Hawaiian Shirts & Fine Art? A Match Made in Heaven
By Laura Copley
Pandemics come and go, but Hawaiian shirts last forever! Even with their garish features, clashing colours and headache-inducing patterns, it seems we just cannot get enough. They’re great for all occasions, making you beach, BBQ and bender ready, and if conversation ever lulls, you know you can just divert all attention to this iconic garment. These shirts are works of art in their own right, so it feels fitting to compare them to other iconic pieces of art - feel free to use this info to annoy people at the next party you attend...
Hawaiin shirts - or Aloha shirts as their shirty ancestors were commonly known - can be officially dated back to the 30s (and unofficially to the 1800s when Hawaiian and Japanese natives used red and yellow vegetable dyes to brightly colour their shirts) when Chinese-Hawaiian business bro Ellery Chun returned from university to his home of Honolulu and came up with the idea to sell this local style of shirt as a novelty item. They grew popular pretty quickly. Fast forward a couple of decades and you’ll notice the likes of Sinatra, Elvis and even a number of presidents (Google ‘Nixon Hawaiian shirt’) donning the much loved shirt. These shirts paved the way for the many different types of colourful, wacky shirts around today, so here we honour them!
They’re great for all occasions, making you beach, BBQ and bender ready, and if conversation ever lulls, you know you can just divert all attention to this iconic garment. These shirts are works of art in their own right, so it feels fitting to compare them to other iconic pieces of art - feel free to use this info to annoy people at the next party you attend...
The Japanese Footbridge - Claude Monet (1899)
The artist: Monet was a French painter and more importantly, a Scorpio. He was the founder of the French Impressionist painting and you’ll more than likely be familiar with a lot of his work. He was a lover of landscapes and had the ability to translate the emotions you feel when looking at breathtaking scenery into his work. Sweet!
The art: As well as having the same colour palette, these two magnifique pieces of art both share similar brush strokes. The shirt pattern is busy without being manic, and eye grabbing without being too intense. The Japanese Footbridge was made up of hundreds of tiny brush strokes adding intensity, but they are built up to portray a really peaceful and idillic scene. Art is cool!
The event: This shirt would be best worn at a friend’s birthday party in the park. The juxtaposition of the eratic pattern mixed with the calming colours will show that you know how to have a good time without getting too crazy. You wouldn’t be the designated driver, but you could safely walk someone home while providing great shirt convo and a calming demeanour.
Snap it up here for great party vibes:
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Almond Blossom - Vincent Van Gogh (1890)
The artist: We all know Van Gogh, mainly for his amazing art work but also because he chopped his ear off. He was the original sad boi artist. Pisces energy! He was another impressionist artist, born in The Netherlands. He smashed out around 860 oil paintings overall and was an all round G.
The art: This particular piece was created for the birth of Gogh’s lil baby nephew and is of his favourite thing to paint: blossoms against a blue sky. He chose an almond tree as a symbol of new life as they bloom as early as February. This painting represents joy and youthfulness, and the shirt is the same! The shirt’s design is playful and young and the cream background with the simple white patterns gives off a delicate yet fun vibe.
The event: This shirt is perfect for a first date! Think blossoming, young love. This shirt will show that you have a sensitive side and the confidence to wear something soft yet strong. Also wear around your mum!
Grab it here for the promise of luuurve: https://www.thrifted.com/products/vintage-oviesse-hawaiian-shirt-mens-beige-medium-44210
Icarus - Lenore ‘Lee’ Krasner (1964)
The artist: This New Yorker was a pioneer of American abstract expressionism, and was also married to absolute art don Jackson Pollock. Her work was incredibly erratic, vivid and full of emotion. Many of her pieces are full, full size, demanding the attention they deserve. Another Scorpio! Scorpio’s make great artists.
The art: This piece has a dark backstory. Krasner began this piece while her marriage to Pollock was on the rocks and half way through she left it on its easel, got up and took off on a solo trip to France. While she was gone Pollock died from a drunken car accident. Krasner returned and with the pain and emotion she felt, birthed Icarus. Even though the little fishies on this shirt probably didn’t come from as intense of a place as the hidden images inside Icarus, it’s manic pattern and busy lines are of the same energy. It’s intense!
The event: A full on rave. A dancing for 12 hours, “I’ve forgotten who I am” kinda vibe. Rave responsibly!
Forget (or don’t forget) about your troubles with this shirt here:
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Hockney Swimmer - David Hockney (1978)
The artist: Hockney is a British painter, printmaker and photographer amongst many, many other things. He’s a modern boy, and was a OG contributor to the art pop scene of the 1960s. A classic Cancer!
The art: Swimming pools were Hockney’s thing in the 60s/70s - when he flew out to LA the world he knew (dreary old England, he’s from... Bradford) was the total opposite of what was waiting for him. Freedom, leisure and a pool in every bloody back garden. Grey skies were now blue and his sexuality was far more accepted in the bright and colourful dreamland known as California. This painting is all about being chill. It’s carefree and fun. The shirt’s blue hues match up to this, and the softness of its leafy design emulates the same flows of the pool’s water.
The event: Beach BBQ. Sunglasses on, shoes off and a nice bev in hand, you’ll be the chillest cool cat on the whole damn sand!
Make your dreams come true here:
Yep, you guessed it, shop our range of Hawaiian Shirts here -
Written by Laura Copley
Check out her catalogue of articles here! laurajanecops.wordpress.com
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