Still Life with Oranges

Life’s been a bit tough lately, so I decided to pause and just dedicate a whole entire day to having fun. I had a “fake birthday,” or, a “unbirthday.” It was an absolute thrill. I had the opportunity to enjoy the day with the same silly enthusiasm that I would if it were my birthday.

I decided to wear a cheerful outfit, so I opted for the oranges Jenny skirt and the dark green voodoo vixen top from Pinup Girl Clothing. I was particularly influenced by Paul Gauguin’s painting, Still Life with Oranges from 1881.

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Paul Gauguin was primarily known for his stunning use of color and as a key member of Symbolism and Synthesism. He’s also known for his paintings during his years in Tahiti and short period of time in Martinique. His style moved away from Impressionism, but in many of his early works were displayed in Impressionist exhibitions.

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Paul Gauguin, Still Life with Oranges, 1881. Oil on canvas.

Impressionism was a break the academic form of painting, and a rejection of lines, contours, and painting in the studio. Impressionists primarily painted en plein air, with visible brush strokes and brightly contrasting colors. While it is highly unlikely that Still Life with Oranges was painted outside of a studio, the visible strokes and the bright contrasting colors are elements of Impressionism and Guaguin’s early works. Impressionists looked at life in a completely different light, choosing to depict the candid moments, the immediacy, and colors of daily life. In a sense, I needed that Impressionist mentality on my “unbirthday.” I wanted to concentrate on the candid moments of life; I wanted to live in the immediacy of life, soak in all the fun and just let go.

In still life paintings, the aesthetic qualities of a painting take precedence over anything else, putting more attention on the details of items that usually are in the background of larger compositions with human subjects. Still life paintings, particularly from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, usually held religious or symbolic meanings and depicted fruits, vegetables, game, and manmade objects.

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Like many others, I missed out on purchasing this skirt the first time around so I waited patiently impatiently for its release…with pockets! Because of the orange border, I did not hem this skirt so I won’t ruin the print. I paired it with my white Cosette petticoat from Malco Modes for a little bit of volume. Since it’s so hot in Los Angeles currently, the Cosette is perfect as it is light and breathable, but still provides 2 layers of fullness.

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The skirt has a rich shade of green, bright orange, and a beautiful yellow. Strangely enough, I noticed that in photos the skirt’s colors look brighter than they are in person – almost neon. It must be the way that the camera picks up the colors, or the way that they lok on the pure white background of the skirt. I wanted my top to match the green leaves of the skirt (until PUG comes out with an orange colored peasant top), so I wore the dark green voodoo vixen top. I have this top in both a small and a medium. Medium is definitely a bit larger, but I wear it when I want to cross the straps from the front. When I want the straps crossed in the back, I go for my small VV tops.

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I also wore my favorite brooch which has an emerald green background and a gold cicada. Since the green almost perfectly matched the top, the gold cicada was more prominent, which was done intentionally.

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I matched with my soft pink wicker purse from Pinup Couture, which is possibly one of my favorite purses now. It is so spacious inside and the closure tab makes sure that the purse stays shut. It’s cute, compact, and very stylish. Although there isn’t any pink in my outfit to match my purse, I thought it was a good color to help break away from making my whole outfit too color coordinated.

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I also wore my vintage gold earrings from Armenia, white I estimate dates back to the 1960s. I usually don’t like the 2 chambered heart (I prefer anatomical hearts), but these earrings are  so beautiful and unique. I’m also glad I have such a special piece in my vintage collection, gifted to me by my grandmother.

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I’m glad I took the day and celebrated my “unbirthday,” particularly with this beautiful skirt. It was so necessary!

Outfit Details:
Shoes: Chelsea Crew from ModCloth
Earrings: VIntage
Literally everything else: Pinup Girl Clothing

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One thought on “Still Life with Oranges

  1. Emily says:

    Your take on the impressionist philosophy is totally inspiring! I love seeing how you connect the ideas behind the art to a mode of living and dressing. This outfit is absolutely perfect, and I’m so glad your unbirthday turned out fabulous — you deserve it!

    <3!

    Like

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