So, a few weeks ago before I dropped off the face of the earth, before I ended up sick, and before I discovered what fascinating colors old chicken curry can turn, I had a little drawing to celebrate the 65th Marisole paper doll ever. A wonderful reader known as Kat won by drawing and was so kind as to send me the following guidelines for what sort of paper doll she would like to see for her prize.
I was wondering if I could request a Puck doll. If so, I’d very much like to see him in a suit, so that he can take the gussied up Pixies to their soirees :). No real preference on the colors but I would like a boutonniere.
Now, I’ve never been pleased with the Puck paper dolls, but I was willing to try to make some dapper Pucks for her, so I set to work and it took a lot longer then I thought it should, but sometimes these things do.
It might be a few weeks late, but I am proud to provide two puck paper dolls in stylish suits. The first is Kadeem who I think of as a modern young man heading out for a date, though I suppose in his clean cut suits he could also be heading to work or something else. He has two different boutonnieres and a corsage for his date.
He’s joined by his good friend Gabriel, a slightly old fashioned gentleman, with a pair of black suits with red ties. Something about double breasted suits always makes me think of the noir movies, so I gave Gabriel an old fashioned hair style and shoes to go with it. Gabriel, Gabe to his friends, also has two boutonnieres and a corsage. If you slit along the dotted line on the suit jackets, the gentleman can wear their boutonniere.
I hope these guys were worth the wait, Kat and now any of the Puck paper dolls are ready for dates. Love maybe in the air.
It’s late on a Saturday and I have really nothing intelligent to say about this. I sort of dropped off the face of the Earth for a week, which I try not to do on the blog. It’s just been a busy week with house sitting some animals and classes. So, I guess I’ll keep it short and sweet.
Enjoy the paper doll, she looks a bit like a Xena Warrior Princess reject and I hope to be back to a regular posting schedule this next week with Marisole and some actual clothing for Curves 2.0 (I know, hard to imagine) and some new Shadow and Light paper dolls too. And maybe, if I get them finished, some new magnetic paper dolls as well.
I showed this paper doll as a sketch about a month ago, the reality is that it can take a long time before a paper doll goes from sketch book to blog. Largely, because I tend to draw a lot for one doll, lose interest and move onto another, so the drawing always happens in fits and starts.
I post on a schedule since I think it should be more even for the dolls and since it helps me not have long gaps in my posting. Plus inking is really boring, so I tend to do it in while I’m hanging out with people (who don’t mind chatting with me while I’m bent over a sketch book), watching TV or have an extra half an hour between classes and no homework to get caught up on. I have learned though that if I don’t keep up with my inking, I suddenly find myself with 15 pages to do and that always seems utterly overwhelming.
While these dresses have no real relation to historical costume, I did do a lot of reading up on the 18th Century for my Marisole paper dolls for the 4th of July and I used those books here too. Below I’ll talk about the books I used and why I used them and what I thought was helpful and not helpful about them- for paper dolling, I mean. This isn’t about academic costume research (though many of these books are good for that too).
I might have an addiction to exhibit catalogs. An Elegant Art: Fashion and Fantasy in the Eighteenth Century is older from an exhibition catalog produced by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for an exhibition in 1983 on 18th century costume. The number of lovely full color photos show off the costumes and a full listing of the exhibit in the back allows you date everything. Close up of fabric and shoes and particularly nice. Shoe research is really important to me, so I’m always looking for good photos of historical footwear. The text has several essays on 18th century life, including one on movement which I found fascinating.
Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Fashion in Detail is part of a series of books from the Victoria and Albert Museum costume collection. The upside of the books is that each garment has a clear line drawing of the front and (sometimes) the back. The downside is that the only photos are of detailed sections giving you a clear beautiful photograph of a button hole or embroidery, but not of the entire garment. I wouldn’t recommend this book on its own, but with other books that give clear all over photographs, it’s a great text and the line drawings are wonderfully clear and easy to work from. If I was going to give a numerical score, I would say eight out of ten. It also covers the 1600’s as well as the 1700’s which is useful (1600’s costume books can be hard to find).
Despite some really catty reviews on Amazon.com, Corsets: Historical Patterns & Techniques is a pretty good book about corsets. There are patterns, flats (which are useful since they show the backs of the corsets) and one full color photo each of the corsets in question. The text isn’t written to be an academic study, so don’t even go looking for that- it’s a book written by a costumer about corsets, with photos, a bibliography and a really nice range. The regency corsets are what made me pleased with it, but it also shows several different sets of stays from the 18th century. Good as a supplement to other books on this list. I do wish she’d given the full citations for her museum examples though… but that’s just the librarian in me.
Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century is the catalog from a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Each room of the exhibit depicted an aspect of aristocratic life, with costumed figures talking, getting dressed, making music, and other activities. The scenes follow the plot of the novel Dangerous Liaisons, but you don’t need to know the story to enjoy the images. What is delightful about the book is that it places the often over the top dresses of the era within their context in period settings. The posed figures sometimes make seeing the costumes clearly a little difficult, so I don’t consider it an ideal book for paper dolling, but it’s a lot of fun to look at and there are some nice essays included on the culture of leisure in the 18th century. It’s not the first book I go too when I need source material, but the full color photos put it in the top few.
