When Avant-Garde becomes Arty Slick…

Avant-Garde – Day 9

What is the difference between Avant-Garde style and “Arty-Slick” style?  Wait — there’s an Arty-Slick style?  Yes, and it lives somewhere between Minimalist style and Androgynous style. Wait — there’s a Minimalist style?  An Androgynous style?  Okay, lets back up.

I’m trying out Avant-Garde style for the month of September.  It’s a bold look where your outfit is not fashion, but a form of self-expression.  Here’s an example —

Avant-Garde-Streetstyle_CoupleAnd you’re seeing that correctly.  Those aren’t just genie pants — that’s a genie jumpsuit!  And the woman on the left seems to be wearing Dick Van Dyke’s penguin pants from Mary Poppins.

Then there’s Arty-Slick.  According to “The Lucky Guide to Mastering any Style”, Arty-Slick is a style “Full of structured, asymmetrical jackets and dresses, layered tops with uneven hems, and boldly sculptural jewelry.  This is a look about letting go of any desire to blend in with the pack.”  Here are some Arty Slick gals —


And here are the Lucky Guide’s essential Arty-Slick pieces —


I’m starting to think I’m dressing more Arty-Slick.  Like this —


I’m mean, I could totally fit in on that Arty-Slick page, couldn’t I?  So my question is this —  I could steer my fashion ship back towards Avant-Garde, but do I really want to dress like Lady Gaga at the grocery?  I mean, what would that accomplish except guarantee that my children have a hefty monthly therapy bill as adults?  I don’t know.  I’m not sure where to go with this look now.  Keep trying to go big Avant-Garde or dial it down a little to Arty-Slick.  What do you think?

Or, I could always head towards Minimalist —


I do a lot of Minimalist things already.  I shower minimally.  I eat a healthy meal minimally and with three kids, three dogs and three cats sleeping in our house, I sleep minimally too. I’m really good at minimal self-care.

But maybe Androgynous is the way to go.  Like her —


Or more likely for me —


Like this.  To be honest, out of all the outfits I’ve shown you in this post, Pat’s is the one I already have in my closet







  • Jenn says:

    Go Arty Slick! I feel like it’s much more adaptable to everyday life. I FLOVE fashion and style but would be exhausted by attempting Avant Garde for even a week.

  • AvantScarred says:

    Ah, I get it, yes, I believe you are wearing arty-slick. If avant-garde is art that you wear, and you are experimenting with different styles to find “yours” AND you have determined very quickly that avant-garde is not going to fit your needs in any way shape or form, I’d say dial it down to arty-slick.

    IMHO, minimalist deserves it’s own month; personally I’d like to see how minimalist is correctly done. In my life minimalist diverges very quickly into either slouch or drab.

    Keep up the good work!

  • nomoreschmattas says:

    I definitely vote for Lady Gaga at the grocery store. Arty Slick looks a little too easy – like cheating somehow. Except maybe that white accordian winged jacket – I’d like to see you in that.

  • Vildy says:

    Gee, what a bewilderment. Avant Garde strikes me as Auntie Mame worn with a deadpan haughty expression accompanying the grand gestures. Minimalist seems to require exquisite fabrication and a whole lot less spit, vomit, snot and pee. The tarted up Androgynist doesn’t seem to have 3 kids. I really like your own look as pictured in the post. Seems exactly right for most occasions not involving a water park. How to make that casual? Have you taken a look at Angie’s Mom on the Go templates over at You Look Fab? I think any of that would work for you.

    • My Year of Fabulous says:

      You know, I think you’re right. It’s very Auntie Mame — like done wrong you’d look like a crazy grandma.

  • Von says:

    Learnt something new here, never heard of ‘Arty-Slick’ but it is interesting. I think that’s maybe a look I’ve sort of admired without knowing what it was. On the Avant-Garde style I suppose it all just depends what the ultimate purpose of your experiment is, I’d have to read back. You probably have some of Lada Gaga’s dress ingredients in your fridge (the meat dress!) but I do think her style is interesting too as she does experiment the whole time. I like Daphne Guinness’s style, haute couture, and I’m not sure how that would fit in with these other styles, have you encountered her look? She and Lady Gaga are both so fierce and fearless but she’s also a very rich heiress. There’s always room for inspiration though, isn’t there? I do really like Tilda Swindon’s style and it is right for her, her height, shape and everything is so perfect for that androgyny style, I already said in a post I’m going to try that route and hope I don’t just look like I’m wearing hubby’s clothes since I’m not an androgynous shape. There’s a bit of a nude make-up thing on the go in some of the mags here and I am thinking a bit of lippy like that might be fun. I can’t go minimalist as there’s too much of the belly dancer in me (although I’m not dancing now glitter and jewels always appeal). If you want that Arty-Slick pleated wing top then that looks like Isis-wings to me and any reputable belly dance store should supply them ;-) I think I actually had that white top in the early noughties. When you shop your looks are you looking at the inspiration’s day wear or their red carpet look too? I’ve been getting a few bits to try Katharaine Hepburn’s look but I’ve found it tricky to separate out her film photo’s from her normal clothes but I don’t think she’s really as andogynous as people said. Closer inspection revealed lots of very luxurious fabrics to the blouses and they did tend to be blouses rather than shirts. I’ve adapted her look to suit my shape as I’m not just trying to copy but rather adapt to see what works. According to the mag I bought this month animal print is in (nooooo!) along with what looks quite minimalist looks and grown-up ‘back to school’ along with neon flash bags and shoes. I did that in the 80s and early nineties, sometimes all at once, so I’ll just carry on with my little experiment and follow you with your’s. There does seem to be quite a lot of minimalist stuff in the magazines for the High Street looks but they are on very skinny striking models and the lack of tailoring would just swamp me. What would you class Victoria Beckhams look as? Minimalist? I’ll have a go of a more androgynous posting name here for fun.

    • My Year of Fabulous says:

      I think the book “Who do you want to be today?” classified Victoria Beckham’s style as ice queen, but I’ll check again. And The lucky guide to mastering any style called Daphne Guiness “Posh Eclectic.”

      I love how long your comment is — really. You totally know your stuff! If you ever want to do my proust fashion questionnaire, please let me know!

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