Polyvore Pals: KateOlive

Greetings, Shoestringers! By now, you are well-versed in my Polyvore addiction, as I frequently post on Shoestring News (and on our new Twitter page) the art and fashion collages (or "sets") I make on Polyvore under the snazzy nom de plume shabbychicstyle. But I can't stop there! Talent abounds amongst my fellow Polyvorians and I simply must share with you some of the wonderful artists that inspire me! First up is the fabulous KateOlive, a writer, artist & retired attorney who hails from the United States. The outfits showcased in KateOlive's sets bespeak the diversity and sophistication of the city that often inspires them: New York. As for me, I am particularly inspired by her use of color, pattern, and choice of accessories. I could have picked dozens of sets to share with you today but have settled on three of my favorite.

If you care to see more --and you will!-- just click the links provided to access her Polyvore pages. Also, when you view the sets directly on Polyvore you can get detailed info on the items pictured, including prices. Oh, and before anyone cries foul at my tagging this post with the label "Inexpensive Inspirations" note this: while you may find some spendy designer duds here, virtually any look, with a little creativity, can be replicated on a more conservative budget. When I window shop on Polyvore, I look for concepts, not labels. What stands out to me? Are there colors I would never have thought to wear together before? Hmm, that silhouette is popular this season...but would it suit me? So, if you see something you like here that's not in your price range just remind yourself that the idea is.

But enough of this frugality blather and on to KateOlive!

SET #1 - Green Coat
This was the set that inspired me to blog about her work. The mix and match of patterns and textures is fresh and a little unexpected. I especially like the idea of pairing a bright floral scarf and chartreuse gem stones --two looks one typically associates with springtime-- with more traditional fall-weather garb. Can't afford yellow quartz & diamond earrings as pictured below? Then skip the diamonds! Or go fake, I promise I won't tell. Another fab option is peridot jewelry; those sweet semi-precious stones in shades of pale green and yellow won't break the bank! And note once again the exciting spring-fall fusion in the beautifully tailored green and lavender tweed coat.

Green Coat

Green Coat by kateolive featuring skinny leg jeans

SET #2 - Lily Rowan Visits 918 West 35th Street
What I love about this look is that KateOlive creates a whole story around this: there are settings, characters, atmospheres. Click on the set title above to read the story behind the look. The concept of telling a story with your clothes is nothing new to the worlds of fashion and theatre, but I think people in general, at least in the US, lose sight of that wonderfully playful idea. Playing dress up should not end with childhood and the attitude that you are creating a character every time you get dressed can be immensely empowering when one is on a tight clothing budget. The paradigm shifts from "I can't." to "How can I?" Don't believe me? Visit a thrift or consignment shop with an open mind and adventurous spirit. You might just be surprised at what (or who) you find there.

Lily Rowan Visits 918 West 35th Street

Lily Rowan Visits 918 West 35th Street by kateolive featuring brimmed hats

SET #3 - Farecard
I like this look for many reasons: the laid back rumple-tumble vibe of the draping in the blouse and the leather jacket and the dovetailing of hard with soft, cas with formal. But what I take away from it above all is the color palette. This is my first year rocking brown boots on a regular basis and, being a slave to basic black, I have found it tough trying to figure out what colors out there can go with brown leather without being ho hum or just downright oh no. This intriguing blend of browns, greys, greens, creams and blues definitely give me fashion food for thought!


Farecard by kateolive featuring leather boots

And I hope you all have enjoyed this glimpse of KateOlive's aesthetic realm. Stay tuned for future Polyvore Pals posts. More inspiration will be shooting down the shoestring soon!


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