Is it normal that the majority of my current style inspiration comes from art, music and books rather than anything or anyone in the real world? I have no idea. Do I care? No, not really. Please be warned, I use the term 'style' very loosely nowadays - being a bit scruffy round the edges and really not obsessing too much has kinda become my shtick. So please don't expect too much from me on the sartorial front! Nevertheless, many of my heroes, in fashion and otherwise, are fictional, and these are a few of them.
1. Daria Parker from Silk by Caitlin R. Kiernan
"Daria closed the notebook, snapped the cap back on her pen, returned both to the army-surplus knapsack lying on the concrete. She ignored the stares and sidelong glances from the secretaries in their ridiculous heels and the men in suits who looked at her suspiciously; dumpy, rumpled Daria Parker growing from their sidewalk like a monstrous fungus. Thrift-store cardigan beyond baggy, the shar-pei of cardigans, the unreal yellow of French's mustard, baggy white T-shirt underneath. Black jeans worn almost straight through the knees and ass. Her bass leaned against the wall next to her, the hulking rectangular case betraying no hint of the Fender's sleek Coke-bottle curves. The case was almost completely covered with stickers pushing local bands, a few goth and grrl groups, conflicting political slogans and Bob Dobbs and the Church of the Subgenius. [...] She kept her hair long, down past her shoulders and cut no particular way, bleached clean of any trace of its natural colour and dyed cherry-red with Kool-Aid. She glanced at her wrist, at the clunky silver dreadnought of a man's wristwatch she'd found a year or so ago, groundscore, lying in the road and obviously run over but still counting off the seconds on a liquid-crystal display the colour of dirty motor oil."
What I love about Daria's style is that it's unpretentious, un-self-conscious. Daria gives no fucks. A lot of people that are 'alternative' in the area where I live are more about style than substance - talking about being non-consumerist because they get their cosmetics from Lush, but spending £££ on the 'right' subcultural uniforms from brand name outlets. Daria appeals to me as the antithesis of that - she's not trying to create an image for herself; she's just living and doing. Her clothes have wear and tear from being lived in, worn in, used. She's more into her friendships and her music than thinking about how she looks. I find this really inspiring.
2. Delirium from The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
"I like airplanes. I like anywhere that isn't a proper place. I like in-betweens."
I wasn't sure whether to include Delirium or Death here as I love both, but I think that Delirium is more representative of the style I am moving towards now. Delirium has mismatched eyes - one blue, one green - and her hair and clothes continually change colour and style, though her clothes are usually mismatched and punk-ish and her hair multicoloured.
3. Kizzy from Goblin Fruit by Laini Taylor
"Kizzy was certainly blind to her own weird beauty: her heavy, spell-casting eyes, too-wide mouth, wild hair, and hips that could be wild too, if they learned how. [The thrift store was] where Kizzy always shopped instead of the mall, partly because her parents hardly gave her any money, and partly because it had a trifold changing screen of embossed, moth-eaten velvet that looked like a remnant from Marie Antoinette's boudoir. She loved to sling an armful of cheap dresses over it and try them on one by one, with mismatched gossamer scarves, platform boots and cat glasses."
I also love the character Karou from Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series - blue hair and tattoos are always going to be a big thing with me - but Karou is classically beautiful, whereas Kizzy is striking, quirky, unsure of herself, 'soul hanging out like an untucked shirt'. I love the rawness of her.
4. Zoey from Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong
"Zoey [...] had arrived there wearing a pair of muddy tennis shoes, the left one ruined by wet cement that was rapidly drying to a crust. She wore too-long jeans that were frayed at the bottom, which were also too tight in the hips even though they hadn't been when she had bought them last summer. She was carrying her denim jacket and wearing a black cardigan she inherited from her mother over an orange T-shirt bearing the logo for a band called Awesome Possum. A grey wool stocking cap was hiding a rats' nest of black and blue hair. She was clutching an angry, smelly cat and was wearing half a pound of its shed fur all over her torso."
There's really nothing aspirational about my style. I want to be relaxed, cozy, covered in cat hair and eating pizza.
5. Maida and Zia, the crow girls, from Someplace to be Flying by Charles de Lint
"An odd-looking girl stood grinning down at her from the patch of light that spilled out from the hall beyond the doorway. She was small in height and slight in build, a skinny childlike figure with coffee-coloured skin and sharp features set in a triangular-shaped face. Her eyes were large, birdbright and dark, her hair an unruly lawn of blue-black spikes. Though the evening was cooling, she was barefoot, dressed only in black leggings and an oversized flannel shirt with the arms cut off." - Maida
"The small dark-haired girl dropped down onto the lawn and sauntered up the stairs. There was a wonderful mildness in her features, Kerry thought. [...] And she seemed so comfortable in her body, the way a child would be, perched on the porch railing in front of Kerry, her legs dangling, an easy smile on her lips." - Zia
In fact, ninety-nine per cent of de Lint's characters are pretty awesome, style-wise and otherwise. But I like the unpredictability and childlike wonder of the crow girls, although I have little to no idea of how to reflect such through wardrobe choices. The crow girls are twins, and a package deal, which is why I have included them as one of five.
Listening to: Quick Silver [Dancefloor Transformation] by The Cruxshadows