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Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger

Today, Fashionable Reader, I present to you outfits, vintage pieces and retro looks that match the cover of the fourth Parasol Protectorate Book, Heartless.

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger

 This cover has Alexia looking very girly in front of Woolsey Castle wearing a fetching purple combination the background mostly greys. Here are a few picks from my closet to go with this cover.

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
A casual look pairing a plaid BCBG fishtail pencil skirt ($50) with a jersey cowl top (Marshalls $20) my favorite cream textured Via Spiga peep toe stilettos (Nordstrom Rack $50) a vintage green bag (Hubba Hubba $35) and a jellyfish bracelet, gift.

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
A more formal option with a print blouse (Kohl's $20), floaty Donna Karen skirt (now gone), bow earrings (can't remember), Miz Mooz boots (Nordstrom Rack $75), cream hat (Bone Marche $15), a vintage vinyl purse (moon Zoom $20), white gloves ($20), and a silver chain rose necklace, gift.

A few little pieces to go with this cover.

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
 Retro bathing suit. Very flattering.

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
 Ombre tights. I really want some of these. 

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
Prabal Gurung Spring 2012
Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
 1940s Dress Clips  Sotheby’s

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
 1939 La Sirène  Charles James  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1910s Earrings   1stdibs.com

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
Octopus tentacle handkerchief, gift from a reader.

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
Flower arrangement from Mum's tea party.

And now . . .

Something for the characters to wear!

For Lord Akeldama...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1770s  The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

For Alexia pre-Biffy...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1872-1876  Manchester City Galleries

For Alexia post-Biffy...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1878 Charles Fredrick Worth,  The Kyoto Costume Institute

A gift for Alexia from Conall...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1870s Bracelet  Sotheby’s

For Ivy after Timeless...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1883-1889  The Goldstein Museum of Design

A hat to go with it...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1909 Dinner Toque  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Some sparkles...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1880s Suite   Christie’s

And a fan...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1885-1895 Fan The Metropolitan Museum of Art

And for Evilyn...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
 1885  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
 1900  Toque  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 Something Prudence to wear...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1899  The Victoria & Albert Museum

And for underneath...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1890s  Augusta Auctions

Something for Lady Linette in the Finishing School series...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1840  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Something for Sophronia...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1860s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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

Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book Launch

I ended up choosing the salmon dress for the Books Inc Heartless Launch in San Francisco.

Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book Launch

My mum, in a rather more dignified manner, called the dress coral dahling (and so did the nail salon) but I still think of it as salmon. Call a fish and fish, as the saying ought to be. The Popster's response? "You do look rather sushi-like." Is there any question which side of the family I get my sense of humor from?

Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book Launch
 Coincidentally, we went out and ate salmon sushi after the event. Yes, it matched my dress! 

So I chose this dress because I was feeling very madmen. Periodically, I am taken over by the spirit of Joan.

Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book Launch

I used to hate pink, but since Mad Men aired I find myself the proud owner of far too many pink dresses. It's very girly, but also very vintage, so I am slowly making peace with myself on the subject.

Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book LaunchGail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book Launch

I love my salmon dress because it has a very peculiar neckline ~ sort of a reverse sweetheart. Although my dress is clearly 1950s, research suggests that the shape of the neckline is one more closely associated with 1940s dresses, so my dress is probably quite early 1950s. It's unlined and labeless, so I wonder if it might be a modern bridesmaid dress made from a vintage pattern.

Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book Launch

I accessorized it with the following:

Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book Launch Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book Launch
Tan & gold belt from Target $14, and my Mod Cloth drivers $52 (I splurged for Christmas last year)

Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book Launch
 Hat by Mr. John for Remsohoffs San Francisco 1955 possibly later. Gift.

This amazing velvet and bead flower hat was a gift from my Mum for my Birthday this year, along with two others (a feathered number by Jane Morgan New York which is damaged and I will probably never wear, and an amazing evening shell and velvet with an indecipherable label, possibly "Marthe" 12, Rue de la Paix, Paris, future blogs pending). This one is a Mr. John for Remsohoffs San Francisco. You'll forgive me if I divert for a moment? John Pico John, the milliner known as Mr. John, died in June of 1993. The San Francisco Chronicle reported on his death that in the 1940s and 1950s Mr. John was as famous it the world of hats as Christian Dior was in haute couture. His clients included the Duchess of Windsor, Gloria Vanderbelt, Lauren Bacall, and Joan Crawford. His hats appeared in Shanghai Express, Gone with the Wind, The Painted Veil, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Needless to say, I am rather chuffed to own one but, honestly, until I was looking for something summery to go with the salmon dress I never even considered wearing it.
Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book LaunchGail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book LaunchGail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book Launch
Coral cuff from Three Sister's Consignment in Sonoma, CA $12, earrings from a set gifted me by an ex from Dark Garden at the Dickens Christmas Fair one year, and my obligatory Joan pen necklace, gift from my best friend one Christmas. I believe she got it from a Mad Men shop.

