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Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger

On the cover of Blameless (which may be my favorite cover partly because of the "oops" which you see in action here) Donna wears a loved wine red traveling suit.

Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger

It reminds me of a steampunk version of this famous one by Chanel.

Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger
Suit  Coco Chanel, 1938  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Here are a couple of outfits from my wardrobe that I put together to match the cover of Blameless.

Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger
A formal outfit using my Jessica Wiggle dress $98, a black velvet and feather jacket gift from a friend, black velvet hat gift from another friend, beeded bag gift from my mum, grey hematite jewelry set gift from my mum, and black and white spectator shoes by Via Spiga $50 Nordstrom Rack. 

Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger
A funky casual outfit using a leather look pleated skirt from BCBG $50; a jersey red shirt with Asian style from a thrift store in SF $15; gold and black patent mini bag inherited from my grandmother, ace of spades earrings from Dark Garden $30; and plaid tights from Target a few years back $15.

Thinking about Blameless reminded me, yet again of my love of the red dress.Here are some I've gathered from about the net that I consider appropriate to the Rack. First, retro inspiration . . .

Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger
 1955 Christian Dior cocktail dress via The Victoria & Albert Museum; 1963  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger

Some retro takes:

Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger

Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger

Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger
Self at Sword & Laser interview with pencil dress & Leopard; and rocking the red with white at WorldCon 2011 and best arm candy ever, the BFF

Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger
The Jessica Wiggle with black & white in Germany, and with black

And now for some modern options!

Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger
 Three looks from Elie Saab Spring 2013

Blameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger
Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique Belted Dolman Sleeve Sheath Dress

I'm optimistic. Looks like red might be around for Spring 2013. Regardless, I'll wear it anyway.

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

Gail Carriger in Red & Leopard on Sword & Laser

So on Tuesday, Fashionable Reader, I gussied myself up and drove north for an interview with Sword & Laser. As ever I tried to follow the rules set out for me when choosing an outfit for film. However, this time around I did ignore the no red rule. I can't help it, I like red too much.

Gail Carriger in Red & Leopard on Sword & Laser
From left to right in rows: dress, Moon Zoom, Santa Cruz $35; hat Bon Marche Thrift Store, Sonoma $7; Red & Gold vintage 1920s necklace, gift from AB; vintage broach & earring gold set, gift from Mum; steampunk earrings, Teslacon dealers room $20; black octopus necklace, gift from reader; metal belt Bon Marche Thrift Store, $5; glasses vintage frames with new lenses; Calvin Klein wedge sandals from Nordstrom Rack $40; black gloves; Bamboo black oxfords Marshalls $10; gold gloves, Haight Street.

The outfit board above includes flats for driving, and various jewelry options. As you can see, I went with the octopus necklace and the steampunk earrings. I also added my steampunk bee hat pin, but it's impossible to see in the photos in detail.


The completed outfit. As you can see, I forgot the gloves. However, I was out shopping after the interview and picked up this awesome pair from H&M.

Gail Carriger in Red & Leopard on Sword & Laser

So I am ready for next time I need leopard. (Yes, sometimes leopard print is indeed a need.) I also got a leopard print belt as I wasn't happy with the way the metal one cut in on this dress. The wardrobe, she is ever evolving.

Gail Carriger in Red & Leopard on Sword & Laser

But back to the outfit!

I also carried my vintage tilting fold-able black parasol.

Gail Carriger in Red & Leopard on Sword & Laser

We hadn't planned at what point I would put it away so I eventually just did it during the interview. Meh, something interesting to watch, I suppose. While it was up it did make the hat pop, that black backing. I'm ridiculously fond of this leopard hat. If I'd known I would be sitting I might have chosen a different dress, this one poofs, looks good standing, not so much sitting, but too late now.

Gail Carriger in Red & Leopard on Sword & Laser

After the show we took some publicity stills.

Gail Carriger in Red & Leopard on Sword & Laser

And I kissed Lem the dragon:

Gail Carriger in Red & Leopard on Sword & Laser

And then I accidentally photo bombed the Giz Wiz show while I was touring the amazing studio facilities. Some confusion ensued.

Gail Carriger in Red & Leopard on Sword & Laser

Red with leopard is a pretty classic combination. It can get very va-va-voom so I suggest trying to be pretty demure about it.

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

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

Gingham always seems to have a bit of a retro feel to me, no matter what you do with it. It says homey country kitchen, apple pie, picnics.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

Oh what a beautiful morning,
Oh what a beautiful day,
I've got a wonderful feeling,
Gingham is coming my way.

Sorry, getting a little carried away there. Where was I? Oh yes, gingham. A member of the check family, I believe. Most often seen in black and white, red and white, or blue and white.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham


But I really came around to gingham when I spotted this adorable tennis dress in a local vintage shop. It was muslin and looked very cool and light, and something that woudl pair with flats. All top concerns for my wardrobe and upcoming Comic Con.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red GinghamGail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

 It was labeled 1970s but I think it might be more late 1960s.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

It's actually meant to be tighter and shorter on someone a bit larger than me, but I liked it so much as a more 1920's loose feel (and this way it fit the Rack). I walked away from it the first time and then went back after contemplating it for a couple weeks, luckily it was still waiting for me.

Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

I wore it with cream accessories and cream flats. I made a silly little hat out of a knitted pettit four that a reader gave to me in Portland. (More on that in a separate DIY blog to come.)

As I said, gingham as been around forever. Here's a little retrospective . . .

