Marie Antoinette

EDIT: Read my review here ^_^
Ok, I’ve waited to watch the trailer til just now. I love suspense. Like pretending Christmas isn’t next week.
And I have to admit I got shivers. Opens October 20th. I am a-quiver.
My passion for history and rococo in general, and the French Revolution in particular, need not be explained. I really adore Sofia. I super crush on Dunst and the little spaces between her teeth (boing!). And I really love the 80’s. If it doesn’t suck, I will so win.
*flutter* Shirley Hendersen, Marianne Faithful, Judy Davis… wah!
And this is as good a time as any to make the announcement official: Décolleté 2.0 is up! The Severed Head Gallery is TEN YEARS OLD! Can you stand it? It originally went up in the winter of 1996, when I was under-employed and living in New Orleans. I’ve now officially moved it from Chapel Perilous to Home is where the heart is, eh?
Check out the Marie Antoinette galleries. And the Guillotine Galleries too! I will need to add an entry for Coppola’s film I’m sure… unless I hate it. Which I hope I don’t. Woo!
Warning: Working out some display issues in Firefox! I’m still working on expanding the galleries, links, and references. I have so, SO much material that is not posted. Hence my whinging about movable type and photogalleries the other week. Well, I’ve made it work, for the nonce. Feedback, corrections and suggestions very much welcomed! Just don’t tell me it sucks in Firefox. I know…

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.

Bastille Day 2006!

Yesterday we celebrated July 14th with Ze “Bal de la Victime” Bastille Day Dolly Picnic! ‘Twas awesome. Myself, Mr. Kallisti and Butter, picked up The Robots (Nadja & Will) and met up with St. James, Idrisfynn & JennyNemesi near Pioneer Meadow in GG Park. Unbenownst to us the meadow had been taken over by large tents and giant african foam heads o_o. So once KellyHime and Mr. KellyHime showed up on their vespa, we nipped around the bend to the Rose Garden (two rose garden dolly picnics this summer!) and claimed the least swampy bit of rising ground. Maggie joined us shortly, I’m glad she got the communique that the little group had moved!

(Ondine as the costumer who forgot her contacts :p)
The weather was wacky, alternately sunny and bright then cold, blustery with billowing fog. You’ll notice in the pictures how they suddenly turn leaden grey or are over exposed. Ugh! Still, we had parasols, lots of parasols. Cake and booze unburdens the soul. Olives and brie feed the mind. And my new favorite cocktail: Trader Joe’s Blueberry Soda with B & B (cognac & benedictine)… YUM!
I’ve been sewing for two weeks preparing two outfits. The empire Merveilleuse dress Aurelie is wearing and the split bodice Patriot dress for Hermione. I think pattern making has finally clicked, I drafted two dresses and a corset in the past two weeks. Wooo! You can see inspiration from my collection of images of costuming circa the French Revolution.

(the custom cake from The Cake Gallery. reeeeeeeeeeally goooooooood! btw, re: marie antoinette… she never said that.)
Click for full gallery!


Apparently last month was Waugh Month in the UK, and I’m missing it! *cry!*
I’ll be stalking the following programs, that’s for sure. Mr. Loveday’s Little Outing. Meh. Please note the delicious David Warner. Is there a fan club? He vies for my heart with the likes of Oliver Reed.
Dude, wtf, they redid the Quatermass series??? My inner Hammer Whore might just have to order that. I’ve been watching Viva Blackpool. Not sure if I’ve warmed up to the karaoke numbers yet. But it is otherwise fun/creepy mystery drama.
We also have upcoming BBC drama Beau Brummel, let’s see if James Purefoy can out beau 1954’s Stewart Granger. Mwowr.
For the Victorian how-to enthusiast we have The Life of Mrs. Beeton.
And holy cow! Another Jane Eyre! Whodda thunk it. This feisty young Victorian heroine looks fun too.
Aw, and just when you thought they’d do Mansfield Park or Northanger Abbey we get another Sense & Sensibility instead. Not that I mind, mind you. Just thought there was territory less explored.

