Saturday, 16 October 2010

style icon: sherlock holmes


I was rather gratified at how many people appreciated the Sherlockian coat I posted on my wish list, and at how many people simply said, "Sherlock Holmes is awesome." I can't even tell you how much I agree! I've loved Sherlock Holmes since was 12 years old; the stories, various of the TV and movie adaptations, and as an extension, I always had a great appreciation for late Victorian styling.


Sherlock Holmes was, at his core, pretty counter-culture. True, he worked at times for the British government and the royal families of various European countries, but for him it was the problem that drew him to a case, not fame or remuneration. He had a disdain for many of the things Victorian society held dear, fainting women had no hold on him, and he was deeply eccentric (shooting a pattern into the walls of the flat, obsessively loving opera and boxing). And he was usually damn stylish, whether dressed as the quintessential English gentleman, or lounging around in a bohemian dressing gown, perched on a mountain of cushions, smoking his third pipe of the night.

Jeremy Brett in his famous portrayal for Granada Television, with Edward Hardwicke as Waston

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the recent, modern day interpretation Sherlock. Has anyone else seen this? It's sooo good! And speaking of coats, wouldn't you love to have Sherlock's? It apparently caused such a stir that the company reissued it after the series aired. I'd quite like to have it myself, but unfortunately it's over £1,000, so that won't be happening.

Holmes unmoved by the trembling lips of the fairer sex, though Watson never was.

In his classic deerstalker and cape, only worn for visits to the countryside however. In the city, Holmes was immaculate (usually) in the many layers and shiny top hats of the Victorian era. The above two images are original illustrations for the stories by Sidney Paget.

Of course, Sherlock Holmes became kind of a default Hallowe'en costume for me. Here I'm about 14... (and isn't Shona the best witch ever?) ; )

and again in 2008...

And finally, Holmes and Watson with Miss Violet Hunter (played by a young Natasha Richardson) in "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches," which left me with a life-long mission, to find my own electric blue silk dress!


hiven said...

Awh you so haven't changed! This is lovely

Emilie said...

haha cool post :) I never read any of the books, but the movie was awesome!! :D


Closet Fashionista said...

Hehe so fun!!!
Have you seen The Great Mouse Detective ;) aka Disney's version of Sherlock Holmes...LOVE it

ching said...

i love this post!!! sherlock holmes is a genius.

@close fashionista: haha i love that version. Basil and the gang are adorable.

....Petty Witter said...

As we were both mentioned on NRIGirl's site AND I love visiting other bloggers I though I'd stop by and say hello. Nice to have met you, I've enjoyed visiting and reading your tribute to Sherlock Holmes.

v a m p i r e said...

lol i think the costume is really cute although i must admit i never really read the books , silly me

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

@Closet Fashionista: YES! I love that version, it's hilarious!

A said...

Good write up.

How and where did you get these superb pictures?

NRIGirl said...

Nice one Emily! I liked the Sherlock Holmes in you better! Glad to see Petty Witter stopped by already. I am sure you will enjoy her blog Pen and Paper.

When you have a moment stop by at NRIGirl, I have a little tribute to fellow bloggers.

~ NRIGirl

eagle-eye-cherry said...

Hi, I like the Victorian style too and would be my pleasure to go out for a drink, off course, when I will come back in London or, maybe when you will visit Romania.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

@A: I was being a bad blogger and not keeping track of my sources. I found the pictures by google imaging, "Sherlock, Bernard Cumberbatch," "Sherlock Holmes, Sidney Paget," etc. etc. I think most of them are publicity stills, except for the ones of me, of course! : )

Izabella said...


Interesting post and great photos :) Love your SH costume, too. I've seen the first episode of "Sherlock"--it does look promising; will have to watch the other two episodes as time permits.

And since you mention having enjoyed Jeremy Brett's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, I thought you might find this website interesting:

SG said...

Loved reading this post. I felt like saying "Come Watson. The game is afoot!"

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

Wow! Thanks! I would certainly support a posthumous Bafta nomination. I'm always amazed at the support Jeremy Brett still has in the strangest places, even 15 odd years after his death.
@SG. Hehe, indeed. "These are deep waters, Watson. Deep, and rather dirty."

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Omg what a perfect Halloween costume! You are adorable as Sherlock Holmes and I'm surprised I have never seen anyone use that idea. It's so simple and yet quite clever. :)

And yes, I think Sherlock Holmes is a wonderful style icon!

iKali said...

Hi Emily how are u? I discovered your blog now and i loved it! You seems to be adorable!!! I read your profile descriptions, is amazing, u have the gypsy life i'd love to have!! hahahah If one day u come to Brazil contact me!!!

See ya!
Ingrid Kali

Emily, Resplendent Tranquility said...

The closest I've come to anything Sherlock Holmes is The Great Mouse Detective. Closet Fashionista's comment made me laugh and exert my own excited "Yesss! I love it, too!" ;) It, in all its silly animated glory, was recently released on DVD. I need to get my mitts on it for sure!

Reading Arthur Conan Doyle is something I've always meant to do, but have yet to get around to it. Would you recommend the Sherlock Holmes stories or a film/tv version to someone who is casually interested?

Anonymous said...

You're looking very dapper young Sherlock!

Haddock said...

Oh yes he is one of those who has enthralled many through the years.
Its a coincidence that I have mentioned him in my latest post.

Krystal said...

this rocks! i always loved reading his books :)

dr.antony said...

You were mentioned by the NRI girl,and I thought of saying hi.
I like the way you write. I just started the Holmes movie.I recently bought a complete collection from a book exhibition. Was my childhood favorite.

Meg! said...

I love Sherlock Holmes. You're such a good Sherlock! I'm also a huge fan of the recent BBC version -- such a wonderful interpretation of the stories, and the relationship between Holmes and Watson. But what about the movie with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law? Those costumes were brilliant, and it was such a great movie!

Elaine said...

I love Victorian fashion too! There's something about it... IT's so prim and proper!

CLOTHED MUCH, a modest fashion blog

Anthea said...

Awww, love your Sherlock Holmes costumes!

Raquel said...

the sherlock coat, cap and pipe are epic!
so have you found the perfect winter coat yet? hope so!

Beautifully Pure said...

It's funny you should mention Sherlock being stylish, because I actually recently purchased a hat solely because it looked sorta like one Robert Downey Jr. wore as Sherlock Holmes. :D I posted about it here if you're interested in seeing it.

And, speaking of the new movie, have you seen it yet? I was never a huge Sherlock fan until I saw that movie, but now I love him!!

Actually, the only reason I even watched the movie is because my big sis and I nick named each other "Sherlock" and "Watson" and she loved the movie. But I actually really liked it, myself. Sherlock was really funny!!

It was odd, in fact, because Sherlock acted a lot like my sis, and Watson a lot like myself... Like I said, odd...

Anyway... My ramble is now finished. :D

~ Katie

Izabella said...

@Emily: Thank you so much for signing our petition! :)

Yxl Ian said...

wow, I like the Sherlock Holmes costume.