Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Poison or Protect Extras ~ Changing Fashions of the Late 1860s


Poison or Protect: A Delightfully Deadly Novella, follows the exploits of one lady assassin with a penchant for poison, one gentle soldier with a white knight complex, a house party, a ghost, and... the changing fashions of 1867.


No really, the diminishing nature of full skirts is a plot point. I roll like that. Even so, I can't go all over with the info-dumping in the story itself, although I hope I've made the point as needed, so I thought I'd give you a glimpse at what I mean in further detail.

So here you have a peek at the evolving nature of skirts in the 1860s. I've chosen to give both fashion plates and actual dresses as this is as close as I can get to runway versus real way style of blog.

Fashion plate, 1860 V&A Museum no. E.267-1942

At the beginning of the 1860s dress skirts were very wide indeed, notably assisted by the cage crinoline. "The steel-hooped cage crinoline, first patented in April 1856 by R.C. Milliet in Paris, and by their agent in Britain a few months later, became extremely popular." (source)

1860  The Victoria & Albert Museum

By the end of the 1850s, the cage was hugely popular with the fashionable set as it allowed one to wear (slightly) fewer petticoats. Note, however, that it was the height of vulgarity to see evidence of the cage in terms of steel rings or tapes (like VPL), so one did still require several petticoats over the crinoline to hide these. A ruffle was often sewn on the bottom, which could be replaced with a different color to match the over-skirt. Also the cage caused ladies to be vested in the need for longer underpinnings, should the cage swing too far when dancing. Hence the brief fad for pantalettes.

And now for the retrospective: 1860-1869


Emile Pingat, 1860  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Spring Pardessus, No. 2”, fashion plate from Harper’s Monthly Magazine, 1861

Evening Dress  Charles Fredrick Worth, 1861  The Chicago History Museum
Fashion plate, 1862 US, Godey’s Lady’s Book

1862  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Fashion plate, 1863 England, the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine

As you can see, the early 1860s were very wide full skirts. But right around the middle the century they began to shift toward the back into a train...

Cage Crinoline  1862  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1863  The McCord Museum
1864

1864  The Kyoto Costume Institute
1865 Dresses from the The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Les Modes Parisiennes
Date: Sunday, January 1, 1865
Item ID: v. 44, plate 64

Note how the skirts are sliding more and more towards the back by this point? At the same time they become more narrow. An advanced oval form of the cage crinoline was quite popular at this point, but a lady was also permitted to wear layers of petticoats cleverly cut instead. A discussion on this matter occurs in Poison or Protect, key to understanding of Preshea's character.

Godey's Fashion Plate 1866

1866  Musée Galliera de la Mode de la Ville de Paris
Plate 39. December 1867.
Robe à Transformation  1867  Collection Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti1
Fashion plate, 1868 England
Dinner Dress  Emile Pingat, 1868  The Philadelphia Museum of Art
1869_Englishwomans_Domestic_Magazine

1869  Collection Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti

And so the style leads into the 1970s tighter bustle silhouette, as described in the Parasol Protectorate series.

Cage Crinolette  1872-1875  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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

You can also visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dress the Cover ~ Poison or Protect


Poison or Protect: A Delightfully Deadly Novella, my first major self-published story set in the world of the Parasol Protectorate and Finishing School books, it out now. The cover, after much consideration, is a cool purple color with hints of blue.


We went with this color because the main character, the Assassin Preshea, is kind of a cool customer. But still very feminine and purple just seemed to work really well for her.

Here, inspired by that cover, are some fun purple dresses that I could imagine Preshea choosing to wear throughout the ages. She is a very fashionable young lady but her preference is for things on the deadly side of elegant.

In the Finishing School books...


1820s  1stdibs.com

During Poison or Protect...


Day Dress  1860s  Augusta Auctions

During the time of the Parasol Protectorate books...


Day dress ca. 1870  From the Kent State University Museum via fripperiesandfobs tumblr

1879  The Victoria & Albert Museum
1883  Musée Galliera de la Mode de la Ville de Paris

During and after the time of the Custard Protocol books...

1890 Necklace  late 19th century  Christie’s

Half-Mourning Ensemble  1897-1899  The FIDM Museum

late 19th century- early 20th century  The Philadelphia Museum of Art

1900 edwardian-time-machine tumblr

Tea Gown  Jean-Philippe Worth, 1905  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1910-1913  Nasjonalmuseet for Kunst, Arketektur, og Design

I imagine Preshea would be one of those hugely annoying women who remains perfectly skinny and utterly fashionable well into her dotage. 

And some pieces Gail covets...


1920  Brooch  Christie’s

1930s  Rococo Vintage

1950s  Timeless Vixen Vintage

1958 Shoes  Fragiacomo, 1958  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1960s  Mill Street Vintage

And purple on the runways of today...


2014 Costello

2014 Oscar de la Renta tweed dress net-a-porter.com

2014 Reem Acra long sleeve embroidered illusion gown at shopbop.com


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

You can also visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to do this blog without sponsors.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bookfest in Red Pedal Pushers with Black and White


Barnes & Noble and their teen book fest this last weekend. It was pretty last minute and I agreed to do a thing because I happen to already be in the area for a morning event, so I figured it was no big deal to hop over.

photo taken by Maude Lynne @the_maude_lynne

Sorry this is the only picture anyone posted of my outfit as I forgot, as always, to take any myself.

I'm wearing a fitted button up black and white striped blouse (yes it goes over the Rack without a gap, it's one of those magic ones).  I got it years ago, likely from Nordstrom Rack. But I've no ready source of good button downs for girls with a large Rack, aside from going custom on eShakti. Recommendations welcome. The sleeves on this one are a little tight but because the rest fits so well and it's vertical stripes I can't get rid of it.

I've paired it with high wasted red cotton pedal pushers (similar $50), black and white Via Spiga wingtip spectator peep toes pumps (similar $60), black vintage leather gloves (similar $30), and a little red headband (similar $10), and red bead necklace and earring set (similar $20).

I'm never sure about pedal pushers, but I like having a few pairs of trousers about, just to remind myself that my legs do, in fact, go all the way up.

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

You can visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.
Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Then & Now ~ Red Sweetheart Neckline


Then

1950s  Timeless Vixen Vintage pleet

Now

2014 Lanvin bustier dress

Matched Merch

Remarkable Display of Whatnot Gail Carriger Quote

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

You can also visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.