Mark your diary! : ‘an arched brow, a tilted head, a faint smile’ … The Royal Academy of Arts presents an exhibition on the Renaissance portraitist, Giovanni Battista Moroni


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Giovanni Battista Moroni, is considered by some (myself included!)

to be one of the greatest portrait painters of the Late Renaissance.

Born in Albino near Bergamo, Italy in 1520

Moroni would later train under the tutelage of religious painter

Alessandro Bonvicino, known as “Il Moretto”.

However, it is not for his religious paintings for which Moroni is famed,

but for his penetrating, evocative and emotive portraits.


(images from the

(c) The National Gallery, London; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Portrait of a Young Man with an Inscription, 1560

(c) The National Gallery, London; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

L’Avvocato (The Lawyer)

Portrait of a Man Holding a Letter, 1570

Moroni was masterful at capturing, the unique physical traits of each sitter,

adding further to depicting qualities of individuality in

postures which were natural, genuine, believable.

Enveloped in accomplishing this portrayal of corporeal realism is an added

dimension of psychological factor:  a communicative element

conveyed through the sitter’s demeanor.

(image from

Moroni, Met, Twenty-Nine-Year-Old-Man, 1567, from -320

Portrait of a Twenty-nine Year Old Man, 1567

Moroni is genius at presenting this ‘glimpse’ into presumed thought.

It is the subtlety of enigmatic expressions,

which captivates and invites the viewer to consider

what the sitter may have been thinking

accentuated by: a steady gaze, a raised brow,

a mouth’s curve and contours, a head’s side tilt.

Herein lies the beauty of Moroni’s work, his ability to present portraits

which are of simple composition, yet of complexity for contemplation.

(images from

(c) The National Gallery, London; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Portrait of a Man with Raised Eyebrows, 1570

(images from

moroni, use, the black knight, 1567, from _k

The Black Knight, 1567

Though his portraits are readily recognisable,

Moroni did not have a specific style per se.

Rather than establishing a signature elemental to every painting,

his intent seemed focused on capturing a true essence of each sitter.

moroni, portrait of a gentleman, 1550, wga.huport_gen

Portrait of a Gentleman, 1560

(image from

Moroni, Abbess-Lucrezia-Agliardi-Vertova, 1557,from hyperallergic 320

Portrait of Abbess Lucrezia Agliardi Vertova, 1556

(c) National Galleries of Scotland; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Portrait of the writer, Giovanni Bressani, 1562


He worked mostly in tones of black, grey, browns.

Yet, he was a wonderful colourist,

possessing an appreciative eye for the impact of colour.

It is said that the great artist Titian,

himself renowned as an extraordinary master of colour,

commended Moroni’s work.  This was great praise indeed .


(c) The National Gallery, London; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

La Dama In Rosso, 1556 – 1560

Portrait of a Lady

(image from

Moroni, Portrait of a Gentleman, 1565, from artnet , at Feigen mason5-4-3

Portrait of a Gentleman, 1565

(images from

Moroni, Portrait-of-a-Lttle-Girl of the Redtti Family, 1570, fom hyperallergic -320

Portrait of a Little Girl from the Redetti Family, 1570

(image from

Moroni, the gentlema in pink, 1560 from

Gentleman in Pink, 1560

Most of Moroni’s portraits were of the petty aristocracy and

members of the bourgeoisie families of Bergamo,  whom he

presented in dignified manner.

The paintings also give a rich insight into the fashion of the period:

black as high-status colour, textural material/cloth,

white ruff collars/sleeves, jewel colours, furs and pearls.

Moroni, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bartolommeo Bonghi, 1553,from, Bartolommeo-Bonghi

Bartolommeo Bonghi, 1553

(image from

moroni, antonio navagero, from

Portrait of Antonio Navagero, 1565

The Tailor (Il Tagliapanni)

is the artist’s most celebrated work.

The painting is regarded as the earliest portrait of

an artisan at his labours.  The tailor with instruments of his trade:

a pair of scissors in one hand and a portion of material in the other,

looks out with self- assurance at the viewer.

He exudes a confidence of his skills and accomplishments through

facial expression, body posture and the expensive quality of his own attire.

