Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lust Objects ~ Art Deco Jewelry & Dresses

I blame P.G. Wodehouse entirely for my never ending obsession with all things Deco, Fashionable Reader. And while I generally can't wear the clothing of the late 20s and early 30s (although I've found a few 1940s things), I sure do love the jewelry.

Brooch  Cartier, 1925  Bonham’s

This one has a Sophronia fan kind of look to it.

I've posted a bit before about how 1920s dresses and outfits, in particular, aren't flattering on the Rack. Although, it is possible to find belted and fit and flair options...

Gustave Beer, 1919  The Kyoto Costume Institute; 1920 via the lovelylouisebrooks tumblr

Unfortunately, more common are drop waist filmy see-through numbers that do us, and our girls, no favors whatsoever.


But the jewelry is fair game. Of course, I can't afford the real thing but I am always looking out for good costume pieces (I've never been one to think you should invest in the Real Thing). Here's one of my favorites collected by a friend in the 1980s, and gifted to me a decade or so ago. I love it because it also has a steampunk feel.

Nevertheless, here's some of the Real Thing:

Earrings  Georges Fouquet, 1925  Christie’s

Cufflinks  1930s

Necklace  1930s  Sotheby’s

Pocket Watch  1930s  Doyle Auctions

1930s Necklace  Cartier  Sotheby’s

1930s Necklace  Sotheby’s

In modern times, Deco enjoys a near constant resurgence on the red carpet, in catalogs, and on catwalks, in some form or another. To this day I still remember Jay's deco dress (inspired by the Chrysler Building in NYC) from the first season of Project Runway.

Via the Project Runway Blog

 Here's a small sample of dresses I've noticed recently:

via frostedfashions tumblr L’Wren Scott Fall 2013; 2014 Atelier Versace Couture

2014 Alice Eve In Mary Katrantzou

 2014 Blue Lace Deco Dress $50; 2014 Mara Hoffman

2014 christina_hendricks_cannes

 2014 GaGa red carpet; 2014 Naeem Khan

2014 SwimSuit

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

You can also visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Rack Reduction

Given the title of my blog, I regret to announce that this is definitely happening, Fashionable Reader. I have my surgery booked and everything. I'm not going to change the blog name, mind you. I lived with a Rack for decades, I deserve to keep the name having suffered for it. Plus, they tell me they can't take me down as much as I would like, so my Rack with still be Rack-ish.

le-piu-belle tumblr

However, apart from the blog name situation I am SO EXCITED. Scared, of course, it's major surgery, but mostly excited.

My bra and my cat, for scale.

Here's the thing. I've never liked my breasts. I got them late, they kept growing and, by-in-large, inconvenienced me. Now at a 28 JJ they really negatively impact my life. I can't exercise anymore, I've no posture, my back is a mess, I've groves in my shoulders, scars all over my back from things having been rubbed raw and cut off, all bras are torture devices, I basically hurt all the time, and, well, you know the litany. I'm not going to blog about the process of the surgery itself, because you don't want that here. (There are many websites out there if you do.) Suffice it to say... it's happening and it won't be pretty or fun.

Purity  Pino Daeni

This is a blog about fashion and I must say I can't even express the thrill about prospective options once these puppies are down. Oh, the shirts I will wear! The dresses! I dread my own shopping habits once more of Nordstrom Rack is opened up to me. I wonder if my style will shift as a result of not having to wear vintage because it is the only thing that fits. I'm even looking forward to going through my closet and purging, or putting aside for tailoring. I don't know how many of my carefully hoarded and curated vintage dresses will fit me when I am through the months of recovery, and you know what? I don't care!

I'll be sad to lose the corsets. Most of mine are custom, earned with sweat and tears, and probably not able to be modified much. Although I have a relationship with Dark Garden and I know they will do their best for me. I own 11 corsets total (don't judge, we all have addictions). The two under-busts will be unaffected (and probably worn more often as a result of me not needing the support of an over-bust).

The infamous spoon corset should be fine, it's too small in the bust anyway, as should my vinyl. Both of these are off the racks and never fit my Rack correctly anyway.

My two favorites: the Class 5 and the cream brocade may still fit, depending on the size of the resulting boobs after reduction, as I balloon up over the top now, the Rack will likely just sit down in further after, which is better for a woman of my years anyway.

 My batty corset, I don't know, I rarely wear that one as it is so goth. I may consign it.

That leaves three that probably won't fit anymore: my foundation sweetheart (the one you see me in at events as an undergarment), my cyber, and my fancy.

I fit fully inside these three, and Rack reduction will have some notable effect.

"Say what you will about the formidable Madame Damnable, but I can see how she made her money in Anchorage. She’s got to be fifty-nine, and she’s still got a balcony you could do Shakespeare from."
~ Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

Corset Add michaelmoonsbookshop tumblr

What size will I be out the other end? Well, I asked for a C cup. But they tell me I can't hope for anything smaller than a D and it's most likely going to be DD (so see, I still get to earn the name Retro Rack). Fashionably, C would be best, because that would put me at an overall pretty standard size 6. Still, I've gone for years being a different size top and bottom so I guess I can continue.

Donna Mae Brown perched on a new 1950 Studebaker Champion Starlight Coupe

Meanwhile, I am working hard to stay fit and eat healthy before I go under the knife. I'm a little scared but I'm also so thrilled by the prospect of not being in constant pain any more. I hope you will please excuse some laxness in the blog'o'sphere as a result. I promise to let you all know how it goes as soon as I am back to sitting up and eating solid foods.

A word on the subject that I was hoping wouldn't be necessary...

If you are a dude (and it's always dudes) and feel the need to comment on my figure in a "heh heh, snort snork, you're so hot I hope you don't take it too far" terms... that is SO SKEEZY. Yech.

I'm honest on this blog because I have a wonderful relationship with my readers and I want them to know why there is a delay on my books and why I won't be online very much for the next few months. Respect my reasons, my choices, and which of these I have made public.

I write about gentlemen in my books and I expect you to act like a gentleman on my corner of the internet. If you wouldn't say it in front of your mother or your daughter, don't you dare say it here or to me in "private."

Source- That’s What She Said

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

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Then & Now ~ Black Lace Overlay


1878 Charles Fredrick Worth dress ca. 1878 via The FIDM Museum


 2014 Elie-Saab-Sheer-Sequin-Gown
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Occasional FAQ ~ How do I do my hair? Finger waves!

Finger waves!

Some have been kind enough over the years to inquire how I do my hair for events, specifically the finger waves. Here is a reboot of an older post from my author blog showing the process. 
Truthfully, I have a young lady who kindly does it for me, but here is a look at the process. The important thing about finger waves is to get the correct clips and setting lotion.

Below you can see that the top part is finger waved while the bottom is pin curled. It's impossible for me to sleep in the wave clips, but I can sleep on the curl clips.

And the final look, slightly brushed out.

Above is from the Changeless book tour back in 2010. As you may have noticed, since then I cut my hair much shorter but the principle is the same.

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

You can also visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Then & Now ~ Gold V-Neck Gown



Ball Gown  Jacques Doucet, 1898  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


2014 Valentino-Pre-Fall

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

You can also visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Fashion at the Steampunk World's Fair

Some other fun outfits I spotted at the Steampunk World's Fair, Fashionable Reader.

A steampunk Maleficent

There were so many amazing outfits, this a just a sample of the ones that crossed my path.

Self with Ivy on one arm and Alexia on the other.

Amazing knitted outfit! Hat, earrings, corset cover, bustle drape, gloves, reticule, Spotted Custard.

A fashion forward Bumbersnoot.

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

You can also visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.