Friday, August 17, 2012

Alexia's Clothes

 Recently, according to Pip, I received the Bookie award for best dressed character in the form of Alexia Tarabotti. (I can't seem to find any evidence of this online, Fashionable Reader) but I trust Pip for she was at Authors After Dark reporting in.

Upon learning of the win, Alexia was suitably honored, Ivy was crushed, and Lord Akeldma took all the credit for loaning Alexia Biffy during her rise to fashionable mavin of London high society.

Above you can see two quintessentially Alexia dresses from 1874.  An American designed walking dress and a French designed reception dress ca. 1874 From the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Alexia is fond of blue and stripes and perch hats.

Below, I present a collection of some of Alexia's best moments present to you int he form of cover art, fan art, cosplay, and original fashion plate fodder. I do hope you enjoy it!

Alexia in Soulless Design Board

 The cover that wasn't; the pose the wasn't.

 Fan art.
Japanese cover art for Soulless

 Alexia in Soulless the Original (1873)

The Polish cover shows more of the dress; 1883 Dinner Dress Charles Fredrick Worth The Kyoto Costume Institute for color inspiration.

1873 fashion plate

 Alexia's day dress; dress for shopping

Alexia's first parasol.

Alexia in Soulless Volume 1, The Manga

 The first manga cover art; cosplay

Emile Pingat, 1874; and character sketch from the manga

1874 Fashion plate

1874 Striped dress

Amazing striped Swiss waist with matched bustle.

Alexia in Changeless (1874) & Omnibus Volume 1 & Soulless Manga Volume 2

 Polish cover again, shows more of dress; self cosplay of cover.

 Omnibus Vol. 1 cover; Alexia cosplay

Manga Soulless Vol. 2 cover art; inspiration for Alexia floating dress

1870  The Philadelphia Museum of Art color inspiration; 1874 more diminished bustle

 Alexia walking and visiting dresses inspiration. 

 Dirigible floating dress inspiration from skirt tapes

Inspiration for the deck of the dirigible scenes.

The new parasol.

Fan art; steampunk from NY Comic Con cosplay fake cover photo fun.

Alexia in Blameless (1874)

Blameless cover art; Emile Pingat (1820–1901), Parisfor color inspiration

 Highly modern French influenced walking dresses for Alexia to try.

 Fan art Lady Alexia Maccon by RohanElf

 Inspiration for the frilly dress Alexia is made to wear in Italy, left is a 1874-5 wedding dress of white linen cambric with ivory ribbob and machine silk blonde lace.

Alexia in Heartless (1874)

 Cover art for Heartless; Alexia's new more flowy choice of clothing

1874 Charles Fredrick Worth The Kyoto Costume Institute

Hungarian painter Szinyei Merse - The Lady in Purple; Day Dress France, ca. 1874 Silk taffeta Biffy has begun "Frenching-up" Alexia wardrobe.

Fan Art by Rebecca Nandi

Alexia in Timeless (1876) & The Omnibus Vol. 2

 Timeless cover art; Alexia walking dress

Omnibus Vol. 2 Cover art;  summer day dress USA 1870-1874 Royal Ontario Museum

Alexia's style has grown more relaxed and breezy under the drone's tutelage. Although the fashions remain quite severe.

 Evening dress, 1876-77 US, the Met Museum; day dress 1876

Japanese Cover Art for Blameless

 1878-1880  The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Matt Harrison fan art

The Parasol Protectorate mangaka-chan


Well, I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Now you can play a rousing game of "spot that dress" if you read the books! Or reread them.

One of the things I always tried to do, for example, was find time during copy edits to write in a small paragraph describing the dress Alexia wears on the cover within the text. (Excepting Soulless for obvious reasons.) The scene for Changeless was particularly fun to write for various amusing Ivy-related reasons.

And, of course, my hugely non-period German covers show up on stage in Timeless.

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


  1. Now if only there was more fan art of the men; gentleman's suits of the era were quite nice.

    1. There is there is! But Conall did not win a Bookie! :)

  2. Best dressed character! Well done, Señor Sandalio! Well done indeed!
    I was so pleasantly surprised seeing Polish versions of the covers! You probably know this but I'll gladly reassure you - also Polish translation is very close to the original sublime, exquisite and witty style in which you have written the series

    1. Actually Beru, I didn't know that about the translations. I really appreciate your telling me!

  3. I recently finished Soulless and loved it. Would it be possible to see some of Lord Akeldama's wardrobe on this blog? :)

    1. That's a good idea, I'll start collecting. In the meantime, I do post them to my Twitter feed occasionally and images I associate with the good vampire show up on my other blog when he conducting his occasional hijacking for the "Dear Lord Akeldama" advice column.


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