I dressed like some of my favourite art works – and now I’m truly in the festive spirit


Sometimes you just need outfit inspiration that doesn’t come from Instagram or the runway. You need to look to something weird, wonderful and maybe a bit out of your comfort zone to really switch-up your style choices; or to reignite a passion for fashion.

That’s what I did this week. 18 December and I was feeling the slump. 

READ MORE: As Beyoncé sends a message to SA, here are the African designers she wore and what we would like to buy from them

As heavy as I’m sure to feel after Christmas lunch, my routine mixing-and-matching, styling and accessorising was weighing me down. 

Clicking onto a random art article one morning, I am drawn in by Monet’s classic - the water lilies. It bursts with pastel-hued wonder. And soon, like all internet deep-dives, I ended up looking at Cuban artist, Frida Kahlo’s ‘selfies’. Bright, bold and fearless, her work has conquered the visual world in so many ways, paving the way for future generations who dream only in luscious colours.

READ MORE: Get ready to dress up like you're about to party with the Upper East Side crew on Gossip Girl

An internet avalanche-effect led me to Instagram, where I browsed South African visionaries’ work like Athi-Patra Ruga and Tony Gum; who through self-portraits, installations and other visual mediums have wowed the world - showing at world-class galleries like Zeitz Mocca in Cape Town’s Silo District and at the Christopher Moller Gallery.

READ MORE: World's most popular fashion label, Virgil Abloh's OFF-WHITE officially open in Braamfontein, Johannesburg

One of the main ingredients in all these pieces, is brightness. Colour, lightness, humour and celebration all creep in – what more do you want in a (festive) outfit? 


Water lilies. Dots of pastels, so perfect. 

To me, pastels should never be too syrupy sweet. Pair a pastel blouse like this Zara vintage/Hawaiian shirt hybrid, with harder edge elements, like ripped black jeans rather than other pastel bits, and block heels instead of dainty sandals. 

Read more:  Dresses you can wear to a summer wedding when breaking the rules is the only choice you have

The blouse is busy like the lilies. So I made it even busier adding my absolute favourite beaded bag from NYC designer Susan Alexandra and a shell necklace – just for a bit of extra on top of extra. 

Marisa Crous

Marisa Crous

Frida Kahlo and Tony Gum 

Solid. One colour, zero blocking or breaking. That’s what I loved in these works of art. 

I almost never do this, as I have a compulsion to break up an outfit. Blue, blue and black, black. But this time I went full-throttle. Blue denim skirt, blue linen shirt, blue scrunchie and even a blue ceramic earring from Selfi, another great fashion artist.

Marisa Crous
Marisa Crous

Athi-Patra Ruga

The balloons. The Zebra-pop. It all screams festive. 

How could I not wear this?

Marisa Crous, Ruga

Read more: We're already shopping the trendiest items in 2019's Pantone colour of the year

The art work inspired this, the ‘fancy safari outfit’. 

Marisa Crius, Safari Ruga outfit

Not wearing a fanny pack unironically and certainly no bulky boots, I traded those in for gold sandals and tossed the binoculars, adding some hand jewels instead.

Jewels Safari


Gold sandals

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, I believed it was authentic
7% - 424 votes
Yes, I didn't want to spend that much money on the original item
20% - 1242 votes
No, I always shop at reputable stores
13% - 800 votes
No, I don't wear designer clothing
60% - 3678 votes