Thursday, August 29, 2013

Then & Now ~ Cream Scales


Ball Gown  Charles Fredrick Worth, 1888  Kerry Taylor Auctions


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

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Then & Now ~ Lavender Handbag


Reticule  1800-1825  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art


Croco Purse Organizer With Floral lining
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Then & Now ~ Orange Bag


Purse  1800-1825  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Circle Flower Purse by Grand Crafts
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Then & Now ~ Deco Dresses


 1927 Augusta Auctions; 1920-1923  The Metropolitan Museum of Art; 1920s  Whitaker Auctions



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

Monday, August 19, 2013

13 Essentials in Gail Carriger's On the Go Fashion Emergency Kit

Inspired by this post, I thought I would do my own on the Fashion Emergency kit, Retro Rack style.

  1. Totes Micro Umbrella ($12), I have 3: a black and white houndstooth check, red Asian print, and a leopard. These aren't the best umbrellas but at a convention I merely need something that fits in my purse to protect my hair during the mad dash between hotels. 
  2. Glasses case: houses either my sun glasses (when I'm inside) or my regular glasses (when I'm outside). This leopard one I picked up at Ross for $5, I'm always looking for ones that aren't too big yet stiff for added protection. 
  3. Scarf: I carry a small square headscarf for the same reason as the umbrella, only with wind in mind. During travel, I use it for packing my hats. I collect scarves from thrift stores, at this point I pretty much have one in every color. When desperate, they also work as a napkin.
  4. Mini sewing kit ($3). Since I wear vintage, it's necessary for me to repair on the go. A good kit from a hotel often works fine for travel, but I make up my own with extra straight pins, safety pins of variable sizes, folding sewing scissors (they seem to get through TSA) and a multi-thread braid I picked up at a boutique craft shop ~ different color for every repair.
  5. Breath mints, I like Altoids minis and lately I've been trying Kissing Elixir's vanilla mint spray. Not strictly fashion related but necessary. In my Altoids tin, I also include pain killers and an additional couple safety pins, as the tin comes out with me on my rounds.
  6. Mini clear nail polish top coat, for repairing nylons. I struggled to find a tiny one and ended up having to buy a sample kit just to get the really small bottle. It's worth it to avoid TSA and having to separate my liquids out of this kit for flight. 
  7. Zip clip for badge ($4, but there are fancier ones). I hate hate hate badge lanyards at conventions. They are inevitably ugly colors and rest exactly over the Rack in a flappy inconvenient overly eye-catching manner. So I carry a zip clip, designed with a metal clip to go over a belt or pocket. I sometimes clip it to my neckline or, better, on my purse instead of my person. That way I can show it to people as needed but I can flip it to the back of the bag for photos. (I know, this defeats the purpose of a name tag. But I have yet to meet a convention that prints the name big enough to actually read as one struggles with small talk, so why mar a perfectly decent outfit?) Mine is actually loosing its snap, so I need to invest in a new one. That is is the biggest issue, much attention it put into the cip part, not enough into the snap. Bad designers. 
  8. Necklace pen $20. I am rarely seen without it during daylight hours of a convention (and it gets lots of compliments).
  9. Necklace watch, similar $20. Since I don't wear a watch but I like to be on time to panels this one is usually on me (for steampunk events) or in my bag. (Occasionally I'll use my phone.)
  10. Cravat pin AKA stiff short hatpin. These are hard to find, I'm always looking for the really stiff sharp ones. What passes for hat pins in the dealers room of most steampunk conventions, I am sad to say, wouldn't hold down a dead butterfly. Mine are all vintage. This 1960s one is my favorite and most sturdy.
  11. Emergency emery board. Mine came from a hotel kit. But I've been known to break a bigger one in half and carry the end with me.
  12. Shoe blister kit. Contains blister band-aids, regular band-aids and back-up shoe inserts.
  13. Extra badge ribbons, collected from various cons and gifts from friends.
Of the above the umbrulla, glasses, and scarf do not go in the kit. And while I really love mesh baggies for most travel purposes, like so:
Kingsley Silver Mesh Travel/Cosmetic Bag Set (3 Piece) $14
Because my kit involves both pins and liquid, I prefer to house it inside a zipper top plastic bag like one of these from Travelon:

Travelon Set of 7 Packing Envelopes, Assorted Sizes $14
(I do all my modular packing with these jobbies, I have two sets and I love love love them!)

