I really enjoyed writing Fine Art, (which, wow, was already a full year ago) so I have been thinking about doing another. We’ll call this a spin-off.
As it turns out, matching style to literary eras, is a lot trickier than art. Art comes with colors and shapes and things you see in clothing. Literature…does not. So the resulting piece is a little bit about the style of the , a little bit about the style of the writing, and a little bit about the flavor of the authors…I hope.
The Lost Generation – World War I
The most recent of the three eras I’m going to touch on, the Lost Generation is marked by notable figures like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, and T.S. Eliot. The phrase supposedly comes from Gertrude Stein telling Hemingway the following, “That is what you are. That’s what you all are … all of you young people who served in the war. You are a lost generation.”
Wartime and the experiences there are fundamental to the Lost Generation aesthetic, as is the rejection of wealth. Think Great Gatsby – the moral, not the man.
Wear: Tight Short-Sleeved Button-ups, Suspenders, Khakis, Cuffed Jeans, and Coats with Sheepskin Collars.
The Victorian Era – 1837-1901
Ah, the fin de siècle, what a wonderfully weird time in literature and history. Now, we often think of the Victorian Era as very buttoned-up, conservative, and proper, but oh hoho, is that ignoring so much of what was churning below. One of my favorite classes in Uni was called Fin de Siècle: Decadence and Degeneration. That should tell you something. While the visible culture was often quite proper, monsters, faeries, murderers, and debauchery were increasingly popular in books and entertainment.
Wear: Deep Blues and Purples, Crisp Button-ups, Tall-Collared Coats, Subtle Mixed Patterns
The Romantics – approx. 1770 – 1848
Right up front, we should address the fact that the Romantic Period is my favorite literary period, partly due to my overwhelming love for John Keats. (How many times can I legitimately mention Keats on a fashion blog? We shall see).
The Romantics are in part a rejection of the Industrial Revolution, embracing nature and individuality in a rapidly changing Europe. They were introspective, restless, and extremely emotive writers. They ranged from the elderly William Wordsworth to the, uh, lusty Lord Byron, and their works span a myriad of subjects.
The Romantic’s love of aesthetic and the marrying of awe and horror, results in some of the most purple and rich language and messages informed by true emotion first and foremost.
Wear: Floral Prints, Pastels, Overly-large Wool Coats, Rumpled Suits, Disheveled Hair, Layers