Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Steampunk Fashion from Teslacon 2011 with Gail Carriger

Just got back from Teslacon (have posted the convention report.) Sadly, I did not have a ladies maid so I had to A. get into my own corsets and B. take my own photos. This means the corsets were no where near as tight as they should be and I forgot to take pictures of myself. Hopefully some of the shots others took at me from the event will show up.

On Friday I wore my spoon corset outfit.

On Saturday I wore the autumn outfit.

I changed for the ball that night into the fancy outfit I had originally brought for Sunday, but ended up mostly at the bar so no one got a photo of me. Sunday morning I had to wear a cobbled together outfit, because I needed to change quickly for my flight home.

And here are some shots (with analysis) I took at the fashion show.

Steampunk Doctor Who #5! I was a particular fan of the color pallet. I love how she cross dressed the character, made a sweater cover for her corset, and put her own twist on everything. (Plus, Peter Davidson is MY Doctor.)
The obligatory Firefly representation. I'd love to see this idea taken fully into steampunk, perhaps by changing the skirt shape and adding a whole load of gadgets.
Votes for Women! Votes for more gadgets!
This was our winner of the contest!

Now for the fashion show.

We both have photos in the steampunk bible.
Almost steampunk, I'd use a different color for the top, add a hat, a cargo belt of some kind, and some major arm bangles.
I do love this one, the cutaway jacket. But again, more accessories and gadgets please.
Cute, how about a cargo belt?
Adore the librarian take, this is the kind of look I tend to go for.
I understand he's also a total sweetheart.
This is lovely, very steampunk, some arm decoration and a hat and she's a complete outfit.
Little House on the Airship?

Possibly my favorite of the show. So Alexia.
And an interesting new use of your Rococo paniers.
This one was also in the show. I don't really think its steampunk at all, but it was so amazingly beautiful! Very late 1930s. Stunning. Impossible for a lady with a rack to wear (being backless and satin) but had I different body that little beauty would have been MINE.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gail Carriger Talks Capes ~ Yes!

Because I love them so, I thought I'd post a little more about capes.

They have been everywhere this fall: runways, streets, and blogs. But do you know where I haven't seen much of them? Out in the wild, on real people. So what do I think? Everyone clearly needs more encouragement! Capes, rah rah rah!

Best thing about a cape? It layers perfectly. We start with basic black:
McCall Style News October, 1940; Elsa Schiaparelli, 1933 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Or if you are feeling a little more daring, how about red?

Feeling even more daring? How about plaid?

Burberry, 1937  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 Tuppence Ha'penny by Charlotte's

 T.K. Maxx cape

Here's one of my favorites from the vintage blogs.

Charles James, 1944  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

And how can we go without . . . capes for Alexia?

 1860 The McCord Museum; 1850-1869  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

You don't have to take my word for it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

For Love of a Forest Green Dress by Gail Carriger

I haven't done an outfit post in a while, Fashionable Reader, and I am procrastinating packing for The Move. So I thought I might do one on an old favorite . . . the green dress!

This dress looks deceptively simple and a little conservative, but that's why I love it. It has a real 1940's feel to it, although I have a sinking suspicious it's probably from the 1980s.

It's by All the Jazz and is %100 acrylic, which makes it very warm, and reminds me of the wonderful Meryn Cadell song.

Forest green is difficult (both for many complexions because it can be quite harsh, and to find matched accessories) so I tend to pair mine with chocolate brown. Although I might go for cream if all my cream accessories weren't so spring/summer. And this is definitely a fall/winter dress.

Here's the accessories I wore for the signing with Patrick Rothfass early this year.

LAMB stiletto booties, Nordstrom Rack, $50; Vintage purse Hubba Hubba, LA $35
Pen necklace, gift. Wrist muff, Chirchmouse Thrift Store, Sonoma, $15
Gloves, self-dyed; the infamous tarantula hat, from Decades of Fashion, Haight Street, $30

Sadly, one of the downsides of doing author events is that the primary interest is not (surprise, surprise) my outfit, and if I forget to take a full picture (which I often do) all I generally unearth are half shots. So here you are, wish I had full shots for you.

I adore wearing green, I'm a brunet with a sallow complexion and green eyes, so I tend to think it suits me. I also consider it "safe." Its' not as shocking or a daring as red, nor as dull and non-committal as black. Yet at any given event, almost no one else will be wearing this color (rather like royal blue). This makes green of any tone a wonderful choice if you are attending a birthday party or a wedding or a black tie event.

That said, this color and style of dress is also very very vintage. Perhaps most iconically on Jane Russell in the marvelous Gentleman Prefer Blondes (1953) or Liz in Cleopatra.

But there are plenty of vintage fashion spreads and shots with this style and color.

And it's showing up for modern retro as well.

Queen Dita in two takes on green.
The Hours BBC show.

And not willing to commit to that much green? There's some amazing green based jewelry out there.

1920s jabot pin via Christie’s

What to read while wearing fashionable green? Cordelia's Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold.

The precursor to her Vorkosigan saga, this is an omnibus of two books featuring Miles's mother, Cordelia. It is amazingly well written and not only a wonderful sweeping Space Opera but quite romantic and sweet. The first installment is essentially a survival story on an alien world with enemies forced to survive, and uncover treachery, together. The second half is more political as Cordelia, now an outcast from her own culture, enters Vor politics in her own fierce and indomitable way.

Cordelia is witty, snarky, and tough, with an innate sense of right and wrong and true grace under fire. I'm more interested in her character than in the events leading up to Miles' birth, as I've never had the time or inclination to commit to the full (seemingly endless) Vorkosigan saga. Please don't tell me how sad this makes you, or how I should rush out and buy now now now, it's my retirement plan.

The true beauty of this omnibus is that it stands alone, and gives great insight into Bujold's brilliance.