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When I try to make personal style make sense to others, I often compare it to art. Fashion is a form of art, just a different medium, and many designers are inspired by art. You can admire Monet’s work without wanting to hang it on your wall, you can see the skill in a Renoir without him being your favorite painter… the same holds true for fashion and trends. And a good way to know what you like in regard to colors, textures, and silhouettes is to look at what appeals to you with art. Art and fashion truly go hand in hand, and so when I found Ariel Maile Adkins’ fashion blog I fell in love.
“‘One should either be a work of Art, or wear a work of Art.' This quote from Oscar Wilde describes my life's pursuit–to express my artistic obsession from head to shoes.”
– Ariel Maile Adkins
Ariel is the blogger behind Artfully Aware, one of the most addictive fashion blogs I have encountered over the years. Ariel uses works of art to inspire her outfits, and with each post is a mini art history lesson on the piece and the artist. I love when I see a new post and try to guess the artist just on her outfit.
“When in need of inspiration, I usually turn to an art book before a fashion magazine, because there are so many ways to interpret art via clothing, and I am able to combine the two things that I love!”
– Ariel Maile Adkins (source)
Ariel wrote her thesis on “Clothing as a Cultural Medium in Contemporary Art,” (source) and attended FIT; her expertise in this subject shines in every blog post, and how she effortlessly connects her daily ensemble to her passion for art. She helps me see more not only into the clothes I choose to purchase or wear, but the art I love (and the artists I didn’t know of and now love and/or respect).
Not only does Ariel have an amazing mind full of art and art history, but she has such a zest for life. Her pictures show not only her creative and fabulous style, but her spirit and enthusiasm for life. She’d rather have a picture of her twirling with hair in her face than one of her posed just show to flatter her figure. By doing this, the clothes and Ariel look even more fabulous and draw you into Artfully Awear.
Ariel is a True Fashionista, a woman who wears fashion and never lets it wear her, who sees fashion as a way to express herself and her interests. She knows her body, her mind, her heart and chooses fashion to represent it properly. As with all other True Fashionistas, I asked Ariel to answer the same five questions, here are her answers.
How would you describe your personal style?
The most important thing to me is expressing my love for art through what I wear. Bright colors, prints, embellishments, structural details: these are all things that I wear that reflect my appreciation for art.
Where did you get your passion for fashion?
My mother had a beautiful sense of style which was based on her understanding of color and form as an artist. She encouraged me to express myself artistically and ultimately inspired me to do so through what I wear.
Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
I try to surround myself with visually compelling things; namely art of all different media, genres, and eras. I maintain inspiration by seeking out as much art as possible in my daily life; by visiting museums and galleries, reading books and blogs, and absorbing what I see on the street.
What is the difference between fashion and style?
Fashion is determined by trends, i.e. what is “in vogue”. Style is a reflection of oneself.
Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
Determine what inspires you the most and try to find a way to translate that enthusiasm into your wardrobe.
The purpose of the Friday True Fashionista series is to show women who use clothing to express their personal style. Each woman has a different, unique look and opinion on clothing and fashion. These women inspire me in my clothing choices, and possibly their bold sartorial statements will inspire you. Stay tuned, there will be a featured True Fashionista every Friday for the next few weeks. And if you know of a True Fashionista in your life, tell us about her in the comments!