I was visiting a friend over the holidays and told her about this blog and what Steampunk is all about. Her reaction?
“All of that stuff that I really like, it has a name! And that name is Steampunk.”
Welcome to the fold, sister.
She was so inspired after our little chat that she created a beautiful, hand painted decorative plate, which is available for $250. You can reach her through her Lost Bohemian Facebook page.
And in addition to drawing and painting, she is also a world-class crocheter. I found this adorable scarflet for $40 just today on her website. Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
My parents just bought a townhouse so my mom wanted some help shopping and I was happy to oblige. We went to Hom Furniture and I found a surprising amount of decor that could be considered Neo-Victorian or Steampunk. I took some pictures on my phone of my favorite items. This particular Hom store also had a pseudo-balcony that was lined with cupboards that looked like library shelves so it helped at to the Steampunk feeling due to all the books in the interior design.
This table below and the side table set above really caught my eye.
But most of what I found was wall art like the pieces below.
I was doing some Pinterest trawling for inspiration for a Steampunk mask and I ran across a tutorial for a beautiful Venetian-style lace mask at http://www.UrbanThreads.com (pictured above). I don’t have the equipment to machine stitch the lace myself, but I started to poke around the site and found a plethora of hand-stitchable design packs for as little as $4. You can check out the whole sets of hand-stitching designs here and machine-stitching designs here.
There are a variety of tutorials for DIY Steampunk on the site, many of which could be adapted for the non-embroiderer. Here are pics of some of my favorites, but you can find all of their tutorials here.
“Once upon a time scientists and inventors dressed up in outlandishly old-fashioned clothes and employed outlandishly old-fashioned technology in their contraptions. Turns out, what’s old IS new again, as Mo Rocca is about to reveal:
Welcome to the annual Steampunk World’s Fair in Somerset, N.J. – only an hour’s drive from Manhattan, but in spirit over a century removed from the present day.
One attendee said her prominent corset was comfortable: “Oh yes, absolutely. It’s very supportive and it encourages good posture.” Like a sports bra, noted Rocca.
Corsets and goggles and gears, oh my! And weaponry of all shapes and calibers, like the steam-powered ray gun. If you came unarmed, or under-dressed, dozens of vendors fill the fair with suitable steampunk wear.
By now you’re probably wondering, what IS steampunk?…”
Check out the whole 2012 article as well as a great collection of links at :http://www.cbsnews.com/news/steampunk-yesterdays-tomorrow/
They also featured the Steampunk World Fair in the video below.
I have heard some hemming and hawing about the costumes in NBC’s Dracula because they aren’t “period” enough. Personally, I think that is part of what makes it steampunk rather than a period drama and therefore way more interesting. I watched a special about the making of the Tudors and I think the costumers on Dracula are taking the same approach: It’s not about historical accuracy, it is about making the audience look at clothes and get an impression about the person wearing them. For instance, records about the real Anne Boleyn show that she was on the forefront of fashion in her day, but how do you capture that for an audience that doesn’t know the difference between silk and satin?
So the costume designers made a compromise between authenticity and modern designs to appeal to the audience and give the impression of her changing status as her look evolved. The same goes for music in movies like Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby, these aren’t the original songs or even the original genre of music, but the point is to capture the excitement of the time and place and draw the audience into the world of the film.
And the same goes for NBC’s Dracula. The men’s clothing is absolutely gorgeous and connotes the huge wealth that Dracula and the Order Draco control. Except for during the occasional ball, Mina’s clothes are much plainer than Lucy’s, which brings their different social statuses into focus. Here are some costumes and sets for you to drool over.
One place you can always count on for period pieces and beautifully constructed costumes is the Masterpiece Theater on PBS, and The Paradise is no exception. Set in an 1870s shopping Mecca, this series is a veritable parade of inspiration for Steampunk fashion. The hats alone already have my mind whirring! And as the visionary store owner, John Moray says “how can such beautiful women ever have enough beautiful things?”
Before the Victorian era, all clothing was sewed by hand. The industrialization of the garment industry led to a growing collection of “ready-made” dresses, but the upper class ladies were slow to move away from their couture gowns. This is one of the hurtles that the staff of The Paradise must overcome, and fast-thinking shopgirl Denise is able to make the “hard sell” from the very beginning.
“This isn’t a shop. This is a kind of heaven!” cries one of their customers. Keep in mind there was no such thing as Harrod’s or Macy’s in the form we know it today until the 1890s, so the convention of a store that caters specifically to women and their buying power was all but untapped of at this time.
You can see full episodes on PBS’s website by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the page for Episode 1.
You have to sign in via Facebook or Google to see this amazing video series by PBS, but then you have access to all 45 windows into the media and how it influences our culture. I also really enjoyed their piece on how fandom and fan fiction are a dialog with society.