Thursday, April 23, 2015

Interviewing Myself About Fashion

I have a fashion weakness for:
leather and cashmere.

My three most treasured fashion items are: 
my day bag, my investment coat, my corsets.

andwomenworebloomers-tumblr Description- A decollete restaurant gown profusely ornamented with sequins, with short puffed sleeves, Swiss belt, floral corsage & bell shaped trained skirt.     N.B hat.     Date- 1904

I will never throw out my: 
floor length leather jacket, first custom corset, romantically gifted jewelry.

My style icons growing up were: 
Madonna and Prince.

My last big splurge was: 
a cashmere blanket cardigan, draped robe style, warm and luxurious and on sale but really not necessary for a California girl. Since then, however, I have lived in it on every flight.

My favorite app is: 
Stylebook. It has no cloud back up though, so when my phone died I was in crisis. I ended up buying an iPad specifically so I could better use this app, I am that addicted. Sigh. Playing with Stylebook is my happy place.

On my to watch fashion TV list is: 
the last season of Project Runway.

Would someone please invent: 
a made-to-order custom luggage site where I can send off my favorite bag and have them make me a new more durable version in the colors of my choosing.

My beloved shoes

My beauty must haves include:
liquid pen liner, color stay lipstick, shellac manicures, vanilla perfume, coconut body butter, tinted under eye cream, mascara, facial cloths, electric toothbrush, glide comfort floss, Vaseline lip care

One of my favorite childhood fashion memories is: 
the smell of this one aunt of mine: she wore the most expensive perfume with vanilla overtones, I've been convinced ever since of two things: one should always make an effort to smell amazing and I, personally, want to smell like desert at all times.

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

Friday, April 17, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Then & Now ~ Poofy Wedding Dress


1890s late Wedding Dress  late  The Indianapolis Museum of Art


And the winner!

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

Friday, April 10, 2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Then & Now ~ Black & Gold


Court Dress  1845  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art


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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Then & Now ~ Dior Classic


Dior 1947 Newlook


I kinda want to do this look myself. I got this adorable cream jacket that would just do the trick.

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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

TV Style: Whose Wardrobe Would Gail Steal?

Inspired by this blog, I've been thinking hard about whose TV wardrobe I would steal if I could, Fashionable Reader.

Agent Carter ~ Agent Carter

I haven't watched this show yet, but I already know I want her wardrobe. I tend to lean slightly more 1950s than 40s, but that doesn't mean I don't adore this period and I like a little comic book twist to the color scheme and simplicity of outfit choice. (Don't worry I WILL watch it, I just tend to wait-until-thing are release to disc or streaming, as I don't really have a TV anymore.) Also the costumer is picking colors pallets good for a brunette, hally-flipping-luya.

Pushing Daisies ~ Chuck

It is entirely possible that Chuck and I could actually exchange wardrobes and no one would notice. Ignoring fit, of course.

Bomb Girls ~ Any of them

I love the range of outfits in this show. I haven't seen all the episodes yet, but I certainly will eventually if only for the costumes.

Mad Men ~ Joan

This one's pretty exciting because there's an off chance these dresses might actually fit me, with a bit of tailoring. Joan should come as no surprise to long time readers of this blog, I have talked about her style before. I tend to adore everything, from the pencil silhouette, to the full coverage (mostly) necklines, to the length of the skirts, to the style of sleeve. I've no idea why some enterprising manufacture doesn't just knock these suckers off (in ALL SIZES with the sleeves) after every episode... I'm looking at you Torrent, or eShakti, or Modcloth, or...

La Femme Nikita

If I were a tall stunning blonde (or really any variant on less curvy and more strapping than I am) I would dress like this series all the time. It is basically up market designer goth with some architectural elements, very chic with sometimes a little edge of raver. Love it.

Bet you thought I'd say Downtown Abby. Frankly, while I adore many of the outfits, especially from the first season, I don't think they would look good on my body type. (Spoiler: I wonder if that's really why they off killed Lady Sybil? I mean, she was the curviest of the three and they were heading towards the 1920s, which doesn't do us curvy girls ANY favors.)

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

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Book Tour Outfits ~ Team Purple!

First things first, I went out and got a mani-pedi to match the book cover. Because that's how I roll.

Then, for my 6 cities in 6 days Prudence tour I tried to wear all outfits that (if they didn't match) at least went well with the cover of the book. All of the dresses on this tour were from eShakti with custom sleeves, necklines, hemlines and fittings. I had the same shoes while I was away from California, cream colored Miz Mooz (similar) from last season or BP wingtip oxford flats from Nordstrom. The sweater, purse, and gloves you see in some of the pictures are all vintage. The long pen necklace is available on Amazon in both silver and gold.

1. San Diego ~ Mysterious Galaxy 

 Lavender with lace overlay. I love this one. And it packs beautifully.

