Inspiration: Aliena, As You Like It

March 4, 2010 at 12:48 am | Posted in fashion, Lumpy | 10 Comments
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This evening I watched the 2006 HBO/BBC production of As You Like It. I’ve just finished reading the play in my Shakespeare class, and am about to write a critical analysis of it (maybe – or should I choose A Midsummer Night’s Dream?! Decisions, decisions – the cruel fate of the English major!) and my teacher recommended seeing a production or movie-adaptation of the play we choose first. The text mentioned the Kenneth Branagh version as taking place in post-feudal Japan, so of course, my interest was peaked. I really recommend this version – the costumes are so beautiful, a necessity as even in Shakespeare’s original the plot is incredibly lacking as compared to the characters. There doesn’t really seem to be any point in setting it in Japan, but it does make for some very pretty costumes and settings. One character in particular strikes me, and that is Aliena. Cousin to the main character Rosalind, she was rather cast-aside in the original; this film version gives her a role as pastoral shepherdess and outfits her in florals, sage green, and hip-length blond hair woven with flowers.

She starts out the movie as a courtier named Celia, all curled-updo and satin corsetry:

Celia, in blue, before the exile

Rosalind is exiled, and Celia sneaks away with her, calling herself Aliena (“the estranged one,” according to my textbook) to Rosalind’s new pseudonym “Ganymede.”Ā  However, after entering the forest of Arden, she finds herself exhausted and distressed, not having realized what she got herself into. She becomes tousled and unkempt, her appearance mirroring her fatigue:

Disheveled Aliena with Touchstone the fool

All she wants is a place to rest and food to eat! Once she gets these and becomes comfortable in her surroundings, she accepts the pastoral life Fortune has temporarily provided her with:

Aliena, mori-style

I can’t even begin to explain how much I love this look. If I could drses like this everyday I think I could die happy!

Aliena by herlumpiness
Get that look:
  • Use soft, dusty pastels like sage, rose, or cream
  • Use a ruffled bolero to allude to her ruffled overdress
  • Keep make-up and hair natural; a bit of just-kissed-pink gloss, cream shadow, and tousled hair
  • Don’t overdo accessories – use rose corsages or make yourself a flower crown out of fake flowers, or even real if they’re blooming for you!
  • In my mind, Aliena is barefoot, but as this isn’t really too practical for her as a shepherdess or you in the modern world, break lolita convention and go for a pair of sturdy yet comfy gladiator sandals, as in my imagination all historical fashions favored.
For those of you who are into Shakespeare, I… don’t recommend this movie or even the original play. However, for those of you who are interested in period drama and enjoy historical costume, beautiful imagery, and quotable characters, definitely check this version out. Anyone interested in boystyle? Check out Rosalind as Ganymede – hottie!

Bryce Dallas Howard as Ganymede/Rosalind, in brown

Though I must admit, Orlando is quite a looker himself. I… don’t know who that other man is.


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  1. Orlando *w*

    • Dude sooooo much eyecandy in this movie, I can’t even explain. You would love it.

  2. I actually like this play (maybe not as much as I like others, but definitely more than Titus Andronicus). I love how Shakespeare always made his fools to be the wisest of all the characters – perfect irony.

    The dress in the cord is to die for! I wish more brands would do pieces in that fern/sage color.

    • I really like this play a lot too. I found it to be exactly what it was meant to be – “a comedy of pleasant smiling,” as my professor put it. I have to write a critical analysis of an Elizabethan or Jacobean drama for my Drama class &I’ve been toying with the idea of using As You Like It. I’m just not sure if I can get enough sources… worst-case scenario I switch to Midsummer Night’s Dream, haha.

  3. This is such a pretty look, thanks for the tips! I saw this while I was shelving movies at the library today and debated picking it up, after seeing these stills I’ll definitely be giving it a watch.

    • Thank you! I definitely recommend it, if you like Shakespeare – it’s a very light movie, definitely nothing heavy or deep, haha. I watched it on a lazy evening off via youtube &it was mostly a pleasant way to pass the time, more than anything enlightening, lol.

  4. I think the other man is Kenneth Brannagh.. *giggles*. I love her look too! I love the dresses in the first picture *drools*! Why can’t we still dress this way? šŸ˜¦

    • Oops! I misunderstood. Yes, I kind of assumed it was him XD;

  5. Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thank you Nevertheless Iā€™m experiencing challenge with ur rss . Don know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting an identical rss downside? Anyone who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

    • Thank you! Actually, the problem may be because I switch to Blogger instead of WordPress- my new blog is here:

      You can subscribe via Feedburner or Google Friend Connect to the new RSS at that URL. šŸ™‚

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