She's a Style Icon
We are familiar with the paintings of American modernist, Georgia O'Keeffe. But did you realize that her style, in photographs and clothing, was carefully managed by her to project a serious and individual persona? In the age of Instagram, she could have been posting iconic photographs of herself, but I expect she would have thought of social media as not lofty enough for her purposes.
This past Wednesday I travelled to Brooklyn, to meet my friend, artist and designer, Elke Kuhn at The Brooklyn Museum. On our agenda was the exhibition, "Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern".
An early portrait of O'Keeffe.
Arriving by the 3 train at Eastern Parkway.
The facade of The Brooklyn Museum.
First things first.
The gift shop. I covet this daybed.
Elke and I lunched in the museum cafe.
We shared a table with these lovely ladies from Japan.
We started to chat, and they recognized us
from the book, Advanced Style,
by Ari Seth Cohen.
her delicate drawing style, but also
gives us an idea of her fashion sense.
for herself in the 1920s.
The workmanship is impeccable.
In photographs, she maintained this serious demeanor.
The exhibit contains many photographs of her by
Alfred Stieglitz, her husband, and Ansel Adams,
Phillipe Halsman and Yousuf Karch.
is my favorite piece in the exhibit.
It has a painted-silk lining. The
geometric ribbon ornamentation at the top
has an Art Nouveau quality.
palette of the silk lining in my
favorite coat, above.
to make this drawing.
a large, black bird.
white dress alludes to the
black bird in the portrait above.
At least in my mind.
She is wearing a Japanese cape.
Elke has a background in textiles, and has
worked with fibers and made jewelry and hats.
over a white blouse, intentionally
creating a black/white color-block look.
like the white of the blouse.
shot with some later paintings by O'Keeffe.
A trio of O'Keeffe's work shirts.
against the backdrop of some Japanese kimonos.
style in her clothing, exemplified by these harshly simple
small version of Frank Lloyd Wright.
O'Keeffe loved this dress and had copies
made in other colors.
She called McCardell "the best woman designer
we've ever had."
dresses. The blue one is from Neiman Marcus.
This show was a revelation because I never thought of
O'Keeffe as an artist who would use fashion to promote her
brand. But clearly, she loved it and saw a direct correlation
between clothes and art.