WallpaperStories: Miranda Priestly

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Take note, my friends: Have you ever felt the urge to be the Queen of Fashion? Then this is the place where you will find a wallpaper style á la Miranda Priestly.

Do you know that feeling? You watch a movie or read a book and are so impressed with the protagonist that you want to emulate them - or better yet: become them! You dream of this world (often completely different from your own) and do your best to bring at least a small fraction of it into your life. That is exactly what happens whenever I watch the movie "The Devil wears Prada". I've always been fascinated by the glossy and glamorous world of fashion, and most of all by its number 1 representative, Miranda Priestly. The first story in our new column WallpaperStories, which you will regularly find in our blog from now on, centres around her.

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In "The Devil wears Prada", young journalist Andy lands a job as PA to the formidable chief editor of renowned couture magazine "Runway". But she soon realises that she does not fit into the world of Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada - and most of all the world of Miranda Priestly. And her boss certainly doesn't hold back about that fact. Miranda expects 100% dedication from her staff, and she also expects them to be dressed head-to-toe in the latest designer collections. There is no such thing as "I can't", as far as Ms Priestly is concerned. And there is nothing more important than to maintain her image as the aloof, successful and unscrupulous queen of fashion.

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Meanwhile, Miranda's marriages fall by the wayside. Divorce from her husband Stephen Tomlinson is imminently on the cards... ...for she is married to her work, not her husband. And her twin daughters bear the brunt of this, too. Miranda Priestly hardly ever shows weakness. She holds on to the front of "strong woman" with all her might. But in reality, she appears to simply be trying to hide her impoverished past. For her family background is distinctly lower class.

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Her actual name is Miriam Princhek. But she grew up with a burning desire to leave the modest circumstances of her parents behind, and as she embarked on her journalistic career, she decided to change her name. This meant that nobody could draw conclusions as to her background. A clear indication that for Miranda, her career is much more important than her family.

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Miranda has no doubts as to what wealth means. She is not the kind of woman who throws her money around carelessly and insouciantly. And she would certainly not show off her riches. But just as she would not be seen dead in last season's couture, her house is similarly stylish, and her surroundings are luxurious and opulent. But in this case, luxury does by no means equal ostentatiousness - quite the opposite is true! Miranda prefers understated, subtle designs, and complements them with her own colourful touches. Her home is her haven of calm and relaxation, the place where she gathers strength for the next day. She has created her own personal retreat. Miranda would doubtlessly love these wallpaper styles:

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And she might dot some beautiful bouquets of flowers around the room, to complete the picture. Perhaps she enjoys their fragrance, or she simply needs a sense of innocent beauty when returning from a day in the unscrupulous and unforgiving surroundings at work. Miranda's home also features large bookshelves, made from dark wood and filled with old-looking tomes. Even though she might not have a lot of time to read, they create an atmosphere of homeliness. At least that is the effect books have on me - they exude a certain warmth, and bookshelves make any room more comfortable and friendly.

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If you feel the same but don't have sufficient room in your home for shelves of that size and heft, why not use wallpapers displaying bookshelves to achieve the same effect? You'll be surprised just how realistic this "tromp loeil" can look.

Until the next WallpaperStory...
Yours, Laura

PS: The movie "The Devil wears Prada" is currently available on DVD as part of the Hollywood Collection by 20th Century Fox.