Thursday, January 28, 2016

Rue & Primrose in the Future ~ Custard Protocol Extra


I came across this image, Fashionable Reader, and it struck me that the way the three ladies are walking and the expressions on their faces are wonderfully replete with personality.

Old Pics Archive @oldpicsarchive  1908

Primrose, and then Rue, and who is the third? It's 1908, 13 years after the events in Prudence, so that could be Spoo? All grown up and Prim got hold of her wardrobe? Or this could be a new character (I've several coming up to be added to the crew).

And those hats. I do love those hats. And they are all carrying parasols!

Prudence is out in paperback next Tuesday!

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, January 26, 2016

Thinking of Prudence: India Influenced Fashion: 1910~1960 Blue


Prudence is due out in paperback Feb 2, Fashionable Reader. Since in that book the crew travels to India, I thought I'd give you a bit of a vintage look at fashion influenced by Indian fabrics and styles. In this installment we will look at blue from 1910 to 1960.

1910-1915 Tea Gown   The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I don't consider the 1910's one of my style arenas, but I do love the color profile.

Mainbocher, 1948  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This is way more my thing. I also love how this is a 1940's dress, but it is awfully reminiscent of a tea gown for Rue's time period. Rue wears this one in Chapter Ten of Prudence (or one very like it).

Tea Gown  Jean-Philippe Worth, 1905  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Evening Dress  1950s  1stdibs.com

I love this, although I'm not sure about the red hem.

1950s  Timeless Vixen Vintage blue

Not sure about this one. I think it's puffy and then comes in at the bottom. A little odd.

Ensemble  Norman Norell, 1967  The Indianapolis Museum of Art

And this is very interesting. It reminds me of the 1990s (except for the color). Not something I would wear. I'm too old to show my midriff away from pool-side.

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.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Occasional FAQ ~ Gail on Vintage Fashion

Here I am doing and interview on vintage, Fashionable Reader:


You always wear amazing clothes during events, how is the look important in your author life?
I think it's very important for a professional to dress well in her business sphere. Most of the time I never meet my readers, so when I have that opportunity I want to show them that I respect them by dressing beautifully. More specifically, my look is recognizable in a convention setting. Walking the halls at San Diego Comic Con I had a reader spot me and know who I was, even among all the cosplay and other madness. That's a win so far as I am concerned.

Coral custom eShakti


Concerning your clothes: what do you like the most? What are your favorite brands, shops and creators?
I'm particularly proud of my corset collection. It's the work of many years and several of mine are couture custom pieces from Dark Garden. I have a long black 1970s teared gown I adore and various 1950s cocktail dresses from retired brands like I. Magnin. Lately, I've taken to ordering fully customized retro pieces from eShakti. I collect shoes as well, but not vintage. Mostly, I'm a bargain hunter, but I think it's very important to walk comfortably but beautifully, so leather shoes are my biggest investment. Via Spiga, Miz Mooz, and Sofft are my current favorite brands (sadly Fluevogs, Irregular Choice, and Chelsey Crew don't fit me).

Vintage 1950s I.Magnin


How do you find such great vintage stuff?
I search thrift stores as well as specialty shops and I'm not hung up on size tags, cuts, or color ~ I'll try on anything. I know I can tailor/repair things myself if necessary. I shop for vintage whenever I can, even while traveling. This allows me to add special pieces (like scarves and gloves) to my collection as memories of places I've visited. I've been doing this for over 20 years. I still have a few accessorizes from my high school thrifting years. For example, while I was in England I visited Real McCoy in Exeter and found a wonderful teal velvet dress for my Waistcoats & Weaponry book launch (I like to dress to match my covers).

Vintage 1960s velvet

I use an app called Stylebook to keep track of everything in my closet, so I don't over buy. Also, I keep with me a running list of holes in my wardrobe that I'm trying to fill. So far as jewelry is concerned, I don't buy "real," I think it's a waste of money. I have a number of metal allergies so even if I find a vintage piece I love I often can't wear it. In any given outfit my jewelry, shoes, underpinnings, and stockings are likely to be modern while everything else is vintage.

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.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

India Influenced Fashion: 1910 ~ 1950 Orange


Prudence is due out in paperback Feb 2, Fashionable Reader. Since in that book the crew travels to India, I thought I'd give you a bit of a vintage look at fashion influenced by Indian fabrics and styles. In this installment we will look at orange from 1910 to 1950.

1910-1914 Evening Dress  Jean-Philippe Worth, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I love this one, it's rare to find something form fitting from this time period.

