A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail containing an invitation to view a new collection at the art gallery called .M Contemporary. I had no idea of how they came in possession of my e-mail address but the invitation sounded rather nice, snippets of the artist’s work looked rather promising and even though we were not hunting for any art at the moment, we thought it would do us no harm to attend.
The work was of a South African artist, Michael Taylor, and my husband who is also from Cape Town was quite interested to see his painting and so we accepted.
I cannot say that I have been to many openings during my life and have never circulated in art circles but somehow I felt that some sort of an unwritten dress code was expected from the attendees. Due to my lack of exposure to this world, I was not quite sure what dress-code is required for such an occasion but I had a hunch that staying away from denim and sneakers would be a good idea. I also didn’t want to look like I was trying too hard and so I opted for the world best known, all-time favourite, “cannot do wrong” every respectable woman’s staple – a black dress.
Ever since my daughter came from holiday in Europe and showed me some clothes she had bought from the store called Cos, I wanted to have some of it. A quick visit to their web site revealed that unfortunately they were not shipping to Australia. Until one day, they just came over to OZ and opened their store first in the Sydney CBD and later on in our local Westfield Shopping Centre.
Their clothes remind me a little bit of a Calvin Klein style: minimalistic, monochromatic with clean simple lines and understated elegance. And because of its “simplicity”, almost every piece on the rack is boundlessly versatile and with a little help from certain accessories can be easily transformed from the office attire into a night-out outfit.
My first purchase from them was the above mentioned black tunic dress. It looked quite simple when I picked it up off the rack with very little detailing except for two hidden side pockets and a thin white trim running along the seams but that is what attracted me to it.
Having such a simple silhouette as a blank canvas presents a lot of options on how this dress can be worn, depending on the occasion, the time of the day and the style of my look. And once that is established, all it takes is to choose the right shoes, handbag and accessories.
ACCESSORIES HAVE THE POWER TO TRANSFORM YOUR LOOK DRASTICALLY WITH MINIMAL EFFORT
Going back to my story, I was after the style that could be described as subdued bohemian chic that I thought would quite suit the occasion and for that reason I chose a monochromatic black and white palette. Using a scarf with huge black and white dots all over it as a necklace, I wrapped it around my neck so it looked like a collar and to match it, I put on an oversized cuff bracelet in white with a random black ink dots pattern (seen here).
Short blocked heel boots (seen here) added some edgy feel to my look and a long black coat completed the look but when I checked myself in the mirror, I felt that my outfit looked rather sombre for the occasion, so I decided to add an element of fun to it by mixing up different patterns and swapped the black coat for a knee high one in animal black and white print.
Boots: Bianca Buccheri
Coat: Jane Lamerton
Scarf: High Tea with Mrs Woo
Cuff: Dinosaur Designs
And so we went. As quite often happens in life, when you don’t know what to expect, you end up having a great time. We thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition, the hostess was most gracious, we met a bunch of interesting people and we felt like we belonged. We also like a couple of artworks by the other artists on display and I have a feeling that my husband is planning to get one for our upcoming wedding anniversary. Time will tell. It is in July so I will keep you informed.
Have you experienced a similar situation when you were invited to an affair out of your usual environment? And how did you handle it?