When Georgia O’Keeffe began painting New York City in the 1920s, she found a new subject for her experiments with line and silhouette. In Manhattan, a proposed mural design, she emphasized the rectilinear forms and stepped profiles of the city’s new skyscrapers and painted them in flat fields of color.
Similarly, O’Keeffe continued to dress in severe, almost minimalist, designs. In 1958 she sat for the famous photographer Richard Avedon in New York. For this occasion she chose to wear a custom-made black wool overcoat from the custom-tailoring house of Knize. Knize was known for its exclusive menswear, and this coat suited O’Keeffe’s increasingly androgynous style of dress.
O’Keeffe also ordered bespoke garments from Emsley, another upscale New York men’s tailor. This Emsley three-piece suit, for example, was perfectly fitted and deceptively plain-looking. She often paired black garments like her overcoat and suits with white shirts and white pocket squares, achieving the same striking linear effects that she had used in her skyscraper paintings.