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Vintage Style In A Modern World

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Gail Carriger Black Ruffles & Striped Swiss Waist Steampunk at the Alaska Steamposium 2017


For the second day of the Alaska Symposium I wore my favorite waist cincher, or Swiss waist, over a black evening dress.

Gail Carriger Black Ruffles & Striped Swiss Waist Steampunk at the Alaska Steamposium 2017

That's a little gold meets brown buckram facinator that travels well so I wear it a lot, discontinued. If I had to buy a replacement I'd go for this one, $9.

The dress is 1970s (1930s revival) and I ADORE it. It's one of my most flattering pieces. I brought so I could wear it as a dress for dinner one night and under this corset on another night. It has a pussycat bow at the neck.

Gail Carriger Black Ruffles & Striped Swiss Waist Steampunk at the Alaska Steamposium 2017


I'm wearing it over a Max Studio silk cross over full sleeved blouse (similar $16).

The waist cincer is from Dark Garden. (Similar costume version for $30.)

Gail Carriger Black Ruffles & Striped Swiss Waist Steampunk at the Alaska Steamposium 2017

Gold steampunk earrings (similar for $25) & vintage necklace (heirloom) and the obligatory pen necklace $20.

That's a little gold shrug I got on a whim from Ross for like $15. Similar $17-23

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 Red & Black Steampunk at the Alaska Steamposium 2017


It is a truth universally acknowledged, Fashionable Reader, that a lady in want of steampunk and warmth will struggle to pack lightly.

Gail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk at the Alaska Steamposium 2017

It wasn't as cold as I expected but it was cold. I'm wearing leggings and an undershirt and flat boots (because I didn't bother to pack any heels, I know, but it happens sometimes). 


Gail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk at the Alaska Steamposium 2017

From the top down I am wearing:

Black and red facinator from Amazon for $15 (lots of colors, packs well).

Gail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk at the Alaska Steamposium 2017

I actually added a knitted ladybug to the center. From a newly discovered crafter Borealis Baubles, more on her later.

Vintage gold costume earrings & necklace and the obligatory pen necklace $20.

That's a new lipstick I'm not sure about. CoverGirl Outlast All-Day Color & Lip Gloss, Richest Red $10.50. This is the base coat and then it has a darker gloss to go over it. I like long last lippy, and I like a glossy look, but as is always the issue is the gloss gets on everything - teeth, food, etc. So I'm not sure I'll keep up with this brand, but for a performance or special occasion it's a great option.


Gail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk at the Alaska Steamposium 2017

That's a little gold shrug I got on a whim from Ross for like $15 and wear all the darn time. I forget how useful a metallic neutral is. Similar $17-23

That's my Dark Garden Corset, the Class 5 custom with custom leather details. 
Here's a costume alternative, for $35-$53:


Gail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk at the Alaska Steamposium 2017

I'm wearing it over a Max Studio silk cross over full sleeved blouse (similar $16).

And that's one of my favorite skirts, the Power Broker from Amazon c. $30.

I'm wearing some leather and suede black button gloves I picked up in Germany a few years and and my Pilner leather and suede gaiter riding boots $75. They're a few seasons old but there are some still out there. Also come in brown. I got mine at Nordstrom Rack.


Gail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk at the Alaska Steamposium 2017

 That's the first outfit round up. I've one more from this event and then a great look at a fantastic cosplay from Alaska.

Pip pip!

Miss Gail

Gail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk at the Alaska Steamposium 2017
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.

Prudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With It


My book, Prudence, is currently on sale for only $4.99 (ebook USA). In honor of that, Fashionable reader, I'm posting a fun thing I used to do a lot - outfits that match the cover!

Prudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With ItPrudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With It

I had to put this image first, because it is such a perfect match to the colors of the cover. It's an 1870s  dress from Kerry Taylor Auctions. I'm not sure which of my characters might wear something so exotic, this period would place it during the Parasol Protectorate series. So perhaps Ivy?

And now, looking at the cover here's some more picks...

For Alexia in the Parasol Protectorate series...


Prudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With It
Suite  1830s  Christie’s

Prudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With It
Afternoon Dress  Charles Fredrick Worth, 1872  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Countess Nadasdy...


Prudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With It
1883  Musée Galleira de la Mode de la Ville de Paris

For Primrose in the Custard Protocol series...


Prudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With It
 Pingat afternoon dress ca. 1896  From the De Young Museum
Prudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With It
1895 Cufflinks  Tiffany & Co., Sotheby’s

Prudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With It
1890s  Augusta Auctions

For Gail...


Prudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With It
Madame Grès, 1945  Kerry Taylor Auctions

Prudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With It
1950s  Whitaker Auctions

Prudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With It
2000 Gianni Versace  The Frock

Prudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With It
2015 Katrin Langer floral brocade clutch at modaoperandi.com

Prudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With It
2015 Nicholas Kirkwood purple suede Mary Jane

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.

Gaslight Gathering, Meeting The Tunstells Cosplay from the Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger


A little shout out to a pretty fab cosplay: the Tunstells!

Gaslight Gathering, Meeting The Tunstells Cosplay from the Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger

Tunstell's plaid pants! Ivy's crazy hat, you can't see but there is a very autocratic bird on the top of it and much more!

Gaslight Gathering, Meeting The Tunstells Cosplay from the Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger

Bonus: if seen in direct sunlight will sear your retinas.

Gaslight Gathering, Meeting The Tunstells Cosplay from the Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger

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 Steampunk Cream Brocade and Lace At Gaslight Gathering


For Saturday night's ball I wore my favorite cream outfit. This one doesn't transport easily so I rarely wear it away from home. I'm working on a travel modified version, you'll likely see me in that next year at Steampunk World's Fair.

Gail Carriger Steampunk Cream Brocade and Lace At Gaslight Gathering

This corset had to be made over because I used to use it for waist training and, frankly, I've given up on that malarkey. In other words, it was too small. Because Autumn knew I'd be using it for steampunk in the future she improvised a second busk which allowed her to widen it at the front and then she took a little out of the bust (rack reduction, you know?) and wha la! I'm sorry the picture is so bad. I promise to have better in future.

Gail Carriger Steampunk Cream Brocade and Lace At Gaslight Gathering

From the top down...
  1. Vintage 1950s lace applique headband, similar $17
  2. Matched pearl necklace and earring set, similar $30 
  3. Shrug, cotton and lace from Newport News years ago, similar knitted multiple colors $17 or lace and pearl small jacket $19
  4. Lace cami, similar $18
  5. Double breasted corset, variation on Dark Garden's Victorian
  6. Corset busk covers from Ruby Blackbird (discontinued)
  7. Brocade skirt, thrifted wedding dress modified by me with a crochet coverlet as trim, similar $80

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 Spoons Steampink Black Burgundy at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego


Saturday of Gaslight Gathering I wore my spoons corset. Because it was warm I didn't use the usually undergarments. And because I had travels I wore it with layered skirts instead of my usually floof.

Gail Carriger Spoons Steampink Black Burgundy at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego

The above from Jerry was the best picture to capture the complete outfit.

From top to bottom:
  1. Straw doll hat from Michaels that I decorate with a hot glue gun.
  2. Octopus applique necklace with matched earring, gift from a reader. 
  3. Obligatory pen necklace.
  4. Dark Garden Sweetheart Victorian corset that I took to with some serious button and spoons modding. 
  5. Corset busk covers from Ruby Blackbird (discontinued)
  6. Parasol holster, instructions on how to make from a thrifted pair of cargo pants here
  7. Long fish tail maxi skirt, thrifted (similar $20)
  8. Rock Republic layered mini-skirt from Nordstrom Rack (similar $30)
  9. Nomad flats by Mia (discontinued) one pair in 6.5 or you can search etsy, $30

Gail Carriger Spoons Steampink Black Burgundy at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego

I ran into my very first Prudence cosplay from the lovely Debbie!

Gail Carriger Spoons Steampink Black Burgundy at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego

Gail Carriger Spoons Steampink Black Burgundy at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego

And, the Tunstells tracked me down! I do so adore seeing my characters come to life!

