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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 Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic

Curvy girls like self have to be careful of the romantic silhouette. It can, simply put add too much volume.
Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic

Then again, if you're too much a beanpole you can look as if you're artfully draped in curtains or a tablecloth.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ RomanticGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ RomanticGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic
 1934  The Meadow Brook Hall Historic Costume Institute; 1953 Jean Dessès  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1910s  Timeless Vixen Vintage

Above we see the first dress is a little insipid, I'd be careful with the cut and draping over the Rack although the v-neckline is flattering. The second is a little curtain-like, plus the color on me (pasty white-girl) not good at all. The cut is nice and it would allow for a full coverage bra, so it might make for a decent wedding dress in cream or ivory. The last might work, because of the belt, it's the kind of thing I'd have to try on, and I'm wary of the middie length.

My suggestion for us well endowed ladies, is to think of romantic in terms of relatively fitted silhouettes only with soft colors and sweet fabrics.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ RomanticGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ RomanticGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic
1950s Timeless Vixen Vintage; 1956 Audrey Hepburn Grace Kelly; 1960s Vintageous

Why I like the above dresses. The first has a nicely simple fitted top with ability to wear a bra under it, detail is at the waist drawing attention downwards, and the skirt if full bordering on tulip and not too long. In the second, Grace is wearing a fitted bodice dress with a full skirt, but the skirt is a filmy material and the dress has an complicated back. In the last, the suit is fitted yet made of lace and I like the bow detail. I'd be wary of the bow's location, though, and suggest something with detail work in the skirt instead like so . . .

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ RomanticGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic
Gail's own cotton dress with faux wrap skirt and lace details; 1940s  The Goldstein Museum of Design

In the first, the lace draws attention to the face and arms, and the wrap skirt pulls focus away from the chest. In the second, the asymmetrical peplum and pattern distract and the multiple tiny buttons means there will be no "boob gap." I actually have a dress like this with that 1940s peplum.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic
Difficult to see in this picture, but it's there.

Here are a few of my favorites of the modern romantic trend for Spring 2012.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ RomanticGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic

Pink on the runways, with good coverage in cute day dresses. Sign me up. Skirt length and style allows for flats, sandals, or pumps, details at the waist or hem drawing eyes down to legs, and tops that can be worn with proper bras. Do I hear a hell, yes?

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ RomanticGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ RomanticGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic
Nina Ricci's amazing print dress. Busty girls can't wear it because it's backless but then she made a pencil skirt. Coveting!!!

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic

People always think of pink as romantic, but if you can't stand the color (and I used to be like that) there are many other ways to get a romantic look with safer shades.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic
A touch of royal blue velvet with pearls for a very romantic look.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ RomanticGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic
Soft sandy grey in scalped edge shoes; Norman Norell 1955 via The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ RomanticGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic
Blue lace day dress in Valentino; belted cream evening dress from Badgley Mischka

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ RomanticGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic
Adorable lavender peplum blouse with Peter Pan collar; how to do edgy romantic with pants in mint and cream

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic
Red velvet with loose flowing hair.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic
 Miz Mooz green boots from my own collection.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ RomanticGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic
 Bronze rose ring from Target and headband possibly also from Target.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic
Not good for the rack, but I do like the photo.

Something romantic to eat?

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic

And something for Alexia to wear . . .

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic
 Tea Gown  Charles Fredrick Worth, 1880  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ Romantic

This post will wrap things up for my Spring 2012 fashion reports. Suffice-it to say that for the first time in a long while I'm exited about the season and my wardrobe will be appropriate to it. Long live Spring 2012!

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ Retro

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ Retro

 Odd, but there it is, Fashionable Reader. Here I prep this blog on how to do Spring Fashion Trends in a retro manner and one of the fashion trends is ladylike retro. It's all very circular and slightly surreal. So what I did for this post is select some of my favorite images and think more in terms of which ones will work with the rack, as well as give that retro look.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ Retro

What I like about the above options is that all the tops show can be worn with a full coverage bra. Also, if you are top heavy, shorts with embellishments will pull the eye downwards. Although these woudl add a bit of volume I might go for sailor shorts with brass buttons or something made of lace, not ruffles. Darker colored cardigans slenderize slightly. And a full coverage bathing suit! (One of the very best things about this trend is its consequence in the bathing world. If you dread shopping for swim suits this is the season to do it.)

A word of caution on modern retro. They still use the same modern size models. So if you have a curvy figure, the clothing still won't fit properly unless it has a nice lot of stretch to it. You're better of going to vintage in the end, plus that way you get something unique.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ Retro

Here's an excellent example of a Retro based add campaign. I like how the green one has some shape to the jacket (even if the model under it does not) but the yellow is far to boxy. I might take a cue from those lace collars, that would be an easy add on to any jacket and give a lovely vintage feel. One could even get a collar cheep from a thrift store on a different jacket and make the switch to a favorite blazers.

