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Monday 25 June 2012

Neutrals in overdrive (or my Clint Eastwood impression)

You know how much I love pattern mixing and loud florals lately... Well on Friday I needed something calmer, something quiet but with a big stick, er, handbag. This is what I chose and what I am including in Patti's wonderful Visible Monday get together.

My expression in this photo reminds me of Clint Eastwood - "Make my day, punk," she coos as she catwalks the city streets, swinging her oversized vinyl handbag menacingly at her side. This face is close to the rocker bad-girl face I was striving for with comic results the other day. To achieve it, all I had to do was "think chic." What does that mean?!...

I had forgotten the power of this hat. It is a light-knit cotton hat, very flimsy in fact, but the brim has stiff ribbing in the brim that maintains the strict shape. It was still cool outside so I had to wear my wool wrap too. 

Details of the outfit:
  • side zip Capris, thrifted, Value Village years ago
  • wool wrap, Eatons closing sale(?), years ago
  • stretch shoe with wicked kitten heels, new several summers ago
  • large black vinyl handbag, hand-me-over
  • black oversized short-sleeved T by American Apparel, Winners years ago
  • Hermes leather wrist wrap, hand-me-over (yes, a fabulous piece)
  • black hat, I think it was new from The Bay years ago

Other News

The action painting workshop I led at Baron Gallery on Saturday was very satisfying. Everyone who joined made spectacular paintings and I am so pleased with how the day went! I returned home exhausted but with a big grin on my face. 

This is a photo of me with participant Jane Appleby and the magnificent piece she created in the workshop. You can still see signs of activity around the floor. Jane is a professional artist in Vancouver who had an urge to GO BIG. Did she ever! You can check her work here. I wanted the participants to paint my pants during the workshop as well but I forgot - next time. By the way, the talk last week went very well too, backed up by Grushenka, my magic wand, and the PowerPoint cartoons I had drawn.


  1. What a great idea to have your pants painted! The painting is fantastic - if there's ever a workshop in Europe you can count me in! I think your Clint Eastwood is fabulous, a great way to deal with lousy summer weather! The wool wrap and the hat makes it such an elegant outfit!

  2. Congrats on a successful workshop - Jane looks ecstatic, and her painting is fabulous. I adore your "make my day" look. The wool wrap is a fine-looking classic, and the hat is perfect.

  3. Very chic, mission accomplished. Hmmm..this Value Village really seems like the place!

  4. The first thing I thought was "Woman with No name". Cool. Envy your courage and tiny figure!

  5. That outfit makes me want to break out my "Man with No Name" DVDs! I need some spaghetti westerns!

    I love the hat attitude (hattitude?) and that cape is so much like a serape. Great use of neutrals for dramatic effect, and you know I want a close-up of the Hermes wrist-wrap!

    So glad to hear the workshope went well - what a fabulous piece Jane created! It reminds me of my old art teacher's work (Harry Stanbridge, from when he taught high school) crossed with Jackson Pollock. Such energy!

  6. OH! I'm skeered of you! lol

    Just kidding. Okay, mebbe not.

    But I would totally not mess with you in that outfit...

  7. Melanie, this dramatic look brought to mind that painting by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec called Ambassadeurs. My family has had a framed print on the walls for years and your photo brought it to mind right away. I think the layering with the pants here is beautiful! I'll be trying this in my bedroom in front of the mirror this week. You always inspire!

  8. Melanie, you just made my afternoon PUNK! "handbag menacingly at her side" Crack up! I love old westerns. I am inspired to put on my FRYE boots right now, the ones with the harness. :-)

  9. This is definitely one of my favorite outfits of yours. The camel color with black is so classy chic. The poncho and hat really add character. LOVE it!

  10. You're only missing a cheroot to complete the look!
    I love this outfit, Melanie, because as much as colour is wonderful, and I tend to scorn neutrals a bit, this look is anything but neutral because of the interesting shapes and layers. There's a kind of cascading effect of the various hemlines. Why can't I do that? I just don't try hard enough, do I?!
    I love that Jane looks so happy with her BIG painting, and I am really pleased that both your talk and your workshop went well. I never doubted that they would! xxxx

  11. I'm convinced you have a gun in a holster under that cape! I actually really like today's look and now I want to take your class! Is it like painting while dancing?

