Fashion inspiration can be found anywhere, and books are incredible sources for style innovation. Book-Inspired Fashion explores these treasure troves, and brings them them to you in looks inspired by vibrant characters, far away lands, brilliantly woven plotlines, and more.
As a bit of a Potterhead (I’m a proud Hufflepuff!), I jumped at the chance to cover Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, especially given the perfect timing – the film adaptation will be released on November 18, which is right around the corner! (Anyone hitting up a midnight showing tomorrow?)
The upcoming film has already been used for a bit of inspiration in this post, but I am going to be using the book for inspiration provided by specific magical creatures. After all, when is there ever too much Harry Potter-inspired fashion?
Reading Between the Lines
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them was published fifteen years ago, in 2001. For those of you unfamiliar with the Harry Potter universe, it is essentially the textbook used to teach Hogwarts students about magical creatures. Unlike the upcoming movie, this book does not contain its own plot, characters, or story, and is quite literally a small encyclopedia.
The pseudonym that J.K. Rowling uses here is Newt Scamander, the supposed author of the text, although we do not learn much about him beyond his mini-biography. Instead, the focus is on the magical creatures themselves, and I have chosen three of my favorite entries for fashion inspiration this time: the Acromantula, Dragon, and Augurey.
“This beast is believed to be wizard-bred, possibly intended to guard wizard dwellings or treasure, as is often the case with magically created monsters."
I couldn’t cover this book without using its first entry, the Acromantula, as inspiration. Not only is it an important, speaking character in the other books and movies, but it also represents a reduced binary between wizards and nonhuman creatures for its close association with people.
The Acromantula is intelligent and closely tied to human history because of the fact that it was taught human speech by breeders in the past.
I purposely chose a tie-dye pattern because it is very much a human creation, and the dress itself recalls vintage fashion trends with the keyhole cutout and off-shoulder sleeves.
The heeled gladiator sandals also recall older times, and the straw hat does the same by suggesting an agrarian background.
Because the dress is such a statement piece, the accessories were kept to a bare minimum, although I definitely wanted the hairstyle to be braids rather than free-flowing waves to further emphasize the close history with human breeders rather than pure nature.
And because the Acromantula is so intelligent, I had to throw in the paperback copy of the newest Harry Potter book: the screenplay of the stage adaptation, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
2. Dragon (Antipodean Opaleye)
“Perhaps the most beautiful type of dragon, it has iridescent, pearly scales and glittering, multi-coloured, pupil-less eyes, hence its name."
Like the Acromantula, I knew the Dragon would have to be covered in this post. Of the various types of dragons listed, I chose the Antipodean Opaleye because of the fact that they reside in valleys rather than mountains, which interested me because I typically imagine valleys to be more populated by human communities.
Unlike the better known Hungarian Horntail or Chinese Fireball, the Antipodean Opaleye has not had a featured appearance in the main book or film series, but I imagine that it is incredibly eye-catching and luminous.
To channel the Opaleye, I found a beautiful ombré sweater that seems almost metallic at first glance, and although the price point is quite a bit higher than most of the pieces on CF, it reflects the rarity of this dragon.
The heeled booties also similarly have a metallic ombre effect, and the flash of color that the lightning bolt earrings create finishes up the cohesive, metallic theme of the outfit.
3. Augurey (also known as Irish Phoenix)
“A thin and mournful-looking bird…It is intensely shy, nests in bramble and thorn, eats large insects and fairies, flies only in heavy rain and otherwise remains hidden in tear-shaped nests.”
Though I initially wanted to use the regular Phoenix as an example because of Fawkes’ incredibly important role in the Harry Potter books, I found this entry on the Augurey fascinating - as well as useful - as an example of a creature that the average Harry Potter reader might not know about.
I knew this outfit was going to be rain-themed because of the fact that its feathers repel liquid (and thus cannot be used as writing quills!) and that it flies only in rain. There is something endearing about a hermit bird that is only comfortable in the heaviest of rains, and I wanted to emulate that in this look.
This outfit is all about comfort and practicality, with an oversized, hooded raincoat, jeggings, rainboots, an umbrella, and a Harry Potter-themed sweatshirt.
In order to translate the Augurey to contemporary times, I added a phone case that says "I smile when it's raining" because modern-day hermits, to me, use electronics to keep in contact with the rest of the world. Haven't we all had an Augurey moment where we stay in on a rainy day and use up our phone and laptop batteries?
Do you enjoy finding inspiration from books that are adapted into movies? Should we stick to books without any visual representation? Let us know in the comments below!