1780s White Chemise à la Reine with Blue Silk Sash and Flower Ornament

Click for larger version; click for the list of dolls.

Well, now, it looks like the readers of this blog have what you could call a slight preference for The Duchess’ costumes (a lovely gallery of which can be found at the Costumer’s Guide to Movie Costumes); as I write this it’s garnered 66% of the vote, with the other four neatly splitting the remainder. Not much of a surprise, we do like our fancy gowns around this joint after all. The possible list of leaked Oscar winners would be against us, preferring Benjamin Button instead, but that has all the authenticity of, well, a random list on the Internet.

I didn’t see The Duchess, or, sadly, any of the other Best Costume nominees, but I wanted to draw something inspired by its main character, Georgiana Cavendish, not the least because I recently discovered the The Duchess of Devonshire’s Gossip Guide to the 18th Century (and its counterpart concerned with Marie Antoinette) and since I’ve never been much into 1700s fashion before (I love the 1800s, everything before that I’m real vague on) I’ve been enjoying it. Well, lo and behold there is a style of dress that Marie Antoinette started and Georgiana introduced to England, so that seemed to be the right thing to draw tonight. It’s called the chemise à la reine, and it was quite scandalous when it was introduced in the mid-1780s because it was essentially like wearing one’s underwear out in public, not what one expects from one’s queen. A very simple garment, it was really the precursor of the Regency gowns as the waistline inched upwards.

Don’t forget — livedolling the Oscars here, tomorrow! Stick around the comments section and help me decide what to draw. I’ll be looking frantically for streaming video of the red carpet show (more interesting than reloading Getty Images all the time), let me know if you know where to find it.

Overview of the Past Year

Oh, my poor abandoned princesses and blog. I apologize: I got frustrated with day 7’s gown, then I got bored of my story and I got bored of princesses and all of a sudden it’s past Christmas and the story is fast making its way towards New Year’s resolution territory. (“And then they can find eggs for Easter,” says my mom. “And wear green for St. Patrick’s day!” I add.) I can’t just abandon them, so I will finish the story before next Christmas, I’m sure. And it is a good lesson for me: drawing block alone I can usually push my way past, but writers block + drawing block = fail. Next Christmas I will prepare properly.

Being my own harshest critic I have a lot of things about myself that I want to improve, but my main resolution for 2009 is to improve my drawing skills. I like a lot of what I did in 2008, but I’m still skating on techniques and habits I was using in high school. With a lot of work and some luck, maybe by 2010 I can draw hands… Anyways, my favorite outfit from 2008 was the bride mermaid, while the one that got the most hits was Princess Ashe’s wedding dress.

2008 brought many great things for me and Brian, and I have a lot of hope going into 2009. I wish you all the best for the new year, and I hope to draw a lot of beautiful things to amuse you!

I’m curious about this, so take the poll. Me, of course I don’t cut out the originals. Instead I keep them in a big cardboard box that my cats like to sit on. My mom would be horrified, and I need to think up some better storage system…

Michelle Obama’s Turquoise Blue Dress from the 2008 Democratic Convention

  Click for larger version; click for the list of dolls.

I’m sorry I’ve been such a slacker for the last few months! My essential nature, or the problem with my essential nature if you will, is that I can do just about anything for two weeks, and then it’s on to my next all-consuming interest. I do my best work in the depths of an obsession. So, I’ve worn out about two months worth of other projects, and now I’m back to paper dolls. I have a project for October, so I want to start again now… a warm-up, if you will.

Since the U.S. presidential race is much on my mind as of late, I thought outfits from the current political scene would be a fun way of burning up the days between now and October 1. I’ll do one from Michelle Obama’s wardrobe, one of Cindy McCain’s dresses, a Sarah Palin outfit and of course a Hillary Clinton pantsuit. Please note that this is not an invitation to debate politics or insult any of these women on the comments here! (Well, paperdoll fans are a civilized lot, and I probably lost all of my readers in my two-month vacation anyways, so I should be safe.)

I personally like Michelle Obama’s dress here that she wore when she spoke at the 2008 Democratic Convention. Can’t find any good pictures of the little center ornament, though — and the color of the dress changes from picture to picture, it seems!