Everything that speaks to Moroni as a portraitist par excellence is

accomplished in this exquisite painting.

(image from

(c) The National Gallery, London; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The Tailor (Il Tagliapanni), 1565 – 1570

The Royal Academy of the Arts (RAA), London

will host an eagerly awaited exhibition

on the portraiture by Giovanni Battista Moroni.

The show is curated by the RAA’s own Arturo Galansino.

For the first time, many of the paintings will be seen outside of Italy.

This is a show not to be missed.

Giovanni Battista Moroni

Royal Academy of the Arts, London

25 October 2014 – 25 January 2015

For additional details on the exhibition and related lectures/discussions, visit:

Favlook – Lookfav Street Sass Focus: scarf styling for Fall ’14


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Scarf fashion for autumn 2014:  take a cue from a few street style looks

Get inspired!

(image from whowhatwear):

A wrap around

scarf, street styling

(photos by Tommy Tom)

Colour block snuggle

scarf, street styling, a 14

Shoulder wrap

scarf, street styling, a 14

Artfully draped

scarf, street styling, a 14

Of thin, neck-tie proportion

scarf, street styling, a14

One shoulder fun faux fur

scarf, street styling, a 14

Casual flair

scarf, street styling, a14

‘All backwards’

scarf, street styling, a14

(photo from Meoldie Jeng):

Blanket cover

scarf, men, street styling

One thoughtfully done

One thoughtfully left undone

scarf, men, street style,

(photo by Young Jun Koo):

Scarf layering:  added dimension and colour

worn by fashion designer, Haiker Ackermann

scarf, street styling, designer Haider Ackermann, two scrarves worn

(images from

Super chunky with fringe

scarf, men, street style, chunky

To have come full circle

an infinity scarf

scraf, street style, infinity

Favlook – Lookfav Runway Focus: ladies and gents … scarf fashion, ‘all tied up’ for Fall ’14


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A scarf can be that signature clothing accessory

which accentuates a fashion look or mood.

Worn in a variety of ways:


draped nonchalantly over shoulders

wrapped around the neck in series

serving dual purpose as neck wear and head cover

ends tucked in or ends out



a scarf can take centre stage in an outfit ensemble or

play a supporting role as accent piece.

Whatever the fashion brief, make scarf styling

a dress intention for autumn ’14

(images from fashionising):

A few runway inspirations

On the runwaya/w 2014

For the ladies:

from  Harare

up to the ear and super chunky

as partial head cover

scarf fashion, a 14, harare

scarf fashion, harare, a 14

scarf fashion, harare, a 14

from Coven

tightly ‘wound up’, yet flawlessly cool and collected

scarf fashion, coven, a14

scarf fashion, coven, a14

from Milly by Michelle

twist, tuck and loop

scarf fashion, milly by michelle, a 14

scarf fashion, milly by michelle, a 14

from Burberry Prorsum

the long and short of it and belt tucked

 one shoulder draping

scarf fashion, burberry prorsum, a 14

scarf fashion, burberry prorsum, a 14

from Kolor

funnel and peaked

scarf fashion, kolor, a14

from Taiana Miotto

pattern/print , scarf/cape combination

scarf fashion, taiana miotto, a 14

For the gents:

from Agnes b

‘choke hold’

scarf fashion,  men, agnes b, a 14

from Kolor

a simple cowl effect

scarf fashion, men, kolor, a 14

from Melinda Gloss

shoulder cover

the long and short of it

scarf fashion, men melinda gloss, a14

scarf fashion, men, melinda gloss, a14

from Public School

neck brace

scarf fashion, men, public school, a 14

from Sibling

wrapped once with loose ends

faux fur appeal

scarf fashion, men, sibling, a14

scaf fashion, men, sibling a14

Window dressing: mannequins on display


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High street shops have visual merchandising teams whose

function is to create eye-catching, arresting

window and in-store displays, which tantalize and mesmerize.

The brief:  the window display-  to lure potential shoppers to stroll into store;

the in-store display-  to captivate their attention … literally.

The goal is to keep shoppers as ‘captive audience’ and

encourage a mind set of buy, buy and buy some more.

The result:  It works! Sometimes, it works very well indeed

especially if other elements such as excellent service, products, policies

contribute to a good customer experience.

