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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wuthering Heights-Inspired Fashion? Yes, Please!

So I was very excited when I stumbled upon this excerpt on the Brontë blog:

“At Paris Fashion Week last month for so many of the Spring/Summer 2012 shows, designers, from Christian Dior to John Galliano, filled the runways with looks seemingly inspired by ‘Wuthering Heights’ and the classic Gothic novel. Though Heathcliff was nowhere to be found, there was certainly a statement made with sweeping black gowns in lace and chiffon. Paired with a loose updo, chandelier earrings, and a bold red lip surely added finishing touches to this look.” (Alexandra Morales)

Despite saying “Heathcliff was nowhere to be found,” I think this photo captures the arrogance and rugged allure of Heathcliff, if he ever consented to wear a skirt…

As I browsed through the photos from the spring preview, many of the fashions seemed to be a hybrid of romantic, flowy silhouettes with sleeker, geometric designs, sort of Wuthering Heights meets The Matrix. This got me thinking about popular culture, particularly about how new trends are often formed at the intersection of old ones.
Even though I am rarely on the cutting edge of anything, trends fascinate me. They give credence to the Jung’s theory of the “collective subconscious,” the idea that we are all subtly influenced by broad archetypes that give shape and substance to our lives. We can’t help but be swayed by the myriad influences around us, and we are constantly absorbing them, adapting them, and reconstituting them into different forms in our never-ending pursuit of the new. 

Take the recent popularity of retellings, whether they be fairy tales, myths, or literary classics. Does anyone find it odd that two different TV networks are touting brand new shows that feature darkly spun fairy tales? (Once Upon a Time on ABC and Grimm on NBC.) Or how about the dozen or so young adult books released this year in which ancient myths collide with contemporary settings? (Starcrossed, Abandon, The Goddess Test)
Now, it seems we can add the Gothic novel to the mix. My YA retelling of Jane Eyre releases in April 2012, about a year after April Lindner’s Jane and the Cary Fukanaga movie version made their mark, and a few months before Tina Connolly’s Ironskin (a steampunk Jane Eyre with fairies) takes the world by storm. 2012 will also see the publication of April Lindner’s Catherine, a retelling of Wuthering Heights, as well as Andrea Arnold’s interpretation of Wuthering Heights for the big screen, rumored to be even darker and grittier than the book.  Apparently, it's hip to be Brontë. I leave you with this kick-ass video to feed the Brontë-mania. Enjoy!


Alyssa Goodnight said...

What a fun, insightful post! And I have some new books to add to my list...

Unknown said...

How interesting! I'm not very into fashion, but it is apparently hip to be Bronte. Love this post, especially that awesome video at the end. :D

Eve Marie Mont said...

Alyssa, we keep getting great book recommendations from each other's blogs--I love it!

And Penelope, isn't that video hilarious? I'm not very into fashion either, but I thought it was interesting that the Brontes keep popping up. The clothes are kind of cool, though I'd never have the nerve wear them in real life!

Unknown said...

I love it!