We’ll admit it, February can be a bit of a gloomy month. Spring is tantalizingly close… and yet it feels so far away when the snow is still falling. The holidays are long gone and those wonderful New Year/New You intentions are fading away in the rearview mirror. But though it may be a bit ‘blah’, February also marks the birthday of one of France’s best-known novelists: Victor Hugo. Born on the 26th in 1876, Hugo’s writing certainly suits his birth month – his most famous works (Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame) are deeply melancholy, with death and despair at every turn.
Les Mis, in particular, has ‘misery’ baked right into the title. There’s no hiding from it in this story of unrequited love and failed revolutions. Some might feel like this isn’t the best reading choice for a month that leaves us feeling glum, but hey, sometimes you gotta steer into the skid. Rather than trying to force a smile on a snowy day, why not give in to the despondency? Glory in the gloom with a Les Mis pity party! Gather some friends and have a good wallow, Victor Hugo style, with our style guide to the magnificently miserable.
And remember: February might not be the best month, but at least you aren’t starving to death in revolutionary France.
Let Them Eat Cake
Les Mis take places a few decades after the death of Marie Antoinette, but the revolution that prompted her death brought about the France of Les Mis, so we think it’s fair to enjoy a few French Queen-themed frosted treats at our Les Mis Pity Party. Ice cupcakes in red, white and blue, and decorate them with these Broadway musical cake-toppers from Designs By Theresa or with rosette toppers like these sweet treats from Sweet Shoppe.
As well as the more indulgent goodies, lay out some French classics – a charcuterie board is perfect for nibbling. Don’t forget some bread for poor Jean Valjean!
[Movie still from Les Misérables 2012, Universal Pictures]
No Song Unsung, No Wine Untasted
Speaking of wine: it’s the order of the day for Les Mis fans, and there’s even a Victor Hugo winery for true purists. For those who aren’t fans of the grape, but like their puns, turn any soda- (or champagne-) based cocktail into a themed option by re-naming it a “Les Fizz.” Finally, distinguish your glasses easily with cute wine charms by EssenTiles.
Pamper Like A Peasant
Now that we’re fed and watered, it’s time for some self-indulgence. Pretend to be a filthy peasant by covering your face in this hugely popular charcoal peel-off mask from Origins and then soothe your skin with Les Mis inspired all-natural, paraben-free lotions by Green Nymph Grotto. Finish up with a mani-pedi using ‘Dreams Were Made And Used And Wasted’, a gorgeous gray polish by LynBDesigns.
Dress The Part
We could suggest going all out with character cosplays, or even Revolutionary-themed sashes and cockades – and if that sounds like fun, check out Lady and the Lion. If, however, casual pity parties are more your style, we’ve still got you covered. Go all-out with this vintage Les Mis sweater from the ‘80s, or relax in a Javert baseball tee from Look Human. Wrap up warm in a shawl (by Universal Zone) or a scarf (by Storiarts), and don’t forget to accessorize! We love this stamped cuff and quote pendant.
On My Own
Finally, to cure the post-party loneliness, we’ve got a few options that are perfect for solo Hugo reading. Set the mood with a Les Mis candle, grab an adorably cuddly character doll, and warm your heart with a hot drink in a handpainted Les Mis mug.
Enjoy your (Les) Miserable pity party!