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
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