I wore my new Heartless sandals (I commemorate books with shoes, again I'm prepping a blog about this quirk of mine). They are pretty darn comfy for such high heels but I'm going to have invest in some pads for the balls of my feet if I keep wearing them as frequently as I have been.

Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book LaunchGail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book Launch
Calvin Klein sandals from Nordstrom's Rack c. $50.

Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book LaunchGail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book Launch
Ring from Target $4 and Camel Purse, vintage 1950s, from Hubba Hubba, LA $40.

Sadly, the two accessories pictured above died for the book launch cause. I busted the ring on the drive in, entirely my own fault. The purse simply fell apart during the course of the evening (the handle split, edges began to crumble, and clasp wouldn't stay closed). I'm going to watch my vintage leather purchases much more carefully in the future. Sad to see this purse go, but it really doesn't have the capacity it ought of its size so it wasn't really suiting my travel needs anyway.

Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book Launch

Lastly, I acquired one additional accessory upon my arrival. For there waiting for me on the podium was this lovely bouquet, and better yet, the smiling faces of two of my most adorable fans sitting in well dressed splendor at the front! As ever, they made certain to match the flowers to my dress. (Thank you Michael & John!) Of course, there is also Octavia for you all to meet, but that will have to wait until I have pictures.

In the meantime, here are some great ideas for taking a vintage peach/pink/salmon/coral dress like mine from Retro Way to Real Way . . .

Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book LaunchGail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book LaunchGail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book Launch
From left to right: Cora in Forever 21 oxfords + salmon floral print, Blugirl Fall 2011 RTW line, Paris street fall 2010

And the book to read with your salmon dress while you eat your salmon sushi and drink some fruity drink with a small parasol in it on the beach in some gorgeous foreign land?

Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book LaunchGail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book Launch

Why not try something a little tough and snarky like the excellent Valor's Choice by Tanya Huff? Military space opera, written by a woman who really knows what she's on about. Marvelous characters and alien races, extremely snappy dialogue, an endearing and tough heroine, and lots of fast action. Torin Kerr is one of my favorite main characters ever written, and I am a particular fan of this book (the first in the series) because it opens with a post sex pheromone hangover and ends with a battle based on the early Zulu Wars (late 1870s).

Gail Carriger: Dress her fore her Heartless Book Launch Events!

My dear Fashionable Readers, I have two local events celebrating the launch of Heartless coming up which means there is a style decision to make!

Gail Carriger: Dress her fore her Heartless Book Launch Events!

I simply can't decide between three dresses. One will be for an event this Friday in San Francisco and the other for a Thursday night reading/signing down on the Peninsula next week. Here are the candidates . . .

Gail Carriger: Dress her fore her Heartless Book Launch Events!
A salmon pink number, made of cool twilled raw silk with a funky edgy neckline. It's deceptively simple but a nice summery color and I haven't worn it much so I'd like to give it an airing.

Gail Carriger: Dress her fore her Heartless Book Launch Events!
Light jersey teal dress that I bought for the Changeless book tour. I haven't worn it since then. It has a bias cut swingy skirt and a diminutive pussycat bow.

Gail Carriger: Dress her fore her Heartless Book Launch Events!
An old favorite I've worn a number of times, the check black and white suit. The sheath dress underneath has a sleeveless cap boat neck. This one travels well and is one of the first vintages pieces I ever owned, so it shows up a lot.

Gail Carriger: Dress her fore her Heartless Book Launch Events!
 I wore this check when I first attended a WorldCon as a professional author. I met my publisher and my agent face to face in this suit. I took my very first head shots wearing it. It went down to Australia with me. Ah, good times.

Gail Carriger: Dress her fore her Heartless Book Launch Events!Gail Carriger: Dress her fore her Heartless Book Launch Events!Gail Carriger: Dress her fore her Heartless Book Launch Events!

So what do you think? Perhaps the salmon for SF this Friday and the teal for suburbia next Thursday?  Then again the salmon is cooler, so perhaps the teal is better for foggy San Francisco. But the salmon has a bit more SF edge to it. Or should I substitute in the check for old time's sake? It has the little jacket in case it's too air conditioned, but I have worn it a lot. If I do substitute, which event does it suit better (pun intended)? Oh, decisions, decisions!



Heartless book launch party at Books Inc, Opera Plaza at 7 pm on Friday July 8, 2011 in San Francisco, CA.

Heartless book launch signing at Kepler's Books at 7 pm on Thursday July 14, 2011 in Menlo Park, CA.

Gail Carriger: Dress her fore her Heartless Book Launch Events!
I know I know I should rightly be wearign purple. But all my purple outfits are very much cold weather centric. I should have timed everything more seasonally!
Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger Gail Carriger Wears Salmon in San Francisco for Heartless Book LaunchGail Carriger: Dress her fore her Heartless Book Launch Events!

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