It's not often dreams come true.
In 2009 Orbit flew me to BEA in New York, before anyone had even heard of Soulless, to present the ARC to the unwitting masses. While I was there I would meet, you guessed it, my agent and my editor! I was understandably excited. I was also, as you probubly might have guessed, in a veritable shopping frenzy looking for the perfect black and white pencil skirt.
I hunted, I searched, I looked everywhere. I tried all my favorite stores both vintage and modern. I did the Height Street treck. I visited Santa Cruz. I couldn't find one I liked.
But low, my darling Mum came to rescue. She is a fabulous seamstresses and offered to make me the skirt from a vintage pattern and we could choose whatever fabric I wanted. Well I found this great black on white irregular spotted fabric, and she made me this wonderful fish tale pencil skirt.
Did I wear it to BEA in 2009 and meet my agent and editor? You bet your booty I did!
Ah, look how young and innocent I look. Lee sigh.
I paired it with red for that occasion. I do like black and white with red.
Sadly the skirt hasn't had much play since then. I guess I felt like it was meant for the dream, and the dream had been satisfied. But I rustled it out of my closet last weekeend to take down to Sunnyvale for a little event at the library there.
Here I am posing with the lovely young lady dressed as Alexia from the over of the Soulless manga. For this occasion I kept the whole outfit black and white.
So, with an eye towards wearing this skirt more often I've collected some inspirational images of how to wear a cute black and white skirt.
With red, retro and modern
With teal or turquoise.
With pink or blush.
Just pure black and white with modern touches.
Inspired I put together these two outfits which I intend to wear soon.
A retro take with blush, silly shoes, a chunky necklace, and olive bag.
Modern take with some mixed patterns and steampunk ankle warmers.
Both looks require high heals and I'm off them for the moment, but I can't wait to try them out soon.
Here's a evening idea, going with golds and neutral accessories.
It doesn't have to be a skirt these days, either. I've seen some patterned trousers turn up too. I'm not certain this look is really for me, but I have seen a few who could carry it off. And, of course, I'm on the perpetual hunt for the perfect black & white check pedal pushers.
While I adore my dotted skirt, the one I want to buy did finally hit the stores a mere two years too late, in fall of 2011. I'm hoping some day this Marco de Vicenzo will turn up in a consignment shop in my size. A girl can dream, right? After all, dreaming is what started this madness.
How about something black and white for Prudence to wear? Since I'm working on the Parasol Protectorate Abroad series right now my life if filled with 1890's dresses.
1900-1902 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
This one is a little late period for her, but so pretty, I couldn't resist. It won't make it into the books though.
What to read when wearing black and white? How about Jane Yolan's marvelous Sister Light, Sister Dark and White Jenna?
The best thing about this lyrical almost mythological two part series is the world building. I've not seen anything like it before or since and it's, simply put, amazing. The writing is definitely on the side of strong and empowered women (showing feminist 1970s roots, I believe). I think the world and story are complex enough for any reader, although I believe the target audience is YA. (When she wrote it I'm not certain there really was a "YA" concept yet.) Anyway, I love it, it's brilliant! I've kept these two books since I first read them over 20 years ago. It's a rare series that travels with me, as I move every 2 to 4 years.
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.