Friday, 11 September 2015

Fashion Fancies: Sylvia Plath


Another month means it's time for a new instalment in my 'Fashion Fancies' series, where I take a fictional or historical character and create some outfits for them that I imagine they would wear. From now on I think I'm going to have to extend my definition of fictional or historical characters to include writers and other artists since it's actually quite tricky to come up with a distinctive style to suit a character's aesthetic!

Hence today I'm putting together some outfits for Sylvia Plath. Plath is one of the most well-known poets of the 20th century and was part of the American confessional poetry movement of the 1950s and 60s. She also wrote The Bell Jar, her only novel that was published just before her death and which remains one of my all time favourite novels. Her poetry is very raw, painful and violently emotional, as she suffered from clinical depression for most of her adult life and used poetry as an outlet. Personally I find her poems quite difficult to get to grips with, as it they often have a lot of hidden depths and meaning, but I really enjoy reading different interpretations and analysis of her work. Sylvia Plath is in fact probably most well-known for committing suicide in 1963 at the age of 30. 

1. Writing
I tried to keep these outfits relatively authentic to the 1950s, but I feel like this first outfit leans more to the beginning of the 60s. While skirts were obviously still the norm for women trousers were beginning to be a thing, so I feel like Sylvia might have preferred a more comfortable outfit for sitting at her typewriter and banging out drafts of her poetry. I also really like this pink jumper, I have no idea but I feel like it would be the kind of college-style thing girls in the 50s would have worn.

2. Poetry in the Park
This is my favourite outfit of the four, and I especially love the skirt with its tapestry effect. I think it could easily have been upcycled from a pair of old curtains, in the spirit of 1950s 'make do and mend'. If Sylvia went wandering around on a crisp autumn day looking for inspiration in nature I think she would have worn something like this.

3. Weekend in New York City
Most of her novel The Bell Jar is set in New York, as the protagonist gets a summer internship at a magazine based there. This is one of the major autobiographical details, as Plath herself had a scholarship at Mademoiselle magazine beginning in 1953. I feel like this outfit would have been appropriate for a day out and about, as it's fashionable yet practical.

4. Garden Party
To be honesty this last outfit is more inspired by the 1950s than Sylvia Plath's actual life. I really love the floral pattern of the midi skirt, and I think it would be perfect for an afternoon spent sitting in the sun and making polite conversation.


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