On more than one occasion I have been asked about finger waves, Fashionable Reader. Be warned, it really does take a lot of time. Sadly, I have never chronicled them step-by-step on myself, but what follows are a few photos from a session I did some years back, and here's a good blog on the subject.
Marcel wave, tighter and stiffer; finger wave looser softer. The one can often relax into the other.
You really need the right tools and the right person, soemone who knows hot to do it. Then you have to sit for hours. And in order to keep it for the length of an event, sleeping with your head wrapped in a silk scarf very still is the only way. Honestly, I don't know how those ladies in the past did it every day!
So, I have a young lady who kindly
does my waves for me, but here is a look at the process. And here is someone else's blog describing basically what happens. The important thing
about finger waves is to get the correct clips. My girl likes the vintage banana ones, sort of like those big plastic ones from the 80s only smaller. They yield a very tight wave, more like a Marcel then a finger.
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.
These days my hair is shorter, and I'm less stressed about getting it perfect, and I sleep on it without as much care to fly always, frankly I don't have much time. But, there it is.
Recently, according to Pip, I received the Bookie award for best dressed character in the form of Alexia Tarabotti. (I can't seem to find any evidence of this online, Fashionable Reader) but I trust Pip for she was at Authors After Dark reporting in.
Upon learning of the win, Alexia was suitably honored, Ivy was crushed, and Lord Akeldma took all the credit for loaning Alexia Biffy during her rise to fashionable mavin of London high society.
Above you can see two quintessentially Alexia dresses from 1874. An American designed walking dress and a French designed reception dress ca. 1874 From the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Alexia is fond of blue and stripes and perch hats.
Below, I present a collection of some of Alexia's best moments present to you int he form of cover art, fan art, cosplay, and original fashion plate fodder. I do hope you enjoy it!
Alexia in Soulless Design Board
The cover that wasn't; the pose the wasn't.
Japanese cover art for Soulless
Alexia in Soulless the Original (1873)
The Polish cover shows more of the dress; 1883 Dinner Dress Charles Fredrick Worth The Kyoto Costume Institute for color inspiration.
1873 fashion plate
Alexia's day dress; dress for shopping
Alexia's first parasol.
Alexia in Soulless Volume 1, The Manga
The first manga cover art; cosplay
Emile Pingat, 1874; and character sketch from the manga
1874 Fashion plate
1874 Striped dress
Amazing striped Swiss waist with matched bustle.
Alexia in Changeless (1874) & Omnibus Volume 1 & Soulless Manga Volume 2
Polish cover again, shows more of dress; self cosplay of cover.
Omnibus Vol. 1 cover; Alexia cosplay
Manga Soulless Vol. 2 cover art; inspiration for Alexia floating dress
1870 The Philadelphia Museum of Art color inspiration; 1874 more diminished bustle
Alexia walking and visiting dresses inspiration.
Dirigible floating dress inspiration from skirt tapes
Inspiration for the deck of the dirigible scenes.
The new parasol.
Fan art; steampunk from NY Comic Con cosplay fake cover photo fun.
Alexia in Blameless (1874)
Blameless cover art; Emile Pingat (1820–1901), Parisfor color inspiration
Highly modern French influenced walking dresses for Alexia to try.
Inspiration for the frilly dress Alexia is made to wear in Italy, left is a 1874-5 wedding dress of white linen cambric with ivory ribbob and machine silk blonde lace.
Alexia in Heartless (1874)
Cover art for Heartless; Alexia's new more flowy choice of clothing
1874 Charles Fredrick Worth The Kyoto Costume Institute
Hungarian painter Szinyei Merse - The Lady in Purple; Day Dress France, ca. 1874 Silk taffeta Biffy has begun "Frenching-up" Alexia wardrobe.
Alexia in Timeless (1876) & The Omnibus Vol. 2
Timeless cover art; Alexia walking dress
Omnibus Vol. 2 Cover art; summer day dress USA 1870-1874 Royal Ontario Museum
Alexia's style has grown more relaxed and breezy under the drone's tutelage. Although the fashions remain quite severe.
Evening dress, 1876-77 US, the Met Museum; day dress 1876
Japanese Cover Art for Blameless
1878-1880 The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Matt Harrison fan art
The Parasol Protectorate mangaka-chan
Well, I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Now you can play a rousing game of "spot that dress" if you read the books! Or reread them.
One of the things I always tried to do, for example, was find time during copy edits to write in a small paragraph describing the dress Alexia wears on the cover within the text. (Excepting Soulless for obvious reasons.) The scene for Changeless was particularly fun to write for various amusing Ivy-related reasons.
And, of course, my hugely non-period German covers show up on stage in Timeless.
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.