Sometimes you just need outfit inspiration that doesn’t come from Instagram or the runway. You need to look to something weird, wonderful and maybe a bit out of your comfort zone to really switch-up your style choices; or to reignite a passion for fashion.

That’s what I did this week. 18 December and I was feeling the slump. 

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As heavy as I’m sure to feel after Christmas lunch, my routine mixing-and-matching, styling and accessorising was weighing me down. 

Clicking onto a random art article one morning, I am drawn in by Monet’s classic - the water lilies. It bursts with pastel-hued wonder. And soon, like all internet deep-dives, I ended up looking at Cuban artist, Frida Kahlo’s ‘selfies’. Bright, bold and fearless, her work has conquered the visual world in so many ways, paving the way for future generations who dream only in luscious colours.

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An internet avalanche-effect led me to Instagram, where I browsed South African visionaries’ work like Athi-Patra Ruga and Tony Gum; who through self-portraits, installations and other visual mediums have wowed the world - showing at world-class galleries like Zeitz Mocca in Cape Town’s Silo District and at the Christopher Moller Gallery.

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One of the main ingredients in all these pieces, is brightness. Colour, lightness, humour and celebration all creep in – what more do you want in a (festive) outfit? 

Monet 


Water lilies. Dots of pastels, so perfect. 

To me, pastels should never be too syrupy sweet. Pair a pastel blouse like this Zara vintage/Hawaiian shirt hybrid, with harder edge elements, like ripped black jeans rather than other pastel bits, and block heels instead of dainty sandals. 

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The blouse is busy like the lilies. So I made it even busier adding my absolute favourite beaded bag from NYC designer Susan Alexandra and a shell necklace – just for a bit of extra on top of extra. 

Marisa Crous

Marisa Crous

Frida Kahlo and Tony Gum 

Solid. One colour, zero blocking or breaking. That’s what I loved in these works of art. 

I almost never do this, as I have a compulsion to break up an outfit. Blue, blue and black, black. But this time I went full-throttle. Blue denim skirt, blue linen shirt, blue scrunchie and even a blue ceramic earring from Selfi, another great fashion artist.

Marisa Crous
Marisa Crous

Athi-Patra Ruga

The balloons. The Zebra-pop. It all screams festive. 

How could I not wear this?

Marisa Crous, Ruga

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The art work inspired this, the ‘fancy safari outfit’. 

Marisa Crius, Safari Ruga outfit

Not wearing a fanny pack unironically and certainly no bulky boots, I traded those in for gold sandals and tossed the binoculars, adding some hand jewels instead.

Jewels Safari

 

Gold sandals

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