The Mythic Ball, Part 2: Kraken’s Purple and Silver Gown with Tentacles

An off-the-shoulder dress with fin-like webbing on the upper arms, a corset top, a tight, sparkly silver skirt edged with more fin-like webbing and several tentacles coming from the skirt and spilling over the floor. The corset is patterned with an abstract tentacle pattern and is a deep purple. It's made of shiny fabric which is nearly pink where the light hits it, and the top of the corset is covered in sparkly silver glitter. The fin-like webbing is done in garish shades of yellow, orange and magenta. The skirt is gathered at the back and drapes over the front from the waist to the knees in graceful folds, and the entire skirt is covered in silver sequins that glitter as they catch the light. The silhouette suggests a late 1800s gown, although the colors, glitter and tentacles don't. There are about ten tentacles, shiny and colored in shades of purple, with large suckers on them. They fall towards the ground, where they spill out and curl around on the floor. There's also a shiny silver mask to go with the outfit.

Kraken had been a favorite in the Victorian era, then airplanes came along, things went poorly for her and she had slunk around the edges of the party for some time. But these days, she’s trendy again. Downright hip, in a way that ever-popular Dragon can’t be: a t-shirt screenprinted with a dragon runs the risk of being cliché and laughable, but Kraken-themed accessories have creepy steampunk style. She suggests mystery, complexity, and a hint of the taboo (as the Great Old Ones are pointedly not invited to the festivities).

Her habit of arriving at the ball with a gleeful cry of “Release the Kraken!” is getting a little old, but no one’s had the nerve to suggest a more subtle entrance to her; Kraken simply doesn’t do subtle, as her flashy dress might suggest. Plus, she has a theatrical streak a mile wide: when Vampire gave her a disdainful look and told her that her ensemble was “very Ursula” Kraken just grinned and started belting out “Poor Unfortunate Souls” right there. Can there be anything better, Kraken thought to herself, than showing off a popular sea-monster themed show tune and mortifying Vampire in the same night? She can think of a few things, but it’s enough of a triumph for this particular quarter of an hour.

Help me out — I have plans to introduce three more guests this month, and I know who two of them are but I’m not sold on the third…

Who comes next? I’ll give you a hint: if you recognize next week’s archetype you can congratulate yourself for being hip to Internet pop culture. In the meantime, don’t forget that you can now download combined color and black and white PDFs of all of my 2014 dolls and outfits for free! Also follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for sneak previews, paperdoll thoughts and drawing tutorials I think might be useful. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.


Green Regency Gown with Ivy Pattern

Click for larger version (PNG); click for PDF version. Click here for the list of dolls.

Ana won my last contest for guessing that my favorite flower is the morning glory, and she wrote:

I’d like this dress http://lianaspaperdolls.com/2010/06/12/black-and-white-regency-gown-with-flower-lace/ coloured please.

The main part of the dress I’d like an English Ivy pattern, with vines looking like they are growing up from the bottom of the skirt. I’d like the background of the dress to be a vibrant shade of green like lush grass in summer and the piping and lace to be an earth tone pink.

You know how if you put fabric or paper out in the sun it fades, and you can create patterns but placing objects on it? And then the background is faded version of the pattern? Well if you were to reverse that process so that the main part of the fabric was covered (i.e not faded) and the pattern was faded that is how I imagine the ivy pattern on the dress to look like. similar to the pattern in the gold on this dress http://lianaspaperdolls.com/2010/06/23/colored-1700s-gown-in-gold-white-and-pink/ but more pronounced.

I kinda hope that makes sense, but if not I’m sorry and I did my best.

It made sense, but I don’t know if I quite captured your vision, Ana, so I hope you like it!

I hate to disappoint people, especially my mom, but I won’t be drawing the royal wedding gown: the biggest reason is that I avoid drawing sheer fabrics because the dolls have different skin colors. It’s been suggested that I do two versions, but when the create-a-doll page is up — which I have been working on, albeit off and on — there will be around seven skin colors, so I’m not going to spend that much time on a dress that would be limited to the two dolls that are currently available.

Beyond that, I didn’t really pay attention to the wedding preparations or ceremony, I admired a dozen pictures of the dress and assorted hats, and now it’s out of my mind, which is essentially where it should be. Although I do draw a lot of pretty princess gowns, my affection for them stems from my deep love for fancy dresses and fairy tales; it has nothing to do with real royalty, which just strikes me as sad, stifling and generally illogical. If not for the lace part there’s a good chance I would have drawn the wedding gown, as it’s an iconic dress and a beautiful one, but I don’t care enough to spend the time on a substitute just for the sake of commemorating the fact that the House of Windsor is propagating itself. (I may yet make an exception for Princess Beatrice’s hat.)

If you all are so keen on royalty, I’ll put some time into a series of posts about the Japanese imperial family weddings I’ve been batting around in my mind for a while; my opinion of the Japanese institution isn’t particularly different from my opinion of the English one (if anything it is more critical), but the clothes and history interest me more. And maybe another paperdoll blogger will pick up my slack and draw the dress? Send me a link if you do, I’ll post it here.

Let’s do another contest… Here’s a good one. I’m in this picture. Which one of these kids is me?
Winner gets to choose a black and white drawing for me to color as they direct, as usual!
Update: Shannon guessed it! I’m the girl with short hair at the top right, underneath the outstretched arm of the boy on the chair.


Blue Regency Gown with White Sash

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I’m sorry for the long absence! I hadn’t even realized it had been that long… I had a couple of days where nothing worked out, and then I got out of the habit, and here it is the middle of April and there are worried comments showing up in my e-mail. I didn’t want to make you wait until Tuesday for something new, so here is a dress for today. It’s been a while since I’ve drawn a regency dress just for the sheer joy of drawing a regency dress… but they do work up quickly, which is just what one needs when one has a paperdoll-related crisis of conscience somewhere around 9:30 P.M.
Hopefully this is enough to get me into the drawing habit again and I will have something new for you on Tuesday!


1885 Ball Gown in Blue, White and Silver

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Angie was one of the two people who guessed all four winners for Best Picture, Best Costume Design, Best Actor and Best Actress, and her coloring request was:

How do you think the 1885 Black and White Ballgown done in a dark blue with silver and white accents would look?

Well, here’s how it looks – I hope you like it, Angie!

The other winner was my husband – after some deliberation, I decided to allow him to participate, but I regretted that when he chose the winners (using, according to him, the most cynical selection technique possible). You can go see for yourself what he’s making me do, I don’t want to think about it until I have to do it!