Thursday, July 12, 2018

Faith & The Bicycle Suit ~ Why Dress a Character in THAT? How To Marry A Werewolf (In 10 Easy Steps) Gail Carriger's Research


In my latest novella, How To Marry A Werewolf (In 10 Easy Steps), Faith the main character (an upstart American girl) is a proponent of the great freedom and joy in the bicycle suit.

Possibly, just possibly, there is a bit of rebellion in this choice, but I can imagine no matter what that she would love the freedom of movement.

via @VictorianWeb Twitter Punch 1895, The Bicycle Suit—very dashing


1895 The Bicycling Suit

Cycling ensemble, 1895, USA via shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr
Cycling shoe, 1895-1900 via shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

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, July 10, 2018

Boater Hats of the 1890s - Fashionable Research Behind Gail Carriger's How to Marry a Werewolf


I love a boater hat (also called spinners).

One of the joys of writing in the 1890s (my Custard Protocol and Claw & Courtship series) is the fact that I can finally start to include this fashion item!


Obviously this started as a gentleman's hat.

Source
 With the advent of women on bicycles, among other things, this hat grew in popularity for the ladies.

1890s women's boater, taken by Gail Carriger at the Degas Exhibit, 2017, do not remove attribution

Because it started out as an item ubiquitous to younger men river boating (pole boats) it became particularly associated with sporting activities from beach side strolls to hiking and biking.

Taken by Gail Carriger at the Degas Exhibit, 2017, do not remove attribution

This in turn gave it the aura of vacation and countryside, which means also casual and daytime.

Taken by Gail Carriger at the Degas Exhibit, 2017, do not remove attribution


Linen walking suit, 1895, Jacques Doucet, French. 
"This suit might well have been worn for a tour abroad. Linen was favored for hot-weather travel because it was washable & comparatively lightweight. At this time, women's tailored suits were very popular, borrowing such details from men's dress as wide lapels & exterior pockets. This practicality suited the more emancipated lifestyles women were beginning to lead." From OMG That Dress
Eventually, rather like pantelettes, the boater became the provenance of school children.

Check out the importance of Faith's boater for her, Biffy and society, in How to Marry a Werewolf.

Self matching the cover of How to Marry

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

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


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

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Customer Warning: Wiltshire Wigs, Gail Looks Like a Bichon Frise & Other Issues


In the spirit of do what I say not what I do I'm going to do a little post about a bad online shopping experience I had recently.

It was bad, Fashionable Reader.

I had a costume event coming up an I wanted a nice higher quality wig to wear to it, with the thought that I might get additional use out of such a thing. (Steampunk events and other historical reenactment stuff.) My general avenue failing (ah hem, Amazon) I tried this company Wiltshire Wigs.

Boy was that a bad plan. 


I ordered what I thought was a cute little 1930s style number, and it came but in the wrong color and didn't look anything like the photo.


That's all well and good because wigs are pretty subjective, and you never know exactly what it will look like once you put it on.

(In this case I looked like some weird wet mop crossed with a bichon frise.)



Turns out their return policy is draconian: 15% restock and additional shipping costs. 14 day return policy on an invoice they never enclosed. They were totally non-responsive over email.

Sad really, because I love me a nice wig and now they've lost me totally as a customer. I'm super good and loyal to indie vendors if they treat customers decently.

Anyway, I can only recommend that you avoid them.

Yours,
Miss G

P.S. If you have a wig vendor you really like and can recommend, hit me up! 

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

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


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

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Spotted: Norman Norell Dress in How to Marry a Millionaire


So I spotted this dress in How to Marry a Millionaire (yes I recognize all the issues with this movie but I can't help but love it, mostly for the clothing). And then it showed up in one of the fashion blogs I follow and I was like, hey is that the SAME dress?

Norman Norell, 1957  The Metropolitan Museum of Art Lauren Bacall

Norman Norell, 1957  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

screen shot
As you can see the fit is not quite the same, perhaps he redesigned it for her and for the screen, or perhaps this is a knock off? Also the sleeves look shorter. I checked the net and couldn't find anything on this dress in this movie.

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

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


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

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Muffs: Gail Carriger's Collection & Muffs Throughout History


A brief moment of muffs today, Fashionable Reader.

I own a few muffs but I very rarely use them. Even though my hands are always cold and I like that they can just be shoved up the arm and worn without occupying a hand (as clutches are wont to do). Not quite sure why not, but there it is.

I even sewed one, once, with a secret pocket. It's one of the hardest things I've ever sewed.


Here's a bought one, big and fluffy and black and adorable, and yet rarely used...


Here's a photo shoot where it made an apprentice, this was a drive con so I could afford to pack something so fluffy.

photographed and copyright by j daniel sawyer

I also own a vintage fur one that is a wrist muff, very small but so cute.