Paul Poiret, 1914  The Chicago History Museum

This is more the style of the 1910s, not really my style. But interesting how it is very reminiscent of the first one.

Mariano Fortuny, 1930s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Not my favorite kind of fabric, the wrinkled stuff.

1939 Elsa Schiaparelli  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I love this one! I'm not certain I would wear this color, but I like the cut very much.

1940s  Kerry Taylor Auctions

I like this too, but the tunic style isn't for me.

Ensemble  Carolyn Schnurer, 1950  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Love love love this! Love it. I don't wear stuff without straps but I might make an exception for this.

1950s  1stdibs.com

This one I love too, but again the straps. However, I could wear a corset under it so... where can I buy it?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Then & Almost Then ~ Black & Gold India Influence

 

Then


Ensemble      1875-1925      Palestine MET

1900s Pendant  1900s  Christie’s

Almost Then


1913 Fancy Dress Costumes  Paul Poiret, 1913-1914 The Kyoto Costume Institute

Evening Dress  1916-1918  The Victoria & Albert Museum

1919 Mariano Fortuny, 1919  The Los Angeles County 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.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Gail Carriger Uber FAQ ~ Steampunk the Aesthetic


This, fashionable reader, is a interviews style blog post on steampunk fashion!

What defines Steampunk Fashion to you? How do (or did) you see fashion defining the Steampunk movement?
Steampunk fashion tends to be an amalgamation of Victorian fashion with metallic industrial detailing (usually brass) and modern Gothic overtones. I've defined it in the past as the lovechild of Hot Topic and a BBC costume drama. I do believe that the attire of steampunk is relevant to the movement as a whole. It's one of the things that sets steampunk apart from other SFF subgenres. The fashion melds an aesthetic with creativity and community. Some people are more into the literature and others craftsmanship, but most at least nod in the fashion direction with a vest, or a pair of goggles, or a newsboy cap.


Where should one begin, with the Character or with the Clothing?
I began with the clothing, but that's because I'm not much of an actor and I really enjoy the style. I like separates and small details, like jewelry, that I can mix with everyday garb. Starting with a character might work better for those who are planning on attending a convention, or aren't inveterate shoppers.

Dispensor

What do you see as the relationship between Character and Costume?
This relationship often emerges in the kinetic or mechanical aspect of a costume. Someone will come up with a motorized arm, or a mad scientist self-folding kit, and suddenly a character will emerge from that one detail. It's important not to become too carried away by character when in the planning stage. I've known people who look endlessly for the perfect piece of costuming, yet they could have something wonderful if they were more flexible. As much as the clothing should adapt to your character, it is possible for the character to adapt to a new clothing discovery as well.

Baloon

What is your best advice for someone just getting started with steampunk fashion and characterization?
Be open to the possibilities. One of my most commented upon pieces is a corset I tore apart and covered in buttons and brass spoons. Yes, spoons. People love to see the silly and unexpected. Shop in a different area of the thrift store. For example, the bric-a-brac section often has bendable bits of metal. Buttons can be changed, pockets can be added, sleeves removed. Try to train your mind to see what a piece of clothing could be, rather than what it is. Also keep your eyes open at places like Target and Kohls. Steampunk turns up unexpectedly.
I also suggest watching a period drama from the time period you are interested in, and then extrapolating. If you're fascinated by the Austen dandy driving a high flyer, how would that character dress if he were driving an ornithopter? How would the engineer of a train differ from the engineer in a dirigible? How about Gaskell's doctor who has to treat steam burns instead of cholera? If the lady is cross-dressing, why is she doing so? Is she riding the latest and greatest steam powered bicycle? What would she have to carry about her person if she were?
Lastly, there are certainly elements not well represented yet in the steampunk world: minors, maids, footmen, drivers, hostlers, postmen, sailors, clerks, foreign dignitaries, cooks. Yet if we imagine a Victorian world where steam power dominates, these people are its cogs.

  Flower

Beyond the perhaps de rigeur goggles, what item or items, if any, do you see as quintessentially "Steampunk"?
Some kind of hat or hair ornament is pretty common, anything from an embellish band to a tiny top hat or a massive modified eyepiece. Vests, corsets, kilted up skirts, knickerbockers, and boots tend to abound. Deconstructed clocks, gears, leather bands, metal buttons, and military detailing are common as well. The color template leans in favor of brass and brown, although goth wear is still there with its black and silver. I enjoy costumes that adopt the Victorian delight in bright colors and the expansion of British trade that brought with it vibrant Indian muslins and patterned Chinese silks, but they remain comparatively rare.

