Sunday, December 19, 2004

From John Baker, a book that might be of interest:
1st February 2003.
I'm reading A Second Skin, edited by Kirsty Dunseath. A collection of stories and essays by women about clothes. Research. Wonderful. Some of the women involved: Joyce Carol Oates, Carol Shields, AL Kennedy, Helen Dunmore, Freya North and Margaret Atwood. Lots of others, not such big names but great writers. It's a book about silver shoes and stripy socks, purple crimplene, cashmere coats, blouses, zippers, basques and handbags.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

I spent last weekend looking round Glasgow for the sort of place that Worldcon-going fans might want to visit next year. Mostly, of course, I was hunting down second hand bookstores. But Ken directed me to a place called Starry, Starry Night, a vintage clothing shop close to Hillhead subway station. Sadly I didn't have a lot of time to look around, and it wasn't one of Glasgow's better weather days, but I certainly want to go back and browse. I think our American friends will like it. There's a good combination of tartan non-tat and elegant 1920's dresses, tea rooms for the visiting of in.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I'm not going to post the picture this time, but check it out.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Can we blame Donna Haraway for this? Cyborgs R Us?

Saturday, July 03, 2004

LiveJournal user 'jwz' has found a fashion atrocity. He comments I would have expected that one couldn't go wrong with chicks wearing tv parts. I was mistaken.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Office Blossom Gear

What I was saying about Japan's being weird ... BoingBoing reports Office lady uniform catologues.
A super full-color publication documenting the cutest blazers, skirts, outfits and different uniform styles as introduced to you by the hottest current race queens.
This and lots more curious cutenes here.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Pirates of Plokta

I guess I should apologize for not having thought to take notes for this blog on the piratical fashions at Plokta.con, but here are some pictures.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Eyes like two shiny acid-green pools

Just when you thought Japan couldn't get stranger, you learn about Mills and Boon manga.
[T]he psychedelic colour scheme is a far cry from the subdued tones normally associated with romantic love.

And while the hero's chiselled jaw might attract a British romance fan, the heroine presents quite a different prospect. Her enormous eyes, dwarfing a mouth and nose of doll-like proportions, are like two shiny acid-green pools.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

So, er, who is coming to the Clarke Award and what are we all wearing?

(Don't look at me. I've miscalculated and all of my posh frocks are stuck in California.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Aha! A costuming site that I didn't know about. Thanks Ken!

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Umbrella Gothic Lolita

Check this out.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Eastercon was a complete disaster fashion-wise. Liz Williams was very elegant as usual, but with the BSFA Awards being shunted into Sunday afternoon there was no real incentive to dress up.

Blackpool, on the other hand, has a fashion sense all of its own, mainly involving acres of cleavage for the women and shell suits and England sports shirts for the men. The one saving grace was that I found a shop that specialized solely in shoes and boots with stilletto heels and which did not appear to be aimed at transvestites. Sadly it was Sunday morning when I found it and of course it was closed.
Mod-ren Girl

I'm not actually obsessed with her, it's just that Bart posts a picture of her every day at the bottom of his page and I have become fascinated by how different she looks in each picture. And in case you were looking for a prom dress: Take it away, Shirley!

Sunday, April 04, 2004

It started with a lick

One of my LiveJournal friends posted an entry consisting only of "OMG!" as a link to an eBay auction.

It turns out that My Teacup Pup produces more than just designer sandals for dogs. They do T-shirts, and jumpers with iridescant wings, and knitted dresses, and Female IN-HEAT Cheerleader Short! Don't forget the accessories. My cats would never put up with this kind of nonsense.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Sweater Girl

Fabulous pop star Shirley Manson of Garbage has no arms!

Saturday, March 27, 2004

An over-the-top bra

Well, I don't think this would look right under my t-shirts, and it's a bit on the pricey side, but...gosh.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Just to let you know, the Sydney sales turned up trumps again. I now have my dress for the Hugo ceremony in Boston. List price AU$259, sale price AU$89. I love Australia.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Drag for women

Had I not wanted to make it myself, and if money had really been no object, I would've got my wedding dress from Chantal Mallett. In her own words:

The collection ranges from simple, classic dresses in traditional wedding shades to more elaborate creations, suitable for clientele with a taste for the more unusual or those with a themed wedding in mind. These include a stunning red bridal gown in crushed velvet called Damsel & a, Diva like, white fishtailed gown trimmed with feathers & Swarovski crystals named Ice Queen. My designs are a mix of the various era's & styles that inspire me: from Medieval, Gothic & Elizabethan influences to touches of pre-Raphaelite & fairytale to curvaceous silhouettes straight out of 1950's & 60's Hollywood.

And yes, there are designs for those who like both froth and frills, and those who like simple elegance.

Friday, March 12, 2004


Just hit a minor semiotic squick with the picture posted below. Not quite the same as Avedon's, but ... it's like gender-bending and cross-dressing are OK but lingerie for men isn't. Don't ask me why. Minds are peculiar.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Gross me out

Oh, Feorag, that was cruel.

Maybe this is a bit better?

One of my kinks is that I like men either fully-dressed or stark naked, but not in their underwear. And not in mine, either!

A tuxedo would be cool....

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Let's face it, boxers are dull.

Found in the timesink that is Something Awful - Manties - Panties made for men, for the discerning gentleman who realises that women's panties simply don't fit properly.

For those nights and days, when you want to be and feel a little special, naughty, and very sexy, these Manties are for you. Once you have them on, it will be "hard" to take them off. They are made of nylon and have the extra room where you need it, for the most comfortable fit there is. Once you try a pair, you will wonder why you never tried them before.

