Simplicity is the New Sophistication

Silvia Njoki

Award-Winning Fashion Blogger Mother, Stylist Twitter/IG @silvianjoki @lil_edgykenyan FB: silvianjoki

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I wore this outfit a while ago, but honestly hesitated to share the photos here, since I felt that they lacked edge, depth and sophistication.

I also heard comments like “Why didn’t you wear some more striking/colorful shoes?” or “how come you didn’t put on a few bangles, bold earrings or a neck piece?”.  And as much as I have a high level of style confidence, I was resolute on not sharing. 

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I recently bought a wonderful book about Pablo Picasso, who is one of the most famous artist in the world. This book – Life with Picasso is written by his long-time partner Francoise Gilot, herself a gifted painter, and I love the way she describes his style of painting and his thoughts about his own creative process. In fact reading this book has been a great inspiration for me and has taught me an important lesson not only about painting but about fashion styling, which is the art form I have dedicated my professional life to.  A lesson which now has made me decide to share this outfit with you.

The mark of a true artist is that he or she only needs a few elements to make a powerful statement.

Through his close friend and equally famous painter Georges Braque, Picasso came to the conclusion that you must be satisfied to work with the few elements you have, and that even working with less than you have, could be a source of inspiration to create a masterpiece.

I have found this creative approach so convincing that I love to apply it to my own styling work.  You don’t always have to accessorize or attempt dramatic effects in an outfit.  Keeping it simple and unpretentious can sometimes bring surprising results.  And when I am styling someone else and the neckpiece or scarf I intended on using is missing, it is a beautiful creative challenge to be inventive with what I have available.

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I might not have reached this point had I not immersed myself in the culture of Barcelona, including taking a guided walking tour through Picasso’s quarters of the city ending at the Picasso museum, where I found my treasured book.  I have put together a video documenting my best moments in Barcelona and I’m sosilvianjokisignoff (1) excited about how it has turned out.  I can’t wait to show it to you my very first travel Vlog this Friday.

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