I don’t have a lot of familiarity with circuses, but I really like the colors and the shapes. I think the drama is awfully fun. I decided to create something fun and funky and maybe not very practical for average wearing.
Of course, the whole the idea of a circus based outfit, I suppose is that it isn’t very practical, but rather very showy. I mean, one doesn’t really associate circus with practicality.
Not that I know much about circuses except what I’ve seen on television.
I’ve always had a place in my heart for gothic fashion. Perhaps, because I grew up in the late 1990s gothic fashion revival. Or just because I really like all things Momento Mori and always have.
When I am working on coloring gothic fashions, I do worry all the shades of dark grey I used to make things look black can end up obscuring some of the details. That’s why I’ve put the black and white version in front of the colored version this time, so you can really see the ruffles and a pleats.
I chose black, because black is the most common gothic color. I accented it in lavender, because in Victorian mourning traditions, lavender (or mauve) was considered half-mourning. In case you’re wondering, the complexity of mourning dress half myth and half real. There’s tons of references to it in fashion magazines and etiquette manuals, but how closely it was actually observed is hard to say.
Anyway, the purse is a bit of a reference to Momento Mori art (which I love) and also a bit retro. I suppose it’s a nod to retro rockabilly sensibilities. The shoes, blouse and skirt all owe a lot to the Victorians, though no Victorian would wear such a low cut garment during the day.
In case you are wondering- “Hey, where is your collab paper doll?” Well, life got busy and I lost track of time, so my contribution will be up Monday. But you can check out Julie’s and Missy’s contributions in the meantime.
A secret fact about me a lot of people don’t know is how much I love classic 1970s punk. I’m talking classic stuff- The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, The Clash and Blondie (though their exact genre is a subject of debate). Anyway, this is the fact people rarely guess about me.
I suppose I just don’t seem like a punk rock fan.
Needless to say, I am. So, I knew I wanted to draw some punk paper doll clothing for the Dames and Dandies. One of the interesting things about Punk is that I really do believe it is a fashion movement that is tied to a place and time. 1970’s classic punk fashion is as unreproducible in the 21st century as 1890s fashion is.
Women in heavy eyeliner, torn clothing and bondage accessories just doesn’t carry the same punch as it did almost 50 years ago.
So, I don’t think this set of punk paper doll clothing is really 1970s punk (or I would have put it in the historical category). Rather this is some contemporary clothing with a nod to those styles. The truth is that the clothing worn by Punks was startling at the time. Today, I don’t think it has the same impact, as mentioned above.
The cropped biker jacket, torn tank and zipper skirt were all fun to draw. I really fell in love with both the skirt and the boots which you can see on my Punk Fashion Pinterst board.
My cousin Keri wore punk clothing and I remember I always admired her guts. I never had the guts to wear much that wasn’t mainstream. I thought of her a lot while I was drawing this set.
So, am I the only punk music fan out there? Are there other folks who enjoy it as well? Let me know in the comments.
P.S. I wrote this whole post while listening to Ramones songs. Just FYI.
So, I’ve had this idea rattling around my head for a while to create mini-wardrobes. Not, you know, whole sets or anything, but like mini-collections around a theme for the Dames and Dandies paper dolls. This is the first of these sets.
This might also be the last of these sets, but I really like the concept. I suppose some of my theme weeks are a similar idea, but I don’t really think all the 1940s pieces are mix and matchable which is a central idea of the mini-wardrobe.
Today’s Dame and Dandie Mini-Wardrobe is for the B Pose paper dolls and is sci-fi themed, maybe cyberpunk, but maybe not gritty enough for that? I’m unsure.
The idea in my head was to combine these pieces in different ways. The long sleeved crop top can be worn alone or it can be worn as a layering piece over the corset or high necked top. The boots match, of course, and were super fun to draw. I was inspired by this pair.
People ask a lot about inspiration. For this mini-wardrobe, the whole inspiration was those boots. I loved those boots.
Originally, this gown/armor thing was a design I had created with the intention of drawing it for the Sprites paper dolls. However, since that series ended, it was one of the few pieces I was so in love with that I couldn’t imagine getting ride of it. So, I redrew it for the B Pose paper dolls.
I’m not sure if this armor is decorative or not, but I loved the idea of a fantasy gown which was also fantasy armor. So often women in fantasy end up wearing men’s style armor and I wanted to engage in the idea of elegance and strength. I imagine this armored gown as something beautiful, but with an underlying practicality. It’s not really an armored gown as much as it is a gown that could also be armor.
I feel odd picking out favorite paper doll outfits, because I love drawing my historical stuff as much as I love drawing fantasy stuff, but this is probably one of my favorites for the moment. What do you think of it?
Let me know in a comment and if you love the blog, consider supporting it through Patreon.
Some people develop elaborate backstories for their paper doll designs. I’ve always wished my brain worked that way, but generally I end up tapping into my history background. So, I find my inspiration for each fantasy dress design there. For today’s paper doll design, I was thinking of 14th century medieval dresses of Europe. Dresses back then usually had a kirtle (under-dress) which as worn with a surcoat (over-dress) on top.
