Fashion a History from the 18th to 20th Century

Fashion a History from the 18th to 20th Century: The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute (Taschen 25th Anniversary Editions)
by Akiko Fukai, Tamami Suoh, Miki Iwagami, Reiko Koga, Rei Nii

Run, don’t walk. I’ve been trying to order this book for a year! I guess Amazon had several listings, I finally ran across this one that had no thumbnail yet said it was in stock.
It arrived today. Zoink! I had no idea! By the price ($32 discounted) I figured it was typical small format Taschen, but when it arrived Mr. Kallisti thought I had spent a fortune. 24358745 pound box. Double format, hard cover in slip case, huge. And omg, the photographs! First volume 18th-19th century, second is 20th. I’m just sayin’.
Only 4 left as of this morning.

Restoration Comedy, or Love’s Last Shift

I dream often of living some place less expensive, where I could afford to buy a house, where the people are a little less politically correct, and the cars are fewer… (insert “Swiss Family Robinson” theme music here)…
But I’ve had such an amazing week, all due to local color and local comforts.

Last thursday we took my uncle to see “Restoration Comedy” at Cal Shakes theater, which neither of us had ever been to. A gorgeous outdoor theater in the wilds of Orinda, nestled amongst the hills in a glade of giant eucalyptus, we were dive bombed by dragonflies throughout the performance, but no mosquitos (pronounced muskeetas if you’re like me and yer mama is from the midwest)!

I’ll let you read more about the play here. It is only playing til the 30th. It was so brilliant and so funny, and oft times so very GAY that I was literally falling off my lawn chair I was laughing so hard. And the costumes! Oy! Lots of costume puns and general fabulousness. If this play comes to your town, SEE IT.

We had dinner downtown at “Casa Orinda”… and old timey relic of a restaurant that has gone a bit upscale but still serves awesome fried chicken and and steak and spaghetti and stuff. And they had REAL GRAVY. Like not brown gravy, or craft service yellow gravy… real gravy. I could bathe in it.
The icing on the cake of a perfect evening: when we dropped my Uncle off he loaded me up with yet another chunk of his ancient library… specifically the Restoration plays (printed late 17th century), a contemporary copy of The Beggar’s Opera (18th century), and a biography of Henry VII by Sir Francis Bacon (16th century). More on those later. After I roll around in them naked for a bit.
Sunday night, in the middle of our little heat wave (yes, it was 94 in El Cerrito) we went to The Merritt Bakery for dinner in Oakland. Another relic, and old diner, again specializing in fried chicken and cake! It was sooper. We then went and saw the pirate movie at The Grand Lake, yet another beloved anachronism: the gigantic gilded movie house. Used to go there quite a bit as a kid.
Last night we drove to the City for a hair cut. And nipped down to 16th Street and Pancho Villas for burritos. It may be hard to believe, but you just can’t get Mission style burritos anywhere but the Mission. Berkeley don’t have it. No sir. It is only fifteen miles away, and there ain’t nothin’ like it no where else. Sigh.
I am replete. Living here is no punishment, despite the high cost of living. I still fantasize daily about Baltimore or Portland or New Orleans or the Wilds of BigFoot Country. Sigh.

Orbyrarium: BJD Book

From the producers of Haute Doll! The first english language book dedicated to Asian Ball-joint Dolls. OMG, I hope it is as good as it looks! I’m reeeeeally excited about the Hypermaniac interviews. They’re fairly enigmatic, and my absolute favorite. And Mercy’s guide to all bjds ever. And so many patterns! My bonnet teacher is the lovely lady who did the pattern for the book, so all ya’ll will be able to get it now! And exclusive Liebchen… she’s gorgeous, btw, you have no idea the vast and exquisite skills of Miss Fancyboots.

Amazing cover art by Aimee. Mew.
Reserve a copy, for June shipment I think…
Karen, editor in chief, made a nice announcement on DoA for more info. If this one does well, there will be another! Please to buy.
Edit: Just found out from Mia that some pictures I took of Merry Wink (liebchen) are in the book ^_^ um… yayay!!!