Before the turn of the century:


Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham
 1840-1845  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Next up, silly DIY hat. I leave you with self much appreciating a lovely cup of tea at Comic Con mid day. Small pleasures make all the difference.
Gail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red Gingham

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

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired ~ Day Dresses

So, Fashionable Reader, I sacrificed my longed for vintage cream day dress on the alter of a cute retro blush-colored 1920s flapper dress instead. Still, I could not resist the sway of the day dress and turned my attention to patterns.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

With ComicCon coming up, I felt I was justified in investing in one for such an august occasion. After all, what's a girl to wear to stand out at ComicCon but adorable vintage dresses? ( I watched the new Morgan Spurlock documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope, it is fantastic, and insightful, and preparatory!) Something cool that packed well, with a nice full skirt.

I was shopping on Haight Street (where I found the blush dress) and I happened upon this newly opened shop: Relic Vintage. Sweetheart of an owner, knows his stock extremely well. We got to talking, I told him my Rack Woes, and he suggested this dress:

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

So cute! A light packable rayon, little sleeves, full skirt, matched belt and even better . . .

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

Comes with a jacket! You know how I feel about matched dress suits. I love them. I love them son. This one fit me beautifully so it came along home.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses
1950s Day Dress Relic Vintage $75

It cost a little more than I like to spend on a dress but it ticked so many boxes . . . of course, had I known what was to come, I might have passed on it. I haven't had a chance to wear it yet, you'll have to wait for the ComicCon photos, I think. We shall see, I might take it down for the Sunnyvale Library Event.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day DressesGail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses
 1902  Whitaker Auctions; dress made of china

Later that same week, I was visiting a newly opened shop in Alameda, Juniper Tree Vintage Fashion, and what did I find? Another rayon, packable, perfectly fitting 1950s day dress! In shades of cream, brown, and blue. With neck pleating and a bow belt! Sigh. Of course I bought it. I have no will power.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses
Juniper Tree Vintage Fashion 1950s $85

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

Just look at the belt, how cute is that?

This dress reminded me of all those beautiful soft colored flowered tea dresses of yore.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day DressesGail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses
 Norman Norell, 1954  Augusta Auctions; the lovely Charlotte of Tuppence Ha'penny

This one is lined, so it's a little warmer than I'd like, but lining always helps for durability and indicates a higher quality, plus the pack-ability and ease of wearing really sold me on it. It's the kind of dress you can pop on without thinking about it. Great for weddings and picnics and any other daytime occasion. Easy to dance in, too. I liked it so much I wore it for an outing to the Alameda Vintage Fair that very Friday.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

And then, because it was muslin, light as air, and (you guessed it) red, I also picked up this adorable check tennis dress. The label said 1970s, I think it could be a little earlier, late 60s. It's so cute with flats for the beach or a very hot day.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses
1970s Red Check Jumper from Juniper Tree Vintage Fashion $38

I do love me some check.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day DressesGail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

 Retro shoes; 1942 add

I feel a little like I planned to buy a full skirt and ended up with yes, two full skirts, but also two sort of 1920s cuts. Which normally I avoid. There must be something wrong with me.

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses

Next up, Fashionable Reader,  I'll shall report on the wonderful Alameda Vintage Fair, a blast was had by all. There are silly pictures. And I may have bought something Parasol Protectorate related!

Gail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day Dresses
*enter obligatory Monty Python god-speak here*

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

Gail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro Outfit

Because I was trying to travel light I didn't bring full steampunk to Europe with me. However, I did have two steampunk events so I thought I would kind of jury rig an outfit.

Gail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro OutfitGail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro Outfit

Basically I took my old favorite stretchy red cocktail dress and added lots of details and accessories. For the hair I took a bow hairband and modified it with some steampunk buttons and an octopus and a feather that could add in or be taken out.

Gail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro Outfit

I put a little vintage-inspired lace shrug I bought from Newport News about 8 years ago and some red gloves to handle the cold. For jewelry, I wore an octopus necklace, spy glass necklace, and steampunk earrings. My Dark Garden waist cinch corset with Ruby Blackbird steampunk busk covers made for a wasp waist look.

Gail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro OutfitGail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro OutfitGail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro Outfit

I added my modified belt (made from a pair of cargo shorts) and the Miz Mooz red pumps. The blush colored underskirt is a short one by Free Poeple I bought recently from Nordstrom Rack, I pulled it way down and wore it with stocking suspenders so it came out the bottom properly like a ruffle and gave a 1930s length.

Gail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro Outfit

The rack was definitely on display, but sometimes that's necessary with steampunk.

I wore the same outfit to the steampunk gathering up in Nottingham at Waterstones on Friday night as well.

Gail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro Outfit

I'm not certain how much online time I will have for the next to weeks, so this may be the last entry for a while.
Gail Carriegr in aRed Polka Dot Pencil Dress in San Antonio, WorldCon 2013 Outfit Report: Day 3Gail Carriger WorldCon 2013 Outfits In RetrospectThen & Now ~ Oxblood DressBlameless Inspired ~ Red Dresses by Gail Carriger Then & Now ~ Red DressGail Carriger in Red & Leopard on Sword & LaserThen & Now ~ Red DressGail Carriger at Comic Con 2012 Outfits ~ Day Four Red GinghamGail Carriger's Recently Acquired  ~ Day DressesGail Carriger in a Steampunk Meets Retro Outfit

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