Muffs of History!


damesalamode- Gallery of Fashion, evening dresses, February 1795

Le Follet Friday, January 1, 1864 v. 43, plate 97
via colourthysoul- Frederick Childe Hassam - A New Year’s Nocture, New York (1892)
1900 muff via livingnowisliving- Found on geheugenvannederland.nl.jpg
1905  muff The Victoria & Albert Museum
Fashion by Jacques Fath, 1952 theniftyfifties

vintagechampagnefever-tumblr Gloria Vanderbilt and an unnamed model
showcase furs for LIFE magazine (1952)

Model wearing an ensemble with a fur muff for Vogue, 1956 theniftyfifties tumblr

bcbg-rtw-fw 2014-runway blue

photographed and copyright by j daniel sawyer

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

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


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

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Gail Carriger Watches That Costume Flick! The Pallisers


Made a long time ago some of the acting, set direction and such are a little awkward and slow but the costumes in The Pallisers stand the test of time. I kind of love them.

Like my other favorite Victorian series melodrama (The Forsythe Saga) the costumes in this mini series cover from early to late Victorian, but as ever my favorite is the late 1870s-1880s.

Here are some of my favorites from the series. 





Authentic from the time period...

1885 via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art




Here's the wikipedia article on this series.


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

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


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

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Discovery of the Teapot Purse Bag, Steampunk Goodness


Over on the Retro Rack Facebook Group a little while ago someone posted a photo of this booth selling teapot bags...

I might have gone  a little crazy, fashionable reader, looking for these bags. They were rumored to be "at conventions."


So my darling friend R was with me at Phoenix Comic Fest and she's walking around and sends me a photo of this booth. I text her back.

WHERE IS IT.

...

WHERE ARE THE TEAPOTS?

GOOD GOD WOMAN ANSWER MY TEXTS!!!!

Well she finally told me. And I went and this little charmer came home with me:


This is the name of the shop that was selling them at the con...

 

However, they don't have a website, they seem to be mostly on FB, and their shop on etsy was pretty empty.

I did find, I think, the primary maker here. 

I should note all of this took place despite the fact that I ALREADY own a black version. (This one is quite a bit bigger.)




Anyhoo, now I own two! And I'm really tempted by the silver... (Although what I want is a RED one.)

Of course I want a red one. Maybe a silver and a gold.

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

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


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

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Black & White Check Pedal Pushers in Phoenix


I have a long and contentious relationship with capris (or in this case pedal pushers). It's well documented in this blog.

I've settled on them being OK, but for me only with high heels. Rather like pencil skirts and dresses.

So here I am on the final day of Phoenix Comic Fest in my favorite pair.


I paired them with a knitted octopus pinned to my head, some black & white accessories, and my new teapot bag!

Outfit Details



Octopus knitted facinator: Gift
 Velvet top: made it myself
Gold Pen Necklace: No longer available. Similar
Mesh gloves: $16
Teapot purse: $69+ etsy
Check pedal pushers: TJ Maxx, similar $30 or so
Via Spiga wingtip peeps: Long gone, similar from Chelsea Crew



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

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


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

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Silver Sparkle 1950s Cocktail Dress in Phoenix


This is one of my very favorite dresses, Gentle Reader, and a marker of why I love real vintage so much. The details and the design.


I love a sparkle cocktail dress. Just love it. I can't remember what vintage shop I bought this from, but is sure is a winner. It is a bit low in the front, even after reduction, so that's why I have the silver flower pin at the decolletage.

Outfit Details!


Silver Turban: $7
Vintage 1950s cocktail dress: Vintage shop
Silver flat sandals: Aerosoles, no longer available, similar
Stacked fake pearl necklace, similar $10
My new bright pink lippy.
(I don't like with the silver. I'm going back to the wine.)
Teapot purse: $69+ etsy
Platform sandals, by Sofft, no longer available.


Teapot purse was a grand discovery! There are other colors!


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

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


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

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Grey Ruffled 1930s Evening Dress in Phoenix


Most of the evening dresses I brought with me to Phoenix did not require proper foundation garments (although they look better with corsetry, of course, everything does).  Turns out I likely would have been OK, as inside the convention center in Phoenix it wasn't really hot at all.


I wore this in the evening so the photos are kinda dark. I've wore this dress before but this is the first time with the silver belt and I REALLY like it so much better with the belt.


Somehow it looks more ruffly and vintage with the belt. (Yes they did wear belts like this at the time, and no this dress isn't vintage.)

Outfit Details!


Silver Turban: $7 (I love both the metallic and the waffle style from these people)
Silver shrug: Consignment shop, similar $16
Silver Belt: elastic, comes with a gold version for $12
Grey/gray not-vintage 1930s ruffle gown: Consignment shop
Silver flat sandals: Aerosoles, no longer available, similar
Jewelry (likely going to give this set away to the Chirrup soon, the earring are too long for me).


I'm wearing my new bright pink lippy with this dress and I don't like with the grey. I'm going back to the wine for this pallet.

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

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


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