The Green Dress Inspired By Atonement

The Green Dress Inspired by Atonement

Literature has always inspired me in so many different ways, that I thought I should use today's post to show you, how literature influenced my style. I must have been 16 or so when I read Ian McEwan's novel "Atonement" for the very first time, which has become one of my favourite books. 

The heartbreaking, yet realistic novel about love, forgiveness and a tragic incident that changes the life of all protagonists had some major impact on how I perceive life and shaped some of my core values that I have today as an adult. 

It is an inspiring book so I can only recommend you to read it if you have the chance to. I don't want to give too much away of its plot, but one particular scene stood out to me, mainly when main character Cecilia prepares for a special family reunion dinner and decides on her wardrobe for the occasion:  

"Her latest and best piece, bought to celebrate the end of finals before she knew about her miserable third, was the figure-hugging dark green bias-cut backless evening gown with a halter neck. Too dressy to have its first outing at home." (Atonement, Ian McEwan). 

Fashion Inspiration: The Green Dress From Ian McEwan's Novel Atonement

Though described as "too dressy" Cecilia decides for it anyway as she realises that all of her other clothes are way too conservative and decorous. She feels she has outgrown her old self and is after a fashion piece, that represents her as the strong, sexy and confident woman that she has become. 

So, we all know the dress is way over the top for the occasion, but as you can imagine, she goes for it anyway and I can't blame her. Though we know we should leave some opportunities where they are and no action on them because the consequences would be a terrible mistake, what do we do instead? We go for the opportunity anyway, because life is too short to be boring (who cares, right?).

Described in two single lines and with some sparse phrases, McEwan created an iconic piece of clothing: The Green Dress. It formed in my memory the moment I read those lines as this perfect, fluent and absolute gracious piece of clothing that it has literally haunted me for a few years. In fact, The Green Dress was my ideal dress to wear for my prom, which was despite my mum's constant nagging "you have to wear black" an impossible undertaking - I could not find it. 

So dressed as everyone else at my prom back in 2005, in a horrible black neckline dress that made me look like I was wearing a massive baby romper, I would not give up on The Green Dress that easily. It took me years to find it, but here it is. My Green Dress from Zara, bought in Manchester, 2009.

Green Dress Zara
Green Dress fashion post shot at Sky Garden

The dress has a high-neckline with some casual pleating. It is nicely tailored around my bust/waistline which makes it "figure-hugging", as McEwan would describe it. The shade of green is just perfect. It has this dark, sophisticated but seductive touch to it that Cecilia would love. The material is light-weight and floating which makes the dress a wonderful summer dress. I must admit, that it has spent most of its life with me hidden away in the wardrobe because it is an occasion dress and demands attention from viewers to be appreciated and admired. 

But in true Cecilia style, I ignored social conventions and just wore it out the other day to Sky Garden in London, you know....because I can :) My friend Mille, who visited me earlier this month, kindly took the pictures during our visit. I shot at Sky Garden last summer and I think the location is great for OOTDs as the lighting in there is incredible and the plants plus the London skyline make a dramatic backdrop.

Fashion blog post Green Dress
My Green Dress from Zara
Green Dress inspired by Ian McEwans Atonement

Here's What I'm Wearing:

The Green Dress: Zara (AW08/09, £35)
Cardigan: New Look (current SS16 season, £20)
Bag: Kate Spade (via Bicester Village, £140)
Wedges: Jones Bootmaker (AW15/16, sale £50)

Thanks for reading, 

Till next time, 

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