Style Scholar: Liberated is the New Black

Liberated is the new black

When love comes around again, in the form of a wealthy, top-hatted gentleman, The Vagabond’s heroine, Renee, finds that even a fresh romance isn’t as appealing as the artistic and domestic freedom she has cultivated after leaving her abusive husband. Crammed with Colette’s trademark gorgeous descriptions of fashion, this Continental romance ends exactly as an American romance would not – with Renee ultimately choosing bohemian liberty over conventional security, and looking very sexily French in the meantime. Vive la liberté!


The Vagabond, by Colette, Wings Books, 1995

find similar editions at Twice Sold Tales (1833 Harvard Ave.)


“She had feathers
like that! And a muff like that!”

Suede and wool muff-cuff coat, similar styles at Lucky Vintage
(4742 University Way NE)


“M. Dufferein-Chautel…
with his black hair shining like the silk of a top-hat.”

Wool top hat, about $30,
The Hat Shop (1411 1st Ave.)


“A circlet of jade, green
as a tree-frog, bound the stalks of a bunch of greenish lilies…”

OPI polish in “Jade Is the
New Black,” $8, Hoa Salon
(5350 Ballard Ave. NW)


“…she seizes a huge purple rose before I have even opened the little envelope fastened to the side…”

Clip-on rose earrings, about $25, Pacific Galleries (241 S. Lander St.)



“Here, in eight pages, is something that I can at last call a real love-letter.”

Grady McFerrin stationery by
Chronicle Books, $15, Elliott Bay Book Company



“…I arrive, with no
corset on…and black
satin knickers under my short skirt”

“Nina” boyshort by Simone Perele, $57, Bellefleur Lingerie
(3504 Fremont Pl. N.)



“His mouth, half-
hidden under his rusty-black moustache, intrigued me…”

Pinaud Clubman After Shave Lotion, $7, Bartell Drugs (various locations)



“How good the air smells round these little barrows full of wet violets and white jonquils!”

India Tree candied violet petals,
$7, DeLaurenti Food & Wine
(1435 1st Ave.)




“Men! Men! Have you known so many?”

Men’s tartan trousers by Ian Poulter, $155, similar styles at Broadmoor Pro Shop (2340 Broadmoor Dr. E.)