You don't have to be an equestrian to fall in love with artist Donna Bernstein's work. A native New Yorker with naturally drawn to horses, her paintings are a modern study of form, movement and spirit. Recently, she's taken her art to the next level, transforming her paintings into a chic, colorful line of silk scarves - the perfect Hamptons accessory.
How did did you first start painting and sketching horses?
I started drawing as a very young girl - of course! - fascinated by horses who knows why. It’s as if they inhabited my body… my mother was an amateur artist and she made sure I had all the horse books the library could source for me, and that is where I studied their form, anatomy, history in art and culture, for many years! Drawing with my Mother was one of my earliest and most satisfying memories.
How would you describe equestrian style?
From a fashion perspective, for me it's incorporating the feel and energy of the horse into a wearable piece, in an elegant or understated way. In my silk scarves I have tried to take a few of my paintings and rework them in a way that gives it a designer feel, but without losing the effect of the art in the process. Lean, elegant, not overly complicated or fussy. Truly wearable art. For me, an equestrian look is crisp and allows for freedom of movement - just like when you are on a horse.
What inspired you to transform your artwork into scarves?
Honestly, I think partly because I'm a native New Yorker and a type A personalty, so I can't do just one thing - I have to do 10 things! Also I love fashion, and I had not found equestrian fashion that wasn’t somewhat predictable, i.e. cutesy or the traditional patterns I had seen over and over again. No matter how lovely and classic they might be. I wanted something distinctly new, clearly different, modern in its styling and with a unique signature look. So I had to create it!
What are your favorite ways to wear a scarf?
I love just around the neck and tied softly - or wrapped across the front of my neck with both ends hanging down the back of an open dress in a very elegant, classic way. The ways to tie and wear are endless! Whether wrapped on a hat, wrapped around the handles of a great bag, or tied in a belt loop. A great scarf is such a versatile fashion statement piece. Some young gals love taking the large squares and wearing them as a halter top!!! Which I love!!!
Where can people buy your scarves?