As the holiday season approaches, the universal display theme

will be fixed firmly on images of the festive season:

Santa and snowmen; bows and baubles.

Before the onslaught of this singular focus,

take a brief visual walk-about of a few mannequin on show.

(photos by meappropriatestyle):

Window shop stroll

 mannequin, H & M, yarn heads and hands

mannequin display, H & M, yarn heads and handsIn stitches:  knit heads and hands

In-store display:  H & M


mannequin display, COS, translucnet forms


Translucent bodies

In-store display:  COS


mannequin, Miss Sixty, headless, photo of woman wearing display dress


Don’t lose your head over it!

with large scale photo in view for clarification

Window display:  Miss Sixty


mannequin, abstract, elongated neck, turban

An elegant, elongated neck



mannequin, wire forms, monki


Scaffolded head set

In-store display:  Monki



mannequin, window display, hanger/hook, scotch and soda

Held in place and Hooked on end

Window display:  Scotch and Soda


mannequin, monseuir london accessories, wood/ from the chest up

From the waist up

Window display:  Monsieur London

mannequin, bolangaro trevor, marionette figures


Marionette arms and hands

Window display:  Bolongaro Trevor



mannequin, hawkes and curtis, headless, from chest up, with props - bike


In suspension

Window display:  Hawes and Curtis


mannequin, red woman form, undressed, posed, kurt geigermannequin, red female form, side view posed, basket of apples, seduction/sinful, kurt gieger

Red is seduction

Lady in red?  No, the lady is red.

Display:  Kurt Geiger

Favlook – Lookfav Focus: the sleeveless coat


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As the autumnal chill sets in,

 a signal that the deep cold of

winter is not far behind,

it is time to consider

an inter-seasonal outerwear option.

The requirements:

an on-point, versatile outerwear statement maker

an autumn to winter transitional item

easy to style with other wardrobe pieces

 loose fit for layering choices

 unique details

  options for the ladies and the gents

The solution:

Et voila, the sleeveless coat!

Ticking all of the above and more.

Wear it ‘to bare arms’ or with sleeves.

A few choices to consider:

(images from

rachel comey, sleeveles coat, large front pockets,

classic tailoring, large front pockets, shawl lapel

from Rachel Comey

rachel comey, sleeveless coat, plaid

bold check print, styled with on trend culottes

from Rachel Comey

(image from

Zambesi, sleeveless coat,

single neck closure

slit front, inverted ‘V’ opening

deep side pockets

worn ‘to bare arms’

from New Zealand label Zambesi

(image from

MSGM, sleeveless coat, textured

duck egg blue, double breast

textured, ombre detail

from MSGM


isabel marant, sleeveless coat, grey

black, single button closure, tactile fabrication

from Isabel Marant

(image from

rick owens, men, sleeveless coat

For the gents:

hidden button panel, up-collared

geometric detailing from ombre colour shading

A strong look!

from Rick Owens

(image from

warehouse, sleeveless coat, grey, cocoon shape

charcoal grey, cocoon shape, drop shoulder

from Warehouse

(image from

marni, sleeveless coat, hood, faux fur, leather trim

faux fur,  hood

leather trim to button panel and pockets

from Marni

(image from farfetch):

marni, sleeveles coat, leather


ribbed detail to collar, arm, hem

from Marni

(image from

asos, sleeveless coat, grey, trench

grey trench, off-centre button closure, front flaps

from ASOS

It’s countdown time: less than a month to go before the capsule collection from designer Alexander Wang hits H & M stores!


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Fashion wunderkind Alexander Wang can boast a superlative C.V.


In a nutshell:  Highlights (to date)

Born in 1983,  San Francisco born Wang knew

from an early age that he wanted to design.

At age 19:  started a fashion course at NYC’s famed

Parsons New School of Design

At age 21:  he launched his own label (That was quick!)

At age 22:  he presented his first collection

At age 23:  he won the Vogue Fashion Fund, which assisted to

finance his business


At age 25:  he was awarded the  Swarovski Award for Womenswear from

the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)

At age 27:  he was hailed Best New Menswear Designer by American GQ

At age 28:  he is named Creative Director of French label, Balenciaga


CFDA president, Diane von Furstenberg befittingly calls him a “star”.


