So Etiquette & Espionage
(my new YA book and the first in a four book series) launched into the world on Tuesday night. The organizers of the event said they woudl love it if I would wear something steampunk. I was left with a bit of a quandary. With Nova Albion around the corner, a local steampunk event thus allowing me to pack and wear ALL my favorite steampunk outfits and ALL their companion parasols (YES!!), I didn't want to wear one of those to this event. Too much repeat in too story a time. Plus I needed something I could drive in that was a little more casual. I'm rather chuffed with myself for concocting this outfit:
Outfit front & back
Outfit side shots
I started with my Fashioned By Flobért gold robe carriage dress
(which might, more properly, be called a coach dress) with buttons all the way up the front.
The dress hanging, and at World Con in Reno in 2011
The dress is stained and slightly faded, in a heavy satin. This makes it only suitable for low-light late evening events, and warm, and in ever great need of ironing. I bought it on sale for $10, it needed repairs and new buttons all up the front. I have a great source for vintage buttons in Petaluma and I sourced 32 abalone shell replacements for $10 plus narrowing every single button hole. It was quite the task. I do like the architectural details in the bodice. I'm now in possession of a nice wide belt, which I'll be wearing with it in future when it's not all steampunked. It did steampunk nicely though, didn't it?
It actually has a bit of a train, so the front hem is shorter than the back, which shows off the shoes and looks ever so slightly bustle-like with the waist cinch. It's very robe like, not surprising as it turns out Fashioned By Flobért
was mainly a boudoir designer.
1930s Elsa Schiaparelli Kerry Taylor Auctions; 1970s Halston 1stdibs.com
1940s Dress Charles James for Elizabeth Arden The Frock
I paired my Flobert with patchwork boots and long dark red vintage gloves inherited from my Grandmother.
The boots, Kenneth Cole, from Buffalo Exchange, Berkeley some 20 years ago, $20.
I was so poor at the time my best friend bought them for me.
I also wore this little octopus necklace. I like to have octopus on my person somewhere.
Adorable octopus necklace, gift from a reader
The hat from my Autumn steampunk outfit
, and when I'm not facing a windy San Francisco night I susually perch it far forward on my head.
Signing with the hat and a perched spinner from VivianWestwood SS runway
Christian Dior Haute Couture 2010 and a very cool hat on one of the guest!
I was reminded of this recent photo shoot in Restoration Hardware.
Along with the accessories I wore my custom stripped Dark Garden
pointed waist cinch as a Swiss Waist
with Ruby Blackbird Corset
buttons to make it look more belt like. I was drawing on this kind of thing for inspiration.
1910-1915 Motoring Ensemble, The FIDM Museum; 1896-1899 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1900 Ball Gown The Metropolitan Museum of Art; screen cap from the Pallisers
So there you have it! Another event, another outfit.
Before you ask, the waist cinch is 22" but I don't have it laced fully down.
Something in this vein for the characters?
For Professor Briathwope in Etiquette & Espionage:
1850s Men’s Dressing Gown The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1885 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1895 Dress Museo del Traje
By Cake Central member CakeDiva11
Retro Rack is also on facebook
where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.