Back when I started this blog, it was the dead of winter and I was going stir crazy in a one bedroom apartment surrounded by snow. Today, the sun in shining and the weather is lovely and I am still at this nearly six years later.
Time does fly.
Okay, so way back in 2011, I did this paper doll called Art Deco Goddess. I was full of ennui when I wrote that post. It is both melodramatic and whiny. Not to suggest that I’m not capable of being both melodramatic and whiny at my age today, but try to at least steer clear of being too melodramatic and whiny.
Anyway, I just thought of it, because Art Deco Goddess like Jazz Age Baby are both 1920s fashion paper dolls and this one can, of course, share clothing with her predecessor.
Jazz Age Baby, however, owes a fair bit to the hair of Josephine Baker and a bit to the fun wardrobes of ladies of the twenties.
Now technically, Monica should be wearing stockings and a garter belt and slip and all sorts of 1920’s underwear, but I thought another paper doll might want to borrow her shoes or she might want to get to be fairy or in jeans and so I did not give her period underwear. I’m pretty much okay with this choice. I rarely give my historical paper dolls period undies.
People who have been reading this blog for a while already know this, but I love twenties fashions. I love the hats. I love the shoes. I love the stylized art deco drawings of the hats and the shoes. Seriously, this era is among my favorites for children and women and men (though less so for men, gotta confess.)
Nevermind the fact that as a woman with serious hips, I would look awful in these styles. I don’t want to wear 1920s dresses, I just think they are beautiful on other people. (Mostly people made of paper who wear whatever I want them too, because I am their creator.)
One of the lovely things about paper dolls is that I can enjoy clothing that I would never want to wear myself.
I think part of what appeals to me about the 1920s is that people had outfits. It was not an era of mix and match clothing like we have today. People had outfits where hats matched their dresses and gloves and bags. I love the idea of matching outfits, as I have mentioned before. My obsession with trousseaux of clothing is well documented throughout this blog.
So, let’s talk about sources… One of the interesting things about twenties fashion is that, in the United States, 1923 is the date before which things are out of copyright. That means that things after 1923 begin to fall under various copyright extensions and other rules. Libraries often steer clear of digitizing works that are post 1923, because of concerns about copyright violation. So, I tend to rely on books more than digitized documents for my post-1923 fashion history needs.
To be honest, I don’t recall exactly what I used for this paper doll set, but I know I at least looked at these, as they are part of my history book collection. I know a few of her dresses come specifically from Classic French Fashions of the Twenties.
Let me state one thing first, on the record- Lynn’s underwear is not period. If I had drawn her period undergarments, than she’d never get to wear jeans. So, I chose to omit even a period slip for her in favor of fitting some fairly large hats onto a fairly small space. Pixies have big heads and therefore big hats.
I hope no one feels horribly cheated out of 1920’s undergarments.
It was really hard to give myself permission to do a small historical set for the Pixies. Normally, my historical Pixie sets are at least two pages and my Regency paper doll set was three. And I do have an 18th century set which has the dubious honor of being the largest collection I have ever drawn for the Pixies. It is literally five sketchbook pages. I’ve no idea how I am going to post it.
One of my big goals for 2015 was to draw historical paper dolls, because- frankly, I really like them.
But I also think if I always think “These sets must be huge” than it creates a lot of pressure to produce big sets. I think smaller sets can be just as fun.
The color scheme was fairly arbitrary. I do wish I had done something a little more fun with the shoes rather than playing it safe with black. I like to think that these three dresses cover day and evening wear fairly smoothly for Lynn. Long term, it is my hope to do more smaller historical sets for the Pixies. There’s no logical reason why they shouldn’t get to share in the single page historical paper doll fun.
I say this having just begun coloring the largest pixie set I have ever drawn of 18th century dress. I might be unable to keep this single page historical Pixie set concept alive.
Faye has decided to do a little time traveling and visit the 1920’s. I love drawing 1920s paper dolls and this one was no exception. Inspired by Anna May Wong (the first Asian-American famous film actress), I knew I wanted to use Faye, my Asian Mini-Maiden in this set.
(I did not give Faye Anna May’s wonderful bangs because every time I tried to draw them they looked… off somehow. Bangs and I just don’t always get along.)
Faye has shoes, stockings, a girdle, a house dress, two day dresses and then a swimsuit. She should probably also have a swimming cap, but I didn’t really think about that until after I finished the set and then it was too late. But she’s got a pretty good set of 1920s clothing to print and color, I think.
I really had fun with this set since I just bought a few more books about 1920’s clothing and wanted an excuse to play with them.
I’m trying to give more information on where I do my costume research when I say something is historically accurate, so I’m including a sources list, in case anyone else wants to dabble in the 1920s. It’s not exhaustive. There’s some other great books out there, just what I happened to use for this set and have on my own shelves at home.
A Few Sources for 1920’s Fashion History
1920s Fashions from B. Altman & Company. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1999.
Atelier Bachwitz. Classic French Fashions of the Twenties. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2012.
Blum, Stella. Everyday Fashions of the Twenties as Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs. New York: Dover Publications, 1981.
Lussier, Suzanne. Art Deco Fashion. Boston: Bulfinch/AOL Time Warner Book Group, 2003.
Peacock, John. 20th-century Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook. London: Thames and Hudson, 1993.
Do people find this idea of sources lists useful? I don’t want to do them all the time, but for my historical stuff I thought it might be helpful for folks. Thoughts from my fabulous readers?
I’ve been busily converting old color Marisole Monday paper dolls into black and white files. Sometimes, this is a totally painless process, but the older the files get and the more… cranky the line-work becomes. Still, it’s been rather fun and it is probably the only time I will ever do this.
So, rather than a “real” Marisole Monday post today, I offer three old Marisole Monday sets in black and white… all historically themed
Sometimes, this blog feels a bit like albatross around my neck, only with fewer feathers. It’s gets heavy and awkward and then I don’t update for a few days and I feel guilty for not updating.
And I tell myself, “No one reads it” (which I know to not be true, but it’s a good line) or “I don’t have anything to post” (which is also usually false) or “There’s no point in posting something when I know I don’t have a weeks worth of posts” (also not true, but it’s an excuse) and, of course, “I’m too busy” (which of all my excuses is actually sometimes true).
None of these excuses really keep me from feeling guilty about the whole thing, but they make the guilt slightly easier to deal with.
I wonder if other paper doll bloggers feel this way. I don’t know. We’re not exactly a massive community.
Wow, this might be the most melodramatic post I’ve ever put up on this blog and I almost didn’t post it, but I’m struggling to be more personal on the blog. The irony is that I have been drawing, but none of it has been blog related and I have tons penciled, but am having a hard time getting around to inking, scanning and coloring. But I buckled down this weekend and got some done, so I have high hopes for at least getting back to some updating.
Starting that trend is today’s Marisole flapper paper doll rocking some roaring 1920s fashions. She’s wearing a wardrobe taken from fashion plates and magazines of the twenties. While I love 1920’s fashion, I don’t know if Marisole wears it very well. She has pretty serious hips and this was a time when long and lean was the name of the game. So, I have some mixed feelings about how they all look. Still, I have enjoyed getting to do some historical stuff with Marisole and I do think she makes a pretty cute “flapper”.
I’m also playing around with this new “related” posts feature which I think might be totally useless. I’ll give it a few more weeks.