Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Gail Carriger in Colorado Springs in Black and White at Pikes Peak 2014

I've been inspired by black and white recently, there's some so crisp about it, Fashionable Reader.

BW town and country paris

So when I was packing for Pikes Peak Writers Conference I was drawn to my favorite black and white wingtip spectator peep toe shoes and packed accordingly. This sudden black and white obsession could be my cat's fault, hard to know.

Obligatory cat photo

Here's the outfits that resulted:

Friday; Saturday; Sunday

On Friday a black & white polka dotted dress (just an old cheap one from Ross) with simple white headband and vintage bauble necklace.
On Saturday: the black shirt I made out of a black dress I didn't wear paired with the black & white skirt my mom made for me before BEA, black hat (vintage gift), and octopus necklace (reader gift).
On Sunday: a black a-line skirt from the 1970s (gift) with white striped button blouse, H&M blazer, white belt, and black and white kerchief. The white gloves are super cute with this little bow but I think they are 1980s, not 40s as I once supposed.

That black shirt on Saturday started life as a dress rather like this:

Jacques Fath, dress1954. Photo by Georges Dambier via theniftyfifties tumblr
In the first two images I'm wearing a DG full coverage custom corset underneath, that's why the outfits look so good. I had intended to wear it the entire time (bras are a challenge right now) but even I, corset diva, could not handle full coverage and high altitude. Never did I think there would come a time when I would give over a corset, Colorado Springs was that time. Or should I say: that place? Note for future packing, no corsets above 3000 feet.

1950s  Timeless Vixen Vintage

So back to black and white. I found this dress image and decided to build a whole imaginary outfit around it.  Here we go...

1945  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

1930 Clip Brooch  Dusausoy, 1930  Sotheby’s

1925 Bracelet  1925  Christie’s

Ring 1925  Sotheby’s

1925  Christie’s

1920 Necklace  1920  Christie’s

1900 Stockings  late 19th century early 20th century  The Victoria & Albert Museum
Not Flurvogs

"Avoid saying any thing to women in showy attire, with painted faces, and white kid gloves."
~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

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

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Then & Now ~ Red & Black, Black & Red


Ball Gown  late 1870s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


2014 Scot
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Then & Now ~ White Lace Black Belt


Evening Dress  Madeleine Vionnet, 1935  The Victoria & Albert Museum2


2013 Pearl Dress at darlingclothes.com
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 5 On Gail Carriger

Thank you so much for joining me on my belt retrospective, Fashionable Reader! We have talked about decorative belts, matched belts, sash belts, and the Swiss Waist. I've touched on a few others as well.

1908 Jacket  Jeanne Paquin, 1908  The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

1966 Yves Saint Laurent, 1966  Kerry Taylor Auctions

2014 Alberta-Ferretti
1906-1908  Museo del Traje

Now I'm going to take this last post to blog a bit about my own relationship with belts.

As a girl with a 10 inch or more waist to hip to Rack ratio the belt is often not an option, otherwise I would have no waist at all! On the other hand it can cinch in such a way as to make the top and bottom bulge out in a most egregious manner. Here is a bit of a retrospective on my own relationship with the belt. You can plainly seem my bent is in favor of skinny belts, as a rule.

Cream belt with green dress, same belt with red dress, red dress with different white slim belt. Note how the same belt looks different with different cut and color of dress? And how the same dress with a different thickness of belt has a slightly different silhouette?

 Decorative belt that is also matched to my long maxi dress.

 Tan belt with pencil dresses: patterned and plain.

White belt in a layered look with a tailored turquoise shirt; same belt with a navy dot dress (that has a matched belt); the same navy dress with red belt.

 Three matched belts: the silver, the red dot, and the bow flowered.

Black bow stretch belts worn with two more blowsy dresses. Notice, slightly frumpy in the Rack area?

Same black bow belt with two different blush pink dresses. On a day dress with a fitted top the other a more 1920s dress that I used the belt to cinch in.

Two examples of a belt with a skirt top combo. (Note how good Kate looks in that wide belt? She's taller and slimmer than me. Sigh.) That same black belt again, and the ubiquitous white. I do have other belts but I didn't realize how often I wear these two and the cream. Particularly for travel I usually have white (rainy snowy = my only non-leather water resistant pumps are white); cream (my most useful bag is cream and some of my more comfortable shoes); black (because hey, it almost always goes with everything) and red (again the bag is good and pumps are comfy). I am so neglecting brown and tan, leopard, and gold. And I have such good belts for those! I also have other cream ones (wider) white ones (a bow) and leopard ones (waist cinch) but I just don't wear them as much.

Ah, belts, such a complicated relationship.

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

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Belts ~ It's What's for Your Waist - Part 4 Swiss Waist by Gail Carriger

I can't remember when I first heard about the Swiss Waist, Fashionable Reader.

From my personal collection
Popular in the 1860s this was a boned belt, with at least one peak (either up or down). It usually laced like a corset, only up the front, sometimes is was exactly corset-like with a busk up the front and laces up the back. The Swiss Waist was worn in addition to the foundation corset. It is, so far as I can determine historically, the only corset-like garment that was worn on the outside of a dress.

Daguerreotype from my personal collection
 1860s  The Victoria & Albert Museum Swiss Waist; my own version from Dark Garden

Here is a retrospective on the idea of the Swiss Waist. They aren't necessarily exactly this article of clothing, but they all suggest the peaks that I associate with this garment.

1829  Kerry Taylor Auctions
1872 Godeys Sept 1872 Dicky
Described as: "Overwaist of blue silk, trimmed with black lace; it is to be worn over a black silk dress, and is very dressy and pretty."

Tea Gown  1875-1880  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
[stage costume] Leonora of Mantua (1873), Valentine Cameron Prinsep via British Paintings tumblr

1880 Striped Princess Bodice

1889 Evening Dress The Metropolitan Museum of Art
 1890-1895  The Goldstein Museum of Design; Liberty & Co. dress, 1893-94  From the Victoria & Albert Museum

1895 Golf Ensemble   The Kyoto Costume Institute

 1896-1899; 1900 Ball Gown  Driscoll both The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1900 Dress  Jean-Philippe Worth,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1900s Gustave Beer, Antique Dress

1901 Ball Gown  Jeanne Paquin,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 1900s  theoryphotoart tumblr; on our merry way tumblr vintage-impressions- Portrait, ca. 1906

1906-1908 Evening Dress  Jean-Philippe Worth, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1940s Dress I. Magnin, Kerry Taylor Auctions

v-isfor-vintage tumblr 1950s style sass

1950s  Timeless Vixen Vintage blue

1950s  Timeless Vixen Vintage

1950s Carrier airconditioning advertisement. via theniftyfifties tumblr
And now for the modern age...

 2013 Aigner Fall 2013 collection via nymag.com; 2013 Ralph LaurenSpring-2103

2013 Nidhi Sunil in Jimmy Choo Over The Knee Boots. Vogue India, 10.2013 via Booted Up

2013 Willow cutout waist belt at theOutnet.com

(A quick note, I had a whole piece prepped for today on wide belts and why they do and don't work on us curvy ladies, but blogspot ate it. I was particularly proud of it, but one keystroke and it's gone, no recovery. Note to self, do not use keyboard shortcuts in blogger! Argh. Anyway, I am hugely overworked theses days and have neither the time nor inclination to rewrite it. So we skip wide belts entirely, sorry....)

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