September 7th, 2009

duelist

Our first commercial!

The photographer who did the lovely portrait of me with the violin asked if she could shoot video during our photo shoot. She's working on her reel at the moment for special effects. Currently she is employed working on Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and did many other notable pieces including all the big kaplowooooshes for Pirates of the Caribbean. Talented, talented lass.

I digress, she surprised me yesterday with a mini-commercial. I had alot of fun acting out both roles on green screen with a drawn on mustache and my other half, a villainess who turns before the three paces are up. Dueling Donnas!


Ensemble on the left: Gents Bowler, Strap on Dickey, Naval Jacket of the Sea and Air, Love is in Bloomers and Poppins Poo Kickers
Ensemble on the right: Frankie's Eyepatch, Ragtime Blouse, Time Traveler's Corset, Time Traveler's Vin Number necklace, Sassy Lass Jacket, skirt from the Victorian 2 piece traveling suit, Plunder and Posturing Boots.

And onto the "hey what we've been up to" portion that always ends up somewhere in my posts...

Our Louise Black Anatomical Cameo Corsets are en route to us and we can start pre-selling them later today. There will be no wait, we will have them in stock.  We are celebrating Talk Like A Pirate Day by giving away free Jolly Roger Banners with every $50 purchase when you use the code TLAP. I must announce the winner of the Polyvore contest (gosh it's been tough to decide), we added new footwear to Men's and women's over the weekend, and we invite you, the public to write articles on our style blog. Show off a new shoppe, item or event you found, items of interest, movie and music reviews, etc. We want to round it out more and we'll be keeping track of your postings. You will earn points to get free goodies. More info on that later.

(no subject)

I've recently rediscovered Steampunk, and am utterly smitten. Once upon a time, I supplemented my income as a theater student by designing and building custom costumes (or just clothes) for a vast array of decidedly eccentric people. I specialized in corsetry,  with an emphasis on historically accurate silhouettes and details, fused with a more modern attitude toward wearability. Since I also worked in the largest Antique Mall on the West Coast, I had pretty much unlimited access to a ridiculous array of gorgeous vintage fabrics, trimmings, and tchotchkes with which to build, not to mention the inspiration of being constantly surrounded with lovely old things. It was super fun, I made bank, and the collaborative connections I made with the people who commissioned from me were totally rad.

But then I grew up. I got a "real" job in the culinary sector. I got normal (ish). While I never stopped expressing myself artistically through fashion, I no longer had time to dress others. I wanted a "career", with "stability". Uuuuuuuugggggghhhh! What was I thinking? A few weeks ago, I was browsing the racks at a local consignment shop, and came across one of my old corsets. It was the most basic model, a simple bodice in dove grey canvas double faced with rose brocade, with attatched shoulder straps and a lightly boned front lacing pointed busk. It was exquisite. I remember thinking...."how did I do that?!" It was an AHA! moment.

I took it home, and started experimenting again, and in the course of researching the possibilities of self marketing through Etsy, etc., I found Steampunk. Thank god. This is fun! It's exciting! For a girl who was raised in a home atmosphere as closely approximating Victorian England as possible, in a family that found the microwave and the cell phone to be INconveniences, who grew up in sci-fi and fantasy books and spent all her spare time concocting gadgets backstage, who to this day will not buy ANYTHING new for her home or closet (with the possible exceptions of groceries), this is the Holy Grail. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a luddite. I mean, here I am, typing merrily away while listening to Tori Amos on my iPod. But its really nice to know that there's this whole complex, gorgeous community of people who would rather things had gone a bit differently, and who prefer to live as though they had. *sigh*

Steampunk seems to encapsulate some of the more disparate aspect of my own aesthetic and cultural sensibility; corsets, waistcoats, hats, Neo-Victoriana, robots, pirates, unconventional technology, epic adventures....

Anyway, if you're in the vicinity of Portland, OR, and are interested in some hands on collaboration, I have fabrics, leather, hat frames, paint, feathers, boning, metalwork, beading, etc., a sewing machine, an art studio, and quite a bit of time on my hands...
moomins

Hat Question

need the opinion of all you lovely steampunk fashionistas. Going to The Asylum in Lincoln, UK next week and very low on hats. Wouold you consider the hat in the picture passable as Victorian? If not, any ideas how to mod it? or any other ideas? Worst case scenario, i buy one when i'm at the convention.

