Wednesday Spotlight: Maeve Alpin

Victorian Fashion for As Timeless As Stone
By Maeve Alpin


I wanted to tell you about my steampunk erotic romance, As Timeless As Stone, which takes place in 19th century Paris, so it’s full of fabulous 1830’s French fashion. Elegant, over the top clothing is a big part of As Timeless As Stone and all steampunk romance. Steampunk has even become a fashion trend. Though one of the most confining things for women in the steampunk era, the Victorian age, were the garments– layers of them from head to toe, including hats and gloves– one of the sexiest things women had going for them were the garments, all those lacy corsets.

Since my heroine in As Timeless As Stone, Seshat, is an ancient Egyptian priestess, I have a unique way of dealing with Victorian fashion. Seshat is not impressed with layers of confining clothing. As an Egyptian priestess it is a taboo for her to wear anything made from animals, such as wool, and this comes into play when the couturier is garbing her in the latest Paris fashions. Here is a short excerpt from the scene with Seshat and the Parisian dressmaker.

Excerpt:

She imagined Ricard smiling at her, as she sat beside him in his horseless carriage, in her new gown. Her heart beat faster and a warm glow filled her. Seshat couldn’t help her strong attraction for this man she barely knew. Every time she thought of him, her heart turned over. She would do anything, even wear one of these awful garments, just to make him happy. In her mind, Ricard tossed the full blue skirt and white petticoat over her head then hoisted the chemise to uncover the secrets of her womanly center, hidden beneath layers of garments, waiting for his touch. Suddenly hot, she waved her fingers in front of her face.

After taking another deep breath, she pulled the dress on, cringing at the tight
fit and the clingy feel against her skin, but if she had to wear it, she could. “Why are the
sleeves shaped so oddly? No one’s arms are like this. They look bigger than a
falcon’s wings.” She flapped her arms in front of the couturier.

Mademoiselle swept her hands dramatically through the air “Oui.” She pointed at
the large sleeves then the tight waistline and flashed a broad smile

Seshat had never felt so frightened in her life. She’d rather face Hyksos
warriors than this woman babbling in that foreign language with her never-ending
garments. A voice inside her head screamed at her to escape while she still
could. No, she promised Ricard she’d wear the dresses he bought her. Though she
wanted to return to the temple and her life, she didn’t want to leave Ricard.

Seshat needed to look at and be with Ricard for now. As mademoiselle gestured to
her to remove the gown, she slipped it off and laid it on the chest they called
a dresser, on top of the pile of clothing there.

Seshat wished she stood bare before Ricard instead of the couturier, to have his
shimmering gaze rake boldly over her body. She imagined he’d step up to her, cup
her breasts, mold and squeeze them. Her body throbbed with need at just the
thought of what the touch of his warm, firm hands would feel like.

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