Books That Inspired Fashion Designers

As Virginia Woolf writes in Orlando: “Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than merely to keep us warm.” In this way, Coco Chanel was correct when she purportedly said that “fashion is not something that exists in dresses only,” as it both shapes and responds to the world around us. The fashion collections below are inspired by works of literature and the trends therein contained, whether its the sober clothes of independently-minded Jane Eyre or the tightly-laced bodices taken from de Sade’s velvet boudoirs. Or we could reverse the process as Sonia Rykiel did and pen the novel in response to the clothing. Anything goes in fashion, right?

Jane Marple is a popular Japanese clothing line inspired by the elderly private eye in Agatha Christie’s novels; their copyright is even St. Mary Mead, Miss Marple’s fictitious place of residence. Marple might seem like an old biddy, but she’s both a shrewd judge of character and a fantastic dresser. Check out her lavender cardigan and modest grey skirt above. This woman is dapper.