• Mon, Mar 22 2010

Fashion Lessons From Childhood Fiction: Eloise

Oh, to be a children’s book character invented by Kay Thompson (whose other claim to fame was playing Maggie Prescott, the pink- thinking editor in Funny Face). Rumor has it Kay created Eloise after drunkenly driving onto a friend’s lawn;  upon stumbling out of the car she announced that she was not Kay Thompson but  Eloise, and that she was age six. Well, so are we all, sometimes.

And we should all incorporate the valuable fashion lessons of the Eloise books into our daily lives:

I put a large cabbage leaf on my head/when I have a headache/It makes a very good hat: Work with what you have. If life gives you cabbage leaves and headaches, turn them into inventive if very short lived hats.

Nanny is my nurse/she wears tissue paper in her dress/and you can hear it: Instead of tissue paper, buy these chicken cutlets http://www.nubra.com/. You’ll still be stuffing your bra, but it will be quiet. Also, there is no shame in the act of stuffing itself.

She is English and has 8 hairpins/made out of bones/She says that’s all she needs in this life for Lord’s sake: Most of the hairstyles you’d want (a French twist, a ballerina bun, a simple updo) can be achieved with around eight hairpins. They don’t necessarily have to be made out of bones.

My mother knows Lily Dache: Having fashionable parents helps. Without this birthright, we wouldn’t even know who Lily Dache was. For the record, she was a famous milliner during the golden age of Hollywood who wrote a book called Talking Through my Hats. She actually seems like someone whose company Eloise would have enjoyed.

Every Wednesday I have to go to the Barber Shop/and have Vincent shape my hair/He does absolutely nothing but talk and swiggles/me around in that chair and hurts my neck with the whiskbroom./Sometimes I sklonk him in the kneecap.: Sometimes your hairdresser just isn’t doing a very good job, and when that happens you shouldn’t be afraid to sklonk him or her in the kneecap. Or, alternatively, find a hairdresser you don’t want to sklonk. The “not sklonking” part is a really important aspect of hairdresser/client relations.

Sometimes if they are having an enormous affair in the Grand Ballroom I get there early to help Joe set up the lights in the ceiling. . . Oh my Lord it is swelteringly hot up there/ I always wear my sun visor: Being helpful is more fun if it requires very specific accessories. Also, plan ahead for extra hot or cold situations!

Kleenex makes a very good hat: You know, it sort of does.

I have a dog that looks like a cat/his name is Weenie/Sometimes I put sunglasses on him. . . I have a turtle/his name is Skipperdee/he eats raisins and wears sneakers: I am wary to say that the moral of this is that you should dress up your pets, because that seems a little too old-lady-who-makes-her-dog-wear-a-raincoat (or Paris Hilton) but I think it is fair to say that dogs look adorable in sunglasses and turtles look adorable in tiny sneakers.  

What Would Eloise wear today? Well, thanks for making this one almost insultingly easy with your Spring 2010 Eloise inspired collection, Betsey Johnson .  Also,  thanks to The Plaza Hotel for convincing Betsey to design their Eloise Suite.

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