Fashion Photography: Inspiration for Writing Fiction

Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening. ~Coco Chanel

What I love most about fashion is the rich history and storytelling through photography. One of my favorite forms of art, fashion photography, for me, is a theatrical dreamscape where imagination can play — the images like visual writing prompts hinting at a narrative that begs me to ask, “What’s the story here?”

Vogue Sep 2011

suitcase girl

Anthropologie catalog August 2011

yellow couture gown

In terms of inspiration for writing fiction, I’m drawn to the more fantastical photography. My fiction tends to be rooted in reality but I love to explore the boundaries between truth and invention; what’s real versus what’s maybe not so real. For this reason, I actively seek out Tim Walker‘s photos when searching for inspiration. I swoon.

Tim Walker fashion photography

Tim Walk fasion photography

Tim Walker fashion photography

RED Valentino Fall 2012 Tim Walker

Tim Walker dresses in trees

And then there are images where a character practically jumps off the page, commanding me to tell their story.

anthropologie wicked queen character

beautifully wicked

Tim Walker girl


Life Magazine 1952

I want to know her story (Life Magazine c.1952)

If you’re a writer of fiction: Other than traditional writing prompts, from where do you pull inspiration?


4 thoughts on “Fashion Photography: Inspiration for Writing Fiction

  1. lyndzeerae27 says:

    I completely agree with you, fashion has always been something I have been drawn to too…Well maybe not so much high fashion or couture, but the everyday individual who chooses to wear ‘that’ particular outfit. What one wears I think, can say a lot about them as a person, which gives way for me and my always spinning mind to want to create a character base. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a tattered woman looking dishevelled and scruffy on the bus and madly got out my notebook and started scrolling away a poem. Or A man walking down a busy street wearing bright yellow pants and a purple shirt and oh so cool sunglasses and I’ve used the idea of him in a short story.
    I think that all of my characters in fiction have been based on some sort of truth, or something I have seen and stored subconsciously in my mind. I am an avid ‘people watcher’ which probably creeps out a lot of people a lot of the time…But hey what can I say, we’re writers right?!
    Thanks for the great post, it really gets you thinking 🙂

    • Lara says:

      Yes, I love people watching! What someone wears or how they present themselves, or in the case of photography, how they’re styled and the mood of the photo can spark so many ideas. Thanks for reading!

  2. Alice says:

    You’ve picked some real gems here, that can be inspiring in so many ways, not just fiction! I have some outfit ideas sparking already!

    • Lara says:

      Thanks! I love fashion. Trying to decide if it’s something I want to devote my time to writing about though.
      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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