First of all, a picture of the original Harley Quinn, this is a comic book cover I believe.
My main inspiration for my new HQ design was Victorian fancy dress costumes. They were often shorter than normal wear and a bit over the top. Perfect for a harlequin.
I love this dress, pictures found online at the FIDM Museum and Galleries blog (http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2009/10/fancy-dress.html#more)
I also found some inspiration in a book from the 1880s on how to dress for a fancy ball. The book can be found here - http://www.archive.org/stream/fancydressesdesc00holtrich#page/n5/mode/2up I saved some pictures from it, but there are simply too many to post.
I also took a tad bit of inspiration from this artist's rendering of a female joker figure - http://nakai.gfxartist.com/artworks/182455 I'm just linking to the webpage so as to not offend the artist by posting his work. I love the headdress, but the whole outfit is beautiful.
And I positively love these 17th century stays (no idea where I found the photo...) I might incorporate a similar closure into Harley.
Some patterns that I'm planning to use (these are all from Simplicity) --