Commercially Alternative: January 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Headwear Appreciation Post Part 1: Bonnets

Since I can't get any sewing done, I would like to take the next few weeks to look at all the wonderful things lolitas put on top of their heads. 

The bonnet is probably the most noticeably historic component of a lolita's outfit. However, bonnets worn by lolitas look nothing like their vintage counterparts. Check out for some lovely examples of Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian hats and bonnets. 

I have a love/hate relationship with the bonnet. The floppy baby bonnets made by Baby the Stars Shine Bright and Angelic Pretty just embarrass me. I adore sturdy, well made bonnets that look like it took some millinery skills to make. A bonnet just screams decadence and beauty, but they are not the most flattering shape for most human beings. It's hard to pull off a giant disk surrounding one's head. Yet, I am drawn to them and I wish we would see more of them. 

Mary Magdalene: By far my favorite bonnet in the entire world. I love how the brim goes behind the ear and continues to the back of the head instead of perfectly framing the face. I feel that this style is much more flattering and can be worn by more people.

Metamorphose: This bonnet is charming in its simplicity and more closely resembles a historic shape. I feel this one tends to be flattering as well.

Millefleurs: This half-bonnet is the essence of gothic elegance. However, with the brim perfectly framing the face, it is much harder to look well in it.

click for larger image

Rococo Soul: This is from a little Taobao shop called Rococo Soul. They have a couple of bonnets, but this is my favorite of the bunch. I am in love with the creamy lace and flowers.

Ophanim: This half-bonnet is from the Etsy shop Ophanim, run by the same lolita that writes the wonderful blog, F Yeah Lolita. Again, so charming. I would love to have skill such as this.

And we can't have a bonnet appreciation post without this little gem from Angelic Pretty. Words just can't describe...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vintage Pattern Love

I love looking at vintage patterns on the internet. Especially those from the 50s with their full skirts. I wish they still made things like this. When most of my friends talk about what they would do when they find a time machine (yes, we're cool like that), they talk about going to the future, seeing the birth of Jesus, or very Dr. Who type things. However, I would go back and buy a boat load of vintage patterns, fabric, and clothing. ^_^ I wonder what the butterfly effect of such things would be. o_O"

I love the low back and pleated skirt.

I find this one very interesting because of the low placement of the very full skirt.

This one amazes me by how loll-esqu it naturally is.

My favorite of the bunch. I love the three different necklines to choose from. The green one in particular is to die for.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Nothing to report...

Hey guys! Sorry for the lack of sewing posts. This semester is already pure insanity and I am pretty sure it's just going to get worse from here. I don't want to just ditch this blog for a whole four months so I shall try to amuse you all with funny and/or interesting finds that I stumble across during my internet breaks. This week I leave you with today's comic from Real Life Comics by Greg Dean. Real Life Comics is my all time favorite web comic. I find them hilarious and sometimes eerily relevant to my nerdy life. I hope you all check it out!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Thoughts on The Princess Bride (the Book)

So… still haven't done any sewing… yeah… so sorry! 

From the Princess Bride official site
Anyway! Recently I watched The Princess Bride yet again. I adore this movie, always have. It's ridiculous and amazing and Westley is just so darn pretty! Afterwards I realized that I have never actually read the book. I was a little surprised with myself at this revelation. I immediately got the book from the library and started reading. I went into it with extremely high hopes since books are usually so much better than the movie. However, I actually prefer the movie in this case.

The book, by William Goldman, is written in a very interesting way. He says that The Princess Bride was actually written by S. Morgenstern from Florin. Goldman begins the book by talking about his life with his fictional wife and son, his actual works that he, in real life, actually did, and how he became a writer. Goldman's father read him The Princess Bride when he was sick with Pneumonia. Thus, the little boy in the movie is the author of the book! Anyway, Goldman bought the Princess Bride for his son to read, but his son couldn't get past the first chapter. Goldman then picks up the book himself. He had never actually read the book before, his father having read it to him. Goldman discovered that The Princess Bride was actually filled with pages and pages of nonsense such as the history of the royal line leading up to Prince Humperdinck and royal packing and unpacking. His father had only read him "the good stuff." Thus, the book that you read is an abridgment of Morgenstern's work with Goldman cutting out the boring stuff and interrupting with his own commentary. Now this is all fictional. There is no such country as Florin, Morgenstern is fictional himself, and Goldman had two daughters not a son. All this makes for a rather interesting and unique read.

The movie really sticks closely to the book. Everything that happens in the movie happens in the book with some minor tweaking and summarization to fit everything in the time allotted. However, parts of the book, quite frankly, piss me off! 

