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A few years back, Mattel released a series of higher end cat-woman (not Catwoman) dolls called 'Lounge Kitties', made up of a Tiger Woman, a Leopard Woman and a Cheetah Woman.

Though they aren't in direct competition with Selina as comic book characters, for the purposes of this blog, they still fall under the category 'Copycats':





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This time, I bring you: Celebrities: Boy, Do They Love Their Leopard Print.



Lots more behind the cut! )
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More cat-inspired fashion! Today, High Fashion/Pin-Up Style.









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At the request of [livejournal.com profile] darkestnova, the next few Off Topic Tuesdays will be dedicated to Catwoman/Cat themed fashion posts!

Today's Catwoman inspiured fashion statement? The curve clinging catsuit!



Prepare yourselves for the best of the best...and the worst of the worst... )
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
Just a fun little time waster today...a Catwoman Dress Up Game.

After a great deal of fiddling with the game, I settled on...



So go! Play! And if you are so inclined, share your creations!
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
When I was growing up, it was a well known fact that I liked cats above all other animals--due in no small part to the fact that Catwoman was my favorite person in the history of the universe.

As a result, I got a lot of cat-themed gifts.

And since I was a girl...I got a lot of cat-themed jewelry.

Uh, allow me to add, 'my mother had simply atrocious taste'.

Yeah. You could say I know a thing or two about tacky cat-swag.

So, I thought I might put my unfortunate expertise to use: it's time for another installment of "This, Not That"! The Cat Jewelry Edition.

It's everywhere, but it's rarely fashionable enough to draw the eye of someone like our Selina...

When you type 'cat jewelry' into google, you get a handful of...really ugly pieces, honestly. Let's look at some of the train wrecks, shall we?

Tacky:











A few that SERIOUSLY push the boundaries of taste but come up on the 'cute' or 'neat looking' side...






(That's a Kenneth Jay Lane design--which is why it gets a pass. But only just barely!)


(I know, I know. It's hideous and chunky and...ew, gold...but it's an innovative design and a conversation piece. For that, I like it.)


And finally, Understated/Classy:



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In the nineteen eighties, there was a prolific artist by the name of Patrick Nagel who pretty much defined the look of The Eighties Woman singlehandedly and changed the face of style and art with his work. He died shortly after attaining fame, but even so, echoes of the Nagel Ideal could be seen in almost every medium.

I've always thought that Frank Miller's/David Mazzucchelli's Batman Year One take on Selina--with her short hair and sharply defined features--owed more than a little bit to Nagel's work. Though I personally consider Nagel's women to be far more attractive than the YO version of Selina, I can't help but draw comparisons...especially considering the eventual Darwyn Cooke take on the character.

Let's compare! The Cooke noir-y, femme fatale version:



vs.









dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
When I think of Selina Kyle, ideally I think of the perfect fashion plate; gorgeous, sophisticated, elegant and poised. Her taste in clothes and jewelry, in my mind, has always reflected this--even when...comic artists don't exactly portray it as such.

This brings us to today's off topic Tuesday topic, "This, Not That".

As a haute couture/general fashion enthusiast, I thought I might allow a couple of my passions to intersect: the passion for fashion and Catwoman. So, let's have a look at fashion that SCREAMS Catwoman and how to do it well...and how to do it...not so well.

Today's fashion statement that can be either fabulous OR a faux pas?



Leopard print.

It's making a comeback, if Glamour's latest Jennifer Lopez shoot is to be believed...




But...it never really went away, honestly.

Leopard print is something you've gotta be careful with, though. It's like alcohol: for best results, use in moderation.

So...go for THIS:



Not THAT:



(Though I must say: if she plans on becoming a supervillainess, she's WAY more than halfway there.)

And THIS:



Not THAT:



As with all things, overkill is the enemy.
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
I'm one of those people who, every once in a while, is given to great bit bursts of creativity. Sometimes it's a productive burst that benefits me and the rest of the world, other times, not so much.

Last night, I decided to try something new for 'Off Topic Tuesday'--something a bit more hands on than the usual 'write and post something' and the result was...interesting.

I guess what I'm saying is, if you've ever wanted your very own Catwoman paper doll, your wishes are about to come true.

So, I present to you the doll:



...and the outfits! )
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DISCLAIMER: In no way is this blog intended to advocate theft--museum theft or otherwise. It is pure speculation in the interests of character-based research.

The museum heist. It's a staple of cat-burglar fiction, from Entrapment to even one of the Pink Panther sequels. It's been done and done and done.

And of course, Selina's pulled her fair share of museum jobs. She's the world's greatest cat burglar--at least, within the confines of the DC comics universe. But just because she's the greatest doesn't necessarily mean she doesn't put any thought into what she's doing.

Today, we're going to play a little game called "This, Not That".