Panties are for the gals

MANties are for the guys

Available in both brief and high cut styles, the number of designs is incredible - lacy numbers, bows and flowers and even embroidered with the days of the week.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

The Umbrella Project: Aye, these garments are truly made of umbrellas. Except for the lining of both bodice and skirt, the ensemble is 100% reused Umbrella skin. The goal behind the Umbrella Project is, as you might guess, to reuse the umbrellas that people casually toss aside when they (the umbrellas) fail structurally. And it probably resists beer spills quite nicely too.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

I thought hotlinks were the whole point of weblogging.

And I heard a rumor that that pop star is one of your drinking buddies, Ken.

The bra is on sale for 24 squids (on sale!), but I just love all this sheer mesh stuff it's nice to see something in it that isn't covered with heavy embroidery.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Personally I tend not to hotlink because I don't trust the other site to always be there. But then I always build my own web sites too so it is easy for me to host images. I have space and bandwidth and full control over content. I don't think you can upload pictures to blogspot.

Clearly this blog needs links to images in the same way that my own blog, or Ken's, needs links to articles. But I think it is OK to do them via ordinary links the way Ken did with the old gowns.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Two questions

1. Who is the pop star?

2. Isn't hot-linking frowned upon?

(Policy suggestions on this invited.)

Friday, January 30, 2004

Looks to me like two garmnents. There's a white slip underneath and then the black whatever-it-is on top. Doesn't seem to fit very well, but perhaps that's part of the style. Cute hair.
What is this girl wearing?

From the Wednesday-Thursday edition of Bartcop, a fabulous pop star in an outfit I can't quite understand. Wish there were more of her in the photo.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

One of the advantages of spending much of my time in America is that their stores are used to the fact that even many teenagers are massively overweight. I love Layne Bryant. They try hard to be fashionable, and the smallest size that they stock is just about right for my currently expanded waistline. I feel so cool being able to ask if they don't have anything slightly smaller.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Manifesto for the middle-aged shopper

OK, so I say something in passing to Ken about middle-age, and he laughs and tells me not to describe women between 25 and 45 as middle-aged, and I laugh and say “well what are we then?” and he laughs again and moves the conversation on.

And Ken’s reaction stays with me for the rest of the day, because if, at 35, I’m not middle-aged, what exactly am I? And what are the consequences of denying it?

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting older. A figure that looked overblown and uncontrolled when I was younger now looks curved and comfortable—and that’s despite being two inches larger all over. I know what suits me and pretty much stick to it (barring a few horrendous mistakes we won’t talk about). But buying what suits me? That’s a different matter.

Age has physical consequences. Most of us put on weight, and most of us change shape even if we don’t. I still remember the shock of realising my proportions had changed and that a whole set of styles suddenly looked really bad. I’m actually the same size in trousers as in 1990 but I had to get rid of my Levis and look for something with a lot more room for hips. I do not have a young woman’s body, I have a matron’s body.

But the heart of the clothes market has changed. Even in the 1960s, the mainstream fashion industry designed for adult women. Married women had the most money to spend on clothes so they were the standard model. Today, the industry is geared up mainly to the very young, who have more money than ever and spend a lot of it in small amounts but frequent intervals—a stock purchaser’s dream. So the rest of us are told that unless we dress the same way, and update as often, we are frumpy. It’s a very hard message to resist.

(Aside: the effect of using young women’s proportions to design clothes can be seen almost every time you see a woman in a blouse today. They almost all pull around the bust and under the arms.)

The number of shops that cater for this market is minute and mostly not cheap. Country Casuals , Monsoon and Jaeger are the three that come to my mind and I certainly can’t afford the latter. Forget Marks & Spencer’s. Their Per Una Range are teenage styles in matrons shapes; Autograph isn’t really designed for day to day wear; and their basics seem to have forgotten that today’s forty year olds weren’t brought up to wear pastels. There is nothing in the shop that reflects those who were teenagers in the 1980s, who want style, strong colours, and good cuts with enough room in the hips and bust.

In the past ten years, clothing stores have made one particular change that infuriates me. Most now often provide only one colour option with each style (maybe three if you’re lucky). If you don’t like pink and burgundy, last year’s “fashion” was a non starter. M&S have rather a nice twin-set in stock at the moment, but only if you like beige. The old BT advert in which Maureen Lipman goes through an entire sweater range, asking what colours something is available in, has become incomprehensible. I know I’m at an extreme in wanting only one or two colours, but I shouldn’t have to wait for green to “come round” every three years.

This is why I think it is important to say, quite firmly, “no, I am not young. I’ve entered middle age and I’m enjoying it thank you . I know what suits me and I’m not going to purchase clothing according to the most rigidly prescribed fashion, in only a limited range of colours and with cuts and styles designed for eighteen year olds with no curves.

Only if we identify ourselves as a market will the market cater for us.

Epilogue: the morning after writing the above I tried to buy a black sweater in M&S. It took me almost 20 minutes to find something that was neither frumpy nor designed for an eighteen year old. I couldn’t repress the schadenfreud later that evening when M&S reported their women’s clothing sales as 3% down.
Measuring for Bras.

One extra hint that I learned at Rigby and Peller (heaven on earth as far as bra shopping goes).

If you want a decent fit, after you measure around the rib cage, take two inches off. That way you get a bra that fits comfortably on the outside hook when you buy it, and can be adjusted as it stretches.

R&P by the way keep bras in stock in sizes you wouldn't believe: 52C anyone?

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Cool stuff

Quiet here, init? (Hint.)

Anyway ... check out The Decline of Fashion Photography: an Argument in Pictures (via), and Teresa on Geek knitting and The joy of stitch.