I've been holding onto this Book Style featuring War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy for a bit, waiting for Winter and whatnot. The sunset colors may seem summery, but they add a welcome splash to dark winter days when applied to cold weather style. A Russian fur trapper hat to honor Mr. Tolstoy's heritage and there we go.
Up next in Book Style, I've tackled another classic cover: The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. I've been eyeballing this cover on my bookshelf since I started this project but I kept wimping out because of the ketchup and mustard color scheme. I finally found some sort of inspiration though, whenever September rolls around I'm always ready for Fall/Winter outfits. I started this look with Holden Caulfield's iconic hunting cap and added a puffy red vest, some classic red Converse and some cozy yellow knit gloves. I've layered all of this over some dark denim leggings and a white thermal henley. A backpack and some novel-inspired charms, a Coke bottle, a duck, and a carousel, for a charm bracelet complete the look.
Today we get all four of the Sherlock Holmes novels by Arthur Conan Doyle: A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and The Valley of Fear. Let's break them each down:
- I went with sexy, slightly badass secretary here. Some British nods with the Vivienne Westwood watch and the Cambridge Satchel. Also, it should be noted that the nail varnish is named "A Study In Pink" after the newest BBC incarnation of the great detective. And as the final touch, a subtle lip gloss to balance all the fuschia called, appropriately enough, "Sweet Revenge".
- Spring weekend or maybe resort wear here. A lot of Indian and African inspired jewelry here makes a nice tie in to the treasure at the center of the drama in this novel.
- Can't you just imagine a modern, albeit very hip, British lady sporting this outfit. Those spectators are fantastic (and I don't even like yellow!). A nice little nod to the eponymous hound with that wolf ring.
- I admit to playing off more of the psychedelic, New Age-y vibe of the cover than the actual plot. Although I do think the geode jewelry is a good parallel to the coal country setting of flashback section of the novel.
For Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy I decided to channel some cocktail glamour. Nothing too book specific, just a lot of opulence and luxury. Silky striped trousers, a glamorous corset, and nude Louboutins comprise the simple, yet pricey, outfit. A lace/feather/pearl clutch and floral collar necklace add the requisite, feminine bling. Oh and I gave a nod to Anna's black heart (nope you can't convince me otherwise, she's selfish and self-centered) with this honking cocktail ring.
Another horror classic for this round of Book Style: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Everything but the leather jacket (unless you assume the Monster's skin was leathery?), which I used to offset the fitted-ness of the outfit, takes direct inspiration from the subject material. We've got some platform boots that pay homage to the Hollywood idea of Frankenstein's Monster's footwear. Some muscle leggings (I want! I want!) and an anatomy print tea work surprisingly well together. The anatomical heart necklace and spine-adorned knuckle clutch are a brilliant touch, if I do say so myself. And to top it all off, some lightning bolt earrings to get the monster off the table and lurching around.
Bram Stoker's Dracula is a horror classic and has been the source of inspiration and fascination for writers and Hollywood for years. I decided I would create an outfit worthy of one of my favorite fantasy heroines, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sexy heels and crimson lingerie compete with kick ass dark denim and a vibrant leather jacket. The jewelry is my favorite part of this all around rad outfit: A sparkly fang ring, bat stud earrings, and a stake necklace. Love it! Maybe if Mina had rocked this outfit (and attitude) I would have had more sympathy for her.
Today is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Can I just say that I want to wear this outfit everyday for the rest of the Fall. EVERY DAY. All very proper and polished without being too fancy, much like our titular heroine. And isn't this cape/jacket thingy just too perfect? I chose this necklace, not only to bring in the touch of red on the cover, but because it reminded my of the flames that are a constant threat (and eventual salvation) in the novel.
I've been working up the courage to tackle this cover for George Orwell's Animal Farm for a while now; it seems so easy but it was really difficult. Mostly because, despite the satirical nature, the plot isn't all that fun and vibrant like this color palette. I went with some military inspiration since the book addresses some militaristic tendencies inherent in the Russian Communist revolution. I also tossed in that vintage Russian wedding band to pay homage to the subject material. A cute little piggy necklace is a nod to Orwell's talking animal leads.
I love this book. I'm a weird Dorian Gray/Oscar Wilde fangirl. I couldn't put together a The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde outfit without having it be a party outfit. Seriously, Wilde is my consistent answer to the "Who, living or dead, would you like to have dinner with?" question. I also had to have a purple velvet jacket. Don't ask me why, but I cannot think of Dorian or Oscar without imagining them in a lush, purple velvet evening jacket. The skull ring is an nice nod to the eponymous picture and also helps draw some excellent parallels between the opulence of modern rock'n'roll and the similar opulence of the aestheticism movement that Wilde was so central in. Some dark, skinny jeans, supple gray booties, and a glitter clutch round out the outfit.
This particular Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen cover is just too much fun. So much black and white graphic goodness to play with. I decided to offset all of the fun with some nods to the more proper British attitudes reflected in the novel. An equestrian style blazer and some high heeled spectator shoes may not be quite era-appropriate but they lend the necessary air of dignity to the glitzy tights and polka dot umbrella. And of course, Lizzie and her Mr. Darcy must have their love proclaimed via this adorable double finger ring.
Something a little different today.
I think I've mentioned my insatiable Alice love before and I'm not alone; the whimsical classics Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass have inspired many awesome covers over the years. I whittled down six of my favorites and included a tea cup for the Mad Hatter's tea party with each one. Some highlights from each one:
- I love the whole '20s vibe that this cover has. And aren't those heeled Mary Janes ah.maze.ing?
