SIA interpretation: Dido Belle portrait

A quick note, the poll is open for you to vote for your favorite outfit of mine from last month. Thanks in advance!

Now it’s time for my interpretation for the Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge and artwork that I chose to host this go-round.

SIA inspiration:

I chose the double portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle and Lady Elizabeth Murray, circa 1779, once attributed to Johann Zoffany. (The actual painter is still unknown.) This was the portrait that inspired the 2013 film, Belle, about the real-life, mixed-race young lady, Dido Belle, who was born into slavery in the British West Indies and ended up a heiress in London, England. The two ladies in the double portrait were second cousins. You can read more about the painting here, in this article about how this enigmatic painting inspired a movie, and more here about the real-life Dido Belle.

Librarian for Life + Style | Collage of SIA artwork and my interpretation, Double portrait of Dido Belle + her cousin

My interpretation:

Usually, my SIA-inspired outfits build up from a very specific starting point, be it a color or texture or piece of clothing. This time, multiple inspirations came together at one time for me, including:

  • pearl jewelry, as it’s one of the items that visually link both women in the painting
  • floral-print dress, to bring in the various florals in the painting
  • beret, to echo the look of the turban on Dido’s head
  • feather clip, because of the feather on Dido’s turban
  • winter-blooming camellias in our backyard, to capture the backdrop in the painting

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + floral dress, SIA-inspired outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + floral dress, SIA-inspired outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of accessories, beret + feather clip

This is the second time I’ve added a feather clip to this beret — you can see the first time here in this post, another SIA-inspired outfit! — and it just felt right. It captured a literal item in the inspiration painting, the feather in Dido Belle’s turban, and it felt like it captured the mood of the painting. I have several pearl necklace options (pearls being my favorite gemstone), and I chose this multi-colored pearl necklace because it pulled in multiple colors from the painting. Plus, it felt like a modern way to pull in the pearls.

The bright pink in the photo below is the lining of this purple velvet blazer. This beautiful lining rarely gets featured, and I just wanted to give it its due. The inspiration painting features a pale pink, through Lady Elizabeth’s dress, but I don’t have any pale pink in my wardrobe. It didn’t bother me in the least to darken that inspiration color to a dark purple through my velvet blazer — and shocking pink lining! 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of accessories, velvet blazer + pearl necklace + beret + feather clip

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + floral dress, SIA-inspired outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + floral dress, SIA-inspired outfit

It was really hard for me to get any usable photos of me mimicking Dido Belle’s gesture of her hand in her cheek. It’s such a, well, cheeky pose! 😉 And it’s realllllllly hard for me to do the slight smiles on both ladies’ faces in the inspiration painting — whenever I try to smile without showing teeth, it just comes out like I’m angry — or snobby. It always feels more natural for me to smile wide, as you can see below. You do you, ladies. 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + floral dress, SIA-inspired outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + floral dress, SIA-inspired outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Velvet blazer + floral dress, SIA-inspired outfit

Weather:  Cold and clear

Where:  Work day at the library

What:

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!

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 LinkupTop of the WorldThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

There is still time to participate in SIA:

Everyone is welcome to participate — bloggers, non-bloggers, all genders, all ages, even pets! Just send a pic of an outfit — selfies and flat lays are also welcome — inspired by this week’s SIA artwork to this week’s curator, me, at librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com, by tomorrow, Tuesday, March 6th. I will then include you in the SIA round-up on my blog this Wednesday, March 7th.

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9 thoughts on “SIA interpretation: Dido Belle portrait

  1. Pingback: SIA round-up: Dido Belle portrait | Librarian for Life and Style

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