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Vintage Style In A Modern World

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Cover Cosplay for Gail Carriger Books, Literally, At the Alaska Steamposium


So at the Alaska Steamposium the con com were given a challenge: Dress like a Gail Carriger cover. Beatrix took it literally.

Cover Cosplay for Gail Carriger Books, Literally, At the Alaska Steamposium

The outfit was covered in details from my books including such things as...

Cover Cosplay for Gail Carriger Books, Literally, At the Alaska Steamposium

Dandelion Fluff on a Spoon.

Cover Cosplay for Gail Carriger Books, Literally, At the Alaska Steamposium

Flowers, bows ribbons and so forth all made from pages and paper.

Cover Cosplay for Gail Carriger Books, Literally, At the Alaska Steamposium

There was even a tiny book written by, as Beatrix put it, any one of the Lefouxs.

Cover Cosplay for Gail Carriger Books, Literally, At the Alaska Steamposium

Cover Cosplay for Gail Carriger Books, Literally, At the Alaska Steamposium

Really remarkable work.

Cover Cosplay for Gail Carriger Books, Literally, At the Alaska Steamposium
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.
Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Singapore Cosplay: Alexia & Ivy On The Equator with Gail Carriger


Amazingly enough, at the Singapore Writers Festival two fantastic young ladies came dressed as Alexia & Ivy!

Singapore Cosplay: Alexia & Ivy On The Equator with Gail Carriger
Gail Ivy Alexia Festival

Isn't that the coolest? LOOK AT THE HATS!

Although, not that cool in the literal sense of the word because it's like the surface of a very damp sun in Singapore (or feels that way to me). It's humid, and 1 degree off the equator, and they are wearing full coverage Victorian gowns!

Singapore Cosplay: Alexia & Ivy On The Equator with Gail Carriger
By SG Yung

I saw them again the next day, in street wear and regular steampunk, and they re-introduced themselves to me as Alexia and Ivy. How adorable is that? (There were Irregular Choice shoes involved as well.)

Singapore Cosplay: Alexia & Ivy On The Equator with Gail Carriger
By Sg Yung


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

You can visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.
Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Gail Carriger Black & Grey Steampunk at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego


On the first day of Gaslight Gathering last weekend (which, for me, was Friday) I wore my new grey outfit. This one is a work in progress.

Gail Carriger Black & Grey Steampunk at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego

The Corset is from Dark Garden, it's one of their Alyscia line. This is one of my favorite patterns that Dark Garden does, and you'll see me in a different colored Alyscia later on at the convention. The busk covers are from Ruby Blackbird.

Gail Carriger Black & Grey Steampunk at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego
By Alex WHite

The top is an old Max Studio black chiffon number (similar $22), the hat is here for $15 and highly recommended, because of the material it travels beautifully and it has a nice strong clip (rather than comb) which means it stays in my hair. (Most of my tiny top hats have combs from when my hair was long, and they really do not work well with sort hair. Gonna have to over-make them.)

Gail Carriger Black & Grey Steampunk at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego


The skirt is Rainy Night in London Victorian Gothic Ruffle Steampunk Vintage Style and runs about $60. It is super LONG and high wasted. Like if you are in the 6" arena this skirt could still fit you. It also comes in black, and in black or red brocade. If you are shorter than my 5'6" tho, it'll be too long and you'll have to remove the bottom ruffle.

It's a bit of a darker grey than I like for this corset so right now I've plans to mod it with lighter grey and black trim at the hem and on the ruffles, to make them stand out and to go better with the corset.

Wearing this outfit I ran into Alexia!

Gail Carriger Black & Grey Steampunk at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego

That's a darn near perfect replica of the second manga cover.

Gail Carriger Black & Grey Steampunk at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego

I'm generally moving my steampunk outfits into the hour-glass aesthetic (while I can still carry it off), mostly because pencil and fish-tail skirts are easier to pack than the full fluffy ones and require less ironing after a flight!

More outfits to come!

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

You can visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.
Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger

 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.

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger

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.

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger

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


Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
 The cover that wasn't; the pose the wasn't.

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
 Fan art.
Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
Japanese cover art for Soulless

 Alexia in Soulless the Original (1873)


Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
The Polish cover shows more of the dress; 1883 Dinner Dress Charles Fredrick Worth The Kyoto Costume Institute for color inspiration.

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
1873 fashion plate

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
 Alexia's day dress; dress for shopping

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
Alexia's first parasol.