O, Bess!

I’ve been sitting on this one for a couple weeks (shut up!). I can barely take it any longer. I keep seeing the HBO teasers and am tickled to pieces this is coming to the U.S!
Elizabeth I
Starring Helen Mirren & Jeremy Irons.
That is all. I die.

This had garnered some awardage last year in the U.K. I’m impressed that HBO jumped on it. And it looks to be an improvement on “The Virgin Queen” (blech! though duff is super cute in the virgin role) that aired earlier on Masterpiece Theater.

Influences & Inspiration

Thank so much to everyone and your lovely comments on my naughty etchings. That was the best feedback ever. The shoot has been months and months in planning, and there are still things that I would have done differently (those damn Louis XIV heels!), but I was so tired of putting it off.
And the girls were antsy ^_^
In any case, I wanted to share a bit of my inspiration and resources. I’ve been fascinated with vintage erotica for years. And not just old cheesecake. It was Aretino’s etchings and Rochester’s poetry that sent me off on this quest, nigh on 15 years ago. And I’ve since amassed a sizable library of erotica, from rather ancient times to 1950’s burlesque.
One of the things that tickled me the most really, was how much of the things we do, modern egoists that we are, they’ve been doing for millenia. Nether region depilitation? Done. Bondage? Done. Crossdressing? Done. Sadism? Done (and long before deSade!). Frigging with inanimate objects? Done, done and done. Dildos and suchlike have been popular for centuries. I wish someone would pen a history of the dildo. The stuff online is very scanty and some of it woefully innacurate.
They were made out of wood, ivory, leather and similar materials. Used independantly or with harnesses. DeSade had his wife smuggle them in varying sizes, shapes and materials into prison for him.
In any case, I ain’t makin’ this up. Images below are, of course, not work safe.

Continue reading Influences & Inspiration

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!

“Bog of lust”

Because some things are better on the way back up.

Random hard drive image searches are fun.

Retro 80’s party in 1994. Two color fancy invite! I had to run it through the copy machine twice to do that o_0 those were the olden days!
I miss New Orleans so much it aches.

Sayonara Chef!

In a followup to my previous post:

Isaac Hayes, chef no more: Isaac Hayes announced yesterday that he’s quitting his gig as the voice of Chef on “South Park” because he objects to the show’s religious satire. “There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins. Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored. As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices.” “South Park” co-creator Matt Stone says the split might have something to do with Hayes’ belonging to the Church of Scientology. “This has nothing to do with intolerance and bigotry and everything to do with the fact that Isaac Hayes is a Scientologist and that we recently featured Scientology in an episode of ‘South Park,'” said Stone. “In 10 years and over 150 episodes of ‘South Park,’ Isaac never had a problem making fun of Christians, Muslims, Mormons and Jews. He got a sudden case of religious sensitivity when it was his religion featured on the show. To bring the civil rights struggle into this is just a non sequitur. Of course we will release Isaac from his contract and we wish him well.” Stone’s partner Trey Parker said they’d actually put off making fun of Scientology out of respect for Hayes. But after Penn Jillette was reportedly banned from poking fun at the religion on his Showtime series “Bullshit,” they decided it was time, and last November aired “Trapped in the Closet,” in which one of the “South Park” kids became a Scientology savior and Tom Cruise got locked in a closet. “Finally, we just had to tell Isaac, ‘Dude, we totally love working with you, and this is nothing personal, it’s just we’re ‘South Park,’ and if we don’t do this, we’re belittling everything else we’ve ripped on,'” said Parker.

We wondered when the episode aired, um… MONTHS ago what Isaac Hayes had made of it, being a scientologist and all. Why did it take so long I wonder?
They freaky. I was raised by wild animals, er… brought up around a one-time offshoot of scientology, so I get reeeeeal twitchy around this stuff. *willies*