Saturday, September 3, 2011

A la mode...

"We'll start over. We'll live underground and use bacon for clothes!" (Isn't that a dystopian quote?! But from what film? Peach and black current tea to the first one to get it right in the comments!)

Interesting translation fact; "à la mode," does not mean "with ice cream" in French. Maybe you all knew that. It means "in fashion." I guess when ice cream became in fashion, they started putting it everywhere. If that's true, good for them. Last night, my husband made the mistake of saying chocolate ice cream. Now I want it.

Anywho, fashion. I have a question for you; does using the fashion of the day date your book or make it more realistic? Or both?

I don't know if the skater boy look is as prevalent right now in the USA as in urban France, but I'm wanting to use it in my book. You know, the Bieber hair *woosh*, the tight jeans that don't come up over the bum *cough*  *belt!*  *cough*, the wild sneakers, the perpetual hoodie, the chunky headphones over the stocking cap *boom boom boom*...dude!!!

The girl's look is slightly classier and might stay longer; the black leggings and tunic with boots or ballerina slippers. But what about the tights and shorts craze, that allows French girls to show off their legs in all weather?  

I'm sure these are looks that will scream "circa 2010" in the years to come. So depending on the type of novel, say a dystopian/parallell universe/France-but-not-as-we-know-it world for middle graders? I love Jasper FForde's Thursday Next series that is set in the 1980's, just after the Crimean War, where she has a re-engineered pet dodo bird and talks to Neanderthals. So can I just say this is circa 2010 with magic, skater clothes etc?

I'd love to know how you dress your characters. I read once that their choices about how they look explain more about them then eye color, hair color and such that we usually use to describe them. What are your folks wearing these days? 

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm...I don't think I describe clothing much when I write, or if I do it's not in much detail like saying a guy wears suits all the time or is never seen in anything but raggedy jeans leaves a lot of blanks to be filled in but says something about the character.

    Also, I sometimes find an interesting way to say my character dresses a certain way without describing an exact outfit. I might feel I need to describe clothing in more detail if the clothing is completely alien to what a reader would imagine.

    I think too many fashion details would date a story, but then again fashion is cyclical so give it a a couple of decades and those descriptions will be current again.