One reason not to loathe Berkeley

The bookstores!
I don’t loathe Berkeley… but one always has a love/hate relationship with one’s hometown.
We went bookstore trawling last Saturday. Not only did I pick up an ARMLOAD of cool dolly clothing/pattern/costume books (mostly on antique dolls) at Half Price Books, but found these two gems at Black Oak.

Lewd & Notorious: Female Transgression in the 18th Century Edited by Katherine Kittredge
Breaking The Codes: Female Criminality in Fin-de-Siècle Paris by Ann-Louise Shapiro (with some amazing prints)

So yeah, I spent my haircut money on books. YAY!

Dear Universe,

You know I love the rain, but if you ruin my satellite connection for the Bleak House series finale I’ll just perish! (yeah yeah, it plays on 3 other channels all week. but I want it NOW!) Also, I can’t spray Mr. Super Clear in the rain (sorry Mercy, but the Eyebrows Mach II look FAB!!!), so I’m making a fairy ball gown for Aschenputtel. It might suck. But it might not. I hate when you can’t tell till you’ve spent two days on a project whether it will suck or not.
Speaking of Gilly (Anderson), we saw Tristram Shandy on Friday night and it was fantastic! Had serious gut splitting moments where I thought my eyeballs were going to explode. But best part??? LIBERTINE PREVIEW. Dude, I think I have a bodice ripper boner. March 10th.
P.S. I’m sorry I caused all that cancer.

Little Princess Alice themed Doujinshi

Grrr! Give me my BODICE RIPPERS!!!

Fucking fuck. Libertine and now Tristram Shandy are still in limited release for January 27th. Libertine keeps getting pushed back. Which makes me worry about Tristram Shandy playing here. WTF, I’m not in the frickin’ wilderness, for criminy.
I really want to see Tristram… they keep touting it as a book no one has ever read, but I’ve read it! I had a mad, mad summer 6 or 7 years ago where I read a bunch of Henry Fielding along with Smollet, Burney, Aphra Behn (ok, she’s 17th cent. whatever), Defoe and some other random stuffs. Tristram Shandy among them. Gilly is in it. I die.
Me loves some 18th-goddamn-century Literature! Rawr.

Speaking of Gilly… have we all been good li’l muffins watching Bleak House on PBS? Now THAT was a surprise! It wasn’t on the ’06 calendar! It just showed up on my TiVo box. Whoopeeee!

Mostly harmless…

We tried to see Hitchhikers last night in Emeryville with the effervescent and lovely Cola. We got to the theater early, got the best seats, but half way through the Star Wars preview the lights went on and the fire alarm started sounding. We were ordered out of the theater. When let in a few minutes later (a false alarm, duh) we of course had lost our seats. There was a long line of others who had lost their seats waiting to get refunds. So we left, went home and pouted.
I know I’m the last person on the planet to see it, but we watched Napoleon Dynamite instead. Seemed like a cross between Square Pegs, Welcome to the Dollhouse, and Ghost World. Took a long time to figure out what decade they were in. Still not sure because of all the purposely anachronistic references. But refreshing, none the less.
SO. We woke up early this morning and headed to the city to attempt to see Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy AGAIN. This time at the Sony Metreon. Where we could geek out on the rest of the surroundings before and after the movie. The film was good in its own right, but lacked the sparkle and verve of the BBC radio recordings, books & tv series. I loved Stephen Fry’s narration, he sounds very close to the original (though this is not a prerequisite) and I enjoyed the Marvin/Arthur Dent cameos from the TV series.
After the movie, and a spin at the Portal One arcade, we didn’t feel like going home yet so we headed to Japan Town for books & sashimi & soba.

Tanith spam.

Because I just nabbed this article off of the Tanith Lee mailing list. You must go read some LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
I cannot begin to tell you how much her books mean to me. She’s dreamy.
The Flat Earth series, specifically Death’s Master.
Don’t Bite the Sun & Drinking Sapphire Wine, recently re-released as Biting the Sun
The Paradys series, specifically The Book of the Damned
The Blood Opera series
Red as Blood, or Tales from the Sisters Grimmer. Duh.
On my list of things to do:
add an “All Tanith, All the time” page to Book Whores.
buy new books. I’m woefully behind! Metallic Love, Fatal Women, & Death Of The Day. Meh.