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Fashion Book–The Elegance of the Hedgehog

2010 May 13

This week, I am reading Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog. The book is lovely, philosophical, and funny. It centers on a 54-year-old concierge named Renee, who is more intelligent, kind, and logical than most of the wealthy residents of the fancy French apartment building she works in. She hides behind her post in life, believing that if she reveals her intelligence, she will be even more reviled than she is when she’s simply ignored by her employers. Paloma, a precocious 12-year-old resident of the building, sees something more in Renee, and seeks to find out why she’s hiding.

Paloma holds everyone in great contempt–most of all her own family. She disdains their material wealth and academic posturing, all the while scribbling in her notebook, desperately searching for something worth believing in so she won’t have to carry through with her plan to commit suicide on her 13th birthday. It sounds heavy, but Paloma’s commentary (integrated into the book through her journal entries) is sharp,  funny, and often surprisingly poignant.

To create a look for Paloma, I thought about what a 12-year-old might wear. However, Paloma is far from your average 12-year-old. I really love this outfit–I tried to make it casual and fresh, keeping in mind that she’s from a wealthy French family, where her Maman definitely still has a strong say in what she wears (hence the Louboutin ballet flats and Tiffany pen). I would love to wear this outfit myself and I’m in LOVE with the convertible satchel.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Topshop striped tunic

Old Navy roll-sleeve boyfriend cardigan

AB Studio embellished leggings

Christian Louboutin Rosella Panama ballerina flats

The Sak Silverlake convertible satchel

Calypso Orchid scarf

Moleskine pocket notebook

Tiffany Blue purse pen

What’s your favorite part of this look?

2 Responses Post a comment
  1. May 13, 2010

    Just found your blog off of Orchid Grey’s. I saw you said your favorite book is Kavlier & Clay, which is my favorite book! so I knew I had to stop by your blog and its fantastic! I read this book last summer and I must admit I wasn’t fan, mostly because I found the author to be trying a little too hard to educate her audience and Paloma drove me crazy because I once knew a girl like that who was completely rude to me so I’m afraid to say I was a little bitter about her character. Nevertheless I love the idea of your blog and cannot wait to read more :)

  2. December 6, 2010

    This is very helpful, thank you! Also, your blog is quite clever and unique.

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