The Greeks thought inspiration was a gift of the gods. Freud believed art arose from attempts to resolve psychological conflict, and that for creators, pain and trauma are a wellspring of inspiration…

But I have always conjured artistic inspiration from a more unusual source: history. I wouldn’t consider my self nostalgic, but I do appreciate a classic. I find inspiration within stories of the past, in fleeting moments and memories, which morph into dazzling visions, mirages, or “man-made dreams for waking eyes.” These sustain my wild imagination, and in turn my creative output. The work depicted here is the product of my artistic inspiration, culled from the inner workings of my dizzying mind. I approach fashion as both cultural and anthropological - I look to the past - both distant and far to see the way different civilizations have embedded their specificity through art and costumes, which is reflected in my styling practice.

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Lauren Engel (@ltengy) is an Art Historian and Conservation Assistant at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; she also works as freelance curator and fashion stylist. Engel holds a Master of Fine Arts in Art History and Museum Studies from New York University, as well as a BA in Art History, Anthropology and Studio Art from NYU. She has five years of experience working in numerous reputable New York museums, galleries and auction houses. She has also built relationships and styled for many designer brands.