Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gail Carriger in a Red Dress at Reno WorldCon 2011

Oh so many times, Fashionable Reader, I have discussed my love of red.

Generally speaking at least one day at a convention will see me in a red dress, and one other with red accessories. I can't help it, I'm a brunette with green eyes, a sallow complexion, a full figure, and attitude. It's practically a recipe for falling deeply in love with red.

The incomparable Sophia Loren, another lover of red.

So, for my first full day at WorldCon in Reno I opted for one of my favorite red dresses.

The dress on the hanger, you can see the slight cross over double breasted detailing. 
It's a Sue Leslie of California probably around 1952. This designer seems to specialize in sun dresses and cocktail dresses.

At BEA in 2009 launching the ARCs of Soulless, paired the dress with cream. And in Reno, pairs with white.

Why do I love this dress so? Well, it's not only the color. It's light weight, a day dress, it has 3/4 sleeves, it fits like a dream, and, best of all, is a pencil dress. I adore pencil dresses.

I tend to wear my red with cream or white. I think it gives a more vintage feel. However, it also works with black and gold for evenings, although I have another, wiggle dress, I usually wear under those circumstances. I don't usually do it with brown, unless I'm going for a modern street feel. I'm not one for all red either, it's tricky, but also very vintage.

For one thing, it's really difficult to match reds, there are so many different tones.
The classic red pencil dress has been around since the 1930s, in some version or another. What's not to love about it?

I happen to like mine paired with a little counter-color belt. I think it sets of the narrowness of the cut better.

I don't think you need be scared of the color either. Different shades of red are out there and there is generally a tone or a print to suit everyone's needs, even if you are a red head or a pale blonde. You could go for cream or white with a red dot, or black with a red flower, a muted knit or tweedy red. Options, options!

I happen to like fire-engine, cherry, bright, and true reds. But I know they aren't for everyone.

Just please, avoid something like this? Us curvy girls just aren't allowed to go too modern, it doesn't work.

And now for a pallet cleanser.

Helen Mirren rocking it, baby.


  1. OMG, Helen Mirren is totally sexy in that red dress. I want to be like her when I reach that age.

  2. I wish I had Helen's body NOW. God, she's got it going on. Red, though, not everyone can wear it. I'll have to show you a horrid picture of me when mom made me wear red just because some saleslady said I should. Even though I begged, pleaded, and refused to. (What magic power is it that mom's wield that get even adult daughters to give in on clothing? Even when the daughter knows it's wrong?)

    I had the weirdest dream with you in it, Gail. You were wearing this black hat - well, it was more like a black velvet ring because there was no top to it - and it had a black net veil that was all the way around it and went down to your shoulders. You had just come back from Brazil and were in my town - you had basically kidnapped some scholar from down there to fix up with some friend of your's who might not be able to make it, so you asked if I would be the "back up forth" just incase she couldn't come.

    I don't know what was up with that hat in the dream. I think the idea was for it to be worn with a really high hairdo or a large wig that would peak out the top of it, while still giving a widow a veil to wear. I know I've seen these ring thingies in antique stores, usually though they're fur, not velvet like this was, and don't have a veil but might have a bit of material to suggest there was a middle portion at one time that got damaged/ripped out.

  3. Pallet, heh, yeah probably. Like most authors, I can't spell.

  4. Woah, that Helen Mirren. I want a dress like that. -Suzanne


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