And now, before his 30th birthday (26 December)

his enthusiastically anticipated capsule collaboration

with high street giant H & M,

will be in stores on 6 November 2014.


(image from

 alexander wang, h & m, image


Wang is the newest member of the Swedish multinational clothing company’s

design collaboration family.  In recent years, H & M has partnered with

Marni, Isabel Marant, Stella McCartney and Karl Lagerfield among others.




Everything is still a bit under wraps and still a bit hush hush.

What is known:

the collection is sports wear focused

with signature Wang urban street vibe

includes womenswear/menswear pieces

lots of black, lots of leather

and the Wang logo in prominence.

A Sneak Peek

Alexander Wang   -X-  H&M

November, 2014

(images from

alexander wang, h and m, sneak peek

alexander wang, h and m, womens, sneak peek

(image from

alexander Wang, H and M, capsule,me

Mark your diary!

His own words: in conversation with the artist Anselm Kiefer


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In October, 2006

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) presented

an ‘in conversation with’ abstract artist: the painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer

to discuss his views on being an artist and

the factors which influence his art.

(image from

anselm Kiefer, in conversation with, SFMOMA

At SFMOMA:  in conversation with

Anselm Kiefer

Listen/Watch:  Anselm Kiefer, in his own words:


On being an artist

Influencing factors:  mythology and the human experience”


Concrete constructions: La Ribaute, the ‘studio place’ of artist Anselm Kiefer


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Historical referencing plays an integral role in the work

of German artist Anselm Kiefer; more pointedly the ‘starring role’.

History is intimately entwined in his creations.  It is the foundation,

the essence of the what he hopes to communicate.

Kiefer seems intrigued with the idea of history as a means

for discovery and uncovering:  of self, of the past, of the possibilities.



Even as a child, he seemed taken with the idea of preserving the

past, a history, to be later discovered/ uncovered

for critical review and revision.



“I would dig tunnels in the garden, put drawings in them and bury them.

You can see this at Barjac on a bigger scale.”

Anselm Kiefer

(quote from the


Barjac is a Renaissance town in southern France

It is the location of the Anselm Kiefer’s studio complex-

La Ribaute

The idea of discovering/uncovering and then creating beauty and function from

debris and ruin is manifested in the style and construction of La Ribaute,

Kiefer’s elaborate 200 acre studio complex situated

near the historic town of Barjac, France.

True to Kiefer’s method of creating things in grand proportions

La Ribaute is a more than simply a work space.

It is an incredible work place:   leaning towers of stacked concrete blocks,

multiple barns, an impressive greenhouse storage structure,

outer building structures and ‘things’ just lying about.

(image from

anselm kiefer, La Ribaute, studio complex

Sweeping view of La Ribaute

The complex looks as one would expect of Kiefer:

a construction from destruction,

a strange juxtaposition of chaos and order,

a weird and compelling beauty

a mix of past and present:

the past in form-  reminiscent of ruins, fragments from antiquity

the present in materials-  concrete, metal

“When you have ruins you can start again.”

Anselm Kiefer

La Ribaute:  the complex

The grounds

(image from

anselm kiefer, studio complex, grounds

(image from the guardian):

anselm kiefer, stuido, buildings


Interior spaces

(image from

anselm kiefer, studio complex, interior

(image from

anselm kiefer, studio interior

The greenhouse

(image from

anselm kiefer, studio, greenshouse


  anselm kiefer, studio, greenshouse

(image from

Anselm Kiefer

Things just lying about

(image from

anselm kiefer, studio, plane

(image from

anselm kiefer, studio complex, things lying about



“The only method to be not in the world, but outside of the world is to be an artist”: the genius of Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy of Arts – London


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Abstract artist:  the painter and sculptor

Anselm Kiefer was born in Donaueschingen, Germany 1945-

the year World War II finally ended.

He was raised in a war- torn, war – ravaged country,

surrounded by rumble, debris, chaos and destruction:

remnants of the aftermath of war.

On his childhood, he once said in interview:

“I would build little houses with bricks from bombed buildings.”



(image from

anselm kiefer, photo

Anselm Kiefer

This environment of ruin, left an indelible mark

which would later translate into the language of his art work.