Or the best of both worlds the mesh reenforced plastic storage bag:
Set of Three Mesh Storage Plastic Bags with White Zipper (also with red zipper) $9
What's not there but still important? 
  • The obligatory Tide Stain Pen ($8 for 3). Yes I carry one, but it's in my everyday bag because I have it with me at all times. The most important thing to remeber with the Tide pen and vintage is that once you have used the pen on a stain, the garment should not be dry cleaned (the chemicals may react badly with stain remover) but laundered/hand-washed instead. Just FYI.
  • Small bottle of Fabreze. I transfer to a tiny spay bottle that goes with my toiletries. I only use this in cases of emergency when it turns out I will have to wear a dress more than once in a row. In which case I turn the garment inside out, spray only smelly areas, and let dry on the hanger overnight before I wear it again.
  • For longer trips I packa  few Woolite Travel Laundry Soap packets, perfect for washing the smalls in a hotel sink.
  • Small travel lint roller, or just a bit of masking tape. 
  • Spare gloves, especially if I'm wearing white ones. They soil so easily I usually include an extra pair for events. In daily life I carry a leather pair with me at all times, my hands get cold at the drop of a hat (pun intended).
For your amusement, from  W.H. Lock @whistlelock on Twitter - the Finishing School Version

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

Friday, August 16, 2013

Then & Now ~ Draped Dresses


1880s Liberty & Co., early 1880s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Almost Then

1955 Tree  Charles James, 1955  The Victoria & Albert Museum


Draped Pink Dress $27

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

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

Picnic in the Park ~ Victorian Style with Gail Carriger

This last weekend I joined the local historical dance reenactment group for a picnic in the park, floofy skirt style.

Self in a mainly thrifted outfit: 
  • black straw sun hat from Goodwill (dampened and bent inside an icebox in the sun, decorated - using hot glue gun - with ribbons and fake roses flowers from a church rummage sale)
  • earrings and cameo both thrifted from this amazing tiny store I found in Ohio in college, still miss it
  • velvet cape is the top portion of a coat (bottom of which was stained and didn't fit) 
  • shirt 1970 boxy cut thrifted on Height Street, tailored in to corseted figure, blue ribbon threaded through
  • skirt (gored) made from thrifted stain resistant king size bedsheets, bed ruffle attached at bottom, blue ribbon sew on
  • blue ribbon found on super sale at a quilt shop, I bought everything they had in that color on the theory that I would use it to pull the whole outfit together.
  • parasol new but added blue ribbon to match dress 
  • corset underneath is a Dark Garden custom sweetheart vic
  • hoopskirt is modern crinoline (for a wedding dress I suppose) with added tablecloth padding
  • underskirt made from 1980s wrap skirt with more dust ruffle edging
  • bloomers made from a thrifted pair of pants with new elastic and lace edging

1850 Damisk The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

1850 Flower The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1850 grahamsday

1850 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1850-1855  The Philadelphia Museum of Art
1890s  Christie’s

Hope you all had a delicious tea-filled weekend too!

~ Miss G

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

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Then & Now ~ Pale Blue & Gold


1883 Charles Fredrick Worth The Chicago History Museum


Zac Posen 2012

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

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Gail Carriger bids Goodbye My Pretties Part II

Sometimes I retire clothing, sometimes I sell it, more often I give it away. If the clothing isn't worth enough to put up on ebay, or if I know one of my friends would really love it, it goes into the give away pile, then to Goodwill. Here are a few items that have gone on to happier homes.

Plaid Dress, Zara

I've worn it a lot, but I find myself leaning in favor of my vintage brown check instead these days. They both fill the same niche in my wardrobe, and the fit is better with the vintage dress.

Orange Oxfords

I kept these around because they fit the tan arena of browns, but I've decided they are just too orange. They aren't real leather so they won't dye, so I gave them away.

Plaid Skirt

I have two versions of this BCBG plaid skirt. This one is a stiffer easily-wrinkled material. It also has a pocket detail in back that people always think is the pocket falling out. I find myself more likely to wear the other plaid skirt or the tweed. The last thing I need in my life is more pencil skirts, so this one if going away.

Two Tiny Hats

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