[Alternative Muses] Writerly Style: Margaret Wise Brown

“Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.”–Yves Saint-Laurent

Iconic children’s book author Margaret Wise Brown had style to match her writing: timeless, straightforward yet unique, and unforgettable.

The stripes and strong shoulders, though clearly from the 1940s, are streamlined, edgy, and relevant:

Margaret Wise Brown Writing

Her bouncy, easy-going hairstyle is impeccably modern, and is the perfect accompaniment to her sleek, minimally accessorized dress:

Margaret Wise Brown

 Some would say that a favorite doggo is the best “finishing touch” of all:

Margaret Wise Brown by Consuelo Kanaga, circa 1940-1950

It’s no secret that Margaret Wise Brown was very outdoorsy and active, a lifestyle which effortlessly merged with her sophisticated and relaxed dress sense. She’s wonderful inspiration for anyone who values style, practicality, and a dash of whimsy. 

[Alternative Muses] Birthday Mashup: Charles Dickens/Sinclair Lewis/Laura Ingalls Wilder/Gay Talese

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”-Charles Dickens (born 7 February 1812)

Sinclair Lewis by Arnold Genthe, 7 March 1914

Sinclair Lewis (born 7 February 1885) by Arnold Genthe, 7 March 1914

And:

Laura Ingalls Wilder, circa 1885

Laura Ingalls Wilder (born 7 February 1867), circa 1885

“I am a documentarian of what I do.”-Gay Talese (born 7 February 1932)

[Alternative Muses] Coming and Going: Simone de Beauvoir/Katherine Mansfield

Simone de Beauvoir was born on 9 January 1908:

Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir

“Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can’t build on it; it’s only good for wallowing in.”-Katherine Mansfield (died on 9 January 1923)

[Alternative Muses] Birthday Mashup: Edmond de Goncourt/Dorothea Lange

“History is a novel that has been lived, a novel is history that could have been.”-Writer Edmond de Goncourt (born 26 May 1822)

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All photos taken by Dorothea Lange (born 26 May 1895) during The Great Depression

[Alternative Muses] Birthday Mashup: Randall Jarrell/Orson Welles

“A poet is a man who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times.”-Randall Jarrell (born 6 May 1914)

Orson Welles, press interview following the WAR OF THE WORLDS broadcast, October 31, 1938

Orson Welles (born 6 May 1915), giving a press interview following the WAR OF THE WORLDS broadcast, October 31, 1938.

[Alternative Muses] Writerly Style: The Sharp Dressing Nancy Cunard

Nancy Cunard-poet, publisher, and activist-was famously fashion-forward. In this photo, she looks like she could step out of the current issue of any high fashion magazine.

Nancy Cunard

Nancy Cunard, looking quite editorial.

That sleek belted-jacket is everything, with the statement necklace and her signature piled-on bracelets both coming in a close second.

Perfection.

[Alternative Muses] Artistic Style: Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe is so intrinsically and eternally elegant that mere fashion doesn’t matter; it’s a blip on an inconsequential radar. Unlike aesthetic conformity, personal style effortlessly squashes large spans of time into nothingness.

Don’t believe me?

This image of the legendary artist is 97 years old.

Georgia O'Keeffe by Alfred Stieglitz, 1918

Georgia O’Keeffe by Alfred Stieglitz, 1918.

There’s so much to love about this look, this vibe, this scene.

Where to start?

  • Her focused and intelligent gaze?
  • The uplift of her eyebrow?
  • The sublime beauty that attends every artist as they are working on their craft, which is powerfully evident here?
  • That luxuriously thick and practical sweater, with its large buttons, worn over a thin throw-it-on-and-forget-about-it dress?
  • Those boots? Those boots.

Fierce. Every last bit. Fierce.