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duelist

In the name of love...

Captain Donna here, and feeling abit... romantic. With a bag of chocolate before me I write to you with a plea to help two star-crossed lovers find their way into each other's arms once again.

Meet Chance and Finn


You may recognize Miss Finn formerly from Abney Park fame as their beautiful belly dancer and choreographer. Her life you see, is changed now and she has stripped away the rock star stage to take, well, a chance. These crazy kids are going to go ahead and give it a go and more power to them. The only dilema? They live on two different continents. Finn is selling off her Abney Park Dance Costumes in order to afford the ticket to Germany.

We ourselves are hopless romantics and I would not know what to do without Pilot Jozua beside me. We donated a pair of the Penny Farthing Pedal Pusher Capris and Von Claret vest (both inspired by the lovely Finn) to be auctioned off for the cause. Please visit her auctions, bid them up, and own some beautiful stage wear or Clockwork Couture and wear it knowing you helped lovers reunite under the veil of night in a faraway land.

reddress

Abney Park, Finn’s Edison Mermaid Gown - 260472078889

Abney Park, Finn’s Steampunk Rock Gown 260472086508

Abney Park, Finn’s Red Ruffle Gown - 260472090010

Von Claret Penny-Farthing Pedal Pushers - 260473887610

Pinstripe Cropped von Claret Vest by Clockwork Couture - 260473879673
Lawrence

steampunk comrades

After having designed the perfect (to my mind, anyway) Martian Colonial Army (5th Ether Rifles) uniform (using mostly British militaria with some added bits and pieces), I've decided to make a winter ensemble that could be seen as definitely steampunk...so my answer was...
Steampunk Soviet Cavalry (I'll make up a whimsical name later, for now that will suffice). So I just picked up this rather spiffy Soviet greatcoat, the standard make and look, and I’ve already got a budyenovka (I believe that is how it is spelled, one of those Red Army (traditionally cavalry) caps, several pairs of goggles, and woolen trousers that should work with everything... And now I am trying to think of a way to steampunkerize the outfit I’ve developed (I’ll probably post more with pictures later on) without seriously modifying either the coat or the hat (they are both rather well made, and I always feel slightly guilty dismembering an antique for simply aesthetic reasons). Any ideas?
Thanks,
Viraumus Sabena, 5th ER, MCA.
tree blossom

Late fall steampunk events in the DC area?

Anyone know of any upcoming Steampunk events close to DC? Particularly November onwards? I'm training for the Marine Corps Marathon Oct 25th and between training and fundraising, my weekends are pretty much taken between now and then, but I've started acquiring costume pieces and would like some excuses to show them off. ^_^ Sadly, no friends are throwing Halloween parties.
Adipose

(no subject)

Hey everyone,
I'm taking a trip to visit  San Jose and San Francisco over Halloween weekend and would love to have places to go dressed up to the nines.
I am wondering if there will be any fun events that week that would be of neo-victorian steampunk  for me and my travelling companions to dress up and attend
My Google-fu is failing me in finding many so I'm hoping LJ might help me out!

As a note;

I am well aware that San Jose and San Francisco are very large areas and this may be a vague question!
My plans are not currently set in stone, and what area of which city I stay in and for long can be dependent on any events I would like to attend :)

Steampunk and Society

I've been thinking a lot lately about trends in fashion and why steampunk especially appeals to me.

I think that growing up in the 80's and 90's, everywhere you looked was a large sort of rebellion against formality. I categorize this both in the social sense, with the broadening of what could be allowed in public media such as television and music, but also in the degree of formality in the workplace (the 90s jeans at the workplace scenario being the most famous trend). The prevailing attitude to me was that formal clothing was linked with stodginess, or for special occasions where you absolutely had to (ie weddings).

I see steampunk as a natural sort of reversal of this and other attitudes towards fashion and etiquette in general. Whereas steampunk is largely fashion oriented, with literary background and elements, it seems that there is a new aesthetic that old fashioned gallantry might not be such a bad idea. Whenever I wear a really nice shirt at work that is more than your garden variety shirt, something with some texture or an interesting cut, it gets noticed. Whenever I get complimented, I think that it might have something to do with the fact that items I look for are items that are not necessarily mass produced (or at least haven't been for quite a while).

