Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Style Inspirations

When it comes to my personal style, I draw inspiration from everywhere. Movies, T.V, books and blogs all come into the equation, but my fail safe style inspirations are the characters I create in my head. I give them a story, a purpose and a name, then magically, they take on a life of their own as I stand in front of the wardrobe. This is not to say that every day calls for such theatricality, but there are times when I am faced with a distinct lack of inspiration. It is then I just think up one of my gals and ask myself, "What would she wear today?"

It is while indulging in this whimsy that I created Shanghai Lil. She is a glamorous, childless Aunt, who travels the world by cruise ship with her pet monkey. He is also stylishly dressed, wearing a matching Fez to each of her outfits. Her cabin is decorated in dark antique silks, with rugs from around the world, and she spends her evenings smoking opium and playing cards with wealthy playboys. She promptly shows them the door at the end of the night, leaving her mystery intact.

I imagine her looking very much like Anna May Wong - the first American Chinese film star of the early 1900's. As for the rest of my stable of muses, well you'll just have to stay tuned for more revelations.

I doubt that I am the only one who indulges in these fantasies, although I am not sure if other's characters have taken on such a life of their own. Where do you look for inspiration? Other than the run of the mill celebrity cloning, is there something, or someone, that sets your sartorial creativity on fire?

Here's to you Anna!


Anonymous said...

Old photographs from the 1920s, I've got quite a book collection on the subject and I am always inspired by the outfits and settings (usually the races or a beautiful park/house) in them.

Imelda Matt said...

I love the sound of 'childless' Aunt Lil and her opium smoking monkey. In fact I think we may have taken the same steamboat once or twice!

A dreamer said...

creating hypothetical characters is such a cool way to get dressed. I like to do so with my drawings.

Also I think this era of celeb obsession may come to an end soon.

Tizzalicious said...

I'm like Cybill, it's the past that inspires me most. Especially the 50s!

The Clothes Horse said...

She's gorgeous. I love the song "Shanghi Lil" from that James Cagney movie. So politically incorrect, yet also nice escapism.

enc said...

I get inspiration from photos, music, art, films, magazines, fashion shows, and other bloggers!

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Yep, old photos and movies are the best. I grew up addicted to the Golden Years of Hollywood, hence my fascination with the 40's and 50's.
Imedla: You had me laughing out loud. Nice to know someone else has met Lil too. :)
The clothes horse: Yep, the movie Shanghai Lil is such a classic and the song is wonderful escapism as you say.
enc: I think I love being inspired by other bloggers, as achieving many of their style tricks is much more accessible than catwalk fashion.