Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Book Inspiration ~ Soulless Vol. 2 the Manga ~ Turquoise by Gail Carriger

Today is the offical release date in the US of Soulless Vol. 2. This is the manga version of Changeless. In honor of the event I am presenting to you some of my favorite picks and things coordinated to the most excellent cover REM drew for this book.

First, the person most likely to dress up and match such and event is, naturally, Lord Akeldama.

1775-1789  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Something for Mrs. Loontwill to carry in her misspent youth.

1810-1811 Parasol   The Victoria & Albert Museum

Something for Dimity to wear, in the Finishing School series. She does like bling.

Something for Countess Nadasdy to wear in the Parasol Protectorate series.
1870s  Christie’s

So far as the Rack is concerned, the 1950s were all about turquoise. I happen to adore the idea of a day dress: full skirt cut with tight bodice, full support. The color looks good on my complexion so if I have the chance I'll certainly pick one up! Here's some awesome versions, variation in tone and cut.

Leather 1953 Bonnie Cashin  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1950s  Christian Dior  Whitaker Auctions

1950s  Timeless Vixen Vintage

1955 Thunderbird

Elie Saab Spring 2013 showed a lot of fun turquoise looks.

Those of you who follow my blog will know I've been immured in Prudence recently and that in this first book they jaunt off to India.

And, of course, there is the stone from which we get the name turquoise.

Turquoise & Diamond Necklace

 Turquoise and Diamond Bracelet  Cartier  Christie’s

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

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gail Carriger Fall Essentials ~ Retro Rack Style ~ Then & Now Coats

<--------------- Poll still going, although I forgot about the Book Inspired Outfit posts. I hope you guys like those because they are probably going to continue.

With winter here, I'm still plugging away on these posts I prepared on Fall Essentials. So put the custard in the trifle, my dear Fashionable Reader, because you're getting them regardless of the poll results.

You will find a fashionable coat this year if it's the last thing I do! My recommendations are mostly from Modcloth, I really liked their selection this year. I wish I could comment more on their fit, but I've only gotten accessories from them. So if any of you do decide to buy from Modcloth, or have in the past, would you please let me know how they handle the Rack?

First of all, what is the one coat can't you can't wear with a Rack? Puffy.

 Good, now that we've got that out the way. Here we go . . .

If you like the idea of a slim black frock coat that emphasizes the waist, you can pair it with retro looks ranging from the 1930s to the 1960s. And black really is quite sensible. Just remember you made need a nice colorful scarf near your face as black isn't kind to most complexions.

1930  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1940 Elsa Schiaparelli  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York  Christian Dior, 1950-1951  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This jacket is my pick:

If you want to mix it up and not go with black, blue is a good alternative. I avoid navy, I'm just not a big fan but soft grey-blues are very vintage looking.

1939  The Meadow Brook Hall Historic Costume Collection

“Handsome Is” Elizabeth Hawes, 1948  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

That said, my choice is this amazing intense royal blue colored coat. It still has a nice vintage shape but the color is more modern, and it's one that looks good on almost anyone. Less harsh than black.

Cream is another good option. I always think it very brave to wear cream, it's so easy to get dirty. But it certainly stands out against the sea of black at most events.

I love the one above, but it is a very daring option. So far as the Rack is concerned, the short puffed sleeves draw attention away and down to the wrists, normally the most slender parts of any female form. The details at the hem also draws attention down, and there is a nice belt to emphasize the waist, and a complex collar to put some focus on the face. It actually is a really good design for the top heavy. However, unless you are a very gregarious person, I'd say this is more a second fun coat if you have the extra funds, not the daily wear beastie.

If you are tired of blue, green is also a great option. I happen to adore green.

This coat design is particularly good if you are quite top heavy like me. I run 8-10 on top and 4-6 on the bottom, so a coat like this balances me out but pulling all the volume down low.

