Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fanny and Stella

I have just finished reading 'Fanny and Stella' by Neil McKenna, who writes like a storyteller, presents facts like a coroner and gives the reader a compassionate account of two gay gents who liked frocking up and getting out and and about at a time when it was really dangerous. A great read. I can't recommend it highly enough. As an exercise alone in how to translate history into fluent narrative without letting go of what once were real people with real emotions, it is alone worth the read. Not once does he, as so many do, leave the reader unsatisfied.

I accidentally found out about it when a local photo dealer showed me two photos of a man in drag; we had arguments about if it be an ugly woman or an effeminate man. As an illustrator I was able to dat the dress, google and search. Found it. Identified the photos, bought the book and am very happy.

As a thank you to Mr McKenna, I have tinted the largest image of them I could find on the web. This is my forte - colour, fashion and tinting. I chose colours that were in vogue and matched the style they were wearing. This was was the era of fadé, but toward the end of the decade colours became brighter as dyes became better. Here it is...

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