Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Then & Now ~ Cream Swirls


 Wedding Dress  1901  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Viktor Rolf S/S 2012 RTW

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

Friday, August 24, 2012

Finger Waves

On more than one occasion I have been asked about finger waves, Fashionable Reader. Be warned, it really does take a lot of time. Sadly, I have never chronicled them step-by-step on myself, but what follows are a few photos from a session I did some years back, and here's a good blog on the subject.

  Marcel wave, tighter and stiffer; finger wave looser softer. The one can often relax into the other.

You really need the right tools and the right person, soemone who knows hot to do it. Then you have to sit for hours. And in order to keep it for the length of an event, sleeping with your head wrapped in a silk scarf very still is the only way. Honestly, I don't know how those ladies in the past did it every day!

So, I have a young lady who kindly does my waves for me, but here is a look at the process. And here is someone else's blog describing basically what happens. The important thing about finger waves is to get the correct clips. My girl likes the vintage banana ones, sort of like those big plastic ones from the 80s only smaller. They yield a very tight wave, more like a Marcel then a finger.

Bellow you can see that the top part is finger waved while the bottom is pin curled. It's impossible for me to sleep in the wave clips, but I can sleep on the curl clips.

And the final look, slightly brushed out.

These days my hair is shorter, and I'm less stressed about getting it perfect, and I sleep on it without as much care to fly always, frankly I don't have much time. But, there it is.

Here is a youtube version for longer hair using more modern clips it results in a looser look, like this:

And here's a post on my favorite hair style ever, a 1940s look for the Hugo Awards in 2010 done by the amazing Kat in Melbourne, Aus.


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

Monday, August 20, 2012

Then & Now ~ Red Dress


Evening Dress  Jacques Doucet, 1905-1908  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Calvin Klein Dress, Sleeveless Pleated A-Line, Macy's

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

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.

 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.

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.