This is Christy Roberts, an artist I recently met at a good friend’s MFA thesis show in Claremont, California. I was in a crowded gallery when I spotted her glancing over her shoulder, and I instantly thought of a movie still from the 1940’s or 1950’s. The angle of her face, and combination of rosy skin, Kewpie-ish red lips, and almond eyes has a sharpness and elegance that was commonly seen in film actresses of that time. And it didn’t hurt that such a look translated so seamlessly to the black and white film of the day.
We were introduced, so I had to launch into a discussion of glamour, the satisfaction of personal style and her cool red clutch, which happened to match her lipstick. Here are some takeaways:
- Careful, bold touches of makeup on the face is visually softened by a bun with loose strands. Think about ways you can try out this yin-yang approach in your style, contrasting a neatly coiffed head of hair with a light, almost invisible, touch of makeup on the face. Or a bit of strategic tousle in the hair and wardrobe to relax an artfully made up face.
- Good style is essentially the sum of a bunch of little details and notes, all balanced and blended. See above, the streak of mermaid green in her hair that gives a mod, au courant shot to other classic female details (red lipstick, neck-tie blouse, clutch, etc).
- Translate everyday inspirations to your figure and personal style. Christy mentioned she had recently seen a German movie where the female lead wore a tie-neck blouse, and she liked the look. She said, however, that she would normally never wear a tie-neck blouse because it adds too much bulk at the neckline and by, extension, the upper body, for her liking. But this particular one works because the fabric is super thin, and the gauzy and sheer-ishnesh of the blouse creates a light look.
- The clutch used to belong to her mother, and its nice color match with her lipstick was very much by design. (The style is in the details, remember.) The clutch is vintage, made by some fantastic 1970’s designer like Halston, though I had a glass or three of wine, so I can’t be certain. I do recall that the total cost of her ensemble, there was a leather jacket involved, was about $100, which makes it even more practical glamour.
- I think being a trained artist gives one distinct style advantages, like an understanding of color and a tune-in to visual details. These are essentials when thinking about and constructing one’s presentation (which is clothes, yes—but also cosmetics, grooming, accessories and, of course, movement, manner and communication).
End note: Christy Roberts’ artwork can be found on Tumblr here. And there is ice involved.