Thursday, 12 September 2013

The one who loved books more...

Dear booklovers,
            I haven't been here much lately, mainly because I was reassessing this whole blogging idea, triggered by critiques concerning Croatian version of this blog which all claimed the blog is boring, uninspiring and not adjusted to blog as a media or to its readers. Only one thought stopped me from ending this whole story; how much joy and happiness writing brings to me. And I decided to stay, because of myself and because of you, my readers (and future readers) with whom I'm hoping to establish nice and strong relationship in near future.

            That is probably the advice our newest guide, Josephine „Jo“ March would give you. In my humble opinion I consider myself to be the most Jo, with some influences from Meg and Beth so please don't mind if this post gets a bit biased (it surely will have some autobiographic elements).
            When thinking about Jo, I have always pictured her with a book in her hand, by the window, while the rest of the house is still asleep. After reading few pages, she leaves a book on the table and takes a pen, puts a notebook on her knees and starts writing. Wrapped in simple, greyish blanket made from wool, she is working on a play for her sisters to perform at Crhistmas Eve's party. Her beloved sisters...Even Jo was rebellious, somewhat wild and ready to disobey the rules whenever it's possible, the love and devotion she had for her sisters were even stronger then the love she had for books and reading.
            The play was made for them, but Jo refused to put any signs of romantic love in it as she was opposing to it as strongly in her plays as she was in her life. The truth was Jo always wanted to be a boy, her messy braid reminded her how much she wanted her hair short. The comfortable, blue, cotton pajama and nice cosy pair of slippers were what she felt the most comfortable in so it always made her edgy when she had to go and put her „girlish“ clothes on.

Besides her clothes and hair, Jo feels miserable about the fact that her beloved Papa is fighting in a war and, as strong as her desire is, she can't fight by his side. All of the above, combined with her tendency to play boyish games and wear male clothes make her a prefect example of a tomboy, a girl who exhibits characteristics or behaviors considered typical of the gender role of a boy, including wearing masculine clothing and engaging game and activities that are physical in nature. At the time she couldn't do much about the clothing but she used every moment available to play with her friend Laurie.


We met Alcott's Jo March. But what about modern Jos, their behavior, their passions, their styles?
In my personal opinion, modern Jo is still in love with books and as a grown up, she is probably engaged in writing and publishing industry, maybe as a freelancer, due to her free spirit. She is still wild and restless which is probably the best shown in her teenage years, while she tries to create her own identity. She probably cuts her hair, infront of the eyes of her shocked parents, wears no make-up and puts a little (if any) effort in her clothing. As long as it is comfortable, she doesn't care about the price, brand or the fabric it's made from.            
Young Jo probably goes shopping for new clothes when the one she has becomes unwearable, probably at the local mall. Since she gives away most of her allowance at the bookstore, brands she prefers are probably low-end, offering youthful clothes, unisex, maybe a bit more masculine but still  with a feminine touch (as she is flirting with her newly born sexuality).

                       Growing up makes her become more and more aware of her feminine side and her clothing becomes more appropriate for her gender role. Every Jo March sooner or later finds love (or a partner with whom she's able to share her passion towards writing), starts a family and/or starts contemplating on her career. Most of her earnings still go towards purchasing the books but now she has more of it left over to be spent on clothes.
                       Even though she is still a frequent visitor of the local mall stores, web shopping is no mystery for her, now she checks up boohoo and asos almost as frequently as she visites amazon to check up for newest interesting titles. She still picks cosy over faddy but, in her new wardrobe, jeans have been replaced with classic cuts pants and skirts, she prefers trenchs and coats over baggy sweaters and her sneakers are now only for long walks over the weekends. For her everyday shoes she'll pick any with the flat outsoles. As I see her, the most important item of modern Jo's style would be a big, vast bag where a pen and a notebook would fit perfectly. Or maybe an iPad and ebook reader, one for noting new ideas and the other for reading ideas of others, anyplace, anytime.

