We thought if would be fun to check back in with freelance artist Veronica Popoiacu (34) from Bittersweet Colours to see what she has been up to stylewise. Turns out she is loving dresses at the moment, so we decided to do a dress feature. Pennsylvania-based Veronica’s style is Modern Retro, very pretty, feminine and polished. Our 5’5″ blogger has an excellent eye for proportions, and is always up for trying new silhouettes. Unexpected, daring colour combos and advanced pattern mixing are her trademarks, and her shoe and bag game is on point. Since we first featured her, Veronica has become a Mum, and her style has taken a more singular direction:
“My style has changed drastically, but this change happened before I became a mum, about a year earlier. If previously I was oscillating between femininity — the old classic style (where pretty dresses & high heels were involved) — and a more minimalist and modern look (with clean lines, sometimes oversized pieces), NOW I’m just on one line: pure femininity! It took me some time to find out who I am in terms of style, but I realized that my heart skips a beat when I see a full-skirt midi dress. I had to look closely at what makes me feel confident, comfortable and is still me at the same time, and now I know. If I have to mention one thing that has changed since Noah’s birth, it’s that I don’t wear high heels as often as before. I pretty much prefer mid and low heel pumps, flats and sneakers (I’ve discovered how great the last two styles work with my feminine dresses, a pretty big surprise for me).”
This is a great example of the types of elegant dresses Veronica likes to sport these days. The frock is custom-made and fits her perfectly. The eye-catching print on this full-skirted dress with elegant boat neckline reminds me of Delft pottery. The fitted sleeves create structure, while the self-belt emphasizes our blogger’s slim waist. Mid-heel pointy toe pumps elongate the leg line. The pink suede makes the blue in her dress look even more vibrant. The green, yellow and pink print on the tasseled satchel picks up the colour of the shoes, and adds romantic flair.
Unexpected, bold colour combos continue to be Veronica’s strong suit. The rust paired with emerald green, mid-brown and bright blues packs a serious punch. Veronica’s sleeveless, fitted mini dress with dropped waist and front pockets is delightfully ‘60s. Pairing the sueded frock with a quirky patterned pussy bow blouse only adds to the sassy retro vibe. The knee-high brown boots hug the leg closely for a flattering fit. The suede adds further textural interest. So does the stunning green coat with oversized rounded collar and large buttons. Veronica’s leather shopper in vibrant metallic blues, and black cat eye sunnies finish off the look.
Pattern mixing expert Veronica is sporting a Diane von Furstenberg-inspired vintage dress with black and white pointy toe pumps. The zipper neckline on the dress is a fun design detail. Going with two graphic patterns, and choosing patterns in a similar colour palette creates style cohesiveness. The brown leather obi belt and wide Chanel cuff bracelet add soft edge to the feminine frock. Our blogger’s colour blocked bag cleverly echoes the colours of the belt and the dress. Veronica’s dark locks complement this outfit perfectly.
Here are Veronica’s thoughts and tips on finding one-of-a-kind dresses:
“Let’s start by mentioning that these days it is pretty hard to have a distinctive look and I will give you a basic example. When a big brand launches a stunning design, all the (more affordable) fashion retailers reproduce that piece and then you can see a uniform on the streets, all the girls have ‘that dress’. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you are like me and want something a little bit different, then go browse the vintage shops in person or Etsy.com if you are an online shopper. Of course, there are other ways to acquire rare pieces: estate sales, vintage auctions etc. This is what I do, and I love my collection of vintage dresses, coats, bags and jewelry. Not to mention that the quality is great if you are lucky to find THE piece in great condition. Another way, which I prefer from time to time, is to custom make my dresses ( I love to live in dresses). Luckily, these days you can find online shops that customize your garments.”
Pairing a white minidress with sweet ballerina kitty flats emphasizes the girly vibe of this outfit. The short smock dress showcases Veronica’s shapely gams. The loose fit is tempered by the gathering at the chest, the high neckline, and the turned up scrunched sleeves. Large gold and black drop earrings, that echo the gold detail on the shoes, add a glamorous boho touch. Putting up her hair in a ponytail and sporting a wicker bag — a reproduction of a classic Japanese picnic bag — gives this look a relaxed Summer feel.
This classic ladylike look brilliantly illustrates that Veronica is on a huge retro kick. This little fit-and-flare number in pretty pinks, reds and oranges is another vintage find. The paisley print, midi length, pussy bow neckline, self-belt, and pleated skirt scream ‘70s elegance. The top knot creates elegant strictness that works well with the high neckline. Pairing it with pale pink d’Orsay pumps lets the dress do all the talking. But leave it to Veronica to come up with a way to add a big dose of modern to the outfit with a statement bag. The suede colour block satchel in yellow, grey and black is unexpected without feeling jarring. Big round sunnies and soft pink lipstick complete the look.
Marigold and pink make for another unusual and striking colour combination. Veronica is wearing a long-sleeved pink shift dress with dropped waist and stand-up collar. It’s interesting how she chose to layer a scarf over the high neckline. The top knot keeps her hair from interfering with the lines of the outfit. The above-the-knee frock and pale pink pointy toe pumps create a long leg line. Tying the Hermès scarf in a big bow adds tons of retro charm. The texture-rich mango coat matches the yellow in the scarf perfectly. The colour block tote with architectural lines, another stunner from Veronica’s enviable bag collection, complements this Jackie O-esque outfit to perfection.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of Veronica’s fabulous Modern Retro dress looks. Let us know in the comments, and then hop on over to Bittersweet Colours to browse the rest of her outfits. Or find more visual inspiration on her pinboards.