Goldman and Women
The story begins with the author's ranking of women. "The year that Buttercup was born, the most beautiful woman in the world was a French scullery maid name Annette." We then hear of Annette's downfall and how she loses her beauty and her rank of most beautiful. We go through the same process when Buttercup was ten and fifteen. Buttercup at the time wasn't in the top twenty and she was this high mostly because of potential. You get the feeling that Buttercup's, or any woman's, worth is based on their beauty. Seriously, any man who ranks or rates women is scum. Period.

Buttercup's Intelligence
I never felt that Buttercup was stupid in the movie. I just felt that her intelligence was not a particular plot point, as with most rescue the princess story lines, and was just not brought up. I'm fine with that. Westley and Buttercup are in love, she's in trouble, so let's get on with the adventure! In the book… she's stupid. I understand that Buttercup grew up as a milkmaid on a poor farm. Thus I expect a low level of education. However, the book really gives you the feeling that there is not much in this girl's head. One example that really got on my nerves was when Buttercup goes to Humperdinck and says that they cannot marry. Humperdinck then makes a deal that she write a letter to Westley, they'll make four copies of it, and he will send his four fastest ships to find him. Here's Buttercup's original letter. "Westley, my passion, my sweet, my only, my own. Come back, come back. I shall kill myself otherwise. Yours in torment., Buttercup." Both the prince and Buttercup agree that this letter isn't very good. And then the prince proceeds to help her write her letter to Westley! Seriously?

Westley and Women
Remember the scene in the movie when Westley, masked, has finally saved Buttercup by poisoning Vizzini? Then they are running along the top of the ravine and Westley is arguing about her marrying the prince even though she doesn't love him. Buttercup says something and Westley raises his hand as if to hit her so she shuts up. I allow this in the movie because he was still in Dread Pirate Roberts mode and was hiding who he really was from Buttercup. I write it off as Westley was acting the part. However, in the book, he hits her. Any man who hits a woman is scum. Period.

At one point Westley even yells at Buttercup, "you are the property of the Dread Pirate Roberts and you... do... what... you're... told!" Now, given, Buttercup was being usually stupid at this point, but women are not property you pig!

Falling in Love
In the movie, the story starts out with Buttercup ordering Westley around saying Farm Boy do this. And he would respond with the iconic, "As you wish." Buttercup then becomes slowly more aware of him and has him do simple tasks just so that he's close to her. The movie then says that Buttercup realized that when he said "as you wish" he was really saying "I love you." In the movie I felt that the two fell in love with each other, probably started hanging out and actually talking to each other, and then Westley left so he could earn money to get married. Aw! So sweet!

The book went much differently. Buttercup's beauty was becoming quite famous. So the six fingered Count and his wife came to visit the little farm to see for themselves. The whole time the Count was staring at Buttercup and the Countess was staring at the stud muffin Westley. Buttercup noticed how the Countess was looking at Westley. Buttercup had never looked twice at Westley before, but she had a jealous fit that someone else was looking at him. Thus, Buttercup went to Westley's room and confessed her love. Westley then slams the door in her face. Buttercup goes into deep depression mode, crying her eyes out. Westley then shows up and says he's leaving. Buttercup back tracks and says that it was all a joke and she can't believe that Westley fell for it. After some arguing and back and forth misunderstanding, he says she's never been very bright and then spells it out for her that every time he says "As you wish" he's really saying "I love you." 

True Love
In the movie, I had the feeling that there was some deeper reason for their true love that we just don't see. However, the book makes it quite clear. They are in true love because they are both beautiful. They deserve true love because they are both beautiful. Whenever Westley talks about his true love for Buttercup he talks about her autumn hair and wintery cream skin. Whenever he thinks about his love for her to get him through a tough situation he thinks about her autumn hair and her wintery cream skin. This is not my idea of a true love that will last throughout the ages. What happens when Buttercup gets older? Obviously they won't have a thing to talk about because the book makes it clear that there is not much going on on Buttercup's side. 

Even with all of that, I have a hard time suggesting that no one should pick up this book. It's well written and I enjoyed myself. I especially enjoyed fleshing out Inigo and Fezzik's stories. I also enjoyed that Westley wasn't invincible. Such as if Inigo had dueled Westley on a different terrain, he probably would have won. Or if Fezzik had remembered sooner that fighting one-on-one requires different strategies than fighting a large group, he would have one. However, if you are a hopeless romantic like myself and want "they lived happily ever after" without thinking of Westley as an ass, stick with the movie.

Have you seen the Princess Bride? Have you read the book? What are your thoughts?