Saturday, November 22, 2014

Paisley Print 1950s Day Dress in DC & Chicago for the Waistcoats & Weaponry Tour


As noted in recent posts, for my Waistcoats & Weaponry book tour, Fashionable Reader, I tried to dress in outfits that matched my cover. On Friday of World Fantasy convention and on my first day in Chicago I wore this vintage 1950s paisley print dress in shades of green and blue. (This is the same dress that I wore for the launch party for Crudrat.)


In both the versions pictured above, I am wearing it over a Dark Garden sweetheart custom corset. The first (with the black accessories) is at World Fantasy and second (with the brown) is for Crudrat. The black accessories included my black teardrop hat with magnetic teal flower, steampunk fan earrings (similar), elastic black bow belt (similar $4), new black Born oxford wingtips, and, of course, my gold pen necklace.

Here is the dress later on the tour without the proper foundation garments...


See? Proper corsetry makes all the difference. Also when in the right underpinning, I tend to prance and twirl around the hotel room in my skivvies (since the corset and crinoline are both white and the latter made of copious amounts of tulle) singing "I'm a pretty ballerina." As if I were 8.


 The lovely lady pictured with me was wearing these boots, or ones very like. They are velvet and come in red (and used to come in purple) as well as the black ($81). I actually nearly bought some from Clockwork Couture but they don't come in half sizes and I am a pretty clean 7.5. Speaking of Clockwork Couture have you seen Donna's boot collection lately? Oh my goodness!



Not a perfect match to the cover but I did my best.

And here is a fan for Sophronia:

Fan  1620  The Victoria & Albert Museum

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Laser Cut Turquoise eShakti Dress in DC for the Waistcoats & Weaponry Tour


As noted in previous posts, for my Waistcoats & Weaponry book tour, Fashionable Reader, I tried to dress in outfits that matched my cover. On the first day of World Fantasy I wore my new eShakti laser cut turquoise, black, and white pencil dress. It is a bit more modern than most of my retro pieces, but I love it. It is VERY light weight (perfect for a mid summer wedding). I had intended to wear it again on the tour in Boston or Chicago, but the temperatures required that I only wear this the one day at World Fantasy.


I like this dress very much, although it certainly doesn't minimize the Rack. I also adore my teardrop shaped hat, it doesn't go on the road with me often because it is too big to travel well. But I was checking luggage for the first part of this trip so I packed it in a puffy envelope, well filled with socks, and crossed my fingers it would survive. (It did, both ways, thank goodness.) My favorite part of this outfit, though, is the spectator peep heels. These are old old Via Spigas, comfy and unique and cute, but they made the BEST sound on the parquet of the hotel floor. The perfect tack tack tack of stilettos. Made me so happy I kept walking through the lobby just to hear them click.


A fan for Sophronia to go with this outfit...

Fan  1920s  The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Green Rose Print 1960s Evening Dress in DC for the Waistcoats & Weaponry Tour


As noted in the last post, for my Waistcoats & Weaponry book tour, Fashionable Reader, I tried to dress in outfits that matched my cover. On the first day for my launch event and on Saturday of World Fantasy I wore this vintage early 1960s I. Magnin print cocktail gown. It has green roses (they are fuzzy to the touch!), a slightly tulip shaped skirt, and half length sleeves. This has to be one of my favorite vintage dresses.



I paired it with long green satin gloves (they come in most any color you want for about $12), a green and black Lucite necklace, and a green feather hair band (both vintage).



Here are the two sides of the feather band. I bought it just with the feathers, they had fallen off one end so I sewed on that vintage gold and green scarf clip. I do love the band. As you can probubly tell, I am wearing my corset with this dress. It no longer fits the Rack without it. Thank goodness it still fits with it! (Although I do tend to spill a bit. Stop leaning forward, Gail.)

On my feet are my new black snakeskin platform Mary Jane stilettos (with the much coveted almond toe).

Similar in patent with a retro heel or with the super high stiletto.

With Howard Tayler & Vanessa A. of Whiskey Tango Fashion

I wore the outfit again Saturday for the Art Show reception at World Fantasy with a black octopus necklace and a black skinny belt. All in all this was my favorite outfit of the whole tour.


And a fan for Sophronia to go with...

Fan  19th century  The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Hawaiian Print eShakti Dress in DC & Boston for the Waistcoats & Weaponry Tour


For my tour for Waistcoats & Weaponry, Fashionable Reader, I tried to dress in outfits that matched my cover. On Wednesday, my first day in DC, and then later on my first day in Boston, I wore this Hawaiian print dress in shades of green and pink on a black background.