Earrings are vintage discovery at a thrift store in college, I used them for Rococo and Regency costumes but they are more likely 1950s. Hat also vintage, can't remember where I go tit but it's one I wear all the time.

 2. Portland ~ Powell's

 As you can see in the original eShakti picture above I had sleeves added on, right is via Kathryn Dressler on FB

Vintage head band plus shell fan earrings (gift from my mum), and lace choker with parasol drop (gift from a reader).

 via @GeekyLibrary on Twitter and Sarah Gulde on FB

This dress wrinkles a little much for me. I did iron it before the event, but one car ride later... I do love the cut, neckline, and the pockets, of course.

via Sarah Gulde on FB

Back shot of the applique vintage hat I am wearing, and the lovely purple one I was gifted with from Sarah at the event.

3. Denver ~ Tattered Cover

 Right is from Sally Wright via FB

Above you can see what I look like all bundled up with the bag and all. 

 via Jade N. Goodnough at Tattered Bookstore Colfax

This dress is probably one of my new favorite dresses, it is very dark navy over black. It travels beautifully, works for both modern and vintage, doesn't need ironing, looks good with a belt, with flats or heels, has pockets, and fits like a dream. Given the inclement weather, I paired it with a vintage felt hat (a very early one from my collection). In addition there is a modern snakeskin belt, and simple faux pearl drop earrings (modern but old to my life) and a faux pearl family heirloom necklace piece I was gifted with as a child.

4. Dallas ~ Barnes & Noble

This dress is what eShakti calls "orchid" and navy color block, and not normally a color combination I would go for. But it matched the cover so nice I couldn't resist. I was actually hesitant about keeping it but I've decided to like it. It's another one the wrinkles a bit much for my taste.

Photo on the left by Joeseph Hernadez on the right by Matt Bowerman via FB

I paired it with the same vintage hat I wore in San Diego and new purple necklace I picked up in the dealer's room at London Worldcon last year.

With and from Melissa Coker via  FB

5. Houston ~ Murder by the Book

 Right if from and with Natasha Glass via FB

This dress was one of my whimsey purchases, it's chambray with a kind of southwestern pattern, that if I had really seen it on the site I might not have gotten (reminds me of my youth in the wrong way). However, because it is chambray and patterned it doesn't show wrinkles, the cut is great, and it travels well. The way the pattern is different over the boobs only emphasizes the Rack, but what can I do? It is what it is. I did have to ad the brown lace trim at the neckline (and to the sleeves) because it was a little too low.

 from Natasha Glass via FB; from Vicky Satterwhite via FB

The necklace is an old costume piece (annoying that it goes wonky like that) with matched earrings. It also has a matched bracelet but I rarely wear bracelets because when they aren't invisible under the gloves, they are busy causing my stockings to run. I think I picked this suite up in college at the same place and time as the bow pearl earrings in the first outfit.

The hat is a new one off Amazon for only $15. This is the grey, although it has a blue tinge to it. It also comes in black, pink, red, blue, and purple. The feathers stick out a little, making it a tad difficult to pack, but it was still easier to travel with than my larger hats and it might work for steampunk in a pinch.

6. Borderlands ~ San Francisco

Because this bookstore is basically home turf, I didn't have to worry over packing or size of hat or only one pair of shoes or anything: so I branched out and had fun with a full on New Look style. 

The hat is the vintage felt burgundy teardrop that I died black with fabric paint. I'm wearing the same necklace and earring set that I wore in Dallas. The blouse is made from a vintage 50s black dress that I cut and hemmed into a peplum shirt because I thought I would wear it more that way (I was right). The skirt is the bottom half of a vintage early 50s sweater suit. Those are vinatge black kid leather gloves that have seen better days. But, really, kid is the easiest and most functional thing to wear.

Borderlands via @Jessieclapon Twitter

You can see the shoes in the above picture. They are Irregular Choice pin stripe wedges with embroidery and lace detailing. I love the look of them but they are murder on my feet for any length of time. Irregular Choices always are, for me. I envy Nicole Peeler who can wear them with complete impunity. Still, I continue to wear these just enough to not get rid of them.

via Christina Velasco

Oh, and yes, I am indeed wearing this outfit over a corset. That's why it looks so good.

So which was your favorite tour outfit? 

Sorry I don't have really great fashion shots of some of them. I'm terrible about remembering to pose if I don't have someone there to remind me.

Thoughts on the various eShakti dresses? 

You can see how all the different cuts and necklines and colors look on my top heavy figure.


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

quotes Gail likes

“Lady Maccon.”
“By George, Boots! How the deuce can you possibly tell that there is Lady Maccon?” queried the other top-hated gentleman.
“Who else would be standing in the middle of a street on full-moon night with a raging ruddy fire behind her, waving a parasol about?”
“Good point, good point.” —Gail Carriger

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Then & Now ~ Sari


17th-18th century  1860s The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Marchesa SS2013

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