Gail Carriger Spoons Steampink Black Burgundy at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego

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 Red & Black Steampunk Pinup at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego


On the Friday night of Gaslight Gathering I pulled out all the stops. This is the first custom corset I ever ordered from Dark Garden, referred to as the Class 5.

Gail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk Pinup at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego

Right! So from the top down I am wearing...
  1. A buckrum tiny top hat that I ordered wholesale with a group of friends back in the day, and modded. Similar for $14.
  2. Pen nib earrings. ($12 on etsy)
  3. Colorstay lipstick in Covergirl 507 Ever Red $8 
  4. Custom choker & matched bracers (I'll talk about a bit more along with the corset)
  5. Teacup, saucer, teapot necklace. (wide range available from $8-$30)
  6. Velvet shrug, thrifted. (Similar $28, you can add ruffle if you like)
  7. Corset, Dark Garden custom, similar to the Alexandra (more to come) 
  8. Corset busk covers from Ruby Blackbird (discontinued)
  9. Plain black thin vintage gloves (similar)
  10. Trumpet skirt, red, $30
  11. Button boots from Miz Mooz (similar $200)
  12. Black retro purse (similar $80)

The Corset


My Class 5 is a variation on Dark Garden's Baroque, which they no longer offer, but the Alexandra is very similar. You can tell it's an older style for DG as it's more long and lean and less hourglass. Autumn has taken the store more into the deep curve, shall we say, over the years. It has custom red stamped leather applique which match the bracers and the choker.

Gail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk Pinup at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego


I used to work for Oberon Design and custom leather company at the same time as I was working for Dark Garden, this corset is an ode to that part of my life. 20 years ago now! I also have a matched belt and cuff. Because I was one of their managers, both companies made a lot of exceptions for me at the time. These days Oberon doesn't really do much in the clothing arena. Dark Garden, however, is usually happy to do as much custom as you like, couture is their specialty.

Gail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk Pinup at Gaslight Gathering in San Diego


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.

Gail Carriger's New Corset Report ~ Dark Garden's Cupid Underbust


Recently I reported going in to get my corsets resized at Dark Garden. Two of them couldn't be down-sized for the new and improved Lesser Rack. One of them went on consignment and the other I sold to a friend who happened to fit it perfectly! Yes!

Gail Carriger's New Corset Report ~ Dark Garden's Cupid Underbust


Recently I was back getting a few things fitted, checking on the resizing, and picking up my new baby! This is a Cupid Off the Rack in a fabric I chose, size 23. (A good corset is sized via the waist measurement that it could take you all the way down too. Industry standard is to wear with a 2 inch gap at the back. So in this image my waist is about 25.)

This is a GREAT corset for a curvy girl, with extra panels to up the control. It's my new favorite of Dark Garden's RTW line.

Isn't she pretty? I'll be wearing this as a foundation garment, when necessary, on my up coming tour and for the ensuing months (until I get my new fully custom piece that will become my workhorse).

Gail Carriger's New Corset Report ~ Dark Garden's Cupid Underbust


And yes, the reason I ordered it was because it reminded me, in the best possible way, of Victorian wallpaper.

Here's previous posts on:

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 Ruffles & Striped Swiss Waist Steampunk at the Alaska Steamposium 2017Gail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk at the Alaska Steamposium 2017Prudence Cover & The Fashion To Go With ItDressing Sophronia from the Corset Up (Finishing School Series) with Gail CarrigerGaslight Gathering, Meeting The Tunstells Cosplay from the Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail CarrigerGail Carriger Steampunk Cream Brocade and Lace At Gaslight GatheringGail Carriger Spoons Steampink Black Burgundy at Gaslight Gathering in San DiegoGail Carriger Red & Black Steampunk Pinup at Gaslight Gathering in San DiegoGail Carriger Black & Grey Steampunk at Gaslight Gathering in San DiegoGail Carriger's New Corset Report ~ Dark Garden's Cupid Underbust

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