I've been seeing a number of Peter Pan collars about too, which are likewise easy to add to a favorite t-shirt.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ Retro

Another quick mod take away from the season's retro looks is a belted blazer. It can make the jacket you already have quite retro looking in one easy step. At a broach to the collar or lapel and you're there.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ Retro

I do love the full skirt print day dresses, knee length, also. They come off as so very lady like. Add a pop of contrasting color with shoes or belt to make it a little more modern looking. The great thing about a full skirt is it pairs well with both flats and pumps, unlike the pencil which really requires a stiletto.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ RetroGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ Retro
 Kathryn Artz & red carpet red

If you prefer something shorter in the skirt there are ways to hark back to the 60s and still show a bit of leg with this style. Go for a mod look with a narrower but still full skirt (the tulip, for example) in a slightly stiff fabric, that can be quite retro but still quite short.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ RetroGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ Retro
1962 Cristobal Balenciaga  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Separates, of course, can also be very retro. My favorite is always the pencil skirt and if you are heavy on the top it pays to invest in something with a little bling around the bottom. Draws attention to the legs (and, of course, shoes).

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ RetroGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ Retro
What I like about the above images is that the skirts (print in the first, lace in the second) draw the eye, not the tops. In both cases I might go with fitted knitwear or jersey instead of the white button down. The which button down and the rack are uneasy partners at best. I don't like the tomato shaped pink cardigan not flattering to curves, but the yellow pea coat look like it might have a bit of shape to it. And those white shoes are so adorable.

Of course, one of my favorite things about this trend is that it completely covers a girl up, from head to toe, and yet can still be both sexy and elegant. I love a look that doesn't show too much.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ RetroGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ Retro

In the first I love the big black buttons, although it doesn't fit her over the rack quite properly.  Buttons are a great thing to switch, adding a contrasting color or metallic button can have a very retro effect on the plainest of cardigans. In the second I like the belted cardigan, a variation on the belted blazer I discussed above. And windowpane plaid, I do love the plaid.

The easiest way to go retro? Ultra ladylike accessories. Jason Wu for target did a great line but by the time I had gotten round to my nearest it was mostly sold out.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ RetroGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ Retro

But you can find ladylike accessorizes all over the place, from your local thrift store to (these days) the Prada in Beverly Hills.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ Retro

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ Retro

I suspect you, Fashionable Reader, are in no doubt that Retro is one Spring trend I am wholeheartedly in favor of!

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ Retro

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints

One of the things to do for Spring 2012 is to mix prints. I'm not quite able to get behind this particular branch of the trend. (Although I might try it while in England just to be experimental.) Perhaps it reminds me of the 80s too much. Perhaps it is the fact that you need to buy prints in the same color family to pull this off well and I just don't invest in prints that often. However, I am getting rather taken with all the pretty flower prints I'm seeing everywhere.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints

So my thought on flower prints is to pick one statement print you really like and roll with it. Something light with clear colors for spring. If you don't want to bee too gilry there are some pretty cool abstract and stylized pieces out there.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints
This skirt has a peplum too, very on trend. I tend to be wary of overly bold prints, like the one above because (particularly with The Rack) I want to be careful about how the prints cover, point out, and emphasize body parts.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints

Here's a relatively subtle one. I like bolder prints if they lean a little Asian, as the one above does, or decidedly retro, which the smaller prints will do.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ PrintsGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints

Here are some lovely retro ways to wear this season's prints.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ PrintsGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints
Left is a funky street retro 60s look; right is the lovely Tuppence Ha'penny by Charlotte

 Here are some of my favorites from Spring 2012.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ PrintsGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints

And here are some blasts from the past . . .

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ PrintsGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints
 1922 Wiener Werkstätte The Metropolitan Museum of Art & Emilio Pucci, 1970s  1stdibs.com

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints
mark shaw model in studio of marc chagall (1950s?)

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints
Recently spotted in magazine, awfully familiar looking, no?

Don't want to do your print as a full dress? There are some great ways to accessorize with print these days. Also I do love the partial print, jsut at the hem or neckline. Like an embellishment they will act to draw attention to a particular area.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ PrintsGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints

Or you could accessorize with cake!

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints

And, of course, I could let you go without choosing something for one of my characters to wear. Here we have a gown for Sophronia, the main character in the Finishing School books.

Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints
1850 Dressing Gown The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger Gail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #5 ~ RomanticGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #4 ~ RetroGail Carriger Talks Spring 2012 Fashion Trends #3 ~ Prints

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