Hat

What resources can you recommend to readers wanting to become more involved with the fashion side of Steampunk?
The steampunk fashion group on flickr has over a thousand images that will certainly inspire. Just going on to Google Images and typing in "steampunk fashion" yields up some amazing results. And in spring of 2008 Ralph Lauren put some seriously great turn of the century style pieces down the runway.

Stand



Other Posts where Gail talks Steampunk

Gail has many posts on steampunk on her fashion blog: Retro Rack. She also maintains a Listical on Amazon.


Informative Stuff


Inspiration & Shopping


Gail's Steampunk Outfits


JustCos covers steampunk cosplay on YouTube.

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.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Then & Almost Then ~ Turquoise India Influence


Then


1870 Fancy dress costume,  Charles Frederick Worth

1880  Tadema Gallery

Almost Then

1917  Kerry Taylor Auctions

1950  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.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Then & Now ~ Cream Mesh Gown

Then

Chambord  Christian Dior, 1954  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 Now

2014  S_S Armani Prive


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.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

New Acquisitions ~ Eshakti Meets The Updated Rack


Hello Fashionable Reader and Happy 2016!

So this year I finally get to take the plunge (or not, as the case may be) and buy proper underwire bras for the new Rack. I plan to hit up Nordstrom Rack in a few weeks (it's a bit of a time commitment and I'm on an edit pass deadline right now). I always try on bras in a store and then hunt about online in the brands/sizes I liked looking for colors I want. Yes, I also support the store. Whatcha take me for, an non-shopper? I'll let you know how it goes, and what size I now am. I still don't know exactly.

Meanwhile, I decided to invest in a few new things from eShakti. They had some big sales on after the holidays and I've coupons and credit racked up. (How many ways can Gail use the word rack in one blog post?) I've been waiting for Eshakti to offer a gold dress that I could modify to my taste and finally they posted one I really liked...


Isn't that fabric gorgeous?

I ordered it with short sleeves and a v-neck and a longer, knee length skirt customized to my new measurements. Well, it has arrived, and for the first time the fit wasn't on. I think they slurred my numbers a little big (or I did). They've instituted a new free returns for a resize policy, which I love, but as the issue with this dress is mainly the waist, I'm going to see if I can take it in myself first. Otherwise, it's pretty much exactly what I wanted. Finally, I've officially completed my party dress collection.

(Source- 24hoursinthelifeofawoman)

1950s Timeless Vixen Vintage

Expect to see me in it at the next major event that requires evening attire. (WorldCon most likely.)

I'll be getting rid of this one:


It's just a bit too 1970s for me and not that flattering, even on my new figure. It did travel well though. Bye bye baby.

I also ordered this crinoline skirt from eShakti.

I ordered it in a size 6 with no customization. It was already the length I wanted. Apart from length (or embroidery removal, I learned that lesson with Eshakti the hard way) I don't really need to customize skirts being a pretty basic size 6 down below. I like it. It's much fuller than my navy one and much more versatile because it's black. Also it has pockets. Hooray for pockets! So the navy is also going away (it also had pockets). Frankly, I feel like I have given navy (as a color) the old college try and it just isn't for me.


So there you have it, one in one out, sticking to my policy like a good girl and remaining accountable to you ladies.

For those who follow me on Twitter, I also did buy these:


They are Lord of the Rings Middle Earth Map leggings. I know, right? I Tweeted about them when I first spotted them, but they are now sold out. I think they are available elsewhere, just do a google hunt if you're as mad for them as I was.

I like them, but, typical for anything sized out of Asia they are too short on me. (I'm not a tall girl but I carry what height I do have mainly in my legs.) No hardship, I'll wear them with boots as an alternate to tights. I don't wear leggings as trousers EVER. You know why? Because THEY AREN'T. (Frankly I rarely wear leggings, I'm a tights or stockings girl by preference. But these are so fun.)

In other news, I am racking up (eh eh racking) quite the collection of Eshakti dresses and a few vintage pieces to get rid of. My local consignment won't take vintage so I am at a bit of a loss. I might give them away to you ladies, if there is interest.

What else? Oh, yes, the Mum has offered to see if we can bring in the bust on a few of them. The Mum is a most excellent seamstress she made most of her own clothing in the 60s and 70s. I shall also let you know how that goes.

Pip pip for now,
Happy 2016!

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, January 5, 2016

Then & Now ~ Silver Strands


Then


Christian Dior, 1958  Museo del Traje

Now


silver long  pixiealamode tumblr via artschoolglasses Monique Lhuillier, Pre-Fall 2013

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.