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Fashion Book: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

2010 November 11

Last week, I started Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, a book I’d seen and heard about often, but never truly investigated. Turns out, it’s one of Joe’s favorite books, and since I was looking for something engaging and light-hearted for our bus ride to DC last weekend, he suggested I borrow it. To my surprise, I found myself almost immediately involved with the story and the characters.  I say it was surprising because usually, fantasy is just not my thing. I’ve never read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, nor seen the movies. The same goes for Harry Potter (even though it’s becoming more and more apparent that I am probably the only person I know that doesn’t lose it over this teenage wizard–I’m trying to maintain that I’m not the weird one, but it’s becoming more difficult every day).

What’s compelling about Strange & Norrell is the quality of the writing, the depth of the characters, and the entertaining dialogue. It’s a book about magic–for grown-ups.

The book is about a thousand pages long, and I’m not going to lie–it’s a beast to heft around on the subway. So I’ve basically resigned myself to try and only read it at home, which may mean that I’m reading this book for the next three months. But I’m pretty okay with that.

One of the characters in the book, Lady Pole, becomes the object of obsession for a fairy, who places her under an enchantment which means she spends half her life with him in the fairy world,  and half in the real world. It’s a complicated situation, but she is lavished with fine gifts and held in the highest regard by this fairy, and forced to stay up all night dancing and attending balls and banquets with him at his lavish estate, Lost-Hope. Her waking life is spent staring ahead, exhausted and silent.  For my Fashion Book post, I wanted to create a look that Lady Pole may wear to one of these fairy balls–a lavish and ethereal look, full of color and splash and dazzle, where money is no object. I had some fun with it, and here’s what I came up with.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell

Jason Wu silk gown

Tory Burch rabbit cape

Fendi platform cut out pumps

Tiffany Savoy clutch

Philippe Audibert Manchette gold-plated cuff

Yves St. Laurent fake chic crystal ring

Ippolita “Wonderland-Crazy 8 Hero” earrings

Paisley diamante feather clip

Do you read fantasy novels?

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