Thursday, March 23, 2017

Then & Now ~ Strapless Blush A-line Gown


Then

1952 Christian Dior  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Now

2014 Roland


Matched Merch


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, March 21, 2017

The Evolution of the Stocking: History of Undergarments Series


My dear fashionable reader, just some fun today on the evolution of the lowly stocking...



“Stockings, originally designed for practical purposes, soon transformed into a fashionable accessory with the invention of the knitting frame in 1589 and then the circular-knitting machine in 1816. This technology allowed for a tighter weave and a better fit. Also, it was much easier to produce stockings, making them more affordable and readily available to a larger public. Plain white stockings were in mode for quite some time, until the mid to late-1800s when hemlines rose, and the ankle was revealed. This change in fashion called for colorful and fanciful motifs to decorate the lower leg, a visually appealing effect.


~ From A Brief History of Stockings

 Stockings  1788-1793  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

"The flirtatious and vibrant colors of this pair of stockings increases their value, making them an accessory of interest. The two colors used, enhanced by the two-color embroidery pattern creates an elaborate sensibility. The period from 1890-1899 was known as the “Naughty Nineties” and this pair of stockings is a testament to the frivolous fun women had with their dress.”


~ From A Brief History of Stockings

For Preshea in Poison or Protect...



1860 Stockings  1860s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

"In buying stockings, whether silk or cotton, you will find it cheapest in the end, to get those of the best English manufacture, particularly those of fine quality. For winter, and to wear with boots, English stockings of unbleached cotton are very comfortable, feeling warmer than those that are perfectly white. It is to be lamented that all black stockings (even of silk) are painful and injurious to the feet, the copperas dye being poisonous."

~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (1864)


For Ivy in the Parasol Protectorate Series...

 Stockings  1870  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Alexia in the Parasol Protectorate Series...

 Stockings  1873  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Imogene in Romancing the Inventor...


 Stockings  1880-1899  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Primrose in the Custard Protocol Series...


Stockings  1890s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Garters 1899 The Chicago History Museum

For Gail...


Stockings  1910-1917  The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 Garter  Lucile, 1914  The Victoria & Albert Museum

From the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue:

LOUSE LADDER. A stitch fallen in a stocking. (AKA a run)

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.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Why Pick Quirky Accessories? Black Buttons Bag & Totoro Glasses Case


Hello Fashionable Reader!

Two things have come into my life recently that I really love and have found myself using a great deal. They are also quite a bit... well... weird.

One of my prevailing attitudes on accessories, particularly in social situations, is if you wear them quirky this gives others an opening to chat with you easily. Since I hang out with geeks a lot, anything that facilitates small talk (mine or theirs) is a good idea. This bag is a great conversation starter:

Black Button Barrel Bag $25

I know this bag is ridiculous, but I love ridiculous. It's got a very 1960s feel. Comes in three other colors (turquoise, pink, black & yellow). I came across it while I was researching bag shapes and trying to determine the exact point of demarcation between a bowler bag and a barrel bag. (Long story.) Once I saw it, I pretty much had to have it, fortunately the size suited my needs.

So, why was I so attracted to it?

I'm always looking for a bag that is the right size for conventions (this is: it holds my phone, wallet, swag, and snacks easily), and black, but is different and unique and noticeable. Black bags are so ubiquitous that it's nice to find one that people perk up and comment on. Even if that attention is occasionally, "What IS that?"

The other quirky thing I got recently?

Totoro Glasses Case $9

I invested in a new pair of working glasses to carry about with me last month, so I could put my special vintage frame ones (that you always see me wearing for FB Live) on lay away for only public appearances. Since those gold glasses were a gift from a fan, and one of a kind, I really didn't want to loose them. So I got this special case to hold them and because it's SOOOOOO cute.

Speaking of FB Live here's my latest, I talk a bit about the cherry shirt I am wearing.


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, March 14, 2017

Then & Now ~ Black & Gold Gown


Then

1873 Afternoon Dress  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Now

2014 Escada

Matched Merch


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.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Prudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With It


My book, Prudence, is currently on sale for only $4.99 (ebook USA). In honor of that, Fashionable reader, I'm posting a fun thing I used to do a lot - outfits that match the cover!


I had to put this image first, because it is such a perfect match to the colors of the cover. It's an 1870s  dress from Kerry Taylor Auctions. I'm not sure which of my characters might wear something so exotic, this period would place it during the Parasol Protectorate series. So perhaps Ivy?

And now, looking at the cover here's some more picks...

For Alexia in the Parasol Protectorate series...


Suite  1830s  Christie’s

Afternoon Dress  Charles Fredrick Worth, 1872  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Countess Nadasdy...


1883  Musée Galleira de la Mode de la Ville de Paris

For Primrose in the Custard Protocol series...


 Pingat afternoon dress ca. 1896  From the De Young Museum
1895 Cufflinks  Tiffany & Co., Sotheby’s

1890s  Augusta Auctions

For Gail...


Madame Grès, 1945  Kerry Taylor Auctions

1950s  Whitaker Auctions

2000 Gianni Versace  The Frock

2015 Katrin Langer floral brocade clutch at modaoperandi.com

2015 Nicholas Kirkwood purple suede Mary Jane

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, March 7, 2017

For Prudence & The Custard Protocol - Ladybug Fashion


Just a little bit, today, Fashionable Reader, featuring Rue's favorite... the Ladybug! (In honor of Prudence being on sale for $4.99)

Clips  Cartier, 1930  Doyle Auctions

2013 Ring  Dior  Bonham’s

Carolina-Herrera-Pre-Fall-2015-Ladybug Dress







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.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Then & Now ~ White White White


Then

1872-1875  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Now

2014 Calvin Klein Collection

Matched Merch


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.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Dressing Sophronia from the Corset Up


Good day, Fashionable Reader, today I am posting all about what Sophronia as wearing under all those dresses I describe in the Finishing School series. I hope you enjoy this, I had a lot of fun pulling it together.

A dress like this, worn as a daytime garment for classes:

1850s Ensemble  Nordiska Museet

Sophronia might also carry:

1850s Parasol  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Or perhaps...

1867 Fan Souvenir de l’exposition universelle

Her first layer under that outfit:


Under the dress above, she'd be wearing something like this:

Accessory Set 1850s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art: a lace tuck or collar, and sleeve extensions.

Corset Cover  1864-1868  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Stocking  1860  Les Arts Décoratifs 

Shoes  1854-1860  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

There would also be gloves, of course.

The next Layer under that:

 Underneath those we have...

 Corset  Roxy Ann Caplin, 1851  The Museum of London

1855-1865  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Likely there would also be split drawers, but I couldn't find a good image from this timer period. Note that there is no cage crinoline, it is introduce to England after the Finishing School series.

Similar foundation garments might go under Sophronia's transformation gown. If she were going out visiting and paying calls she would wear this:

Robe à Transformation  1855  The Metropolitan Museum of Art2

With these over it:

Accessory Set  1850s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

And for an evening ball, this version of the dress...

1855 Robe à Transformation  1855  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

With these in her hair:

1850 Headdress & Bouquet  Mid 19th Century   MFA

And this to ward off the chill:

Cape  1855  The Metropolitan 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.