Blue, White and Purple Ancient Greek Peplos with Gold Jewelry

A blue peplos, which is a sleeveless draped garment held up with pins at the shoulders. The top is folded over and is light blue, fading to white at the hem at the waist. At the edge of the fabric is a gold heart and line pattern. Underneath is the skirt part, which is a rich blue, turning purple towards the hem. At the hem of the ankle-length skirt are gold line, wave and scroll patterns. There is a bracelet with two large purple stones, a gold necklace with purple stones and gold drops and a diadem with a heart pattern and purple gems.This outfit is the result of my second contest, which I held over Twitter. An ancient Greek outfit won out over a 1930s dress or a fairy outfit, so I started a Pinterest board and did some research into what they were like. Happily, in this day and age plenty of the relevant information is easily available for free!

I’d be happy to hear about other good sources of information — for all I know, something new has been found since these books were printed! I wanted to read these books thoroughly and do more research, but didn’t have time. So I will probably continue, albeit slowly, even though this outfit is all done.

The winner of the contest, chosen by a random drawing, was Karen Martin, and here’s what she requested:

I think for colors, I’d like white, blue, and gold, with maybe some purple thrown in?

She also got to choose from a list of patterns, and she chose the wave, scroll and heart patterns you see on the outfit. So here it is! Karen, I hope you like it.

Let’s start a new contest! Part 1 is a poll, which will close next Thursday. Once I know what I’ll do next, I’ll do my research and draw a sketch, then hold the contest on the 21st. Here are your options…

Come back next week for a dress based on a key scene from one of the coolest games I’ve played in a long time! As always, you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterestfor updates, sneak previews and lovely Art Nouveau pendant pictures. If you enjoy my work, I’d also appreciate your support through Patreon.

Green Evening Gown with Embroidered White Underskirt and Gold and Emerald Necklace

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

There really wasn’t much thought behind this one, so it is accordingly presented without much comment! I just have a feeling next week is not going to be simple, and I didn’t have a lot of time today to make something interesting (or a story that would render this dress interesting), so I wanted to play around with my colors a little bit.

Prismacolors used: French Grey family, Spring Green, Olive Green, Yellow Chartreuse, White, Goldenrod, Dark Umber, Light Umber, Sunburst Yellow, Colorless Blender

Mermaid Monday #19: Black And White Mermaid

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

I don’t know about you, but I am tremendously sick of wedding dresses. That’s one of the two problems I have when I do theme weeks: first, I get sick of the subject, second, I feel like I want to make every day better than the one before. It’s not necessarily a good combination. I do feel, though, like I’ve got the desire to play around with the white gel pen out of my system, though. I haven’t even been able to bring myself to finish the veil from Friday’s, and I missed a day for the first time since I started again, because I wasn’t feeling well Saturday. Well, this week, there will be color! Lots of color! But for today, a replacement black-and-white mermaid outfit. So let us say instead, there will be color! lots of color! tomorrow! Or color this and post it yourself, and you can provide me with color for a day.

It does occur to me that this style of top works rather poorly on this doll shape if you actually cut it out… I’m sorry, I don’t have time to try to fix it tonight. I’ll think about it a little more, though.

One benefit of the theme weeks is that I do enjoy putting up the polls afterward…

Mermaid Monday #18: Red Tattered Mermaid Wedding Dress for a Land Wedding

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

For obvious reasons, mermaids prefer thin, delicate fabrics for their undersea fashion statements. These are usually just in single layers, possibly two or three extremely light layers for special occasions or if your situation in life is such that you don’t have to move around too much; anything beyond that registers less as sumptuous and more as vulgar and ridiculous, if not simply dangerous. There is a mermaid fable, in the Aesop vein, about a particularly vain young thing with a pearly pink tail and a fondness for adornment. Despite the warnings of her more practical sisters, she kept adding layer after layer of richly embroidered skirts and tops and sleeves, as well as bangles and necklaces and hair ornaments; in the end her outfit becomes just too heavy and billowy to swim properly in, and she gets eaten by a shark. But then, there is also a mermaid fairy tale about a vain young thing with a pearly blue tail, who starts out with too many layers and sheds them, one by one, to give to others in need; in proper fairy tale fashion, the recipients repay her kindness later on. (From the mermaid point of view, neither story is a caution against vanity per se: the latter is about generosity, the former merely about self-preservation.)

This sleek, light aesthetic often carries over to what mermaids might wear on land. As a matter of fact, most mermaids mentally class humans with other mammals such as dolphins, so it’s only natural to them to consider themselves superior in every way. Because of this perspective, mermaids tend to consider their own style to be obviously better than the fuller, often gaudier fashions popular among human women. Still, sometimes even for a mermaid it’s fun to pile on the fabric. This bride wanted most elements of mermaid wedding gown design for her own dress: the traditional red, the romantic tatters, the bare midriff that would shock most human brides. Indeed the top is such a common design for mermaid wedding outfits that it’s rather cliché. But now that she doesn’t have to worry about sharks, she wanted a skirt with something like ten layers of fabric. The resulting creation looks odd to both human and mermaid eyes alike: the mermaids criticize the mismatch of tatters and heavy skirt, while the humans scorn just about every other part of it. But the bride and her partner adore it, and they’ve never quite been known for paying undue attention to the opinions of others.

The tatters are a long-standing symbol of enduring, patient love among mermaids (and someday, remind me, I’ll tell you the story that most mermaids know a version of that started the trend). Of course, to humans, it just looks ragged and ridiculous. The tailor of this particular outfit took one last look at her beautifully balanced layers of fabric, then actually curled up in a corner of a different room and cried while her apprentice “distressed” the edges.