Thursday, 1 October 2009

Invitation To The Boss's Ball - Vintage Fashion

I can’t really blog about Invitation To The Boss’s Ball without mentioning the glorious vintage clothing. My heroine, Alice, is going into business with her best friend, the owner of a market stall that sells vintage clothing. Their dream is to open a shop of their own – somewhere out of the wind and rain, with four walls and an office.

Here are some pictures of the sort of things I envisaged Alice and her friend Coreen wearing through out the book.

In the original version of my book there was an opening scene where Alice realised her current boyfriend, Paul, was nowhere close to Prince Charming. He ruined her lovely olive-green dress by chucking a wrapped up doner kebab in her lap. Unfortunately, the scene went by the way of the cutting-room floor during the revisions process. Still love the dress, though.

As Alice has to find some office wear when she movs her party-planning project into Cameron's offices, I could imagine her wearing cute little cardigans and silk embroidered blouse like this. Since she was used to wearing jeans, trainers and old fleece jackets, I wanted her to discover her feminine side. I also wanted her to stand out from the high-powered business suits and killer heels of Cameron's female employees.

Alice's friend, Coreen, is a true vintage fashionista. She loves dressing like a 40s or 50s pin-up girl. For some reason, always seemed to be wearing red shoes when she appeared in the book. I didn't plan that but it seemed to go with her personality, so I kept it in. (I'm hoping to write Coreen a little romance of her own sometime soon.) Anyway, Coreen's outfit for the ball was, as Alice puts it, "a little black dress that was fifties restraint and pure sin all at the same time". Here's the picture that was the inspiration for Coreen's party dress.

Of course, the girls aren't the only ones who get to wear some vintage fashion thoughout the course of the book. Alice gives Cameron the gift of some cufflinks. In my mind they were octagonal, like the ones on the right, but with tiger's eye stones set into them. Alice sees Cameron's platinum cufflinks as he takes them off to put her ones in and she's reminded that they are truly from two different worlds. How could she have been so stupid as to think she had anything to give him? Cameron, on the other hand, is thinking how wonderfully unique his gift is - rather like the enigmatic redhead to gave them to him.

The other half of Cameron's present from Alice is a tie. His was dark, dark green, not brown like the one in the photo here. It's not until things are going badly, badly wrong that Cameron finds out there is a secret contained in what looks like a boring old tie, and Alice turns it against him, telling him: ‘This is the kind of woman you need. Always ready, always glamorous, never having an ‘off’ day. Who cares if she isn’t real? She’ll never ask anything of you, never ask you for a piece of your soul. In short, she’ll always be your perfect woman.’

Lastly, here's the dress Alice wears in the final scene, where she goes to the V&A to see the new vintage clothing exhibition. I love this dress! It's just so cute. And just so Alice.

Of course, you may have noticed that I've left two vital pieces out of this list: Alice's fabulous emerald silk vintage gown and her glass-heeled shoes. There was so much I could say about Alice's makeover for the ball that I decided to dedicate a whole post to it. Watch out for that soon.

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