Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bloody Fabulous -- The Definitive Post

BLOODY FABULOUS, the anthology of urban fantasy about fashion, has an Amazon Listing!

And a cover:

Table of Contents:

“Coat of Stars” Holly Black
“Savage Design” Richard Bowes
“Bespoke” Genevieve Valentine
“Dress Code” Sandra McDonald
“The Anadem” Sharon Mock
“The First Witch of Damansara” Zen Cho
“The Faery Handbag” Kelly Link
“The Truth or Something Beautiful” Shirin Dubbin
“Waifs” Die Booth
“Where Shadows Meet Light” Rachel Swirsky
“Capturing Images” Maria V Snyder
“How Galligaskins Sloughed the Scourge” Anna Tambour
“Avant-n00b” Nick Mamatas
“Incomplete Proofs” John Chu

And here's my Introduction to this wonderful collection:

My last two anthologies have been about shapeshifters and werewolves, so when I talked to people about editing an anthology dealing with fashion, the reaction more often than not has been puzzlement. But is it really so much of a stretch? We talk about shapeshifter stories being the means for manifesting our secret selves to the world. But is this so different from fashion?

We pay attention to what we wear because style and fashion are among the means of nonverbal communication. And we tell the world what we want to be today. It’s not a secret that we use the sartorial signifiers in fiction – we know the noir detectives by their fedoras and trench coats, we recognize paranormal investigators by their skin-tight leather. Princesses wear yards of chiffon and ballerinas have tulle; pirates enjoy ruffled shirts, and businessmen have their Brioni suits. So why not write a few stories in which the outfits themselves, the aspirational skins of our inner selves become the characters? Why not let those who create those garments for us tell their stories? Because who is better to explain how important our clothes are than those who spend their days immersed in creating them and imbuing them with meaning!

I think it was Ru Paul who said (and I am paraphrasing) that we come into the world naked, and everything else is drag. I want to agree with that, but I also want to think that this drag is not coincidental but magical in a way. We cannot turn into predators, even if there is a full moon outside – but we can wear jackets with metal spikes on the shoulders to feel a little bit more dangerous. Our clothes give us some shape-shifting abilities – from ethereal to tough to glamorous in a single day! They give us the means to tell the world who we are today (or who we would like to be) without uttering a word. And they let us play and pretend, manipulate our gender presentation as well as other aspects of sartorial personas: clothes are the ultimate disguise, alluring enough to bring a shapeshifter out in all of us.

So I hope that these stories will inspire you to look at your clothes with new eyes. There are so many characters here – from sales clerks to designers to fashion bloggers, from fantastical to historical to mundane costumes, from fashion magazines to fashion accessories; and every story offers a new way to look at what our clothes are, where they come from, who decides what is fashionable anyway… but most of all, how our clothes cast such a spell over us – and how we can use them as faery glamor, to cast a spell of our own, and to pretend to be our secret selves. Be your clothes shapeshifting or disguise, these stories will be your co-conspirators as you offer the world a sly glimpse of your sartorial heart.