Saturday, October 18, 2014

Recent Acquisitions ~ Teal Velvet Dress


Well, Fashionable Reader, while in England I bought this velvet dress. I hinted at it in previous posts.


I found it at Real McCoy in Exeter. It fits the Rack but is a little big everywhere else. Still it's such a lovely color and a great match to my new book cover (Waistcoats & Weaponry) that I couldn't resist. I paid about $100 for it. Which is more than I normally like to spend on a event gown, but it's England, everything costs more there.


The sellers tag said 1960s but if it is, it must be early 60s (my guess is more like late 50s by the cut). But it's in fantastic condition.

I'll be wearing it on the Waistcoats & Weaponry book tour this November. So you will see pictures of me in it after that.

Some of the things I love about it? 


The swag of extra fabric at the waist, hides the girl tum. A neckline high enough to allow all bras (and fabric thick enough to disguise seams) but still low enough to show off necklaces. Solid beautiful color allows me to go wild with most of my accessories. Evening appropriate.

Some things I'm scared of?


It's unlikely to pack well. Thick velvet can be quite warm. And it is a little big, so I'm not certain how flattering it is. I took a look at it to see if I could take it in myself, but I think it requires a professional tailor. If I'm going to do that, I'll wait until after surgery.

Here are some dresses with similar cuts, or at least concepts: 

2014 Cushnie

1950 Dress  Ceil Chapman, 1950s  Mill Street Vintage

2014  Lanvin boat neck fitted dress

Ensemble  Jacques Doucet, 1920-1923  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fan Influenced Imagery & Fashionable Items


Still thinking about Sophronia and her fans, Fashionable Reader.  Only this time I've been delving into things that feature fans.

Here we go...

(via design-is-fine- tumblr) Portable Desk, japanese laquerware for western markets, 16th-17th century. Brooklyn Museum

Bracelet  Victorian  Lang Antiques
1880 Dress  1880  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Pendant Brooch  Charlton, 1925  Christie’s
By Cakes Decor (via Cake Wrecks member Ria123)
My Earrings
And my other pair made of shell.
ava_gardner fan
1919 finethankyouandyou-tumblr "La Flamme et L’Allumette," Illustration for Harper’s Bazaar (1919).
Erté (Romain de Tirtoff) (French (born Russia), St. Petersburg 1892–1990 Paris)

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fans that Aren't Fans for Sophronia


As I said before my main character, Sophronia, is a spy. And I have been raised to believe that all spies should have a signature weapon. In Waistcoats & Weaponry Sophronia finally gets hers: the bladed fan.

As I was researching fans I came across these fun ones, sort of spy-like in and of themselves... fans that aren't fans at all.

A fan that is a dance card:
1890 Carnet de Bal  1890s  Sotheby’s
A fan that is a cane:
1880 A rare cane from 1880, featuring an opening slot in the shaft, containing a red fan. The fan opens out 180 degrees and clips to the side of the shaft

 A fan that is an advertisement:

1880 Trade Fan  1880  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A fan that is a gun:

via @NoCrazyTalk on Twitter (THANK YOU)

A fan advocating the Hypocras Club?
1900 Tiffany & Co., late 19th-early 20th century

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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fans For Sophronia ~ A Historical Retrospective


Waistcoats & Weaponry is coming, and in this third Finishing School installment, Sophronia finally acquired her signature weapon. All spies, as you know, have signature weapons. So I've collected for you a bit of a retrospective on...

 The Fan!


1790s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


1800 Brisé Fan  The Kyoto Costume Institute
This is very how I imagined Sophronia's fan:
1820 Brisé Fan  1820s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1830s  The Victoria & Albert Museum

1840s  The McCord Museum

1850-1870 The MET

 The Fan in the USA
The Fan Museum

1867-1876  The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Godeys July 1872 Fans
1875 Fixed Fan  1875  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1875 Tortoiseshell Fan  1875-1889  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1880s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Mourning Fan 1885-1895  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Wedding Fan 1890 Tiffany & Co., 1890s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

"Some young ladies have a bad habit of biting their fingers, especially if they rejoice in handsome hands; and the same ladies, by way of variety, are prone to bite the corners of books, and the edges of closed fans." ~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

1890s  The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
1900s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Shell handle fan 1910  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Peacock feather fan 1915  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Waistcoats & Weaponry Breaking Down the Cover ~ Sophronia's Fan


Today Curtsies & Conspiracies paperback hits stores. Inside is included a sneak peek at Waistcoats & Weaponry which is out next month. For you, Fashionable Reader, I'll be delving a little into the fashionable side of my next book's cover art.

On the cover of Waistcoats & Weaponry Sophronia is holding a fan.


I don't interfere much with my cover art or I try not too. I think Little Brown does a great job. But for Waistcoats & Weaponry I really pushed the fan. I even went so far as to mail my fan to New York so it could be a prop in the photo shoot. I cannot tell you how delighted I am that they used it.


 Here I am with the actual fan at Anomoly Con a few years ago.


You can see how they added in the blades to Sophronia's version? After all she is deadly and I'd never get a bladed fan through TSA.

Mine if from Brute Force Studios. (There is also a black version!)

Hooray! Love the fans.

Godeys Sept 1872 Fan

1900 Folding Fan  China, early 20th century  The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

I'll be doing a bit of a retrospective and exploration of fans over the next few weeks here on the fashion blog in conjunction with Sophronia's obsession, I hope you will indulge me.

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

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Then & Now ~ White Lingerie

 

Then


Lingerie Set  1877  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 Now




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