This is one of my eShakti purchases, so not vintage but retro. I paired it with an H&M blazer (similar), blush colored flats (similar), and this lovely octopus necklaces (gift from a reader, similar $18).

Signing with the pen necklace.

Here is a shot that shows the dress without the jacket. I had them put on the sleeves as the original design was without.


The flower in my hair is from Whiskey Tango Fashion.


One of the things I love about this dress is that because of the pattern and its colors I have a lot of accessories I can wear with it. Also it has a side zipper and a front zipper over the chest, and while not very vintage looking this means I can step into it. Win! I can do the hair and makeup first.

And a fan for Sophronia...

Fan  early 20th century  The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Recent Acquisitions ~ Dresses


OK so some of these where a while ago, but I still need to report them in.

Black Rouched Dress

I found this at Crossroads Trading and I couldn't resist. Rouching in a pencil dress is a little odd but it does hide everything, even as it adds a little bulk. Normally I resist black, I have more than enough, but this looked ot pack beautifully and was so easy to wear.  It'll probably come out tour with me this November.

Tiki Dress

 This one came from a local thrift store. I know, strapless. Bear with me (heh heh, puns). I wear it over my corset and the corset hods up both the dress and the Rack beautifully. Because the dress is thin and stretchy it also shows the corset but I can wear a cream peplim shirt over the top and it's really quite a nice look. Anything that gets me away from a bra on occasion is good in my book these days.

Speaking of which, I've started a new exercise regime. No I am not one of Those Girls. I just would like to be a bit more fit (and the doctor told me to try to get something off the Rack, if at all possible, now, before surgery). However, I needed to figure out how to do it in a lazy low impact way ~ because I am lazy, and because of the Rack. It doesn't help that I used to be a treadmill addict: put it on, get on, watch a movie. Ta da! Exercise. (I know, bad form, but I really am so lazy. Anything is better than nothing.) But my apartment is now too small for a treadmill (and up two flights of stairs). Yes, even a folding treadmill wouldn't fit. (Two people, one cat, one shoe addition, two jacket additions, no closets, one tech additions, and 600 square feet: it's not pretty people. Not pretty.) Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes.

So I bought this lovely little thing:

Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper $53

Referred to by me as the steppy steppy. Oh my goodness, Fashionable Reader, I love it! We are in a Relationship: me and the steppy steppy. It is so easy to use. My knees don't complain about it. I just put it from its corner and get on it. No plugs. Pop in a DVD and ta da! Here's hopping it has some kind of effect on the Rack, or at least stops me from puffing on stairs in future. Hooray, steppy steppy! 

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Gail is On Book Tour


For the next two weeks, Fashionable Reader, I am on book tour. I hope to see you at an event if I happen to be near you. I'll have lots of outfit posts when I get back, all my colors themed to my most recent book cover. Yeah, I've gotten a little crazy with the packing this trip. I do so love a challenge.


Meanwhile here's a fab Transformation Gown:


Robe à Transformation  1865  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“You see more of the outlandishness of fashion in one day on Broadway than in a week on any one streets of Boston. Doubtless, Boston is just as proud as New York, but her pride is that of brains, and those, from the necessities of the cse, are hidden.”
~ Around the Tea Table by T. De Witt Talmage (1875)

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Waistcoats & Weaponry Teaser ~ Ombre



I kind of adore ombré. So much so that it becomes strangely entangled in Sophronia's adventures in Waistcoats & Weaponry.

Ombré cake Maggie Austin Cake
I don't use the actual word in the book, but essentially Sophronia wears a dress that involves ombré ~ lighter at the top, darker at the bottom. I'm not going to tell you any more because I want it to be a surprise but keep an eye out for it, Fashionable Reader? And in the meantime here's some inspirational images.


Here's more on decorating with Ombré.

Ombré Wall via Apartment Therapy How To
fade-to-pink-bedding
Ombre-Rain-Chain
ombre patent leather Vernice Bowler by Prada
By Cakes By Kim
Pam Hiram Sparked agate collar at anthropologie.com

DIY Ombre Flowers

Creative-Facade

ombré dresser

Jonathan-Saunders
Herve Leger ombre one-shoulder bandage dress, net-a-porter.com

1910-1912  Rijksmuseum

1925  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bouquet to Art 2014 ombre flower cluster
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.