Sartorial Abstraction

By Redactie See All This | July, 2024
Every element in the life of Georgia O’Keeffe – from her art and objects to her love affairs and clothes – participated in a definite vision of abstraction. Immortalised by her lover, photographer Alfred Stieglitz, O’Keeffe’s distinctive modernist style continues to inspire us today and forever.



The stark painting of her adobe home opens the door to her perception of absolute harmony based on sobriety. The modernist life of Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) was a holistic one: her art, objects, interiors, love affairs and clothes all participated in a definite vision of abstraction. She painted flowers as intimate studies in fluidity, created houses with minimal means, chose lovers with obsessive precision and collected a wardrobe of impressive restraint.

O’Keeffe’s style of clothing became legendary for its sober elegance based on faithful fashions. Once she had found the right garment, she would adopt it as one of her signature icons and repeat it in multiple variations, again and again over time.


Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, 1930-1931, gelatin silver print, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum


Her work wear included aprons, lab coats, men’s shirts and worker jackets – all forms designed from function – made of sturdy textiles, such as canvas and twill. O’Keeffe’s more formal wear was inspired by her travels and included Japanese kimonos, Indian jackets and an all-American favourite wrap dress, a garment she copied many times in various fluid fabrics, possibly aroused by the sensuous peignoir immortalized by her greatest lover photographer Alfred Stieglitz.

Her favourite colour was black, and her masculine suits followed each other in a succession of severely tailored outfits in barathea wool. Her signature western hat made her silhouette majestic.

Read the full article in the summer issue of See All This.




See All This #34: ‘The Wardrobe as Art Collection’, curated by Lidewij Edelkoort.
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Header image: Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, ca. 1930, gelatin silver print, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe

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