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I’ve been lurking, mostly, and figured I’d do a proper introduction post.

I’ve been off the map for the past 2 years [mostly due to grad school] but people like jaborwhalky keep trying to prod me out of my hibernation with pointy sticks and banging pots and pans.

Since the look seems to have gotten some attention, I figure I’ll give you some
background on it.

I’m a Production/Costume&Scenic designer [some of my work can be seen on my journal]. For years I’d been obsessed with 19th century menswear and made it into a pet hobby, dissecting old garments to learn how they were really engineered. Made myself as close to historically accurate replicas as I could get and wore them as my everyday clothes.

This is in large part because I’m 6’5” and nothing fits me anyways. I preferred the cut of 19th century suits and can pretty much wear them in modern society without looking too abnormal.

At the time I was much more involved going out to goth and industrial clubs, would dress fully 19th century [which mostly just meant adding a collar and tie to what I was already wearing].

Back then when someone dressed ‘victorian’ it usually mean some sort of cheap velvet frockcoat and a ruffly poet shirt, which didn’t mesh with my historical understanding of the 19th century, which became more about hard solid shapes, somber clothing. The “stark bourgeois” of the latter 19th century industrial revolution. And I set about crafting a fashion that attempted to meet more industrial esthetics.

In 2001 I was abroad in London with an internship at the globe theater and in the very little free time I’d go out to slimelight and got a good dose of the British cybergoth scene there.
While there, I did a few random doodles trying to envision what a fusion look might entail and that was the spark for what I’m still slowly developing.

At the time I didn’t really know what steampunk was although I was a big fan of actual 19th century literature (especially their science fiction). I became aware of steampunk in a more roundabout way through what I was doing.

[squirrelmadness, BTW the coat you got from me, is the one I wore as my winter coat during this period… just F.Y. random I.]

I don’t know if I’d even consider the look ‘steampunk’, more of an abstract 19th century cargo cult. It’s partially based on the images I’ve seen of native cultures dominated by industrialized societies. Wearing the clothes of the imperialists, adopting their mannerisms, but retaining an identity in their hair and skin. There’s an odd subjugation yet an ownership of the style in these old photos. Take the trappings of your enemy and wear them in your own way, use them against them.

There are national geographic images of medicine men who have taken modern items like goggles, and have used them in the construction of ritualistic masks. I find the idea of a regression from modern-functional to symbolic, spiritual and tribal uses immensely interesting territory to explore.

The hairfalls came about as a merger of this idea as well as a stylistic adaptation of the cyber tribal look that was dominating the club scene at the time.

A Utopian Victorian society doesn’t interest me, because there’s no truth in it. The Great British Empire was in a state of decay as it bloated , expanding across the earth. The era is a time of rapid change, and extreme turmoil.
If cyberpunk is a future that focuses on the grungier darker and less savory aspects of human nature [less star trek, more bladerunner] then steampunk, for me at least is doing the same.

What fascinates me most about the 19th century, is that the material from it, is still relevant today, especially in light of our current socio-political situation.

“The Conservative Order” is formed in 1815, in an attempt to maintain Aristocratic control over society, placing an emphasis on Tradition and Organized Religion,
and to quell ‘Liberalism’, suppressing the public’s demands for representative governments and civil liberties.

Joseph Conrad wrote ‘Secret Agent’ in 1907. In it, the British government enlists their own agents to blow up the Greenwich Dome as an act of terrorism, thereby scaring the public into allowing the Parliament to enact laws that enable them to crack down on terrorism [Anarchism back then]. Conrad paints a landscape where the criminals and police are not exactly separate, and where people leave bombs in public places to push fanatic ideology.

Anyways, If left to my own devices I would probably go on an on, but things like leaving the house are important priorities so I’ll end it here.


( 125 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 14th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
So you're in LA. And I'm in OC. And I've been desperately searching for male punk/steampunk/cyberkids that weren't a part of the scene already, for a photo shoot, and who understood it as a culture, not just a trend. Would you ever be interested in such a thing? You've got a great look, and obviously, a strong sense of style. I think it'd be awesomely fun to get you on camera.
Jan. 15th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC)
oh, I was a club-kid when I started on this venture... but I think I'm rapidly getting to the point where Kid is no longer an applicable term... sadly...
(no subject) - quietchildae - Jan. 15th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 14th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
Wow. Those photos, the clothes, so amazing. You're really talented.
Jan. 14th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
You are gorgeous. I love your explanation of how your interests led you to this.

Love the sketches. I used to be a scenic designer until I accidentally found a career with something corporate.
Jan. 15th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
I second Shing on this!

The costumes and sketches are wonderfully rendered as well as the path you meandered to get there! Very interesting!!

Too bad I haven't seen around any of the industrial clubs in LA. Haha. It would be fun to discuss steampunk with more people in the area...
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(no subject) - kristine_smith - Jan. 14th, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stephenhsegal - Jan. 15th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - fountaingirl - Jan. 14th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 14th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
Jan. 14th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
Great post! I am taller than 6'5" and have been looking for costumers to help me in creating traditional and/or slightly stylized Victorian menswear. If and when you have the time again (and if you are even available for freelance?), let me know...
Jan. 14th, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
I'm not doing much in the way of freelance at the moment.

However, I can tell you one trick. If you can find something that fits you in the torso and shoulders, then you can add cuffs to the sleeves to make them long enough.
Jan. 14th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
You're very talented, and I like the fact that you look so deeply into the culture instead of just looking at it as something that's "cool" and "trendy."

You've got some really nice work, and I hope to see more!
Jan. 15th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC)
Hes one of the ones who set the trend..
Jan. 14th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
Beautiful beautiful beautiful!

Your creativity and style are fantastic. Thank you!
Jan. 14th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
it's nice to meet you! your style is really kickin'.

if only all guys had that much class in their style.
Jan. 14th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)

You're awesome.
Jan. 14th, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC)
Serious talent there.

In my fave movies, I have always looked at the clothing, and have desired to work on those sets for the hopes of acquiring hand-me downs.

I guess the film companies probably just store them away for later use though.

I really wish I had your skills.
Jan. 15th, 2008 12:00 am (UTC)
yeah, all costumes go into a rental stock for re-use on other films. That's how a street scene of background characters of a certain period can be costumed.... otherwise the expense would be ridiculous.
(no subject) - mykeamend - Jan. 16th, 2008 11:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 14th, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC)
I actually just saw these pictures somewhere, and I'm still in awe. You look absolutely gorgeous in the fashion that you love, and that's a rare mix. Excellent work.

Jan. 14th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
I've been a closet fan of your dreads for a long time after I randomly came across them one day. I also agree wholeheartedly with your take on steampunk as dystopian, and the darker aspects. Excellent work on all counts.
Jan. 14th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
I love you, your work and your outlook. Thank you - thank you - for showing your face. I, er, lurk your journal and haven't gotten up the courage to say hi before, ever. I apologise for my rudeness.
Jan. 14th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
You continue to be a great inspiration! I absolutely adore your illustrations, I get lost in them often ^_^
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( 125 comments — Leave a comment )

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