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June 25, 2008

How to Dress for the Job You Want

what to wear for a job in the art world

Dress for a job in: The Art World

Photo Credit: Taghi Naderzad

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"A button-down shirt would be too boring. Butdon't show up in an avant-garde tutu—it's still a job, not a fashion show. "

Art vs. Tart
Search flea markets, vintage and thrift shops, and Mom's—and Grandma's!—attic and jewelry box
Have a go-to LBD you can dress up or down—mine's an '80s Alaïa
As Coco Chanel decreed, when you're all finished getting dressed, take one thing off
Wear metallic shoes—they function like neutrals but are more interesting than black

DON'TS: Being scared of prints, or mixing prints; in the art world, eclectic is good
Avoiding the '70s. I love that era's flair—it's such a distinct style reference
Copying a look exactly—you have to make it your own, organically

GALLERISTA IN PROGRESS: Saskia Miller, 26, student at the Free University of Berlin

EXPERT: Giada Torri, director of events and exhibits at New York City's Milk Gallery

FORMALITY FACTOR: (5/10) "This is a creative environment; you can do skinny jeans and vests. A button-down shirt or a suit would be too boring."

THE GOAL: "When we're trying to recruit important or upcoming artists, it's crucial to represent the gallery. Of course, no one shows up in an avant-garde tutu—it's still a job, not a fashion show."

THE MUST-HAVES: "Bold prints, oversize belts, statement accessories. Something that expresses your imagination."

THE FASHION DISASTER: "I bought a beautiful but deteriorating 1920s dress to wear to an important dinner at the Waverly Inn [in Manhattan]. When I stood up, the back completely fell apart; a busboy helped staple the dress together so I wasn't mooning everyone. Like you would an original painting, inspect vintage carefully before purchasing."

DRESS FOR SUCCESS: "I have hundreds of dresses and tons of shoes, and every day I look forward to putting together my outfit. I play around with different colors and textures just like a painter does. If you have fun getting dressed, it will show in your outfit."

FINISH THE LOOK: "I wear a lot of jewelry—like, four to six rings at a time. And I love a retro feel, so I work that in with bags and shoes."

On Saskia Miller, left: Dress, $436, Mint Jodi Arnold; shoes, $430, DKNY; rings, $785 each, Stephen Dweck. On Giada Torri, right: Cardigan, $79, Club Monaco; tank, $145, skirt, $825, D&G; shoes, $745, Marni; necklace, $1600, Subversive Jewelry by Justin Giunta; Torri's own rings.

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