Fashion Book–The Years
I admit it–I haven’t been inspired by a book I’ve read for months. Something just doesn’t seem to be clicking with my most recent reads. In an effort to get back to basics, I scoured my bookshelf and found The Years, one of the 5 or 6 Virginia Woolf novels I have lined up there. I picked it up, like the others, in the midst of a Woolf frenzy I went through in college. I got through a few chapters of this before it was abandoned, most likely because of classes, and I never had the occasion to pick it up again before this week. I’m glad I did–it’s full of beautiful Woolfian moments and imagery, and trademark shifts in point of view.
However, I knew that with the plethora of characters and the large span of time in the novel, it would be a challenge for a Fashion Book post. I brainstormed, and what resonated with me was one particular scene in which there’s a dance. Maggie, the older sister, is attending, while Sally, her younger sister is lying in bed, waiting for her to come home. She can hear the guests at the party through her open window, and she recounts the blur of the distant voices and the music, coming in with the summer breeze, as she wonders about what they’re talking about, what songs they’re waltzing to. It’s a lovely scene, and I wanted to create an all-out glamorous outfit that a society woman may have worn to a summer ball in the first decade of the 1900s. I imagined a gorgeous, jewel-colored evening gown, with a pin for the hair, an elegant wrap, a fan, a beaded bag, and a long string of pearls. Oh if money were no object….