But if you are after a neutral colored coat and black is too harsh while cream is too easy to get dirty, I always suggest grey. I feel like I never see enough grey around. It comes in so many lovely shades and variations that suit basically any complexion. It's very vintage too!

Pauline Trigère, 1960s  Timeless Vixen Vintage

Norman Norell, 1955  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Here are two lovely options if grey is your thing, both from Modcloth.

A floaty light weight number with sash belt, and a tweedy heavier coat with multiple close together buttons, yes! We with the Rack salute you!

And now, something for the characters!

For Prudence in the Parasol Protectorate Abroad series:

1894 Coat, Evening, House of Worth

And for Primrose:

1895-1900 Embroidered velvet coat Marshall & Snelgrove Ltd

And for someone with a bit more daring, perhaps the Queen of the Wimbledon Hive.

Evening coat by Worth Paris, Shelburne Museum

And, from the upcoming Etiquette & Espionage we have the first appearance of an oufit for Bumbersnoot to wear!

1920  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gail Carriger in Las Vegas in Black & Leopard

<--------------- Poll still going, although I forgot abotu the Book Inspired Outfit posts. I hope you guys like those because they are probably going to continue.

Well, Fashionable Reader, I just returned from Vegas. As one might be expected I went with leopard black and gold.

I flew Spirit Airlines (I know I hadn't heard of it either.) The seats were comfy, the clientele were Vegas-bound and excited, and they only allow one carry on. No really only one, and it has to be "personnel item sized." I was dully please to discover my last minute decision to do this trip with only one base piece allowed me to fit my leopard bag into the top of my carry-on rolly.

And my carry on-rolly was exactly the limit size. I'd like to claim skill and forethought but that's be a lie. I got flying luck, which doesn't happen often, so it was nice I ended my travel season on an up.

Necklace, vinatge gift; dress suit Haight St. $30; steampunk bracelet, ring, and earrings, gifts from fans; belts $5 ea, scarf $2, hat $7, and shirt $5 all thrifted from Bon Marche in Sonoma; bag from Chruchmouse in Sonoma $15; tights and nylons, online $10; gloves, H&M $12; earrings Teslacon Dealer's Room $15; shoes Nordstrom Rack c. $30; glasses frames, Alameda Vintage Faire $60 + lenses.

Essentially, I took my best basic LBD suit and dressed it up with leopard accessories. Yes, I realize, I need to find some leopard flats.

 The suit in full, the dress underneath, the teaching outfit version for the next day.

Sorry, the photos aren't so good. This last idea, of putting the pussy-cat bow shirt under a dress, is my latest big thing. I know, Gail, not all that much of a revelation, but I have been looking at my whole wardrobe with new eyes as a result.

I love this suit, I bought it from Buffalo Exchange on Haight Street for a song years ago. It doesn't fit me as well as it used to. (That Rack of mine!) In addition to the leopard shoes and bag, I paired it for evening with a gold belt, a vintage necklace I inherited from my family, and some steampunk filigree earrings that were a gift from a reader.

I don't have a leopard hairband for evening either, and my pork pie hat is very daytime, so I wore a little flower instead.

Leopard and black is such a classic combination I almost feel silly talking about it. Here's the Curvy Fashionista in an amazing modern take. Here's more ideas:

Vogue fashion shoot.

Some retro pieces:

 1930s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 1940s  Timeless Vixen Vintage

I do have a leopard bathing suit, but apart from that I don't really have the courage to wear base leopard, I strongly prefer simply to accessorize with it. So here are some picks of leopard accessories I love:

Wide calf hair belt at jcrew.com

Topshop leopard collar

Valentino Rockstud leather and calf hair gloves at net-a-porter.com
H&M Leopard Gloves (available in stores, these are the ones I have)

Christian Dior, 1950  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


 Loafer Style Pump, very sexy librarian
 Adorable Miz Mooz pumps that I WANT but I can't find for sale
 Stiletto pumps for a 1950s look from Stuart Weizman

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