Les 4 Maisons

Les 4 Maisons is a Harry Potter speciality store, but it is also a clock-, steam- and dieselpunk decor shop. Are you looking for a new globe? A pen and quill set? A coffee table that used to be an ocean liner travel cabinet? This, and much more, can be found at Les 4 Maisons.

If you can’t visit the physical store in Liège, Belgium, fret not, they have a webshop! But, as you can tell from the pictures, a visit to the store is well worth it!

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Decades of Hats

Decades of Hats

As the title suggests, this catalogue book is all about hats. Collecting hat ads from the 1900s to the 1970s, it is a marvelous display of the evolution of headwear through the years.

Sadly, as is too often the case with books like these, all pages are in black and white, denying us the color stories behind the designs.

Even in grayscale, the book is pretty amazing if you’re into hats and want to know more which piece was appropriate for which period.

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Catalogue Books: What We Will (And Won’t) Learn from Them

This is a companion piece to my series of catalogue book reviews for those wondering which book will suit them best and whether or not it’s something they want to start with.

Now, what is to be taken away from these tomes that give us a visual glimpse in sartorial evolution from 1909 to 1959? Other than how fashion has evolved from the steam into the diesel and atomic eras?

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The second Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them movie, The Crimes of Grindelwald, takes us to Paris in 1927 at the height of the Jazz Age.

As the title suggests, the movie continues to feature the plans of Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), the greatest dark wizard of his time. While he is featured, their paths cross and we do see him plot, the movie equally revolves around the personal adventures of Newt (Eddie Redmayne), his friends and other characters, separately from what Grindelwald is getting up to.

If you haven’t seen the first Fantastic Beasts movie but are familiar with Harry Potter, you might be a tiny bit confused at some points, but not so much that you can’t follow the storyline. If you are wholly unfamiliar with the Wizarding World universe, however, the movie be more confusing. But I wouldn’t say you won’t be able to enjoy it.

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Authentic Victorian Fashion Patterns: A Complete Lady’s Wardrobe

Authentic Victorian Fashion Patterns: A Complete Lady's Wardrobe

In my review of Patterns of Fashion 2, I mentioned that there are alternatives to that work. This is one of them. Authentic Victorian Fashion Patterns (1999) has all the garments a lady living in Victorian-era America was supposed to own. Plenty are geared toward the upper-class woman, but the books contains patterns for a variety of outfits.

All the patterns are reproductions from a dressmaker’s journal called The Voice of Fashion. (Of which this is not the only reproduction, but I digress.)

Personally, I find these patterns much easier to work with than those in Patterns of Fashion 2. Not only are we provided with a short introduction shedding light onto the cost of an American lady’s wardrobe, and what should be in it according to polite society at the time; the methods needed to turn these patterns into a garment that fits your body are pretty well explained.

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The Green Wave

The Green Wave

Cassandra Kelly’s debut novel, The Green Wave, is a most enjoyable one, taking us on a wild adventure with Rosalyn Flynn, Reverend to the Enlightenment Church and airship pilot, from Canterbury to Sydney and far beyond. Along with a cast of characters that are well fleshed-out and equally interesting as the Reverend herself.

Even though the backstories of the characters are kept to a minimum, we are given ample information about them not to be left with tons of questions. Action scenes are descriptive, but short enough to keep you from becoming bored with detail. The author has definitely found that fine line between going in-depth and being overly descriptive.

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Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen’s Dresses and Their Construction c. 1860-1940

Patterns of Fashion 2

To those who habitually sew historical garments, the Patterns of Fashion series is probably nothing new. To those who don’t: Patterns of Fashions is a series often referred to by costubers, especially those working recreating garments from the past century and before.

Do they live up to the hype?

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Fatale, Book 1: Death Chases Me

Fatale, Book 1: Death Chases Me

Fatale is widely regarded as one of the top-ten horror comics available. Surely, this little noir gem by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips is making good on that promise with their almost surreal detective story.

Book 1: Death Chases Me introduces us to the contemporary leads, but the real star of the story is Josephine. A woman looking like the clichéd femme fatale, but with a dark secret. Immortal and forever beautiful, her strange magic affects men and what seems to be a Lovecraftian cult behind her.

That may sound a little much and bizarre, but the way the story unfolds, with flashbacks to the 1950s mixed in with current events, really works.

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The Vintage Egyptologist

Colleen Darnell and her husband John have devoted themselves to Egyptology and educating people on the subject — in the vintage styles of, mostly, the 1920s. All the more reason to follow them! Not only do you get a look at exquisite Roaring Twenties fashions; you learn a lot about Egyptian history.

I recommend their Instagram and YouTube channel. (Did you know the Egyptians had cat memes?) They have a dedicated Instagram account where you can learn to read hieroglyphs.

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Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045

It’s 2045. War is the main industry and cryptocurrencies are invalid, leading to even more conflict and civil unrest.

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 doesn’t start with a bang. It takes several episodes before the plot gains momentum and you’ve seen enough of the world, and the people in it, to really get into it. But it’s worth sticking with it.

Unlike such dystopias as Mad Max, the post-apocalyptic world of SAC_2045 is familiar to ours. It’s about real people. The series shows the impact of a large economical crisis and currency devaluation on average people.

The impact of the United States as a global power on other countries is another nice touch. It’s a bit of a cautionary tale, and this aspect of the anime is very well done.

What is less well done is the animation. I am not a fan of this style of cheap and basic-looking CGI at all, and I feel the anime deserves better.

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