Alexia in Soulless Volume 1, The Manga



Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
 The first manga cover art; cosplay

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
Emile Pingat, 1874; and character sketch from the manga

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
1874 Fashion plate

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
1874 Striped dress

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
Amazing striped Swiss waist with matched bustle.

Alexia in Changeless (1874) & Omnibus Volume 1 & Soulless Manga Volume 2


Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
 Polish cover again, shows more of dress; self cosplay of cover.

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
 Omnibus Vol. 1 cover; Alexia cosplay

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
Manga Soulless Vol. 2 cover art; inspiration for Alexia floating dress

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
1870  The Philadelphia Museum of Art color inspiration; 1874 more diminished bustle

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
 Alexia walking and visiting dresses inspiration. 

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
 Dirigible floating dress inspiration from skirt tapes

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
Inspiration for the deck of the dirigible scenes.

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
The new parasol.

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
Fan art; steampunk from NY Comic Con cosplay fake cover photo fun.

Alexia in Blameless (1874)


Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
Blameless cover art; Emile Pingat (1820–1901), Parisfor color inspiration

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
 Highly modern French influenced walking dresses for Alexia to try.

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
 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)


Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
 Cover art for Heartless; Alexia's new more flowy choice of clothing

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
1874 Charles Fredrick Worth The Kyoto Costume Institute

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
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

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
 Timeless cover art; Alexia walking dress

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
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.

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
 Evening dress, 1876-77 US, the Met Museum; day dress 1876

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
Japanese Cover Art for Blameless

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
 1878-1880  The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Matt Harrison fan art

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
The Parasol Protectorate mangaka-chan

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
womens-fashion-1876

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.

Alexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger

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

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Crafty: Turning A Little White Dress Retro Style

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Crafty: Turning A Little White Dress Retro Style

It took me a very long time to learn to wear white. My mother, being a gardener, is deeply mistrustful of the color and has never worn it my whole life. However, it is a common vintage color, or at least cream is.


My dear friend Rachel (who also Betas my books) believes that you can never trust anyone in white trousers. I will admit to once being tempted by a lovely white suit, but until this season the furthest I ever went into white was a tailored white shirt, or cream knit sweater. However, the 2011 spring runways were all about the little white dress (LWD). 

So I decided I could break away from my dear Mum, and become an Adult Who Wears White. I thought if I thrifted one and tailored it myself, perhaps I wouldn't be so scared of it. The quest was on!

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Crafty: Turning A Little White Dress Retro Style
The original dress, cream eyelet muslin from Bon Mar Thrift store, $5.
In Which Gail Carriger Gets Crafty: Turning A Little White Dress Retro Style
The modification in progress. 
Hemmed dress to shorten it and then used cut piece to make small sleeves. 
Also nipped in at the back to make more fitted at the waist. 
In Which Gail Carriger Gets Crafty: Turning A Little White Dress Retro Style
The finished dress on the dummy. Luckily I have a slip that is perfect for wearing underneath.

Here are some ideas as to how to take a dress like this from retro to street and from summer to autumn. I'm looking forward to experimenting.  Of course you don't have to go for the whole dress, you can always just do an accessory.

I'm introducing and new occasional feature to the Retro Rack blog. The book that matches your outfit!

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Crafty: Turning A Little White Dress Retro Style

For the Little White Dress I am suggesting you try an old favorite of mine, Restoree by Anne McCaffery. It's an earth-girl-stolen-to-alien-planet political drama with a great romantic thread and a light breezy tone. It has a summer read feel to it. Don't worry, the aliens are amorphous ~ no bugs. There is some plastic-surgery kind of experimentation, but it's very light. The romance element is wonderfully well done.

Have a lovely weekend all!

In Which Gail Carriger Gets Crafty: Turning A Little White Dress Retro Style
Cover Cosplay for Gail Carriger Books, Literally, At the Alaska Steamposium Singapore Cosplay: Alexia & Ivy On The Equator with Gail CarrigerGail Carriger Black & Grey Steampunk at Gaslight Gathering in San DiegoAlexia Tarabotti Soulless Manga Cosplay in Seattle with Gail CarrigerAlexia Manga Cosplay from Gail CarrigerAlexia & Others Cosplay from Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate Series Alexia Cosplay on the Birthday of Soulless from Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate Series Fashion Report from the Steampunk World's Fair 2015 with Gail CarrigerAlexia's Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger In Which Gail Carriger Gets Crafty: Turning A Little White Dress Retro Style

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