The Last Bathing Beauty is the first novel I’ve written with two timelines. I wrote each timeline separately, and then I wove the storylines together. I was unable to jump from from 1951 to the present to write the book the way it would ultimately be read. I needed to immerse myself in each time period and POV character completely.
I wrote Betty’s 1951 timeline first, and thanks a 1951 Skylark catalog, I had access to dozens of pages of fashionable clothes. Betty wanted to be a fashion writer and editor for a New York magazine so getting this right was important. Add to that, the early 50s clothing varied from the mid-late 50s poodle skirts we all imagine.
I had so much funny perusing this catalog and choosing outfits for Betty and her friends! And thanks to fiction, I was able to mix and match and make alterations without even knowing how to sew!
Take a look at this lovely dress which inspired me! Note the gloves and shoes and posture–I sure did. And while it’s a little blurry you can read the catalogue copy too. I enjoyed all the descriptions, fabrics, and prices on the pages.
Gotta love dresses with feminine wiles galore!