(images from

anselm kiefer, maikafer flieg

Maikafer flieg, 1974

anselm kiefer, painting, wolundlied, 1982

 Wolundlied, 1982

(image from grandpalais-fr):

anselm kiefer, installation grand palais paris, 2007


Installation art at the Grand Palais (Paris), 2007

(image from

anselm kiefer, sunflowers, 1996

Sunflowers, 1996

Kiefer’s creations seek to interpret his perception of

of history, mythology and poetry as modifiers

of the human experience.

His body of work addresses the personal:

the destroyed physical surroundings of his childhood town

and the collective:  the sum of a culture seemingly consigned

to definition by a single, evil element-

Nazi usurpation of the German identity.

Elements of Kiefer’s art seek to reclaim the German artistic output

from Nazi association.


(image from

anselm kiefer, man under a pyramid, 1999

Man Under a Pyramid, 1999

(image from

anselm kiefer, painting, order of the night, 1996

Order of the Night, 1996

Executed on a grand scale in attitude and actual proportions, his pieces

be it painting, sculpture, installation are emotive, psychological, arresting,

disturbing and dark.   He uses a variety of materials:  sand, straw, lead,

boulders, newspapers, photographers, photo reels, books, paper

and whatever else is at hand.

This appears poignantly reminiscent of the boy Anselm,

who built “little houses” from salvaged bits of wreckage.


(images from

anselm kiefer, painiting, interior, 1981

Interior, 1981

anselm kiefer, painting, nothung, 1973

Nothung, 1973

Kiefer finds inspiration not only from his personal childhood recollections

and grievous moments of German history, but also he is influenced by

a profound interest in the cosmos and humankind’s place in it.

The writings of his favourite poets too find expression in his art.

His thick application of paint to canvas is akin to Impressionists artists,

in particular Vincent Van Gogh, whom Kiefer greatly admired.

(image from

anselm kiefer, black flakes, 2006

Black Flakes, 2006

Though Kiefer’s art seems at first glance an assortment of

the dark and gloomy and more of the same,

there is a sense of a sentiment of rebirth.

There is this architectural element to his pieces;

a layering, a building, a stacking.

There is a feeling that from destruction there is construction:

that there exists a possibility of new beginnings,

that there is always a glimmer of hope,

however faint.

anselm kiefer, sprache der vogel, entrance to exhibit, RAA 2014

Sprache der Vogel

Located in the foyer of the exhibition space

Royal Academy of Arts, 2014

anselm kiefer, installart art, RAA 2014

Ages of the World

Installation art, Royal Academy of Art, 2014

The Royal Academy of Art presents

Anselm Kiefer

until 14 December 2014


The exhibition boasts two works of

installation, created in situ by the artist.

Note to self: Take a break! Create a work of desktop art


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Studies indicate that in order to maximise productivity,

intermittent 10 -15 minute breaks

should be scheduled into the work day.

These breaks allow the brain to rest,  recharge

and essentially get ‘revved-up ready’ for the next

interval of concentrated / focused work assignments.

In order to be effective, these breaks should include an activity

which is totally non-work related, pleasant and enjoyable:

going for a walk, reading literature/fun magazine article, listening to music

and may I suggest-  creating a work of abstract art.

Be inspired!

Release your inner Joan Mitchell

(American abstract, expressionist painter)

(images from

abstract painting, joan mitchell, 1957


abstract painting, joan mitchell, 1989

River (1989)

Express your contemplative Wassily Kandinsky

(Russian abstract artist / art theorist)

(images / citation from

“In his seminal 1912 publication Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Wasily Kandinsky advocated an art that could move beyond imitation of the physical world, inspiring, as he put it, “vibrations in the soul.”

kandinsky painting: yellow, red , blue 1925

Yellow, Red, Blue (1925)

kandinsky painting, imorvisation 31(sea battle) 1931

Improvisation 31, Sea Battle (1913)

Now, have a bit of fun!

1.  Click on the link

2.  A blank page will appear

3.  Click on your mouse / pad

     to start a colour flow, to introduce a new colour

4.  Use your mouse / pad to navigate the page,

     to create shapes / forms of varying dimensions



Okay, now back to work!


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