Friday, May 27, 2011

The literary world's Influence on fashion

We all know that fashion is influenced by Movies, Magazines, Celebrities and Art. But, did anyone ever realize that it was also influenced by literature? Many designers over the years have been inspired by what they read in books and included the literary works as an inspiration to their new line. I remember recently reading an InStyle magazine where a fashion journalist said that the novel 'The Great Gatsby' constantly inspires her and in another magazine Russh, there was an article about books that fashionable models and celebrities enjoyed reading, drawing invisible lines between the fashion industry and the literary works that inspire it.

Books can inspire people through many avenues when it comes to fashion. In the high society we have models reading what's hot off the shelf. Models who are say muses to certain designers and therefore that novel becomes a large part of their next collection. Then you have Teen Magazines and so on using them in fashiencompasson spreads and then you have the average Joe who gets inspired to dress like Sherlock holmes after finishing a copy of tales by Sir Arthur Connan Doyle. So as far as it goes with Books and Fashion the imaginary lines are endless.

The way in which books can be inspiring is also numerous. There are descriptive passages, the interpretation, descriptions of the characters outfit, the mannerisms, the atmosphere, the cover art the status of the book itself and the title. Many people who choose to wear the lolita or goth fashions are endlessly inspired by books like 'Alice in wonderland' where pictures of stripy tights and chunky shoes are often the subject matter on the front of the book. People are not just choosing to dress like their favourite character some of them are wearing their favourite book, matching their outfit to the colour scheme of the book or trying to encompass the essence of the entire book in one outfit.

First off we have book worms matching their outfits to the book that they are currently reading. Because a book may take more than one day to read it is their outfits that they try and match up rather than the novel itself. Polyvorians have started to incorporate these ideas into their sets by including books like they would an accesory in their fashion collages. Here is one of mine:

You can see that I have included a cropped cover of Alice Hoffman's "The Third Angel" as pictured below.

When people match their outfit to that of a book cover the trick to getting it right is to stick to the theme of the cover art (era, whimsy etc) and the colour scheme, but not to try and copy any outfits worn by cover models. Otherwise you will look tacky and obvious. If however you are not currently reading the novel or carrying it around with you and are inspired by the style of the cover model you can definitely copy it because noone will be able to see where you got your inspiration from.

With the different editions of books these days there are more opportunities to match up your outfit and to get inspiration from your favourite novels.

And if that wasn't enough, book lovers are now trying to wear a miniature version of their favourite book's cover on a t-shirt or a charm. You can get sweaters that have book cover designs on them, book clutches, book earrings, book-inspired pendants and belt buckles. Not only can you choose to dress like your favourite character or author, but you can also match your book to your outfit and where your favourite book.

For those of you who think you are too trendy to bother reading or who are such a nerd that you don't find fashion interesting. Do your selves a favour and have a bit of a google on literary influences. you may be surprised.

According to the June2010 copy of russh Magazine designers Karen Walker and Kate Sylvester have both used books as inspiration for collection.

In the Article Russh also dubbed:
-the Great gatsby
-On the road
-Valley of the dolls
-Less than zero
-The Bell Jar
As Fashionable reads. Many of these novels have been used numerous times as inspiration for collections and have been read my many fashionable people like Kirsten Dunst and Sienna Miller.

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