The most important thing for fashion designers is to find inspiration. They can get ideas from a variety of sources, including paintings, magazines, films, literary works, and architecture. Literature is regarded as one of the most powerful sources of inspiration. It's no surprise that some designers look to books for inspiration for their own works.
Fashion and clothing are used in literary works to reveal class and gender, to suggest intentions, and to aid in character development. Clothing, according to Balzac, is the most powerful symbol and an expression of the society that creates it. Literature has long provided great icons to the fashion world, such as Miss Havisham, Orlando, Anna Karenina, and Jane Eyre...and they continue to inspire many designers. At Yvette LIBBY, we have been bringing to life fall coats & jackets with hints of timeless literary masterpieces.
1/ “GREAT EXPECTATIONS” – CHARLES DICKENS
"She was dressed in luxurious fabrics such as satin, lace, and silk, all in white." Her footwear was white. And she wore a long white veil, and she wore bridal flowers in her hair, but her hair was white. Some bright jewels glistened on her neck and hands, while others glistened on the table...."
"...But I noticed that everything in my sight that should have been white had been white a long time ago, had lost its luster, and was faded and yellow." I saw that the bride within the bridal gown had withered like the gown and the flowers, and that her only radiance was that of her sunken eyes..."
Gown style for ladies from Yvette LIBBY: BODY LANGUAGE - BLUE ATOLL
The passage is from Great Expectations and describes Pip's first meeting with Miss Havisham - a woman who was abandoned on her wedding day and has withdrawn into a gloomy world of embittered memories, wearing her wedding gown every day, hoping that her beloved will return to her. Her faded white gown is a reminder of the loss and death of romance and love, but it is undeniably beautiful. Her dramatic silhouette continues to inspire fashion designers today.
2/ “SONNETS” – SHAKESPEARE
Shakespeare's sonnets, known as Sonnets, are a collection of sonnet-style poems he wrote about themes including love, beauty, death, and the passage of time. They have served as an inspiration for a variety of artistic creations, including music, literature, and fashion.
Shakespeare mostly writes about the "Young Man" and the "Dark Lady" in his sonnets. A lot of designers also get their inspiration from the mysterious Dark Lady and the young man's beauty.
Fashion and literature both bring abstract concepts to life, which is what they have in common. Verse about May can therefore allude to the design of flowing garments or ethereal wedding gowns:
…Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date…
(from Sonnet 18)
Shakespeare’s wonderful use of light and shadow can be seen in a number of designs over the decades:
When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And darkly bright, are bright in dark direction.
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would the shadows’s form form happy show
To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so! …
All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.
(From Sonnet 43)
Gown style for ladies with a romantic vibe from Yvette LIBBY: Jazz Min
3/ “ORLANDO” – VIRGINIA WOOLF
The adventure of a poet who switches from a male to a woman and embarks on a 300-year time journey across English literature history is told in Virginia Woolf's Orlando. Along the way, she encounters important historical characters. Many fashion designers have cited Woolf's work as an inspiration because of the vivid images her meticulous descriptions conjure and the gender-neutral outlook it takes on clothing.
People respect Woolf's ideas for their forward-thinking nature, and Orlando has developed into a helpful design book for a fashion world that is becoming more and more interested in gender-neutral clothes.
4/ “ALICE IN WONDERLAND” – LEWIS CARROL
In Alice in Wonderland, a little girl enters a fantastical realm full of weird creatures after falling down a rabbit hole. In particular, fashion has been greatly influenced by the characters and imagery of books in popular culture and literature. Generations of fashion designers have been influenced by Lewis Carroll's incredible fantastical universe. This bizarre and inventive tale is represented in fashion in a variety of ways, including with gowns that have a vintage vibe, big hats, oversized cardigans, and unusual skirts and pants with unlimited permutations.
Since it has a dark side, Alice in Wonderland is not exactly a children's book. The animals of Wonderland are frequently strange and crazy-seeming. "Everything is so out-of-the-way down here," Alice observes. Designers can express this dark side through apparel with a nearly gothic aesthetic or bizarre costumes that may go beyond Carrol's wildest dreams.
5/ “FRANKENSTEIN” – MARY SHELLEY
Victor Frankenstein is a scientist who conducts an experiment to create a sentient being, and his narrative is told in the novel Frankenstein. Romantic and Gothic fiction combine in Frankenstein. Designers have long been inspired by the Gothic themes, supernatural aspects, fantasy aesthetics, and grim descriptive sections in Frankenstein.
Black leather, the dismal glamor, clothing with obvious seams, and print combinations that resembled collages represented themes of creativity, fate, and free choice. This tale of a monster constructed out of various body parts has proven to be enduringly captivating. Frankenstein has so come to stand for something that resembles various spiced clothes in the fashion industry.
The word "Frankenstein" also refers to clothing constructed with varied fabrics, designs, and cuts that are stitched together in the fashion industry because this miserable creature is created by sewing together disparate components.
6/ “LORD OF THE RINGS” – J.R.R. TOLKIEN
The Lord of the Rings is a fantastic book that takes place in Middle-Earth and centers on the struggle for freedom there against the evil Sauron. This fantasy saga is arguably the best one to read for design inspiration. There are no boundaries to the inventiveness and originality of designers, from outfits evoking the English countryside of the 18th century to lengthy gowns with Celtic embellishments to Arwen's angel robes with exquisite needlework.
Images of elves from "Lord of the Rings" are frequently seen on the runway. The elf-inspired clothing is always opulent and elegant, with illustrations of flowers, plants, and butterflies. Many generations of designers have found great success in drawing inspiration from this sweeping series.
7/ GONE WITH THE WIND” – MARGARET MITCHELL
The most dynamic figure in Gone with the Wind is Scarlett O'Hara. She supported her family through the trials of the civil war by using her own resolve and fortitude. The image where she fashioned a new garment out of curtains was possibly the most inspirational in terms of fashion. Her inventive recycling is now referred to as upcycling.
8/ “THE GREAT GATSBY” – F. SCOTT FITZGERALD
Fitzgerald's eerie writings The work of several designers has been influenced by The Great Gatsby. It helps ensure that 1920s fashion will always be remembered fondly and will never go out of style. Numerous versions of the flapper style continue to be popular on catwalks and in everyday life, all of which are distinct and lovely. There are fashion trends influenced by Gatsby's extravagant parties with all of their glitz and glamour; green tones in the designs influenced by the image of Gatsby reaching out to touch the light beyond the bay - a symbol of unquenchable dreams; and white dresses for unadulterated love as well as dark colors for fading dreams.
The haunting final words of The Great Gatsby will never be forgotten, and neither will the fact that fashion will never be stuck in the past or going backward.
“ …So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
With inspiration from this work, Yvette LIBBY launched Women's designer raincoat "MANHATTAN - Noir"
Designers frequently search for inspiration from a variety of sources to keep their work moving forward. The greatest source is literature. Our imaginations are expanded by books, which help us conjure up the strangest images. The finest part is that various people will experience the same literary work in different ways. Therefore, even when numerous people draw inspiration from the same book, no two designs are ever same.
Although literature and fashion are two very different forms of expression, they can coexist and give each other new forms and vigor.
The two aspects of art appear unrelated, but in the eyes of fashion houses, they have merged. Fashion, like each story, has its own hidden meaning from the perspective of each reader.
Find a piece of literature that is "on point," as well as an outfit that complements your personality.
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