Spring Picasso Challenge #1: The Charnel House

Stark black and white is a good place to start and the very best art finds a savage beauty in the horrific. It is indeed challenging to seek out fashion inspiration in such a confronting image, but after a trip to the UK at least partly dedicated to remembrance and acceptance it feels right.

It's the perfect excuse to break out the vintage haori and layer it over a Breton style shirt (Picasso would approve) with black knee shorts from ByBrown. Finishing the look in finest art goth style are my new George Cox creepers, which I finally tracked down in London last week. They're so good, worth every penny. They probably merit a post of their own. 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • jackiec replied 9 years ago

    Nailed it. Perfect.

    And yes please a post on the shoes! So happy you tracked them down! They look fab - must be comfy too.

  • Tanya replied 9 years ago

    Oh wow, whut a stunning interpretation.  That dramatic topper is perfect, and the shoes are super cool.

  • Sarah Kay replied 9 years ago

    Gorgeous! That topper really  makes it - nicely done!

  • Neel replied 9 years ago

    Nice interpretation :-) That topper rules all!

  • replied 9 years ago

    Stunning! Love the pattern mixing that echoes the painting so well. The Picasso trademark Breton shirt is a brilliant touch. And fab shoes. Great find!

  • Windchime replied 9 years ago

    Nice job incorporating the Picasso-approved Breton-style shirt into your interpretation! Your topper is fab.

  • Jaime replied 9 years ago

    Excellent. I like how you confronted the challenging nature of the painting. I got stuck with that. Please do the shoe post!

  • Ingunn replied 9 years ago

    Wow! This is really stunning. The stripes are perfect with the topper, and not only Picasso approves. I'm looking forward to the shoe post.

  • TraceyLiz65 replied 9 years ago


  • Carole replied 9 years ago

    Wonderful interpretation!

  • Deb replied 9 years ago

    I'm finding this challenge interesting to observe. Your interpretation is true to your style and I like your idea to consider both the artwork and the artist. Your creativity here is both unique and attractive Approprio. The design and pattern of the haori, the stripes and the colours work so well together with the black, and reflect the art in a very appealing way. So well done!
    Oh, I look forward to the shoe post....

  • Sara L. replied 9 years ago

    I'm wearing this one today too.  I'll try to post a picture later.  I like your interpretation with the stripes and the pattern on your jacket.  I'm glad you found your shoes and they turned out to be super comfortable.

  • Astrid replied 9 years ago

    This is a fantastic interpretation of the picture! I've done the same today and I have to say I much prefer your version. I would love to see a post about the shoes too.

  • MsMary replied 9 years ago

    Oh, wow! This couldn't be more perfect!  You look stunning!

  • Diana replied 9 years ago

    The haori is perfect for this challenge.  I love how it has both the curved (from the pattern) and straight (from the cut) patterns already built in.  I like the nod to Picasso too. 

    I have interpreted this painting in a similar way today, although I wish I had a topper as dramatic as yours. 

  • Angie replied 9 years ago

    Your eloquence is dazzling, approprio. 

    Killer interpretation, and another pattern mixer. Simple, yet very dramatic. And enjoy your new creepers. Glad you got them. 

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    This is stunning! What a brilliant idea to pull in some of Picasso's own fashion preferences and marry them to that dramatic haori. Simple, subtle, and strong. 

  • rachylou replied 9 years ago

    I like the Breton touch especially!

  • Angie replied 9 years ago

    I forgot to say - thanks Rachy - that the Breton stripe and pic of Picasso was a great touch. FUN, just like you. 

  • Summer replied 9 years ago

    That is just stunning, approprio - a great interpretation.

  • replied 9 years ago

    Oh, my goodness, that coat is beautiful! I love the juxtaposition with the chunky George Cox shoes and I'm loving that those are knee shorts. What a fab outfit and fab interpretation of the painting.

  • Joy replied 9 years ago

    You are a living work of art! This is dramatic and stunning.

  • Tania replied 9 years ago


  • approprio replied 9 years ago

    oh thanks so much everyone! <humbled/>

    Angie, thanks for the challenge. Your art choices are beautiful and inspiring. Not sure if I can keep it up all week though ;)

    I see I'm not the only one who struggled a bit with the source material. But the challenge is good. The "savage beauty" thing must have been a subconscious nod to Alexander McQueen, who I definitely thought of this morning when I pulled the haori out of the closet. He was always so good at translating the strange and disturbing to the catwalk. 

  • Angie replied 9 years ago

    Picasso's work is gritty. Absolutely love his art though. Not all of it - but a lot of it. It stirs grand emotions inside of me - like no other artist. (My heart goes pitter patter as I'm typing about these feelings for his art). I am swooned off my feet many times after a Picasso painting viewing. Quite breathless, and my heart skips a beat. Thanks for indulging my choice of art and art work, approprio. You are a good sport. 

  • rabbit replied 9 years ago

    An awesome outfit.  The pattern mix is so well done and the proportions of all the elements.  I keep trying for shorts over tights/leggings and haven't got it quite yet.  This a great example for me to aim for.

  • approprio replied 9 years ago

    Angie, I could go on forever about Spanish art. They have the very best of it. Velasquez, Goya, Dali, Picasso, even Miro... All of them full of layers of meaning and resonance.

    I wouldn't question the choice, it's an amazing picture. But it packs a mean punch, just like Guernica.

  • Angie replied 9 years ago

    YES, YES, YES, approprio. You get it. We could talk Spanish art all day. High five. And thanks again. Great link. 

  • AM replied 9 years ago

    Clearly a professional job at this challenge. So great! And yes, we need a post on those shoes.

  • SarahTheWhite replied 9 years ago

    I want so much to say something smart about all of this... But I can't improve on what the others have said, and I'm struck most by Joy's comment that you are living art. That is what stirred in my heart when I saw the photos! It's like you took inspiration from art and created more art.

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 9 years ago

    I love this outfit, Approprio, and it is only matched by your writing. You are so artistic.
    And: Glad you got your shoes!!!

  • Caro in Oz replied 9 years ago

    The combination of your emotional response to the challenge & your intellectual process has produced a very exciting result - I love it.

  • No Fear of Fashion replied 9 years ago

    Now here is an independent soul if I ever saw one. You are an advanced fashionista I would say. Very well put together. Especially in my view as I love kimono-type tops. I have one real kimono myself and 3 tops shaped like it.
    Yours is ever so good.

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