When planning a museum heist, what do you go for? What's the biggest payoff? What's the easiest route to take?

Today, we're going to plan a heist. But not just any heist. We're gonna plan to knock off the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History--the place where the Hope Diamond is kept.



But we're NOT going to steal the Hope Diamond.

"But, Dr. Von Fangirl," you ask, "isn't that the whole point of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History?"

Well, invisible interjector, for some, perhaps, but not for us. And not for Selina. Aside from the fact that the Hope Diamond is supposedly cursed (not that we're the cowardly or superstitious types, oh no), it's housed inside this:



What that photo doesn't show you is the series of video cameras and electronic eyes scattered all over the room. The glass case the gem is kept in is also pressure and weight sensitive, there's no way in from above (no matter what the movies may try to tell you) and there are no entrances or exits to the second floor room that aren't protected by security measures--not even an air vent.

"Well, darn," you say. "Is it impossible to steal from the Smithsonian?"

Nope. In fact, it's happened before--and recently, not sixty years ago when it was 'easier' to steal from a museum if you had the right tools and know-how. A series of fossils were stolen--and not just one or two, but nearly a dozen. So it's possible--so long as you choose your target wisely.

When wandering the Smithsonian the handful of times I've been there (as research for this piece, I assure you. Ahem.) it's impossible not to note that some exhibits are better secured than others--even on the second floor, where the gems and mineral exhibits are kept.

The layout of the museum is this: the Hope Diamond room leads into a room of similarly valuable mounted stones--pieces by Harry Winston and Cartier, etc.--which then gives way to a room filled with huge display cases of precious and semi-precious stones--both loose and mounted--before finally giving way to the rocks, metals and other minerals displays.

Now, we've already established that the Hope Diamond is a poor target for us. What about the other jewelry the Smithsonian houses? There are dozens of valuable pieces--both from a historic and monetary standpoint. From Marie Antionette's earrings to a diadem worn by Napoleon's wife Josephine, there's a literal treasure trove of pieces that are more than worth their weight in gold.





There's even 'The Mystery Diamond'--a diamond of unknown origin that is on display:



But, aside from the fact we're not the Riddler (because really, that would be so his style), these gems--valuable though they are--are almost as much of a hassle to get to as the Hope Diamond. Each piece of jewelry--with only a couple of exceptions (as shown above) are kept in separate sealed cases with each case boasting what appears to be a series of electronic eyes and pressure sensitive glass. While one of these pieces may fetch a pretty penny on the black market, it's a lot of risk for what is--in the long run--not much reward.

But what other options are there?

Why, the room beyond with all the raw gems, of course!

"But," you say, brow furrowing in confusion, "those aren't shiny and pretty and faceted and from Cartier!"

Well, actually, invisible interjector: they are.

Amidst all the raw gem stones--the huge chunks of Amethyst and Quartz that are unpolished--are hundreds of loose, faceted gems--including dozens of diamonds AND jewelry.





What these pictures don't show you is that each display case houses dozens of gems behind a single piece of glass. This includes the diamond display where several faceted gems of unbelievable clarity and quality reside. Here's an example of one of the cases:



In that example, I see at least ten faceted stones/jewelry settings. That's a lot of payoff for very little effort, don't you think?

In half the time it would take to break into the Hope Diamond case--were it ever deemed possible--or one of the cases that holds a pair of Harry Winston earrings, you could crack open each and every one of the loose mineral cases, pick out all the most precious loose faceted stones and pieces of jewelry and be well on your way out the door.

And if you're feeling especially greedy, you can even duck around to the raw minerals display and take every single piece of raw gold:



And can you imagine the museum curator's reaction to the break-in the next morning?

"Sir, we've had a theft."

"Oh no! Is the Hope Diamond safe?"

"Yes, sir."

"Then what did they get?"

"...everything else."

Not only is it a massive payoff, it's a statement. The kind of statement that I think our beloved Catwoman might like to make:

"Sure, I could take the Hope Diamond if I really wanted to...but everyone goes for that. I'll just completely clean you out instead."

Of course, the question of fencing the goods is bound to come up--but unlike a high profile item like the Hope Diamond, it's possible to just sit on any of the pieces you can't fence immediately. Gems don't go sour like milk, after all, and there's always a buyer somewhere in the world looking for what you've got.

Next time on "Think Like Selina Kyle", we discuss handcuffs and how to escape them.

Or maybe, Art: You Wanna Be a Cat Burglar? You Better Know Your Shit.

Or maybe even Whip Cracking: The Finer Art of Not Smacking Yourself in the Face Accidentally.
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
It's Cover!Wednesday again! Today, we're going to do something a tad bit different than the usual 'post pretty pictures' thing, because I've noticed something.

