Alexia’s Clothes in the Parasol Protectorate (Special Extras) Victorian 1870s Attire

According to Pip, I once received a Bookie Award for best dressed character in the form of Alexia Tarabotti. I can’t seem to find any evidence of this online, Fashionable Reader, but I trust Pip for she was at Authors After Dark reporting in.

Upon learning of the win, Alexia was suitably honored, Ivy was crushed, and Lord Akeldama took all the credit for loaning Alexia Biffy during her rise to fashionable mavin of London society.

Above you can see a quintessentially Alexia dresses from 1874.  This is a French designed reception dress from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I always see Alexia gravitating towards darker colors. Although she would not have been allowed many of them by her mother.
Alexia is particularly fond of blue, stripes, and perch hats.

Below, is a collection of some of Alexia’s best moments present to you in the form of cover art, fan art, cosplay, and original fashion plate fodder.

I do hope you enjoy it!

Alexia in Soulless the Original (1873)

 The cover that wasn’t; the pose that wasn’t.


The Polish cover shows more of the dress

1883 Dinner Dress Charles Fredrick Worth The Kyoto Costume Institute for color inspiration

1873 fashion plate

Alexia’s first parasol.

Alexia in Soulless Volume 1, The Manga

First Manga

Manga cosplay

Emile Pingat, 1874

character sketch from the manga

1874 Fashion plate

1874 Striped dress

Amazing striped Swiss waist with matched bustle.

Alexia in Changeless (1874) & Omnibus Volume 1 & Soulless Manga Volume 2

Polish cover again, shows more of dress; self cosplay of cover.


Omnibus Vol. 1 cover

Alexia cosplay

Manga Soulless Vol. 2 cover art

inspiration for Alexia floating dress

1870  The Philadelphia Museum of Art color inspiration

1874 more diminished bustle

 Alexia walking dresses inspiration


 Dirigible floating dress inspiration from skirt tapes


Inspiration for the deck of the dirigible scenes.

The new parasol.

steampunk from NY Comic Con cosplay fake cover photo fun

Alexia in Blameless (1874)

Emile Pingat (1820–1901), Parisfor color inspiration

Highly modern French influenced walking dresses for Alexia to try.

Inspiration for the frilly dress Alexia is made to wear in Italy, 1874-5 wedding dress of white linen cambric with ivory ribbob and machine silk blonde lace.

More frills!


Alexia in Heartless (1874)

Alexia’s new more flowy choice of clothing

1874 Charles Fredrick Worth The Kyoto Costume Institute

Hungarian painter Szinyei Merse – The Lady in Purple

Day Dress France, ca. 1874 Silk taffeta Biffy has begun “Frenching-up” Alexia wardrobe.

Alexia in Timeless (1876) & The Omnibus Vol. 2

Alexia walking dress


summer day dress USA 1870-1874 Royal Ontario Museum

Alexia’s style has grown more relaxed and breezy under the drone’s tutelage. Although the fashions remain quite severe.

Evening dress, 1876-77 US

the Met Museum; day dress 1876

 1878-1880  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Matt Harrison fan art

The Parasol Protectorate mangaka-chan



I hope you enjoyed this fashionable trip down memory lane. Now you can play a rousing game of “spot that dress” if you read the books! Or reread them again.

One of the things I always tried to do, for example, was find time during copy edits to write in a small paragraph describing the dress Alexia wears on the cover within the text. (Excepting Soulless for obvious reasons.)

The scene for Changeless was particularly fun to write for various amusing Ivy-related hair styles.

And, of course, my hugely non-period German covers show up on stage in all editions of Timeless.

This post first appeared on Retro Rack.

Yours in frilly dresses,

Miss Gail (except Madame Lefoux, of course, no frills for her!).

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OUT MAY 18, 2019!

The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).

Preorder on Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Print and audio are coming, but will not be available for preorder. 

Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery in which a hot space station cop meets the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, pulease!) from a race with 5 genders.


  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
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(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

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