Patterns of Fashion 1: Englishwomen’s Dresses & Their Construction C. 1660-1860 is not just a book of patterns, though it includes patterns for all of the garments shown. It is a wonderful book about historical costume with beautiful pencil drawings, lots of black and white photos of primary sources and excellent text. It doesn’t have the visual appeal of some of the other books on this list, but it does have some really useful images and each item shown comes with a detailed description. I used to avoid Janet Arnold’s books because I thought they were nothing but patterns. In reality, the patterns are only a part of the great material. It has no color photos though, so look elsewhere for eye-candy.
If I could only own one book on 18th century dress, I might just pick Revolution in Fashion: European Clothing, 1715-1815 from the Kyoto Costume Institute. The text I can take or leave, but the photos are outstanding. Despite the title, the clothing is really more from about 1750 to 1815, there isn’t anything shown from really early in the 17th century. The costumes shown include formal, informal, underwear, accessories and, my favorite, shoes. I also love this book for the regency period costumes it shows. Because it’s from 1990 and because it was a short print run to start with, the book is really expensive on the secondary market. I have not cross compared, but I believe the same photos were used in Fashion from the The Kyoto Costume Institute which is not insanely overpriced on the secondary market. In fact, it is still in print.
Lastly, I’d like to mention one of my favorite books about 18th century costume that has very few photos and isn’t useful at all for paper dolling, but it is a lot fun and that is Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution. The subtitle alone makes me really happy, but the book is a wonderful non-fiction work about the history of costume in the 18th century, French politics and Marie Antoinette, who was more sympathetic then I ever thought she would be.
And this was a really much longer post then I had intended… I suppose that is what happens when you let a book lover talk about favorite fashion books. I hope it is helpful to anyone who wants to do a little research into what they used to wear in the 17th century.
I’ve never really liked roses as a flower. I don’t buy them when I’m buying flowers, I’d rather have poppies or foxglove or tulips. But my grandfather grew roses and I remember learning how to prune them, so I have a certain soft spot for roses and I always will. I wanted to draw a formal paper doll, something fantasy based and a little over the top and roses seemed to fit the bill.
I am trying to get better at writing things for this blog. I’m a rather private person by nature and I don’t really like to expose myself even to people in the real world. Adding to that is the feeling that I really shouldn’t talk about my job (at which I spend about 20% of my waking life) and I can’t imagine my classes would be that thrilling and the only other thing I do a lot is play board games which also doesn’t seem ripe for discussion. Winning at Settlers of Catan four times in a row is hardly the stuff of interesting blog reading. (Though I do tend to build entire empires based on sheep and sheep alone, I am the queen of sheep.)
In short, I never know what to say. I am trying to get better and more comfortable and not put off writing something to the last minute. I am getting better at it. It’s just not my strength.
Despite that, or perhaps because of it, I have found myself drawn to the costumes of other groups. I’ve been reading up on Africa and Asia and the Middle East, but as I did my reading I stumbled across the traditional dress of Sweden and Austria and became interested in it as well. So, Adalind was born out of that interest.
It is funny the complicated routes paper dolls can take from idea to creation.
I am crazy busy getting ready for classes. I have nothing intelligent to say about this paper doll. Enjoy her. Play with her. Cut her out. Get her married. Take her home to meet your Mother… (Okay, maybe not the meeting your Mother thing, cause that could be kinda creepy)
Anyway, the point is to enjoy her.
On a quasi related note, I really do like how her hair came out. I am less sure about her dresses, but I think the hair makes up for it. I’ve been wanting to do a darker skinned Asian doll for a while. Her coloring is based on a lovely visiting Chinese student who was in my courses with me last year. We did a project together during which we both brought food to group meetings. I brought oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and she brought the most wonderful meat filled dumplings. As I recall, she was somewhat suspicious of our insistence that we dip the cookies in milk. I guess it’s not something they do in China.
I’ve been thinking about doing Harry Potter paper dolls for a while, but have be resisting the urge because I always felt like Marisole looked as though she was too old and so did the other paper dolls on the site. To me, Marisole will always be in her early-20’s and that means dressing her up as a student takes on kinky connotations. Not a place I wanted to go with my paper dolls. While I’ve always thought of Marisole as an adult, I’ve always thought of Pixie as a teenager (late teens, but teens never the less). So, it made more sense in my head to do Pixie as a Hogwarts Student for my Harry Potter foray.
Since I didn’t feel like drawing the same thing over and over again, I decided to do four different sweater and shirt combos- one for each house. The school uniform aspect of Hogwarts garb is a movie creation, since I don’t recall anything beyond a black robe ever being described in the books. Though most schools in the UK do have uniforms and, while I didn’t have a school uniform as a kid in the US, I did enjoy watching the kids stream out of school in their uniforms while I was living in England. It never ceased to amuse me.
Actually, the Hogwarts uniform have changed subtly with each movie, taking on a darker feel as the movies have gotten darker. Rather fascinating really, if you have more time then you know what to do with and you’re easily amused -or watching them in a row while drawing your Harry Potter paper doll.
Of the four sweater combos, I think I like the bronze and blue Ravenclaw one the best. I like the colors and I like how it came out. I should say that I didn’t really plan which sweater would be which house, it just sort of happened without me thinking much about it.
I think the doll looks either Latino or perhaps East Indian would be more fitting given that the school is in Scotland. Maybe a relative of the Patils… Hard to say.