Looking at the covers I've posted thus far of Selina's 90's series--the ones that I consider to be the coolest from an aesthetic viewpoint--it's interesting to note that the covers suffer from the same visual character development/derailment that the old Nancy Drew novel covers did. In the earliest covers, the main character is always doing something active--something badass--and always confident. For example:



Later, she's still active but scared/startled/apprehensive while in action:



Then she's falling off things...a lot. Or otherwise 'in danger':



Now, there are several instances of Catwoman being confident/badass after and in between these issues, but it's still an interesting trend to consider. In fact, this progression from active to active-but-scared to menaced eventually goes all the way to victim.

This progression inevitably leads to what our cover theme is for the day: The Damsel in Distress.











I find it interesting to note that, while in her solo series from the nineties and in various Bat-family titles she's often portrayed as the damsel in distress, whereas in her second solo series she's almost never portrayed as such. In fact, there are only three instances that I can find:







Let's compare, actually, by the numbers, her 90's series versus her '01 series. But just to make sure we've got things nice and even handed here, the criteria for being 'in distress' is as follows:

1.) Unconsciousness OR
2.) Being bound OR
3.) Falling off things
AND
4.) No apparent means of escape
AND
5.) Not visibly fighting back

Starting with the 90's series:






Issues #15, 20, 34, 42, 48, 49, 56, 57, 60, 63, 70, 74, 80 & 82

VS.


Issues #16, 24 & 45


That's fourteen vs. three, for those of you playing along at home.

Something else that I find interesting is that--overall--the same number of issues with DiD covers in series one were penned by both men and women. So it's clearly not a gender bias.

DAMSEL IN DISTRESS COVERS BY (MAJOR) SERIES AUTHORS:
Series One
Jo Duffy: 0
Chuck Dixon: 3
Doug Moench: 3
Devin Grayson: 5
John Ostrander: 1
Bronwyn Carlton: 2

Series Two
Ed Brubaker: 2
Will Pfieffer: 1

In fact, stories written by a woman (Devin Grayson) are the worst offenders by sheer volume, it would seem.

Now, comics writers generally don't have much say over which cover goes on their comic-of-the-month. That's up to an editor to decide, based on the story's content. Does this mean that those stories themselves cast Selina as a damsel instead of a protagonist? Not necessarily, but it's interesting to note, nonetheless.

Of course, there is one instance of the Damsel in Distress trope being turned on its head, from Brubaker's run:



I'm not particularly fond of the art--I find it a bit on the grotesque side, actually--but it's nice to see this sort of thing happening. Rather than being cast as the victim collapsed in the hero's arms, Selina is cast in the hero's role.

Selina as Savior has always been more interesting to me than just Selina for Self. At least, it's always been more interesting since I've been a grown-up who no longer harbors the desire to be a pretty, pretty princess with a castle closet full of flouncy dresses and a treasury full of precious gems.

So, my Fellow Feline Fatale Fans, what do you make of this?

Edited to Add: It's no longer Off-Topic!Tuesday, but this tidbit is too good to just sit on for a week:

The New York Post (which is a bit of a scandal rag, I know) reports that a woman dressed as Catwoman recently robbed a shoe store in New York City.

The thief browsed in the store--in a cat mask!--for an hour and then made off with a whopping eighty-six dollars.

Well...points for cajones and execution, at the very least.
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
Seeing as I don't seem to do much else with my Off Topic Tuesdays very often, I thought I might start a new feature: Think Like Selina Kyle. From what she'd steal to what she'd drink to how she does that voodoo that she does do oh so well, this (probably very irregularly delivered) feature will be a supplement to all the merch, fanart, reviews and scans to be found here.

Today, we learn how to pick a lock.






More DIY videos at 5min.com


Now, understand that Selina would have much more sophisticated tools for such a job (various picks actually meant for these things, for example) but if there's one thing a cat burglar needs to be able to do, it's think and perform on the fly. Sometimes, you're going to be without the usual tools of the trade and you'll have to cobble something together and make it work.

I can also personally attest to the accuracy of this video's technique, as I've tested it and successfully cracked a lock with it. So next time you lock a file cabinet or your luggage and lose the key (or are taken hostage and tossed into a prison cell), you've got the skills to deal with it.

Next time, we play "This, Not That"--in which we explore the finer points of taste, style and robbing museums.
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
And you thought Magpie was bad? Darling, we've barely even scratched the bad-fashion surface:



GAH.

Oh, Looker. Just...stop.
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
Behold. Magpie, the newest awesome character who totally doesn't look like the era she came from at all..



Uuuugh.
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
It's Batman verses a scarf! Who will win?



...well, the scarf, clearly.

STUFF AND NONSENSE

This is the back-up account for what I hope will be the Ultimate Catwoman Fan Blog--Dr. Von Fangirl on LiveJournal. You should go check it out over there. I much prefer the original article.

November 2011

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