SIA: Primavera

It’s time for another SIA challenge, and the inspiration is the sculpture “Primavera” by Cuban artist Rafael San Juan:

We have a good mix of outfits, so let’s get started! First up is Nancy, who is back with a combination of “soft” and “strong” between her pleated skirt and knitted sweater. The sweater’s shoulders are even ripped, sort of like the statue:

Up next is Mike, who took inspiration from the title of the statue rather than the statue itself. As long as it works, I say:

Our co-host Jen goes above and beyond as usual, starting with the color (brown/bronze/green) and finishing with the hard lines vs. soft curves in her accessories, outfit, outerwear, and background:

Our co-host Erin also chose a brown-black-blue color pallette, and her poncho is to reflect the lines and the deconstructed aspect of the statue:

Finally, here’s me. It’s interesting that we all went with green/blue in our outfits – is it because of the background in my photo?

And that wraps up another fun SIA challenge. It’s Erin’s turn to host next week, and don’t forget to check on Monday to see what she picks!


Blue Spring

For this week’s SIA, inspired by the “Primavera” sculpture by Cuban artist Rafael San Juan, I knew that I wasn’t going to be literal about it, only that I was going to wear my leather jacket – it’s my go-to “edgy” piece. But then I remembered that I do have a butterfly-printed shirt (well, bird-and-butterfly), which is perfect for the butterfly crown of the statue. I topped it off with my copper flower brooch because it looks kinda similar to the material of the statue, and thus, my oufit is complete. As it turns out, it’s a more literal interpretation than I’d expected, but that’s not a bad thing at all.

You still have until tomorrow to send me your outfits if you haven’t already, and don’t forget to come back on Wednesday for the round-up post!

SIA Inspiration: Rafael San Juan

It’s again my turn to curate SIA, and here’s my pick:

This striking sculpture is called “Primavera” (Spring), and it’s installed on the Malecón, the seafront drive of Havana, for the city’s 12th Biennial of Arts in 2015. Made from recycled steel and inspired by the movements of the Cuban ballet dancers, it is to honor the strength and spirit of Cuban women. My friend and I saw it on our last day in Havana, and it struck me as the perfect choice for SIA, since it is appropriate for both International Women’s Month and the spring season. Plus, it allows for a wider range of interpretation – there is no color scheme to adhere to, while the contrast between the hardness of the material and the softness of the curves and the butterflies would also be interesting to interpret in an outfit.

You can learn more about the sculpture and see more photos of it in this article and this interview of the artist. Don’t forget to send me your outfits by next Tuesday, March 20th. Enjoy!


I’m back from my Cuba trip! There are a massive amount of photos to sort through, and I’m still recovering from the looooong flights, but rest assure that there will be a lot of travel posts in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, here is a teaser and an SIA post, all in one.

Before I left for my trip, I asked Jen to send me the inspiration for the upcoming challenge so I could plan ahead. The inspiration, which is the portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle and her cousin Elizabeth Murray, turns out to be perfect, as I was traveling with a friend, so I decided to recreate the painting if we could.

We finally got a chance to take the photo at our casa (homestay) in Trinidad, as it has a nice little cove with plants and chairs. There wasn’t a plate of fruit for us to use as props, so we had to make do with an ashtray, but it looks pretty close, doesn’t it? Here are some more photos of my full outfit during our sightseeing of the town:

Don’t forget to check Jen’s blog for the full round-up on Wednesday!

SIA Inspiration: Belle

For this week’s SIA, Jen picked a painting I’m quite familiar with – the 1779 portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle and her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray, by an unknown artist (formerly attributed to Johann Zoffany):

I have reviewed the movie about Dido’s life before, and the painting (slightly altered for the movie) is a pretty important plot point. It is one of the first European portraits to have a black subject on an equal eye-line to a white aristocrat, and as it features two women, one a woman of color, Jen thought it would be an appropriate pick for March, International Women’s Month. The movie “Belle” was also written and directed by two women of color, Misan Sagay (the writer) and Amma Asante (the director), so it’s all very fitting.

I’m still traveling now, but I will try to see if I can put together an outfit from my suitcase. I’m also traveling with a friend, so maybe I can persuade her to recreate the actual painting with me! That would be fun, wouldn’t it? We’ll see. In the meantime, don’t forget to put together an outfit of your own and send it to Jen ( by next Tuesday, March 6th!


Snowed Bean

For this week’s SIA, inspired by a photo of the Chicago Bean covered in snow, I was going to go all gray with black and white touches, but the result outfit looked too dull. It didn’t help that my gray jeans don’t really go well with these boots. So I had to scrap it and start again, keeping the leather jacket and black boots, but switched my gray sweater for a white one (for snow) and my gray jeans for the light-blue pair. The result may not be as close to the inspiration as I’d like, but I much prefer this outfit. And it’s still all neutral colors, so it’s not too bad, right?

SIA Inspiration: The Bean In Snow

For this week’s SIA inspiration, Erin picked a Chicago landmark – The Bean. More exactly, The Bean covered in snow, because that’s what the weather is like in Chicago right now:

Yes, I know it’s technically called Cloud Gate, but ever since I found out it’s the work of Anish Kapoor, the elitist a**hole who bought the rights to Vantablack (aka the blackest black that ever blacked) and wouldn’t let any other human being use it (you can read more about the whole thing here), and that he hates it when people call it The Bean, I make it a point to never call it by any other name. Because look at it. It’s a Bean.

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. This is our inspiration this week, and although I don’t envy Erin one bit, I think it’s super cool and the neutral colors are right up my alley. Don’t forget to send Erin ( by next Tuesday, February 20th. Have fun!