When I was working on this fantasy dress design, I wanted an over-dress that would feel more decorated than the under-dress. Basically, the opposite of putting children wore pinafores in the 19th century to keep their dresses clean.
Her chain belt owes something to the 12th century and the leather pouch I copied from this one I saw on Pinterest. I have no idea if that chain belt set up would work in the real world (I suspect not), but I did think it looked neat. And looking neat is really a more important priority in my paper doll drawing universe.
So, I’ve decided to take on The 100 Day Project on Instagram. Basically, I am drawing one dress a day (or more realistically several dresses and spacing them out over several days- I know me) for the next 100 days. If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, you can here. You can also follow the hashtag #100dressesproject if you want to just see what I’ve drawn so far.
Will some of these become paper doll dresses later? I deeply suspect so. But I’m intentionally only spending a few minutes per dress. My goal is under 10 minutes, because this is a thing I’m doing on the side. It is not my life.
Also, I have an alternative color scheme for today’s gown on Patreon for anyone who’d like to view it. It’s not just for Patrons this time. 🙂
In my head, probably because I spent too much time researching clothing and dress, I tend to categorize my fantasy clothing based on the sort of “source” material. Nothing exists in a vacuum after all. So, sometimes I look to Medieval Europe and sometimes I borrow from the 18th century in France and sometimes I find myself looking at kaftans. Actually, I was inspired by this Pinterest image and this one. I’m pretty sure they are both kaftans, even if they aren’t labeled entirely in English.
On thing I don’t know is if it is supposed to be spelled kaftan or caftan (or if it’s like Chanukah and several spellings are okay.)
Meanwhile, I’ve been fighting a truly awful few days of allergies. I had forgotten how rough spring is here in Alabama. I’m groggy and stuffed up and otherwise pretty miserable, despite the cocktail of medications I am currently taking. So, I am crawling back into bed and I hope everyone enjoys today’s fantasy gown!
Some era’s of fashion history I love more than others. I’ve always been a little conflicted about the 1930s. I adore the asymmetry art deco influences of the era, but often find the actual clothing a little dull. Still, once in a while I see a 1930s design and think, “I want to draw that.”
For today’s 1930s paper doll dresses the “thing” I wanted to draw were those sleeves on the dress on the left. That dress is from a McCall 7209, copyrighted in 1932. You can see similar sleeves in McCall 8371 and McCall 8599 from 1935 or Simplicity 1325 from 1933. The sleeve details of the 1930s foreshadow the broad-shouldered silhouette that will become popular at the end of the decade and then take over in the 1940s.
The other of the 1930s paper doll dresses is the one on the right with the scarf. That’s from McCall 8206 and is copyrighted 1935. It’s a more subdued dress and closer to what I think of when I think of the 1930s. The skirt drops quickly from the late 1920s when it’s just below the knee to mid-calve by the early 1930s.
I tried to pick colors schemes that coordinated for these, so that the hats could be worn with either dress.
If you’re thinking, but there’s no paper doll with historic underwear to go with these dresses, fear not. I have a 1930s Benedita in the works to accompany today’s gowns, but until she’s done any of the B Pose dolls can share these dresses.
Meanwhile, there’s an alternative color scheme on the Patreon page from my Patrons- donate and join if you’d like to support the blog. Now, would be a smart time to join, because I am currently doing my annual “Make requests” poll for my Patrons. If you’ve ever wanted to see a ballerina pirate paper doll dress, now would be the time to ask.
Some new post-apocalyptic designs for the B Pose Dames to match the designs I did for the C Pose Dandies. I had a lot of fun with these, though like a lot of my post-apocalyptic stuff, they are not terribly practical. Still I never let practicality get in the way of my paper doll designs.
The first dress I designed was the lily ball gown, but this dress is what turned that dress from just as “this would be fun to draw” into a “oh, I could make this a series”. So, I really think of today’s Beatrix princess paper doll as the inspiration behind the whole week.
When I was planning the Dames and Dandies series, I new I was going to have a stable set of “faces”, but I wanted those faces to have many versions. So, this is Version 2 of Beatrix– The Bellflower Princess Paper Doll version.
Also, huge shout out to my Mom, who when I was describing the flower I was remembering from the garden as a child, recalled the name of it and spelled it correctly enough for me to goggle it. The formal name for bellflowers is Campanula, by the way, which is what she told me.
I just thought Campanula Princess didn’t roll off the tongue as well as Bellflower Princess, hence the name change.
In the order of this princess paper doll design, the dress came first. Once I had it drawn, I wanted a crown and I came up with the idea of the flowers coming out from a pair of buns.
Once I had that idea in my head, I had to figure out how to actually create in a way that would work for someone cutting out the paper doll. So, I drew the hair style and the crown pieces separately.
Than, I used Photoshop to create one version of Beatrix with out the crown and second version with the crown. So, the hair with the crown can be cut out and placed over the hair without the crown.
This also assures that this version of Beatrix can wear a hat without floral crown pieces getting in the way.
I don’t often share my process photos here, because I try to save them for my Patrons. So, if you want to see more images of the raw beginnings of paper doll sets, than donate and join Patreon. I try to post a few “behind the scenes” images every month. I also put them up on Instagram erratically.