Tuesday, July 23, 2024

‘Proust is the godfather of fashion’: what writers’ garments display approximately them

He identifies reads like a provocation: Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore. What? Shouldn’t authors, especially “mythical” ones, be exempt from fashion scrutiny? Surely, we should look at their words now, not their clothing. If they produced fantastic works of art, who cares how they dressed?

When I sat down the first morning and commenced writing about Samuel Beckett, I thought: ‘Oh, my goodness. Am I doing something completely outrageous?'” says the e-book’s author, Terry Newman, who teaches style journalism at the University for the Creative Arts, Epsom. But, as it occurred, she soon discovered that Beckett became a splendid area to start: he carried a Gucci bag and loved Clarks Wallabee shoes.

Newman’s e-book is full of these crossovers among literature and style. There are obvious examples, such as Joan Didion, who appeared in a Céline campaign in 2015, and Dorothy Parker, whose writing profession commenced at Vogue. But some alliances are more surprising. With her monkish hair and opulent brooches, Gertrude Stein exchanged postcards with couturier Pierre Balmain. Vivienne Westwood becomes stimulated by Joe Orton and pretty much anybody inspired by Proust. “Oh, Proust!” Newman says wearily. “He is the godfather of style. That 70s disco crowd was all so obsessed with him.” Especially Yves Saint Laurent. This is unlike any Proust grievance I have heard.

Living authors are underrepresented. Zadie Smith is here, as is Donna Tartt. But there’s no Stephen King, together with his curated informal look, and Karl Ove Knausgaard could experience unappreciated with a handiest short entry in the “hair” segment. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is another omission because she has a clean look based on photo clothes. Her 2012 TED communication, We Should All Be Feminists, has become a slogan on a Dior T-blouse.



No one questions the link between fashion style and inventive fashion for visual artists, actors, or musicians, but the concept seems arguably for authors. The writing-in-pajamas trope is partially accountable. However, this motif is deceptive. Writers like to mention that they spend all day in sweatpants. However, it might be wrong to consider this a dereliction of style. Often, the scruffiness is a way to preempt high expectancies of what you’re supposed to supply, to trick yourself into seeming unhopeful. It can be precise to sense a piece undone. Who in reality thinks they’ll write their best if they visit the web page clothed?

But writers don’t spend all their time at a table. They cross into the world as authors; once they do, there can be continuity of writing and clothing styles. “Strong voice” – prized by retailers and editors – is the verbal equivalent of a robust look. A creator’s fashion may unfold seamlessly from their wardrobes to their books.

“When human beings communicate approximately style, they think about it as frivolous,” Newman says, although it never appeared to her. She grew up loving garments and books. And in case you love each, you recognize that it’s miles possible to critique an outfit similar to a sentence. The Booker-longlisted novelist Ned Beauman plays with volume in his prose and gets dressed (he likes Rick Owens). Donna Tartt cultivates sharp angles in her bobbed hair, crisp collars, and many cornered sentences.

Sometimes, a style can reinforce a writer’s picture and assist in promoting books because it did for Ernest Hemingway, Tom Wolfe, Tartt herself – whose first writer picture showed her critically bobbed in a snowy graveyard – or David Foster Wallace. His sports socks, running shoes, and quick shorts are the closest things to the mythical author’s tracksuit in Newman’s book, but the mishmash doesn’t look easy. As it befits his prose, each clothing object looks like a footnote to some different outfit. But, as Wallace knew, style is inescapable. You can’t opt out of it in dress or writing. All you can do is to appear now, not to care. But, of the path, that would be just another fashion.

William J. McGoldrick
William J. McGoldrick
Passionate beer maven. Social media advocate. Hipster-friendly music scholar. Thinker. Garnered an industry award while merchandising cannibalism in Gainesville, FL. Have some experience importing human hair in Minneapolis, MN. Won several awards for consulting about race cars in the government sector. Crossed the country developing strategies for clip-on ties in Washington, DC. Spent a weekend implementing Virgin Mary figurines in West Palm Beach, FL. Had moderate success promoting Elvis Presley in Ocean City, NJ.

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