Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Classic Characters and Their Literary Style

I'm sorry for being a bit MIA this week, my fellow book lovers. I've been up to my ears in work, including moderating and troubleshooting the new Pocket After Dark website. It may be Wednesday, but it sure feels like, you know, September.

Anyway, in an attempt to make it up to you, allow me to share today's Boldtype post on literary fashion, featuring "Literature's Top-10 Best-Dressed Characters" EVER:

If you’re the kind of person who’s into transformational mid-life journeys told with self-deprecating charisma, the you’re probably pretty psyched about the forthcoming film version of Eat Pray Love. And you may also have some of the film’s myriad product tie-ins on your shopping list: The adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s wildly popular memoir has been franchised into everything from candles to tea to perfume. Designer Sue Wong has even launched a line of Eat Pray Love-branded clothing. But since her costume-y designs are leaving us a bit cold, we couldn’t help but thinking about which of our favorite literary characters might provide better sartorial inspiration. After the jump, peruse our list of literature’s best-dressed figures and leave your own suggestions in the comments.

Lily Bart, The House of Mirth
This aging society girl was always a vision in beautiful dresses and jewels. But because she wasn’t as wealthy as her friends, she was always running up dress-maker debt.

Edith Wharton writes: “The remaining dresses, though they had lost their freshness, still kept the long unerring lines, the sweep and amplitude of the great artist’s stroke, and as she spread them out on the bed the scenes in which they had been worn rose vividly before her. An association lurked in every fold: each fall of lace and gleam of embroidery was like a letter in the record of her past.”

Dorian Gray, The Picture of Dorian Gray
This fin-de-si├Ęcle dandy hides a dark secret: While his face stays young and beautiful, a hidden portrait shows his true, festering and debauched, soul.

Oscar Wilde writes: “That evening, at eight-thirty, exquisitely dressed, and wearing a large button-hole of Parma violets, Dorian Gray was ushered into Lady Narborough’s drawing-room by bowing servants.”

Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Like Lily Bart decades earlier, Holly Golightly is a New York socialite who seemed to appear out of nowhere, shrouded in glamorous mythology.

Truman Capote writes: “She was still on the stairs, now she reached the landing, and the ragbag colors of her boy’s hair, tawny streaks, strands of albino blond and yellowcaught the hall light. It was a warm evening, nearly summer, and she wore a slim, cool black dress, black sandals, a pearl choker. For all her chic thinness, she had an almost breakfast-cereal air of health, a soap and lemon cleanness, a rough pink darkening in the cheeks. Her mouth was large, her nose upturned. A pair of dark glasses blotted out her eyes. It was a face beyond childhood, yet this side of belonging to a woman. I thought her anywhere between sixteen and thirty; as it turned out, she was shy two months of her nineteenth birthday.”

See the remaining seven of Boldtype's top-10 HERE
including Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind, Lady Bret Ashley from The Sun Also Rises, and many

I'm torn between Emma Bovary and Holly Golightly as my fave...

Who do YOU think is the best dressed of the bunch??

P.S. I promise to write a more legitimate post very soon! I have a review of The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank to write! Keep a lookout!

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