                       Alcott's Jo at the end turned into a truly fulfilled woman; she was beloved by her husband whom she admired and respected, they had two sons to whom Jo proved to be a caring mother and she developed her writing career to an admirable point, which resulted in publishing several works ( Alcott's Jo's Boys were shown to be Jo's novel).
                       And modern Jo? Though it may seem hard at the beginning, I believe she'll find her way through. Now is not the time for rebellious girls, maybe even not the time for various ideas but all she can do, without betraying what she is, is to be herself and to believe in what she's doing. A wise man once said that those who win are those who dare.
                       With this wise thought, I wish you pleasant reading.


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Literary catwalk no 1

Dear booklovers,
  I hope you are ready for first steps on our literary catwalk. Even though I didn't get a lot of feedback from you, I still hope it is due to my lousy promotion of this literary corner, and not because you didn't like the idea. So now we have Facebook and Twitter sites for promotion, and I'm planning to create Pinterest as well, but if you have any other ideas or social services to recommend I'll be more then happy to include them as well. But first things first - let's do what we are here for...our first journey.

  And that journey will take us to (back then not so much) United States of America, in the Civil war period. Some of you can probably guess that our first voyage will be provided by an excellent novel by Louisa May Alcott that never gets old - Little women - and our first tour guide will be the oldest of four March sisters, Margaret “Meg” March.

  You may wonder why I chose this particular story among many others, which would be more in the spirit of our time. Beside the obvious, that it is probably one of my favorite novels of all time, the answer is that, when I first came to think about starting this blog, I've asked myself which story would be the best frame for presentation of nice and stylish but still affordable clothes and answer just popped out. Story of four sisters, four characters different enough that every one of us can find at least a piece of ourselves in each of them. Their snug lives were brutally interrupted by the Civil war in which their father fought and girls, together with their mother and one loyal servant, had to abandon the comfort of a big house and move to a smaller, ruinous house and struggle for their existence. But even in the given circumstances girls are managing to keep alive that which is the most important, love and fellowship inside the family.

  As some of you probably know, woman fashion during the Civil war left a little, if any, space for personal influence. Monochrome dresses, head covers and gloves which, as our Meg once said to her younger sister Josephine, every dignified young lady should always wear, suited Meg perfectly and she decided to wear them without any question. Because of her fair complexion, big, brown eyes and densely brown hair she preferred pigeon gray tones, perfect companions to her beauty. Meg was the oldest sister but the role of a leader was often left to her younger sister Jo, whom filled the role much better. Along with her three younger sisters, Meg found company in children from the King family, for whom she worked as a governess and used that money to help supporting the family.

  As an oldest child, her memories of comfortable and happier times were the strongest, as was the repulsion for poverty and the way of life her family was forced to live now. Despite all that, she was always the first one to help the family in the moments when her help was needed the most.

  Meg grew up in time when women started coming out of their social frames, fight for their rights and stand side by side with men, especially due to wartime but she didn't manage to stand up for herself and at the end of a story we leave her as a married woman, mother of twins, dependent of her spouse. By getting married in a wealthy family, Meg thought all of her dreams fulfilled but, as story reaches the end, it becomes clear that it may not be exactly what she imagined her life to be.

  Does it make her a tragic character? Perhaps a little bit because living in the past made her let the present pass her by and, therefore, she lost an opportunity to discover what her potentials are....All of that only for a dose of secured life.

  So, who are the modern Megs March and what would they, due to their characteristics, wear today? Reading the book, I've always pictured Meg as a beautifl young woman, dressed as good as it gets due to the given circumstances but with no personal detail to discover something about her. My picture of her hasn't changed a bit since then. She is a girl aware of the situation and, as much as she'd want to, she'll never spend unreasonable amount of money on clothes, but she'll try to hide it by her overall outfit. Colors of her preference are unadventurous and even though her outfits look good and she know how to wear them, they are missing a final touch of some kind.

  This is how I see Meg March today. This may be her working outfit, or maybe something she'd wear for an afternoon window shopping. What do you think, do you like it or have you imagined it in a completey different way?

  Would you like me to post more different combinations for every presented character, is this the way you imagined my stories or has this came as a disappointment? All of your comments are welcome, especially since this is only my first post and I'd like this blog to become our meeting point, a place where both you and me will meet and have a good time.

Till next time,