Category Archives: living in literature

Inspired by Design Sponge’s “Living In” posts, I channel beloved children’s characters in mood and merchandise.

Living In Literature Special Edition: The Hunger Games

It’s finally here… Mockingjay, the final title in the Hunger Games series phenomenon, is in stores this week!  Despite running to the nearest release party at Word bookstore on Monday night to get my hands on a copy (check out a pretty epic Twitter account of the night here and photos from NY Mag), I’m actually savoring the book, leaving the last few pages for lunch today.

With the final battle for Panem on everyone’s minds (and all of the fab costumes I saw at the release party), I absolutely had do a post on the series. And for a story that is so heavy on violence, war and adventure, I was surprised how many details Suzanne Collins writes about fashion – it becomes a major plot point in the series.  I’m particularly intrigued by the myriad outfits that Cinna created to blow the Capital population away.  So the fashion below, while not an exact match to the book (if you ever see a fiery jeweled gown, please pass along!), is inspired by Cinna’s take of the “girl on fire”.

Fire top – $120, Missoni flame headband – $90, tights – $10, Scala jeweled dress – $238, Felder + Felder flame dress, Yves Saint-Laurent flame dress

jumpsuit with zip – $295, gold party dress – $280, Jane Yeh feathered wedding gown, feathered cocktail dress – $186, military jacket – $40, 7 For All Mankind skinny cargo jean – $173, Down With The Capitol tee – $24

Dying to keep the Hunger Games spirit alive now that you’ve finished Mockingjay?  Well, until she has enough sense to write a prequel, try outfititng yourself with some Katniss-related gear.

orange backpack – $70, pearl – $20, plant journal – $31, blue hair ribbon – $3, vintage bird pin – $2.75, archery set – $60, bread mix – $3, berry basket – $.62, organic blueberries – $5.50, District 12 Archery Team buttons, armband – $12

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Living In Literature: Holes

As promised, a “Living In Literature” inspired by a novel, and with a little less sparkle for the dudes!

With this summer’s heat, it’s not hard to imagine that we’re already living in our own urban version of Camp Green Lake (although, I don’t know about you, but I’m not digging any 4-foot holes along 7th Avenue. . .).  But I am digging Holes‘ dry humor and quirky imagery (who even thinks of spiced peaches and yellow-spotted lizards?  That’s right, Louis Sachar).

After visiting Ellis Island this weekend, I’ve had heritage on my mind, and it has me really drawn to the sense of destiny and legend in Holes.  Even though we may not be the victims of a gypsy curse like Stanley Yelnats, there is something so wonderfully mysterious about the fact that we all have links to the past, just waiting to be unearthed.  That’s why, this week, I’m dusting off some of that antique Western charm, along with a little Texas bad-ass!

We even get visual inspiration from the movie adaptation . . . thanks, Shia and Disney.

for grown-ups:

cowgirls canvas $71, lipstick $15, cowboy hat $340, “The Harder I Work…” $60, Longhorns jacket $60, sneakers (worth getting arrested for) $345, Sno-Wovel $120, denim shirt $265, suitcases, AC/DC top $33, yellow-spotted lizard $38, spiced peaches $6.40

for the kids:

cowboy fabric $23/yard, hat $20, orange romper $35, “I’m That Dude” $16, lizard slime $9, rattlesnake eggs $0.75, revolving bookcase $150, onion snacks $3.80, treasure chest $150

Living In Literature: Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse

Whether it’s for home decor ideas or a bright spot of color in my morning, the one blog I turn to almost daily is Design*Sponge.  And there’s no column on the website that I look forward to more than Amy Merrick‘s “Living In” (whose 1-year anniversary is today)!

Amy perfectly captures the atmosphere of all my favorite movies, and I love the idea of gaining inspiration from a story long after it ends.  While movies have more than enough visual material for products, fashion and interior design, I’m left wondering how the same exercise could be applied to other mediums, such as . . . books!

Children’s literature is remarkable because it sparks the imagination, bringing fantastic elements into the context of daily reality.  The worlds created within kids’ books can be complex with ideas, but ultimately have to be simple and tangible enough for a child to understand.

It is with this thought in mind that I bring an homage to Design*Sponge with “Living In Literature”!  I’ll showcase children’s and YA books whose characters, themes and environments can be translated to a set of products, so both you – and the little ones in your life – can carry the spirit of the book once you’ve closed its pages.


I think there’s no better way to kick off “Living In Literature” than with my favorite children’s book heroine to be inspired by: Lilly from Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, by Kevin Henkes.  Lilly has the kind of impulsive self-assurance that we often lose with age.  Even though she may not always be right, she learns a lesson in humility without losing her enthusiasm.  She’s a perfect personality to channel when you need a little burst of confidence.

For you:

list notepad $7, crown charm $52, purple purse $995 (a girl can dream…), knit dress $16, movie star sunglasses $13, yellow headbands $10 ea, Make A Wish bouquet $35, swiss cheeses $15-31/lb, star button necklace $25, lunch tote $22, red cowboy boots $327, cowboy rain boots $68

For the kids:

floral print dress $8, movie star sunglasses $5, lace mouse ears $35, purple plastic purse $7, star mirror decals $13, plush mouse toy $13, blue tiered skirt $30, bean bag chair $30, crown baby hat $20, fringe cowboy boots $25

Now, on those days when it would feel great to shout,

“I am Lilly!  I am the Queen!

I like everything!”

. . . grab some red boots or movie star sunglasses, and go take over the world!