20.4.10

It's just not cricket, Aloysius

From my lowly underground workplace, over the strains of Rihanna begging some rude boy to take it, take it...I can hear the quintessentially British indication that summer is on its way; sounds of a ball being hit solidly with a bat, shouts, laughter, and clapping.
Cricket season will soon be upon us. Previously dim and dark wintry evenings spent in front of Gossip Girl will be shelved in favour of long evenings spent lounging on the side of the cricket field with a punnet of strawberries, some elegantly whizzo chums and a copy of The Secret History.
Cue gratuitous pictures of Brideshead Revisited, one of the greatest celebrations of summertime Britain to exist on celluloid and printed page. To me, this is what summer should really be about. Not getting drunk on beaches post-exams (though if you have a yacht and fancy re-creating the Fab Four's sailing expedition in The OC Season 3, that's acceptable), not lying around in your local park giving yourself skin cancer tanning while revising, and not schlepping around in flipflops and aviators from March to November, but celebrating, blissfully and innocently, the purest time of the year, when there really is nothing proper to do but lie under a tree in white, grass-stained cricket whites and eat cherries.
Sebastian Flyte and his clan of immaculately dressed, totally whacko relatives epitomise the British summer through the course of the book. When Charles first meets Sebastian, he is all crisp and spotless white shirts and suits, sleek hair and perfectly groomed teddybear. As the series progresses and Sebastian meets more members of the Marchmain clan, each character's flaws remove a little of the lustre from the dream before, finally, the summer is over.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. It's April. Wide-eyed Charles, in his ill-fitting, drab suits, has not yet met Sebastian, but already the anticipation of a blissful summertime in Oxford and the British countryside is in the air.
So we, accordingly, can prepare our wardrobes to look like a truly British summertime worshipper. Though I resent the Hollywood remake for, well, trying to remake Brideshead in the first place, though Ben Whishaw, though hugely talented, is wrong for Sebastian, I am slightly in love with the outfits worn by Hayley Atwell as Julia Flyte.
Everything about it screams decedance, in the same way that Sebastian's immaculate white clothing screams decedance, but in a different way to a winter wardrobe would. It drapes languidly, it is almost too perfect, and it is worn in such a disaffected way. It is the best kind of lazy dressing, with drop waists, draping and discreet styling It is this sort of relaxed elegance that makes me look forward to summer dressing; with loose, thrown-on yet beautiful and immaculate t-shirts, pale jackets and fuss-free hair and makeup, yet all drawn together by a quiet ease and confidence that comes with summer; the time where exams are over, the days are long and full, and life seems blissful and easy. Plus, I am all kinds of love with that crane-printed silk dress.

1 comment:

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