October 26, 2011

Inspired by Graffiti

If graffiti were a currency, New York City would be one of the wealthiest locations in the world. It's difficult to spend a day in the city without encountering some sort of this street art - though the "art" term is debatable in some cases - whether it be on the side of a building or on the windows of a subway car. In many cases, graffiti consists of messily scrawled signatures, written in the stereotypical font style of graffiti artists. However, there are also examples of beautiful designs that are so imaginative that they cause me to stop and stare in amazement at the beautiful scene depicted on the wall in front of me.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering what this has to do with fashion, or perhaps you have the slightest idea after reading the title of this post. If you've read this far, you can probably guess that graffiti is a big source of inspiration for me. It is one of the most creative art forms that exists today, because there is so much freedom in its creation, despite the fact that it's technically illegal (ironic, right?). Graffiti has been so integrated into city life that New Yorkers are used to it, but occasionally we stumble upon that one example that takes our breath away.
The following photographs were shot by me in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on the day of the Vintage Crawl. For this post, I've used these images of graffiti/street art as references for fashion ensembles: my preferred art form. After all, it's slightly easier to assemble a fantastic outfit than spray paint someone's building.

Giambattista Valli velvet blazer, Jil Sander sweater, Sandro corduroy pants, Vivienne Westwood fringe booties, Arielle de Pinto necklace (on top), Fiona Paxton necklace (on bottom), H&M ring set.

The first thing one notices when looking at this graffiti is the use of the color of green, which is the most prominent detail in the piece. Thus green is the highlight of my outfit, yet to create a monochrome ensemble one has to pair together different shades. In my case, I have a leafy green sweater with a texture that is somewhat reminiscent of the plant in the photograph, and dark green corduroys. I added the velvet blazer for sophistication, as well as for the purpose of creating a unique palette of textures. The fringe booties only add to this mixture, also giving the outfit an earthy and bohemian feel that stays true to the vibe of the image. Sculptural gold jewelry represents the architectural lines in the graffiti, which are piled together into layers of art, much like my more subtle translation using a combination of two geometric statement necklaces. The rings add femininity and finish off the outfit.

Carven dress, Tsumori Chisato tights, Rough Justice suede heels, Delfina Delettrez circle bangle.

This outfit was centered around the idea of color bursting out of the darkness, like the rainbow flooding out of the gray trees in the street art. To stay true to this inspiration, I chose a neutral dress with elegant draping to represent the trees and their texture. The tights represent the fun and imaginative quality of the wall, and pop out from underneath the neutral dress. The blue heels are a portrayal of the sky and lend elegance to the outfit, contrasting the quirky and cheerful legwear. This bangle is so unusual and creative, just like the graffiti. 

All photographs taken by me.
Matthew Williamson dress, Alexander McQueen leggings, Nicholas Kirkwood booties, Venessa Arizaga bracelets.

This outfit was based on the contrast between feminine colors and the toughness of skulls, represented by the jawbone of the graffiti in the photograph. The dress is colorful, and the drapes represent the "dripping" detail in the image, while the structure of the dress symbolizes how the art is contained by the shape of the object it is painted on. Neutral leggings with an abstract skull pattern add a subtle touch of toughness, which is only added on to by the fierce Nicholas Kirkwood booties. More color is added with neon bracelets, to help portray the fun craziness of this piece of street art.

What do you think of graffiti? Do you think that artistic graffiti and street art is still a bad thing, or a form of self-expression? Which outfit and graffiti pairing is your favorite?
Let me know with a comment! I read every single one.


  1. arrrrghhh, I like this idea. you've got a great way with words too. ^^ Those tights are digustingly wonderful and I want a pair.

  2. You really have an eye for matching real life inspirations with fashion! I love graffiti. The talent and the artwork is amazing. My favorite outfit is the first one. I'm a sucker for blazers and jeans.

  3. It's a cool graffiti!Especially the one at williamsburg northside <3

  4. I love the fact that you've matched clothes with the colors of the graffiti, you did a really good job and the colors are beautiful!

    xoxo, Femke On the Button

  5. First of all - I really like the background of your blog! And second - you're idea with the graffiti is really cool and the outfits are in perfectly match. Interesting blog...colourful indeed ;D

  6. I really love your take on graffiti and fashion. This idea is killer. The color are eye catching. I can not wait to read more.

  7. Love this post! I love seeing fashionistas take inspiration from their surroundings.


  8. I love graffiti like what you've pictured. I think it can be truly inspiring in color schemes, and often the juxtaposition of the graffiti sometimes leaves me wondering if it was intentional or not. Great post!

  9. I love your selections ! It's so beautiful !

  10. great outfits, and good inspiration!


  11. Thanks so much for the comment!! You also have lots of cool outfits!! It would be great!