Thursday, October 23, 2014

Finishing School Characters & Clothing Quiz Answers! from Gail Carriger

Here, Fashionable Reader, are the answers to the quiz on which dresses go with which characters, and a bit of an explanation from yours truly as to why.

#1 Agatha

1850s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Why? I put Agatha (who is a red head) into a lot of mustards, oranges, browns, yellows, and muted colors that would not work with her complexion. This is to indicate her own lack of taste, or possibly lack of agency in handling her father's choices. Her family is rich so the dress is always of a very high quality fabric with lots of nice trimming. The colors are also reflections of Agatha's warm, earthy, almost practical personality.

#2 Professor Lefoux

1851-1854 Red The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Why? Professor Lefoux wears a lot of solid dark colors. Her bodices are always buttoned up, and her skirts narrower than fashion dictates. I also chose this dress because of the close sleeves (practical for working in the lab). All of these things reflect her nature: buttoned up, narrowed perspective, focused, intense, no frills. But she is still French, so her choice of color and richness of fabric is often quite sophisticated.

#3 Sidheag

1850s Ensemble  Nordiska Museet

Why? Sidheag is often described as having the taste of a governess and a love of plaid, due to her Scottish roots. This is the kind of thing she would wear. It's easy to get on, basic, and practical. She, like Agatha is often described in browns, so this blue is a little cool for her. This is because she is also grounded and connected to nature through her werewolf upbringing.

#4 Preshea

1850s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Why? Preshea is very sophisticated, or thinks she is. She wears a lot of stark contrasting colors, black and white, dark blue and cream. Thus this black and gold number (although probubly intended for a married lady) fits her taste. Also this would look great with her coloring: pale skin and dark hair. Preshea thinks and acts older than she is. She's sharp and cutting and her colors reflects her prickly nature. 

#5 Dimity

1853 Evening Dress  1853  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Why? Dimity has a bubbly bright cheerful personality which is reflected in her clothing choices. She likes a bit of floof, and this neckline would show off all her jewelry. Because of her slightly scatty nature I often dress Dimity in busy patterns, layers, and other complexities of dress.

#6 Lady Linette

1854-1855 Blue The McCord Museum

Why? Lady Linette is always described as dressing too young for her age. She favors insipid colors: baby blues, pinks, butter yellow. I imagine her always in the colors of nursery rooms. She also loves a dress with border details, ruffles, and lots of trim so this one is perfect for her. The whole point of her clothing is for the reader to think: what is she hiding? Because she is always hiding something.

#7 Monique

1854 Evening Dress  1854  The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Why? Monique is truly elegant, annoyingly always, she is also to the very height of fashion. Her skirts are always bigger than everyone else's. However, she is also very good a simplicity. I think she'd like this dress because of the supposed innocence of all that white, not to mention the queenly sashes.

#8 Sophronia

1850-1855  The Metropolitan Museum of Art2

Why? Sophronia has to wear her sister's cast-off dresses a lot, so they are often a little old fashioned in cut (this one has pagoda sleeves and a narrow skirt) however well made. This one would work for her because the folds could hide many pockets and the sleeves are perfect for her various wrist devices. Also, most of the time, she's a bit more conservative that Dimity so far as ruffles and necklines are concerned. I put her in blues and greens a lot because her nature is to be rather cool to those around her. But she also ends up in brocade, because there is a lush depth to personality under her tricky exterior.

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