SIA interpretation: Gerda Wegener

It’s time for my interpretation of this week’s Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge, which I curated for this round.

SIA inspiration pick:

I recently watched The Danish Girl on DVD, and it’s based on the 2000 book of the same name and the real-life relationship between Danish artists Gerda Wegener and Einar Wegener, who became Lili Elbe, one of the first-ever documented recipients of sex reassignment surgery. I was really struck by the artwork of Gerda (1886-1940), who was played by Alicia Vikander in the film, who also won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the role.

Therefore, for this next SIA challenge, I selected a self-portrait of Gerda Wegener, a self-portrait in the Art Deco style. You can also read more about Wegener here and see more of her artwork here.

Most of Gerda Wegener’s artwork seems pretty colorful, but I was drawn to the more muted tones of this self-portrait. Perhaps because the more muted tones seem to suit this transitional period between summer and fall? Perhaps because I was also drawn to the complicated expression on the artist’s face?

Librarian for Life + Style | Gerda Wegener self-portrait SIA collage

SIA collage for Gerda Wegener self-portrait

I had a few different ideas for outfits inspired by this self-portrait. In the end, I went with a floral pleated skirt in muted tones of bronze and light blue, as the colors were in the inspiration painting, and the pattern played off the couch print she’s sitting on. I layered a light blue cardigan over a teal tank top to add some depth, and my champagne-colored satin flats looked more bronze-y when paired with the skirt.

For accessories, I have multiple pieces of pearl jewelry, so I had some options there (pearls are my favorite gemstone). In the end, I went with my multi-colored pearl necklace as it has the largest-sized pearls (I call it my “gumball pearl necklace”), which paired nicely with my black pearl stud earrings. Finally, I chose my vintage wicker bag because it has a bakelite handle, which is a little nod to the Art Deco period of the painting.

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer skirt with pearls

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer skirt with pearls

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer skirt with pearls

We had planned to take photos at Wright Park, which was near where we had brunch that morning. But as we were walking toward Wright Park, I spied this “Love” cornerstone of a church opposite the park, and I thought that would be a perfect alternative. The Danish Girl is a love story at its core, and the neutral colors of the wall and stone also tied in with the inspiration painting. It just felt right!

Below, a closeup of my multi-colored pearl jewelry — and my sassy pixie haircut! 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Cardigan with pearls

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer skirt with pearls

Pleated skirt? Commence twirling! This skirt is a bit shorter than I remember it being. (I’ve also gained weight around my middle in the last ten years since I bought this skirt, so that’s another reason why this skirt seems to be getting shorter, hah!) I bought this skirt and cardigan together at the same time, but I think this cardigan may have seen its last day… its cost-per-wear is in fractions of pennies by now, so it’s had a good run!

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer skirt with pearls

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer skirt with pearls

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer skirt with pearls

Weather:  Sunny with a breeze, high 70s

Where:  Brunch and errands


  • Cardigan:  Gap, old
  • Tank top:  Old Navy, old
  • Skirt:  Gap, old
  • Flats:  Payless, old
  • Wicker bag:  Thrifted in Chicago, vintage
  • Pearl necklace:  Gift from my husband, Abu Dhabi
  • Pearl stud earrings:  c/o Pearl & Clasp, this winter

Shop my outfit:

light blue cardigan  //  floral pleated skirt  //  multi-color pearl necklace set  //  blush satin flats  //  basket handbag

Librarian for Life + Style | Summer skirt with pearls outfit collage

Please note that I get commission for clicks made through affiliate links in this post. This goes toward covering my website and file storage fees, so thank you for helping support this blog!

There’s still time to participate in SIA!

Everyone — bloggers, non-bloggers, all genders, all ages, even pets! — is welcome to participate. Just send a pic of an outfit — selfies and flat lays are also just fine — inspired by this week’s SIA artwork to this week’s curator — that’s me! — at by tonight, 10 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST). I will then post the SIA round-up on my blog tomorrow.

I’m excited to see what y’all will be inspired by!

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion FilesThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp


12 thoughts on “SIA interpretation: Gerda Wegener

    1. Jen @ Librarian for Life and Style Post author

      Thanks, Salazar! I had first thought of my scalloped-edge pencil skirt, with the bright pink and turquoise floral design — but in the end, it felt too loud. I thought the more muted, smaller floral print of this pleated skirt ultimately reflected the inspiration painting better 🙂


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