So, for those of you who don’t diligently watch my Etsy updates, I’ve recently posted my novel, New Dance, to my shoppe, and in honour of this grand occasion, I’ve decided to make Treasury lists based on some of the more prominent characters in the book. So the first half of this is going to be my Etsy Treasury for Alice Reagan, with some commentary (more than Etsy lets me post), and the next half will be badges I’ve neglected to add since my last Spot On Etsy update.
So, one thing that I edited out of the novel was a relatively unnecessarily lengthy half-chapter going into details about Alice’s history with wearing a beret, usually red. Since it’s been a while since I’ve read my own book, and that was one of the final omissions I made, I’m 90% sure that I at least mentioned she used to wear a red beret daily, whilst still at university. I still often imagine her wearing a beret a lot, but I also have mental images of her in a lot of “going out” attire, which involves a bouffant, not hair for wearing hats. Since I kept details about her brand of cigarettes wrapped in pink papers, and how her wardrobe is almost completely black, white, reds, and pinks, I thought she might have something like this for her beret days.
In my mind, Alice has more catsuit-ish pieces than Emma Peele, or Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face. Which works on slim girls. I can actually see all these variations working on Alice and being things she’d have, or at least like to have, especially if you make some changes to the colours suggested in the illustration —even the hooded blouse, maybe in a geometric pattern of red and black with a red catsuit.
…and speaking of Aud in Funny Face! Probably my favourite Hepburn film. The scene at the café was a major influence on Alice’s character, as I was writing —that and Audrey as Holly Golightly, specifically in the scene where Holly is leaving the police station, her impeccable bouffant bunched up in back, large sunglasses, roomy jumper and slim capri trou, with this body language that says “oh, what fresh hell is this?” Alice is significantly mouthier, though.
If Alice had a quote to live by, I think she’d pick this one. I really hope I put her optimism through well enough in the pages I allotted, cos I think she’s genuinely one of the happier and more optimist characters I’ve ever written. She puts up with a lot, her loved ones can stress her out like mad, she can be feisty and blunt if she thinks you can handle it, but she probably is the most faithful in human nature out of all of my published characters so far.
Can’t properly do an Alice-themed Treasury without a few Bowie-related items (keep reading). Probably my favourite of Bowie’s looks / eras, in a stark pop-art style. If you have the CD I tend to give out with copies of New Dance at events, you probably noticed that Alice’s “theme song” I picked out was “DJ” from The Lodger. Another major influence on her character, and you can tell by how much I stress in the book that her skills as a DJ was integral to their favourite club’s success. In all the years I’ve been both attending and DJing at various nights, and with various themes, girl DJs have certainly become more common –but then, these are subculture nights– but according to some older friends, girl DJs in the early 1980s were still a bit of an oddity, and in the 1960s, practically unheard of. I still really think it works, with her character as the primary DJ at their club, even in 1982.
You know, I still have no idea why I thought to include this, other than the colours and pattern on the top of the case. I think it is definitely something her character would pick up at a charity shoppe or rummage sale, or maybe even decades later, after eBay happens, but honestly, I don’t see her as especially domestic, so she’d likely just pick it up cos it’s both functional and beautiful, and the lid of the box caught her eye.
Yes, I genuinely believe that Alice would have something like this in her wardrobe for extra-casual days; probably paired with slim jeans or leggings and a belt, since it looks quite long. Remember, this is not a “1960s Mod” story, this is a Mod Revival story featuring a lot of characters who actively don’t just wear things from charity shoppes that smell of moth balls, cos to them, that sort of misses the point of “Modernism” —why wear brittle old hand-me-downs when newer things exist, or can be created, that look just as nice or better? After all, while the 1960s Mod look certainly had influences from the 1920s (especially for the girls), it got updated, even though the influences are totally obvious.
I totally picture Alice wearing jumpers and blouses with skinny jeans with the 1980s high waists, cigarette-slim trou, capris…. She’s not really about skirts, has very few dresses, but looks just as clean and smart and sharp as any other girls at the clubs, arguably more so than most.
I actually described Alice in something very much like this —and it’s made in England, no less! I probably would’ve put this higher up in the treasury if I’d found it earlier in my search for Alice items, but I swear, I described something similar to this, but when I saw this, it looked better for her.
Oh, who else had a mother with a cigarette purse? Alice smokes a lot, a fictional Belgian brand that I invented for the alternate reality that the stories are set in (yes, I Tarantino’d my own fictional brands and media, though with some overlaps with this reality); her brand, En Rose, are arranged in their packet so the papers around the tobacco alternate pink and red, and the filters have a silvery paper. The cigarette wraps also contain flint dust, so they pop with a glittered / sparkler effect as they burn (this is actually based on something an old friend of mine used to do, by rubbing the flintwheel bacwards on cheap disposable lighters to create a fine flint dust, then sprinkling a tiny bit of it along the edge of the wrap after rolling his own, before closing the seal). This is argueably the “girliest” thing about any given outfit she wears. It made sense to me that she might keep her fags in a shiny metallic mesh ciggie purse.
I don’t recall mentionig Alice having any cigarette holders, but this looked like something she might pick up as a functional impulse buy, as with the hostess set. It’s cute without being overly cutesy, and I imagine that the roses might match the box design for En Rose.
I really do imagine Alice wearing this sort of necklace with a catsuit, or maybe a solid jumper with capris. This came up when I searched “David Bowie, pink” and the seller says it’s Ziggy-era influenced. I don’t really see that, but it’s got a cute minimalism to it, and Alice would see it as something tasteful to go with her simpler outfits.
Alice purchased this simple print (or one just like it) and put it up in the DJ booth, in place of where Owain, the club’s owner, initially put a clock. She justified this, stating that people looking up at the booth don’t need to be reminded of the time, they need that on their way out of the lavvy. When they look up into the booth, they’re looking for a reason that they came here, and a reminder of what that big shiny floor is all about.
A woman who drinks as much strong, dark coffee as Alice Reagan cannot be satisfied with just a coffeehouse, even one that maintains an impressive Swedish Modern décor. So when she’s forced to have her strong French roast at home, she realises (as do all proper Mods that percolated coffee is nasty, and electric drip is only very slightly better, and even then, only when it’s fresh. Give the woman French Pressed, or give her… espresso.
I do make a point of describing Alice’s preferred shoe for dancing to be flats or ballet shoes —she’s not trained in ballet, but she finds a basic ballet shoe (read: NOT pointe shoes) with a split leather sole, much more sensible for dancing all night than some of the clunky heels or boots that the other girls wear. I don’t really think she’d wear ballet flats with the glittered stripes, but I thought they were cute, and they’re handmade, and they go with everything else in the treasury very nicely. Maybe she would have a pair like this, but just not wear them as much.
Lastly, the basic black catsuit. I really like the belt this is pictured with, too, and it’s very much something I picture Alice in, maybe with the pendant I picked, and a Capezio Jazz dance boot with split soles. Remember kids: Never wear stirrup leggings with footwear that can’t cover; the stirrup exists as part of the function, not the form, and the function is to keep the catsuit or leggings from riding up one’s leg and out of the boots, socks, or legwarmers with wear. I don’t care if you saw otherwise in some film, that’s cos the costumer was simple and didn’t understand basic style.
And this week’s badge updates:
These are in random order, and the Gallery form on the WordPress software won’t let me link everything individually, but as always, my shoppe is here.
I’ve also recently had items featured in the following Treasury lists:
So now that the weather’s getting better, hopefully I’ll be back to my regular schedule, and the annual seasonal depression is on a wane.