- I would wear this every day. The "Drink Me" necklace and White Rabbit ring enhance the playful vibe that starts with the striped tights.
- So psychedelic and edgy.
- The most classic of all the looks, what with the blue and white and all. I love the idea of wearing that playful Cheshire Cat ring with a business outfit.
- I love these colors together (no really, my kitchen is rapidly headed in this direction) and rompers as evening wear is where it's at. You'll take note that this is the only time I gave in and included and Alice band. Lot's of the Red Queen's roses here, too.
- Poppy brights and adorable White Rabbit earrings are perfectly toughened up with the stompin' boots and leather jacket. Perfect for causing a ruckus with the Hatter.
The Hell Screen by I. J. Parker is a detective mystery set in 11th century Japan. I don't know why the combo of Japanese and detective sent me straight to a '70s vibe, but it did. I think a classic cheongsam style blouse (I know it's not Japanese, but I was going for Asian) offsets dark-rinse denim flares wonderfully. Platform, black velvet Dragon heels will be perfect peeking out of the jean's hem. A trench coat is a detective must-have and I love this mustard colored one from Burberry. Some jade and dragon jewelry plays with the rich colors and the theme. Bright leather gloves and a oversized fedora complete the '70s PI look.
I love me some A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. This cover ties in nicely with the look of the Kubrick film and offers a nice opportunity to play with color. Some bright turquoise pants and a crisp white button down do a droog proud when paired with suspenders and some knee high Doc Martens. I would totally rock this bowler style cap in real life, so it gets included here. Pops of orange on a classic watch, nail varnish, and a Alex-approved sexy mesh bra add some great flair. Some simple emerald studs and the requisite false eyelashes complete the look. I decided that some bright yellow headphones were also necessary in order to listen to your favorite show tunes and classical composers.
I've made Scout into a modern young lady with this To Kill a Mockingbird outfit. I think Harper Lee would be pleased with my bird motif Toms for Scout, they do support a worthy cause, after all. A playful and comfy romper and cardigan combo is perfect for Scout's no nonsense tomboy mentality. A lightweight scarf, colorful watch, and pretty necklace bring everything together. And I just couldn't resist these "Atticus" sunglasses.
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote is an undisputed classic, although I do prefer the movie to the book in this case; I just think the movie evokes more of Holly's personality, so shoot me. I think this edition's cover is particularly apropos as it conveys the city life, 1960s, and the trademark Tiffany blue all so beautifully. Since Holly Golightly is technically a working girl, albeit a rather high-end one, I decided to play with that theme a create a corporate working girl appropriate outfit. A simple sheath, minimalist blazer and sexy but classy pumps work well together. Some Tiffany jewelry was a must, of course. I love these cat-eye frames to pay homage to the retro look this book title will always invoke in any of us that have ever seen the Audrey Hepburn film.
I love this simple, graphic Puffins Classics cover of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. I don't think any outfit based on a book set in tropical India could be anything but warm weather appropriate; I decided that a dressy, Summer evening, drinks-with-friends outfit would be perfect. Leopard print trousers, a breezy white blouse and strappy flats make an easy and chic ensemble. I chose a statement making tiger ring and a more delicate elephant necklace to help draw in some of the novel's famous characters. A simple clutch and jungle green nail varnish complete the look.
Punch by David Wondrich is a very well researched book on the origins of Punch (capital p on purpose) and contains many wonderful, historical recipes for real Punch, not the super sweet, sherbet floating, neon colored stuff we drink at receptions these days. But the cover offered up the quintessential punch pink hue and I ran with it. And if we're drinking Punch we'd better have on a fabulous party dress. Toss in a few nautical references as thanks to the sailors who most likely brought Punch's ancestor home to England for further tinkering and perfection and we've got the outfit I wish I could rock to the next Spring wedding I get invited to.
The Mister gave me The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King as a bit of a challenge for this Book Style set. It's one of my favorite books in the whole world because it is the first book in the Mary Russell series, a Sherlock Holmes pastiche. That being said, yellow is my least favorite color ever. But I have wiped the smug smile off my husband's face with this one; he just gave me a nod of approval actually. Guess it helps to know (and love) your characters so well. I wanted to maintain the tomboyish, academic look that Mary embraces throughout most of this first novel. I think I achieved that with her trademark "sturdy boots", walkable shorts, and geek-chic eyewear. The silk material of the shorts and the bling of the, oh-so-appropriate, Alexander McQueen honeybee jewelry harkens to her heiress status. Did you notice that the cozy wrap sweater also sports a honeycomb motif? And no Mary Russell outfit would ever be complete without a nod to Holmes; a 221B necklace does the trick here. Oh, I almost forgot, that delicious chocolate nail varnish is called "The Professor".
Tackling the first Lucifer Box novel, The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss (yes, that Mark Gatiss), was a bit of a challenge since the color scheme didn't exactly inspire me immediately. I ended up having quite a bit of fun creating an evening look with a sexy tuxedo, though. Touches of orange and saffron really draw everything together and I love the contrast of the cream corset over the citrus-y blouse. This ring is my hidden treasure; the stone is named "volcano". Get it? Vesuvius/volcano. The scarf is another bit of insider, I've already read the novel, humor: The print is a millipede.
While it was almost nearly instinctual to go the flapper girl route with a Gatsby-inspired outfit I decided to challenge myself and attempt something different. I think this resort outfit vibes 1920's very well. Loose and comfy pants with an Art Deco-esque structured blouse. I went ahead and brought in hints of red and coral with the accessories. Aren't those shoes to die for? A slouchy boyfriend sweater and a straw cloche help combat the elements on those Northeastern coastal beaches.