Inspired by Daughters of Fortune: Caitlin

October 03, 2012

A while ago I create a look inspired by Elizabeth Melville, from Tara Hyland's novel Daughters of Fortune.  Today, I will be doing the same of Caitlin O'Dwyer, Elizabeth's half-sister. Propulsed into the Melville family after the sudden death of her mother, the bastard child is the complete opposite of the snooty upper-class Melville heiresses (don't misunderstand me, I love snooty upper-class Brits! Haha). Maybe one of the most interesting angles of the novel is Caitlin finding herself, building her identity and protecting it as she faces many challenges and traumas. The artsy kid in high school, she soon shows a certain talent for making her own clothes. She goes to a fashion design school in Paris and soon begins her own brand of clothing. Both her personal style and brand evolve during the novel, only to coordinate at the end.
On a daily basis, Caitlin, who is a bit of a workaholic, is always wearing simple jeans, a tee or sweater (should I say, "jumper"), and comfortable shoes. It's for special events that her style and its evolution become interesting. This is where she truly becomes a woman, wearing vintage silhouettes that emphasize her hourglass shape. Through the years, the clothing she makes always contains a historical element, whether medieval (the dress she makes for a high school ball is inspired from The Accolade by Edmund Blair Leighton), Victorian (one of her first collections, created after she went to see La Bohème at Opéra Garnier), or World War II-era (I can't tell you what brings that, I'd spoil the plot... Buy the novel, really). But I think the Victorian era is what describes Caitlin's style best; it's in a way what defines her best.

On a different note, I was thrilled and very honored when Tara Hyland herself saw this series of posts and told me I had captured exactly what she had in mind. I must say, it's quite amazing how we turned out to be on the same page (or maybe it's simply a consequence of being a fashionista with some perspective... I don't know!)

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