6 Paintings to Inspire Your Next Look

Photo from nga.gov

The style advice you never knew you needed. Here at VALLEY, you can always expect to find new ways to explore your individuality and further develop your essence of beauty and fashion. If you’ve been feeling like your personal sense of style has been at a standstill or you’re caught between what’s trendy and what’s not, these paintings will be sure to generate some inspiration!

The Bridge at Argenteuil by Claude Monet
Photo from nga.gov

How could Claude Monet not be included? That would be simply sacrilegious. Monet’s famous impressionist style serves as the perfect place to get a sense of how to embed color into makeup and clothes. This rendition could be a twist on the trending style of the “coastal granddaughter/grandmother”.

VALLEY’s Recommendations
  • Monochrome cool toned eyeshadow on the lid, such as:
Photo from pinterest.com

The theme here for fashion is neutrality, with pops of color to emphasize the eye and keep everything else natural.

  • Jeans. Light blue denim is the perfect way to emulate the coastal vibe, and they are so easy to dress up. Baggy and wide leg jeans variations is the style recommended. VALLEY’s favorite brands include Levi’s, GAP and Abercrombie. Thrifted jeans is also a great way to find affordable and looser fitting jeans!
  • White, beige, taupe and sage will be your best friend. Try to look for flowy, linen material that is breathable and loose.
  • Silver jewelry, to add some flair and classiness. Keep the jewelry minimal, however, as adding extra details should be for the sake of maintaining simplicity.
The Love Letter by Jean Honoré Fragonard
Photo from metmuseum.org

This one goes out to all to the full glam connoisseurs. This painting from the 18th century was made during the Rococo era, which means this is your excuse to go all out. Rococo adorns femininity and ornate detailing, romanticizing all pleasures in life.

VALLEY’s Recommendations
  • Corsets. The beauty about corsets is that since it goes back to the literal beginning of fashion, there are so many types to choose from. VALLEY recommends looking at vintage made or vintage inspired corsets to get the Rococo effect. Thrift shops, second-hand stores and small businesses are the perfect place to look. If you want to shop on a budget, Amazon also has a wide variety.
  • Jewelry. The style of jewelry to look for is primarily gold. Dainty necklaces, such as this chain from Mejuri, is the perfect accessory without being too overbearing.
  • Glitter. Don’t be afraid to use it. Glittery eyelids and glitter on the lips adds the feminine element of Rococo.
Photo from pinterest.com

Decadent, fun and eye-catching.

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer
Photo from magazine.artland.com

Enter the Baroque era. This time period in art is characterized by asymmetry, dramatic imagery and muted, dark colors. “Girl with a Pearl Earringis one of the most recognizable pieces from Baroque, and you can be her by incorporating these ideas into your style.

VALLEY’s Recommendations
  • Pearl earrings. Sorry to point out the obvious, but pearl earrings are a timeless piece of jewelry that you can never go wrong wearing. Try these by Madewell, which also include some gold that compliments the colors of the Baroque era.
  • Deep reds, blacks, blues and greens. Think of yourself as sitting in a medieval church and you are the hottest one there.
  • Simple, clean makeup. Try a “no makeup makeup” look (this tutorial by lanagee is a good start for subtle enhancements) and let the clothes and accessories stand out. Baroque is both subtle and bold.
Venus and Mars by Sandro Botticelli
Photo from christopherpjones.medium.com

A true Renaissance classic. For those who were waiting for the Renaissance, here is a lesser known painting that beautifully encompasses this era by one of the most famous painters of the time. As the Renaissance celebrated radical ideas in thought and philosophies, let your style do the same.

VALLEY’s Recommendations
  • Antiquity. Not only is the Renaissance itself antique now, but the era itself thrived in antique notions. Greek Mythology was a sought out subject matter because its reality was so far removed in real life that a piece of fantasy was like a childlike dream. Invest in pastels of greens, blues and pinks to emulate that dreamy desire.
  • Soft glam. Soft glam fits the Renaissance era beautifully. VALLEY loves this makeup by tutorial by YouTuber Madison Sarah (side note: isn’t Bella Hadid the embodiment of a Renaissance woman?). Try adding some heavier blush and pinks to the look for more warmth to the face.
  • Dresses. This is the time to whip out the beautiful dresses sitting in the back of your closet. Look for dresses that are tight on the top and flow at the bottom, as there are so many variations of this. VALLEY is obsessed with this dress by Vanessa Mooney that adds a modern twist to corset dresses!
The She Wolf by Jackson Pollock
Photo from jackson-pollock.org

Abstract art — the era of art that had people confused, vexed and exhilarated. Jackson Pollock is one of the faces of the era and the reason people say, “my 5 year old could paint that.” Abstract art made people feel a variety of contrasting opinions because it made no sense and it was unlike anything the art world has seen before. Abstract art could be your gateway to eclectic and maximalism expression.

VALLEY’s Recommendations
  • Go crazy, to put it simply. Abstract is what you make it. TikTok influencers Clara Perlmutter and Myra Magdalen are good examples of incorporating multifarious pieces together to create cohesive, eccentric looks.
  • Vibrancy. Looking at collections of abstract art, bright colors dominate the canvas. Pop some bright colored eyeshadow and lipstick in your makeup routine — don’t be afraid to go overboard, as there is no such thing.
  • Enunciate everything. Tall platform shoes, oversized pants, shirts and jackets, voluminous hair and anything else that falls in between. From head to toe, every part of your look can stand on its own.
The Painter’s Studio by Gustave Courbet
Photo from smarthistory.org

The last contender was born during the realism era. Realism depicts sorrow and stark truth. Gustave Courbet was controversial during realism for depicting raw emotions in daily activities, and at that time it was taboo to show suffering in such a light when things like working were supposed to be celebrated, not condemned. Using elements of realism is a great way to express vulnerability of the human condition with your personal style.

VALLEY’s Recommendations
  • Serious realness. Drape yourself in muted grey and black tones to really get that look of mourning. Business casual pants, button ups and blazers in a regular setting is a good way to look both mysterious and put together. Banana Republic has a wide selection of high quality business attire that won’t break the bank.
  • Dark academia. Emulate Donna Tart’s “The Secret History” as if you are holding the secrets of the universe. Realism is more about the vibe you want to achieve and the symbolism incorporated into hair, clothes and makeup.
  • Bold makeup. Emphasis the eyes by smudging eyeshadow on the waterline to make the eyes look piercing and introspective. Selena Gomez does it beautifully here:
Photo pinterest.com

Does she not look like she’s staring into your soul? That’s the vibe you want to achieve.

Want to implement more art history into your wardrobe? Tweet us @VALLEYmag on Twitter to get more fashion and makeup advice!


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