[Alternative Muses] Writerly Style: Dressing Like a Work of Art with Djuna Barnes

“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 Barnes

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, circa 1921

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

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!

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[Alternative Muses] Writerly Style: Seven Reasons to Love Anita Loos’ Look

“One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.”-Oscar Wilde

Seven Reasons to Love Anita Loos’ Look:

#1: She rocked one of the best hairstyles of the Roaring Twenties. The tousled bob with bangs was her thing, and she wore it with few variations for decades. With that hair, she could walk into any 2014 shindig and look more modern than anyone else.

Anita Loos rocking her famous locks

Anita Loos rocking her enviable locks. 

#2: She knew how to wear a scarf without looking like an idiot or an octogenarian. We all know how hard that is, right? For some reason, the thought of wearing a scarf as an accessory intimidates a lot of American women, myself included. Here’s Anita, proving that a scarf worn tied around the neck can be chic and fun: Continue reading

Inspiration Board: 29th August 2013