Silhouette

Choosing what the people of Wilfair wear was -- and is -- a blast.

A snood suits Fair; she dresses vintage, to lend her historic hotel character. Sutton keeps pencils in her hair, because she's always taking orders at her grandmother's fruitcher shop or solving math problems. Sutton's also rather sharp, so a sharpened pencil fits her demeanor.

But as I was thinking of the Wilfair wardrobes -- a pleasure, since I love costumes -- I was also thinking of one word: silhouette.

Many of my favorite characters can be defined by their silhouette alone. Think Mickey Mouse or Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp, with his bowler and cane.

With that in mind, I, too, wanted characters that could be recognized in relief. Fair by her gowns and snoods, Sutton her hair pencils and apron, Gomery his glasses, curls, and tie, Monty by his popcorn shoulders and slim hips, Thurs Mathers with his side hair swoop and pointed collars. These people aren't the sum of their outfits, of course, but their style is part of their whole.

I'm not sure where the Wilfair people would ever appear in silhouette, and I don't want to seem grandiose by citing iconic characters. It's just one of the many things I had in mind when fashioning the little world at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue.

Plus, I adore silhouettes. You, too?

4 comments:

Chiara said...

I love that everybody in the books has that distinctive style you wrote about and that those styles fit their personalities like Sutton's sharp pencil. I'm a sucker for details like that.

Kelly said...

Silhouettes are great! We have a family portrait thing with all my families silhouettes overlapping each other. It's a bit cheesey, but I love it.

I agree with Chiara, I love all the little details you've given about each of your characters. They all add up to make a character feel real, and unique, which is what makes me care about the characters, and invest in the story.

I also love that the physical descriptions you give stem so much from your characters personalities. So many books I read seem to have leading men who are just generically attractive nice guys or bad boys, and I can never really get into the romance in those stories because you are never actually told anything about the guy except for how attractive he his, and maybe some sort of mysterious and tragic past. Often you never even see the character interact with anyone other than the main girl. Possibly I have just been reading a lot of rubbish books recently?

Anyway, minor rant over, just wanted to say that it's one of the things I most appreciate about your writing - all your characters are interesting, unique and multidimentional.

Wilfair Book said...

Kelly, this comment might deserve its own post! I've been thinking about posting more on guys and the men I like to read about and those I know in real life. Thanks for all of your thoughts here, and the nice words, too! I definitely will be writing more on this topic.

I'm a huge fan of cheesy anything. Silhouettes are up there -- I love your family's overlapping element! I also like those old-school photo portraits with the same face twice: one facing the camera and then a profile shot in the corner of the picture. They were very big in the 1980s. Softly lit, soft-focused wonders. Marvelous.

Wilfair Book said...

And Chiara, glad you like the pencils! I'm forever sticking things in my hair, so that might be the source of that. If I have a tropical tiki drink that's topped with a tiny paper umbrella, you can bet that umbrella'll leave the restaurant with me, behind an ear or in a back bun.

 
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