Thoughts on Frocks

So I finally think I know what I’m going to write next. I mean, as soon as I finish this short story (DIE, SHORT STORY, DIE!), and I’m SO excited. There will be romance! There will be hijinks! There will be adventure. There may even be… frocks.

I do so love a story with some good frocks. I know that may surprise some of you, as there were approximately zero frocks in all of the Secret Society Girl stories, and only one good frock in Rampant and Ascendant. But I positively adore frocks.

There is a frock in For Darkness Shows the Stars, which is funny, because of all my heroines, that one has the least opportunity to frock it up. And yet, she does, since that’s how much I love me some frocks, people.

What are your favorite frockalicious stories, and what are your favorite frocks in those stories?

A recent frockalicious story that I loved was Unlocked by Courtney Milan. I shall forgive her for naming the villain in her story Diana, because Courtney gives very good frock. There’s even a frock on the cover, and because this book was self-published, I know Courtney DID choose that frock.

And if you read the book, you’ll learn why.

My very favorite frock in a book is, of course, the Imperialis Moth frock that Philip Ammon designs for Edith Carr in A Girl of the Limberlost. Philip has spent hte summer studying moths with Elnora Comstock, and has decided that they are the “embodiement of June” and so he convinces his fiancee to use them as an inspiration for their June engagement party.

Here is a description of that marvelous frock:

For she stood tall, lithe, of grace inborn, her dark waving hair piled high and crossed by gold bands studded with amethyst and at one side an enameled lavender orchid rimmed with diamonds, which flashed and sparkled. The soft yellow robe of lightest-weight velvet fitted her form perfectly, while from each shoulder fell a great velvet wing lined with lavender, and flecked with embroidery of that color in imitation of the moth. Around her throat was a wonderful necklace and on her arms were bracelets of gold set with amethyst and rimmed with diamonds. Philip had said that her gloves, fan, and slippers must be lavender, because the feet of the moth were that color. These accessories had been made to order and embroidered with gold… in her heart she thought of herself as “Imperialis Regalis,” as the Yellow Empress.

Elnora has some interesting frocks in this book, too, but no frock has ever impressed upon me the way Edith’s has — and in the scene quoted above, it’s about to have a VERY big impression on all the characters involved.

(And of course my favorite frock COVERS are on the Luxe novels, by Anna Godbersen. The frocks inside are good too, but those covers make me weep with frocky joy.)

So tell me of the frocks you love, and the stories those frocks come with.

Posted in bookaholic, other writers

5 Responses to Thoughts on Frocks

  1. Shanella says:

    Ahhhh I love frocks! One of the reasons I like reading period pieces is for the frocks.
    I can’t say I have a favourite, but, I do agree the the Luxe novel covers are exquisite!
    I also love a novel with a good masquerade ball, because masquerade balls are fun and the frocks are plenty!

  2. Tiff says:

    Oh, how I love frocks. I wasn’t a fashion blogger for nothing. =p I’m definitely including at least one in what I’m writing right now.

    I adore Astrid’s frock in Rampant. I’m in love with a lot of the frocks in the Anne books – the first, puffed sleeve dress (who didn’t want puffed sleeves after that), the pretty slip-of-cream-silk dress that Anne wears to a party that has rosebuds embroidered on it courtesy of Phil, Phil’s yellow silk dress…sigh. I love all of Melissa Walker’s descriptions of clothing in the Violet books.

    For real frocks, I love, love, LOVE this: http://coolspotters.com/characters/carrie-bradshaw/and/clothing/versace-mille-feuille-dress#medium-1071470

    I also love the frock on the cover of Janet Fox’s Faithful. And Forgiven has an amazing frock, too!

    I think what I love most is the transforming nature of frocks…indeed, of a lot of clothes in YA novels. I think most contemporary adults (except jerks and snobs) have learned to look past outside appearances, which is amazing. But when you’re a teen, the way you dress has such an alarming impact on who you are. It can make a girl feel special, or vulnerable, or exposed. It can open a lover’s eyes. Frocks, especially, can be tools to help create atmosphere in a climactic part of any fiction.

    And now I’m waxing on and on…=P

  3. I adore frocks in fiction! There definitely need to be more frocks in science fiction, that’s for sure. I think the fairy tale of Donkeyskin may have been what got frockage under my skin at such a young age – the gown of sunshine, and of moonlight, etc. Robin McKinley’s Deerskin turned this into something even more extraordinary, and in fact all her fairy tale books are frock central. Gorgeous stuff, and every novel I have written (except, oddly, the one I’m currently working on) has abounded in frocks. I have been lucky with my most recent trilogy that my publishers cottoned on to this, and let me have an iconic frock on every cover.

    Thinking of my childhood frock loves in books, I agree with the Anne books though I think it’s Rilla whose dress habits I remember most. Laura Ingalls Wilder of course, too, because of the detail about the making of the dresses along with everything else.

    On screen, Servalan from Blake’s 7, Sarah in Labyrinth, and the more recent Marie Antoinette film with Kirsten Dunst are among my favourites, and the 90’s BBC costume drama House of Eliot was hugely influential on me – 1920’s costumiers! Most recently, Downton Abbey blew me away with its gorgeous dresses.

    Plus, Audrey Hepburn films. If there’s something that should be retold as science fiction, it’s any Audrey Hepburn movie!

  4. PurpleRanger says:

    I was re-reading this entry, and I just want to know one thing. How do you define the term “frock,” Diana?

  5. Diana says:

    Pretty dresses, PR. Not like a priest or nun outfit. 😉