PAGE MORGAN has been fascinated with les grotesques ever since she came across an old, black-and-white photograph of a Notre Dame gargoyle keeping watch over the city of Paris. The gargoyle mythologies she went on to research fed her imagination, and she became inspired to piece together her own story and mythology for these remarkably complex stone figures. Page lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their three children.
Dresses, Waistcoats, and Walking Sticks: Favorite Fashions of TB&TC
Fashion is so not my forte. I want to be fashionable. I intend for it to happen. Sometimes I wear cute shoes or a top that gets compliments, but as a whole, I fail. So when I decided to set The Beautiful & the Cursed in the elegant and highly fashionable time of late 1890s Paris, I knew I had a lot of work cut out for me.
I wanted Ingrid and Gabby to be gloriously dressed. As the daughters of an Earl, they certainly would have had access to the finest dresses and accessories. Exactly what those dresses and accessories would be was, alas, a mystery to me. So I delved into fashion history and unearthed some fabulous things.
Worth Dresses: Charles Frederick Worth and the House of Worth had to have designed some of the most beautiful dresses I’ve ever seen. I didn’t want to get bogged down in descriptions of dress, but I did want to highlight some of the styles, fabrics, and colors, giving just enough detail to allow readers to form an image in their head, and maybe imagine the feel of the dress, whether it was satin or India silk or velvet. Take a look at this slideshow from the Met:http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/
And then check out this Pinterest board, So Worth It! http://pinterest.com/
Miniature top hats: These petite versions of the classic top hat apparently came into fashion during the late Victorian era, and were embellished with feathers, veils, ribbon, and more. I love the elegance of a top hat on a man, so to see that women wore more fanciful versions of them was very cool. I knew I needed to have Ingrid or Gabby sport one of these at some point, and I decided on one made of pale blue silk.
Waistcoats: I have to admit that waistcoats become my obsession when researching fashion for men. There is just something so attractive about a waistcoat on a man, am I right? Men wore these vests over their long-sleeved shirts, and they could be as utilitarian or as stylish as needed. I found one, an embroidered scarlet silk waistcoat, that I decided must be worn in the book. I gave it to Marco, who wore it to a ball that he crashed.
Ascots and cravats: I might be in the minority here, but there is something about a loosely tied cravat, or ascot (which is, by definition, a more informal way to wear a cravat, tied under the collar instead of over it) that is just plain smexy. Not all my male characters wore cravats, but it was fun when they did.
Gloves and walking sticks: For late Victorian era men, a pair of fine gloves and a walking stick was a necessity for some social classes. To take a lady’s hand in greeting and have skin-to-skin contact was nothing short of crude. Monsieur Constantine, one of TB&TC’s characters with French aristocratic roots, stands by this rule at all times. However, watch out for that walking stick of his in the next few novels … it’s more than just a cane!
Corsets: The S-bend corset took over in popularity in the 1890s, though I must say, the unnatural shape it gave women has me shaking my head. Corsets in general give me mixed feelings. Some are gorgeous to look at, and their purpose made sense in some ways, but what torture to actually have to wear one at all times! One of these days I might just try one on to see what the ladies had to endure back then.
What about you, readers? What is your favorite historical fashion or accessory?
After a bizarre accident, Ingrid Waverly is forced to leave London with her mother and younger sister, Gabby, trading a world full of fancy dresses and society events for the unfamiliar city of Paris.
There are TWO giveaways for this tour. The first one is for *five* signed swag packs! It is open internationally and all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below, or on any blog throughout the tour.
The second giveaway is for *two* signed, annotated copies of THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED by Page Morgan! To enter this giveaway, you’ll need to follow a few steps. Each blog participating in this tour will have trivia question or a trivia answer. They will be broken down between two teams, TEAM DISPOSSESSED and TEAM WAVERLY, with each blog having either one question or one answer from each team.
Match up as many correct TEAM WAVERLY and TEAM DISPOSSESSED trivia questions and answers as you can, and when you’re sure you’ve got them right send an email to: TBandTCgiveaway@gmail.com with all your answers paired up. There will be a few clues scattered throughout the tour to help you in finding the correct answers, but you do not wait until the last day of the tour to enter. You may enter at any time during the tour. However, once you’ve emailed in your answers, you may NOT enter again, so be sure to wait until you’re certain.
To help you keep track, Books Complete Me will keep the full list of trivia questions and answers here for TEAM WAVERLY.
You will find the full list of trivia questions and answers for TEAM DISPOSSESSED over at Once Upon a Twilight.
All giveaways are open internationally and end on May 31st.
Team DISPOSSESSED Trivia QUESTION: Gargoyles turn to stone when there are no humans on their territories to protect.
Team WAVERLY Trivia ANSWER: Vander Burke