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The Fashion Memo

How to dress like an art-world insider

From artists and auctioneers to collectors and curators, it should come as no surprise that the art world’s most influential insiders have a discerning ‘eye’, and that this visual mastery extends to their closets, too. This is how six of the industry’s leading luminaries have turned the act of getting dressed into a fine art…



Founder and creative director of Partnership Editions, a platform for emerging artists

My artistic interests are very eclectic, but I would describe my personal style as quite minimalist. I surround myself with color and pattern through the art I work with every day, so I prefer my clothes to be more neutral. Basically, I let the art do the talking. However, I do love fashion designers who are inspired by art, such as Rejina Pyo. Her designs are rooted in art history, but still very wearable – they are clean and almost sculptural. I’m also a big fan of functional brands, such as L.F. Markey and Acne, as you can dress them up or down. For an injection of color, you can always rely on Danish designer Stine Goya. I don’t have a formula for styling outfits, but as most of my clothes are really pared-back, it makes putting a look together relatively easy. Plus, my closet is color-coded, which speeds up the process. My everyday look isn’t dramatically different to what I’d wear to an exhibition opening or other events. I don’t always have time to leave the studio early to change beforehand, so often I’ll just add some statement earrings, patent boots or lipstick to make my outfit feel more dressed up. @partnershipeditions


Industrial, interior, spatial and product designer who has worked with fashion houses including Céline and Isabel Marant

I’m generally fascinated by interesting materials and simple shapes; this is the case in both my work and my wardrobe. When it comes to clothes, I love a pared-back silhouette with a small twist that makes the piece special. However, I must admit there is a lot more color in my work than in my closet! My earliest fashion memory is trying to customize my middle-school uniform. The rules were very strict, but there was still the opportunity to differentiate yourself from your classmates and show your individuality. It became a sort of challenge to see how far you could push the boundaries. This environment made me aware of how you can communicate through fashion. Nowadays, I like to add interest with unexpected accessories or statement earrings. Currently, I’m on the lookout for a great winter coat. I’m really picky when it comes to fashion. I only buy a piece if it’s great quality, will last for years and, of course, I really love it. I think Luke Meier is doing a great job at Jil Sander, and Daniel Lee has brought real magic to Bottega Veneta. @sabine_marcelis


Art writer, curator, activist and author of This Is What I Know About Art, a book that examines the parallels between art and protest

I’m naturally drawn to artworks and exhibitions that have a strong narrative, which is definitely reflected in my personal style. I love wearing pieces that can start a conversation. My outfits always begin with a theme – on some days I want to look chic; on other days, I want to go for a more masculine energy – and they all have a plot line. I truly believe that fashion and styling are art forms. I see designing and styling as sacred work. My own journey into the world of fashion has undoubtedly been marked by friends who have lent or given me all sorts of different pieces. My closet is full of well-loved clothes, thriving in their second or third laps around the sun. My everyday style really varies, while my outfits for special occasions tend towards making a statement. If I’m going to an opening or a gala, I’m really committed to making bold fashion choices. When traveling, I try to find something made by a local designer, so I can take a piece of places that I love back home with me. In the past few years, I’ve been obsessed with designers who have a clear mission embedded within their business. I’m thrilled by the ways that brands such as LemLem and Brother Vellies are so committed to employing African artisans. @museummammy


Patron and contemporary-art collector known for championing emerging and female artists

I have quite a few friends who are fashion designers and whose work I really value, such as Roksanda Ilincic and the design duo behind Peter Pilotto. Roksanda’s use of color is extremely exciting, along with her unique eye for detail. I love Peter Pilotto’s experimentations with patterns and textiles – the brand’s style is colorful and relaxed, but still feels elevated. When it comes to getting dressed every day, Issey Miyake is my go-to, my daily bread and butter. Fashion entered my life way before art did. As a young girl, I was always encouraged to develop my own sense of style, not just adhere to trends. My credo is to always be myself. Working in the arts and being surrounded by so many free-spirited, visionary individuals is super-inspirational. Choosing what to wear on any given day is always a very spontaneous and emotional choice for me. I adore mixing colors and different patterns. My style is bold, eclectic, joyful and fearless. I shy away from anything that is too trendy. I know my body shape and what looks flattering on me, so I start from there. After-dark dressing for an exhibition opening or a private view is especially fun, as I can indulge in more extravagant pieces along with more makeup, higher heels and lots of accessories!

(on the ground) Nina Canell, Another Soft Stone, 2009, Neon, Concrete, Foam, Watermelon, Cable, 2000v; On the right : Berta Fischer, Hulenays, 2011, Radiant Acrylic Glass; behind Valeria: Falke Pisano, Figures of Speech (Figure 1), 2009.


Founder and CEO of Tokyo Art Office, an art advisory, liaisons and VIP-relations service inspiring a new generation of Japanese collectors

My taste in art and fashion reflects the way I value timeless pieces, while also having fun with some eclectic choices. I treasure my ukiyo-e woodblock prints by Utagawa Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai as I appreciate the fragility and historical significance behind them. They have stood the test of time in the same way that my Cartier jewelry will. On the other hand, I do like to collect contemporary works by artists such as Eddie Martinez, KAWS and Wong Ping because they are edgy and thought-provoking. Similarly, I’m a fan of streetwear brands like Aries. A fashion designer’s creations are just as worthy as a painter’s. Fashion has the power to transform and empower women. As with artwork, I make fashion purchases based on how a piece makes me feel. I have a silver Blazé Milano jacket that I wear to everything from artist interviews and corporate meetings to art fairs and gala dinners, as it helps keep my energy levels up. When it comes to choosing clothes, comfort and confidence go hand in hand. I love Rosie Assoulin – her designs are so elegant yet quirky, she inspires me to have a bit more fun with my femininity. Day to day, my diary dictates my look, so if I’m busy visiting galleries or auction previews, I like to keep it simple with a white tee, skinny jeans, boots and a camel coat. Headbands and collared tops are my secret weapons when it comes to looking polished at a moment’s notice. @yureeka


Performance, installation and internet artist whose seminal 2014 piece Excellences & Perfections presciently predicted how we use social media today

I love fashion, but I’m more creative with it when I’m working on different characters for my performances. In terms of designers I love, it depends on whether I’m dressing for myself or a performance – if it’s for a performance, it’s whatever fits the character best. During one performance, Privilege, in which the character was a caricature of myself, there were a lot of references to Prada and Miu Miu because I’m a Mary Jane shoe collector and they have designed some great pairs. Movies often inspire my outfits, particularly private detective Philip Marlowe’s costumes in The Long Goodbye. Some of my other enduring style icons include Kay Francis, Moschino’s Olive Oyl, Maggie Cheung, Sarah Linh Tran, ’90s model Shalom Harlow, Sophie Ellis-Bextor in her Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love) music video, Shirley Manson in the Version 2.0 album era, Helena Bonham Carter and Mickey Hahn in Shanghai in the ’30s. Currently, my wish list has a lot of rain hats, waterproof gloves and raincoats, as I’ve been working on a movie in Gijón, Spain, and it has rained every day for the past three weeks. I’ve been in Los Angeles for so long, I’ve lost practice with cold weather! @amaliaulman

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown