featured as a symbol for wealth and grandeur.
Do you have any websites you use for researching that you recommend to a newbie?
My very favorite website which I use CONSTANTLY is Artsy. It's so easy to search through artwork of all different time periods and mediums, receive updates from artists that interest you, and you can even sort by color! I also read a lot of art blogs, which is often how I discover emerging artists. Some of my favorites are The Jealous Curator, Art Hound, and Hyperallergic.
You're based in New York, any secret shopping/eating destinations?
I'm a big fan of combining high and low (both in my sartorial and edible tastes). I have the best luck with vintage/secondhand stores and I frequent Buffalo Exchange, Beacon's Closet and Odd Twin in Brooklyn all the time. For a splurge, I love Opening Ceremony and Barneys (and make sure you check out the Barneys Warehouse Sale for bargains!). My favorite shoe store is United Nude on Bond Street.
For a real treat, I love to have dinner at Spice Market in the Meatpacking District and then head to the Top of the Standard (Boom Boom Room) for a cocktail overlooking the city. On the other hand, I love the secret hidden inexpensive gems in the city, like Prosperity Dumpling (the absolute BEST dumplings) and Habana Outpost for delicious Cuban cuisine.
What do you like to wear day to day?
I've always been most comfortable in dresses, and my favorite ensemble is a printed vintage dress, ankle boots, and a cropped jacket. I've been accused of overdressing before but I live by the motto "Always dress your best or you'll regret it"!
What don't you like about art and fashion?
Inaccessibility. Both fashion and art are irrevocably tied to wealth, which makes it difficult for some people to appreciate or develop interest. Fast fashion chains and movements toward street style inspiration have greatly contributed to fashion's democratization and appeal to the masses. There is not yet an equivalent to fast fashion for the art world, but things like public art programs and artist's collaborations with brands are essential to ensuring the presence of art in the community so that it can be seen and experienced by as many people as possible.
What's next for you?
In January, I'll be teaching an Artfully Awear class through Waverly, a program that inspires girls to do good through exposure to culture. I've never presented Artfully Awear in an educational setting before, so I'm excited about the opportunity. I recently started working at Twitter, which has been a great learning experience thus far, and has honed my interest in art and tech, while further developing my appreciation for social media as a means of communication. I've also been working for a while on a concept for a line of Artfully Awear clothing accessories, which I hope to debut in 2014.
Have a great week y'all