  12. Riveting look. Black with a touch of camel and the hat speaks a thousand words. The cape is right there with the chapeau!

    Happy to hear that your workshop and talk went well. I checked out Jane's impressive site for a shot of beauty.

  13. Your pictures are always so wonderful, especially the stories behind them. I love it. Hope you're doing well.


    Luis (my blog!)

  14. Oh move over Clint the fabulous Melanie is here!!!!!!
    I love the cape and I so want to know what the Hermes wrist wrap is?????
    The painting is so big and amazing. The workshop must have gone so well with results like this.
    Love v

  15. Oh the CAPE and the HAT and the EXPRESSION are MAGNIFICENT! What a fabulous photograph. And yay for the painting workshop. What fun!

    Sarah xxx

  16. The tune for The good the bad and the ugly popped in my head... Love the wool wrap, looks fabulous!

  17. Love the bad ass wool wrap. I thought you were naked underneath until my middle-aged eyes made out the neutral pants.
    You look so happy and model-girl elegant with the artist, hope you had an ace time, it certainly looked like it judging by that beaming smile. x

  18. Really, I can just hear that whistling tune in the background of your picture (from the good, the bad, and the ugly) as Mrs. D says! You are totally making my day, Mz Melanie. I don't think you can top this one, eh-ah.

    And your workshop photo speaks volumes sending out such good vibrations))))))

  19. jajaja totally Clint Eastwood, loveeeeee it...

  20. Ahhh Yes, the woman with no name...I can hear Ennio Morricone playing now! You just have to work on the squint and clenching the cigarello in your teeth as you fire your rifle. Glad the painting workshop went well--I love Jane's painting!

  21. Hi Mélanie,

    Sorry i missed a post! I see you wore the red beret in the previous post! looks so good with the dress! You are so cute Mélanie
    I am happy that your workshop went well!
    Love you black hat, you are a totally different person with ce couvre chef my dear...

    Take care lovely

    Ariane xxxx

  22. Wow -- I love the layering and the colors! So chic!

  23. How I'd love to come to one of your workshops! The painting is fantastic and the outfit is tres Eastwood-chic!

  24. Your outfit is so chic!! I would love for you to visit my blog sometime!!
    A's Fashion Files

  25. I loved scrolling down to see this outfit! One moment it was reminiscent of the Amish, then with the cropped caramel pants and lovely pointy toe shoes, it morphed into my fantasy of Parisian chic. The bag is a splendid accent to it all. These are wonderful pieces, individually and collectively.

    Congrats on your workshop. Someday, I'll attend!!!!

  26. Melanie, great minds think alike. I was in the mood for neutrals too as you know. You pull it off so well. I'm always amazed at what you put together.
    Glad your art show went well.

  27. Love the minimalist look, you look great! The painting is very cool love the colors

  28. I have been so into neutrals the look and neutral color! Great painting!


  29. I am so glad everything went so well with your paintings. I am not at all surprised.
    love you Clint Eastwood touch, yeahhhhhhhhhhhh

  30. You look so wonderfully happy in the workshop, surrounded by other talented, inspiring artists like you:))). I can't wait to see your painted pants at the next workshop ... I do have my "quiet" days too but they've been far and few between lately - heheee! xoxxoxoox

  31. OK, it's official. There is NO END to your talents. Painting, teaching, inspiring, drawing, fabulous outfit putter-togetherer, you've got it all goin' on, girl! Whether quietly neutral (walk-softly-but-carry-a-big-stick) or wildly loud colours (dancing-on-the-ceiling) you make either look your own.

    How I would have loved to come to your workshop!

    Much love from England,

  32. I love this look! soft yet tough. Well done also with the painting workshop, I would've loved to have come along and had a go! XXXX

  33. Hee! I'm totally with pao: in my head, I'm hearing "oo-ee-oooo....wah WAH wah...) Thanks for the chuckle.

    You look so chic and striking in that outfit. Congratulations on the workshop!

  34. What would make MY day would be seeing you striding along in this wonderful outfit, with your Clint Eastwood attitude. Wonderful. I think my day would also be made by attending one of your workshops - the result here looks exuberantly wonderful.

  35. I do love the 'chicness' of this outfit...and... I love the dose of art and culture your always are so eloquently serving!

  36. Ooh ooh OOhh you do serious so well! This is an amzing outfit, best I've seen yet.xx.


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