Welcome to the latest edition of Looks from Books, which aims to prove that you can look smart, while still being book-smart, too. Fashion inspiration can be found between the pages of your favorite stories, on well-designed book covers, and in your favorite characters… if you read closely enough.
This week, we're taking inspiration from a recent movie release that thrilled fans of dystopian worlds long before it hit the big screen. Here's James Dashner's The Maze Runner!
James Dashner's The Maze Runner || Photo via Amazon
The Maze Runner is a young adult sci-fi dystopian novel, written by James Dashner and published in 2007.
The novel follows Thomas, a teenage boy with no memories, except for that of his name, as he awakens in a mysterious community called "The Glade," at the heart of an expansive maze. Filled with moving walls and treacherous beings called "Grievers," the maze has served as the home for other boys in the same situation as Thomas, some of whom who have already been there for two years.
Governed by the rules they follow to survive, they live in fear of what lurks in the maze, beyond the walls of the Glade... until one day, when everything changes with the arrival of the enigmatic Teresa, who has an inexplicable tie to Thomas.
The book is the first of its series, and was followed by The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure. The latest installment in the series was a 2012 prequel, The Kill Order, and an accompanying title, The Maze Runner Files, was released in 2013. The series has enjoyed positive critical reviews since its original publication, and after the announcement of the film adaptation, the series has spent several weeks on various best-seller lists once again.
A Fashionable Literacy
The Maze Runner movie poster || Photo via IMDB
The Maze Runner's first big-screen adaptation hit theaters on September 19th. The adaptation stars Dylan O'Brien (Teen Wolf) as Thomas, Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones) as Newt, and Kaya Scodelario (Skins) as Teresa.
Costume direction for the film was helmed by Christine Bieselin Clark - who has a lot of experience with action-heavy titles, with films like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Watchmen, and Sky High in her roster - as well as Simonetta Mariano, who finds her ground in science-fiction, like the movie Riddick and SyFy's Defiance. The partnership of Clark's action-movie street cred and Mariano's sci-fi sensibilities aim to make sure The Maze Runner's costume design hits true to the dystopian storyline.
However, novel purists be forewarned: the movie is said to take liberal artistic direction away from the series. So, if you're looking forward to certain aspects of the books, like Thomas and Teresa's telepathy or anyone going through the Changing, prepare for disappointment.
How to Add the Gladers to Your Wardrobe
By integrating key elements from the novel into your own look, you, too, can have a look that fits perfectly into the dystopian world of the Maze... with less hazard on your part, of course!
The Glade and the Greenies
The Glade is the idyllic scope of green land at the heart of the Maze, the place the Gladers call what they hope to be a temporary home, which houses their vegetable gardens, their livestock, and the boys themselves. Only a select few are trusted to explore the Maze during the day - deemed "Runners" - while the rest stay to build, tend, and develop on their small haven. That is, until this false sense of security is exposed for just how fragile it really is.
A green-tinged, farmer-styled look inspired by the Glade takes form with sturdy materials and farmhand basics that pay tribute to the Glade. Olive jeans and a denim jacket are built for toughness, while a plaid blouse is typical farm fare. Brown boots and a belt get brightened with flowers, riffing on the Glade's Gardens, while a small pig necklace references the livestock the boys raise.
One of the most terrifying aspects of the maze isn't the twists and turns in its mapping that reconfigure themselves overnight, nor the fact that there appears to be no exit to its walls; instead, it's the horrible, inky monstrosities that patrol the borders at night: Grievers. These fearsome figures that move through the maze are black, furry, and covered in sharp edges, with swords, knives, and needles jutting out of its already confusing body, like a mix between animal and machine. With their minimal supplies and limited experience, the Gladers are ill-prepared to fight either.
A look inspired by these deadly beings consists of sleek and chic black, faux fur, and heavy amounts of silver hardware. Black paneled leggings, a backless chiffon blouse, and leather boots provide a futuristic silhouette for this new age of killers, while a faux fur vest, a spiky statement necklace, and stacked silver bangles tie in elements of the monsters themselves.
Beyond the heart of the Glade, into the gray and grim depths of the mysterious experiment the Gladers find themselves trapped in, lies the Maze. Populated by monsters called "Grievers" and patrolled by all-seeing "Beetle Blades," the labyrinth has proved to be unsolvable for the past two years... but once Thomas arrives, tensions mount, and finding the exit becomes more important than ever.
Sharp lines, bold graphics, and hidden surprises lurk in a look that takes its inspiration from the deadly maze at the heart of the novel, by remixing classic sportswear into a cool look fit for action. A striped dress hearkens to the changing lines of the maze itself, while a neon track jacket keeps you from getting too trapped. A black headband and sporty crossbody are updates on basic activewear, while clean sneakers and a digital watch are items even the Gladers made sure to have at all times.
What Do You Think?
Have you read The Maze Runner, or any of its later installments? Did you go and see the movie? What do you think of the dystopian young-adult trend? What did you think of the outfits and styling tips? Let me know in the comments below!