And even that is a trend I see reversing. Two months ago I bought an extremely nice short sleeved shirt with vertical lines and epaulettes for $20 at Target, of all places. A place that was always great for practical stock, such as socks and underwear, but a place that I am beginning to notice is taking into stock a few "sharper" looks of semi formal wear that is as affordable as the rest of what they carry.

To summarize, I think society is crying out for a return for a place for more sophisticated styles. In this country especially, casual wear is sort of king. T shirts and wife beater shirts will never go away, and on a hot day they rock. What else are you going to wear when you go jogging? But growing up I always sort of wished that I could 'get away' with what they wore in previous historical periods without people assuming that I was nuts. And I think that now we're seeing there can easily be a balance between everyday comfort wear and showy dressiness.

Now I'm not saying that everything about the manners of the Victorians was something we should emulate. Certainly racial and sexual mores were far different, as well as the way children were raised. But certain choice niceties could use a reintroduction. Accessories for daily wear and old fashioned looks to household items have lent the steampunk movement a lot of artistic cred. People get excited over the idea of not so futuristic looking things, now that we're all in what most people considered to be the years of the ultimate future, where everything would be jetpacks and flying cars, spaceports and astronaut food pills.

And as far as manners go, just a little formality goes a long way. It's more than roleplay. I think that people genuinely get into the idea of being given a bow or a little flourish and a card than they care to admit. We don't all have to memorize hundreds of rules about visiting someone's home, but you have to admit, the Victorians were masters at handling introductions and avoiding awkward first times at meeting new people.

There are little variations of this and big variations, but the little ones interest me the most. I think that society as a whole is ready for an introduction to steampunk as less of just a trend and more of a statement of the work that people are willing to put into what they wear. I look at some of the stuff over at various Victoriana clothing sites and it could well pass for everyday wear, and is beginning to. Maybe this is just the cusp of something greater and what will follow is a move towards it being more accepted in the general public rather than dress for a special event, faire, or reenactment. (Anyone who has read The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson has probably thought of these points at least to some degree)

These are just some thoughts. What do you think about all this, and the societal need for steampunk and what comes with it?
Pink Billie Piper
  • morluna

Dragon*Con and Steampunk Star Wars!

Well, another Dragon*Con has come and gone! We had a blast this weekend costuming, seeing friends, and getting our party on. ^_Q

The Outland Armour crew participated in the steampunk fashion show on Friday, one of many wonderful events presented by the brand new Alternate History Track at Dragon*Con. We modeled our newly created Steampunk Star Wars designs, and they seemed to be a pretty big hit with the crowd. It was a lot of fun! All of the models and designers in the fashion show did a great job and there were some really beautiful designs from everyone involved. Excellent stuff.

Earlier on Friday, Lindsay and I were representatives for Outland Armour on the Steampunk Maker's Panel, and then Sunday the whole crew presented our Steampunk Costuming with Outland Armour panel. Both panels went well, but we especially had a great time hanging out with the crowd and answering questions at our Sunday panel. Thanks again to everyone who came out to see us, and our apologies to anyone who didn't get in. Hopefully the con will see fit to give the track a bigger room next year!

So all in all, a fantastic Dragon*Con. We took tons of photos, all of which I will be posting to our gallery on Zenphoto, as well as to my journal here as soon as I get them back from our photographers.

Our Star Wars group included the following characters:

Queen Amidala - Megan
Padme Amidala - Christa
Luke Skywalker - Craig
Mara Jade - Lindsay H
Princess Leia Organa "A New Hope" - Laura
Princess Leia "Slave Leia" - Meredith
Han Solo - Joe
Chewbacca - Ryan
Darth Vader - Mike
Boba Fett - Danny
Aurra Sing - Lindsey L

I did already manage to find a few good snapshots around the net however! So without further ado, here are some teaser pics of our new Steampunk Star Wars costumes!

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Sets of the Boba Fett and Darth Vader armor are available for purchase on commission, as are steampunk light sabers and blasters. Email me at Laura@OutlandArmour.com if you're interested.

Anime Weekend Atlanta is only 10 days away, so we have to take one deep breath to recover from Dragon, and then it's back into the workshop again!

Thanks again to everyone who came to our panel! Much love!

~Laura
Events Coordinator and Webmistress for Outland Armour
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