Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tsuguharu Foujita: My New Fashion Icon

Until very recently, I had no clue who Tsuguharu Foujita was.

The first time I saw his peculiar haircut was at the Cecil Beaton's exhibition, at the Museum of the City of New York.  I would lie if I told you that his beauty struck me right away. On the contrary. I wondered why this portrait was there, amongst the pictures of Greta Garbo and Katharine Hepburn.

As soon as I got out of the exhibition, I instantaneously forgot him (at least, that is what I thought).

Few days later, after a very "shitty" day at work, I stopped by the MoMa's bookstore. I was looking for nothing in particular but for a quick free escape from the routine of the day. 

After perusing the many shelves of the store, and infringing my secret promise not to spend a dime (I ended up buying a book about Diane Arbus), my eyes caught sight of an imposing book about Man Ray. 

I stopped just to take a look and  guess whose picture I came across? Yes, you are right. Foujita's. Same glasses and, of course, same haircut. This time however something did interpellate me; Foujita, who had a little je ne sais quoi, was actually really stylish.  

I firmly decided that, as soon as I got home, I would investigate about my fashion icon "to be".

I flew to my apartment. No sooner had I arrived than I jumped on my computer and googled "Tsuguharu Foujita". Waouuu!!! Foujita, who passed away in 1968, was a Japanese painter who counted amongst his models Kiki de Montparnasse, Man Ray's paramour (now, I understand better the picture in the book). 

Friends with Matisse and Picasso, Foujita was a globe-trotter, a lover and... an early hipster.

Here are some "Do's" inspired by Foujita's edgy style.

Do :

1) Wear prints (and don't be afraid to mix and match checks and spots )

2) Exchange your old wool coat against a raincoat (and check the buttons on the pants... so chic!)

3) Go for the white suit (definitely, a cute cat is always a +)

Note to the reader :
Until I saw this picture, I had always assimilated white men suits with cheap latino singers (thanks Rico Martin!) and Eddie Barclay.

4) Use and abuse of tank tops (with a pair of flip flops + loose pants or a boyfriend = casual perfect!)

Note to the reader:
I love the simplicity of this effortless look. Still, elegant and smart.

5) Cut your hair ?

Before you make up your decision, check this. 

Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2010 Menswear collection
(Do you notice any resemblance ?)

If you want to know more about Foujita's life and artistic work (because not only are you stylish, but you are also smart) you can check on Google (it's free) or purchase the book "Glory in a Line: A Life of Foujita the artist caught between East and West" by Phyllis Birnbaum.


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