I’ve been meaning to post about some style inspiration for some time, and to a certain extent some of the later posts in my previous blog were already about this. But this time rather than just post random pictures found on the internet, I want to focus each post on one particular person which is a style inspiration to me.
The first one is an oldie, but I thought it was rather fitting to start with her since she was one of my first style inspiration ever.
I’ve already mentioned my childhood spent in very remote French countryside. The only distraction there was the library, and for such a small village it wasn’t bad at all. The people running it made sure we had access to the latest books, and there was a possibility to ask for specific books. They were taking ages to come, but hey, that was a nice service to offer at a time when the Internet wasn’t as widely available as now.
The library had three distinct areas- the first area had some wooden boxes on the floor filled with the books for very young kids, then the middle room was filled with books for older kids and teenagers and old issues of BT, BTJ and La Hulotte, and the last room had the books for grown-ups and a couple of tapes available to borrow (ah the good old 80s).
I was an avid reader from a very early age, and when I finally started to be able to read books from the middle room I was very thrilled. I didn’t expect to have one of the first style shock of my life in the person of a six-year-old (more or less the same age as me) peeping out from a worn book.
(Eloise is actually a serie of books written by Kay Thompson in the 1950s- I didn’t realise until recently that there were more books. The original one is the one I read and stuck to my mind.)
My memory of the story itself is quite sketchy, but I think it goes like this: Eloise lives in a room of the Plaza Hotel in New York City. She has two pets and a Nanny. Her parents are barely mentioned, and she is basically free to do whatever she wants in the Hotel- and gets away with it. Everything fascinated me with this book: the black and white illustrations (from Hilary Knight), the setting (New York- A big big town) and Eloise herself.
For a six year old stuck in remote countryside whose idea of ultimate excitement was an afternoon in Vierzon, imagine the enviousness. I wanted to be Eloise so badly. I wanted to live in a posh hotel in a big town, and do whatever I wanted. I sort of put aside the fact that Eloise’s parents didn’t seem to be around much- and focused on all the great things I could do if I was Eloise.
I read this book again and again, and for hours I would imagine myself in Eloise’s shoes. Even her name was cool. I wanted to be named Eloise rather than Dorine for a long time after that.
After all these years, is it still relevant to name her as one of my style inspiration? I definitely think so. I still love her black and white outfit and pleated skirt, and I even have shoes very similar to her. So yes, part of me is still very Eloise, and I hope it will ever stay this way.