“One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.”-Oscar Wilde
Our dear Djuna, who wasn’t always so dear, encompassed both of Wilde’s dictates.
Why wouldn’t she?
Djuna Barnes was not afraid to overstep the accepted boundaries of writing, art, behaviour, or fashion. She knew that, sometimes, too much wasn’t nearly enough.
Our favourite tetchy lady knew what she was doing. Here’s why.
Lessons in How to Dress, Djuna Barnes-style:
Tip #1-It’s okay to wear too many layers and accessories, as long as it is artfully done:
Djuna, daring you to find her anything short of magnificent.
A lesser woman would be weighed down by all those layers and accessories, but not our Djuna. She looks resplendent. The open collar, delicate jewelry, and commandingly vibrant lipstick pull everything together.
Tip #2-The key to wearing a bold print is to conquer it by the pure force of your personality:
Djuna Barnes taking charge of some giant dots, circa 1921.
Clothes smell fear. If you’re scared to wear something, you probably shouldn’t. Otherwise, don it with the conviction that no one else on earth could ever pull it off like you can.
Surrounding a huge pattern with solids never hurts, either.
Tip #3-Shoes and Hats! Shoes and Hats!
Solita Solano and Djuna Barnes were exceptionally chic in Paris, 1922.
Shoes and hats are all you need to be stylish and memorable. It doesn’t matter if you are wearing a ball gown or a T-shirt dress, as long as you are shod and topped with wit or taste, or even creative vulgarity. Swap those gorgeous 1920s frocks for modern minis and logo shirts, and Solita and Djuna would still look phenomenal.
Think about that.
Now go out there and face the world with confidence and a bit of writerly style!