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August 21st, 2008

Althea Parker, Why Do You Look So Sad?

Goodness me, I love the internet. I especially enjoy websites that cater to the desires of people with weird, expensive interests. One of these websites is the Gentleman’s Emporium, which has a vast collection of ridiculous Victorian and Edwardian outfits for both genders. I like this website better than other costume websites because not only do they sell the pieces separately for ease of mixing and matching, but they bring the outfits to life with the name and title of the fictitious person who may have worn such a thing. PLUS- Backstories!

Why, look! Here is Phoebe Robinson, Stenographer:

She’s a widow!
Her husband died in what the website refers to as “the great fire of three years ago.” That was 2005, so I’m pretty sure they are referring to the big fires in Simi Valley. Also, she is fond of hats that look like a giant potpourri sachet exploded on her head.

Next up is Professor Babcock, Man of Science:

His entire outfit costs over $500! It is also extremely flammable and may, at any moment be ignited by a bunsen burner! It’s a good thing that, as the site mentions, he spends a lot of time giving lectures “at the esteemed Institute of Technology!” How the Victorians love being vague!

And then we have the perseverant and puffy Caroline Sullivan, Pioneer. Caroline’s backstory features:

*Surviving “a bout of the ague!”
*Surviving an “Indian attack!”
*Surviving the birth of five children!
*Surviving on a farm without her husband!
*An actual quote by Ms. Sullivan about her arrival in town after surviving the long journey!

And take a look at this asshole, Baron von Frohmann, Aeronaut:

In his unbelievable hat, he builds dirigibles. Also, he doesn’t believe in Bernoulli’s principles. The website’s creators were lucky enough to find a quote from the Baron on the subject. He said that the flights of heavier craft were “mere parlor tricks, no more interesting to the scientist than the ballistic flight of a well-shot cannonball.” It should be noted that he hails from the fictional land of “Frohmann.”

And last, there is Althea Parker, Victorian Lady:

Althea! Why so glum? Your husband is the well known Dr. Calvin Parker! You have three boys! You started the public library, and were the school’s superintendent! Chin up, Althea! Put on a more brightly colored snood and smile!!

*Special thanks to David Malloy, Burbank Gentleman, for finding this site!

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