So, the Punk It series is taking me a while to work on. I was talking to a friend earlier and she had no idea there were so many different varieties of "punked" costuming, so I've decided to write up a basic primer for now. Don't worry, more in depth posts on each of these will be coming, too. As I write them, each will be updated with a link from this post.
I do understand the "Stop telling me what is and isn't Steampunk" argument. My view is that if you really know what it is you are into, then you'll be able to find out more about it and connect with that genre's fans and community. Knowledge is power, my friends!
Nerfpunk is a derivative of Steampunk, and the image basically says it all! Most Steampunks take Nerf guns and modify them to fit the steampunk aesthetic. Nerfpunks take the steampunk look and modify it to fit the guns instead! This brand of punk isn't seen in literature like the rest of them, just in the costuming realms. All of the outfits bear the signature colors of Nerf's products.
As I said earlier, this is just the basics and more on each subject is forthcoming! Do you think there is an area that I missed that I should add? Let me know in the comments, and don't forget to follow me on Facebook so you know when I post new stuff!
Have you gone to a con or seen a photo lately of something that sort of looked like a specific genre or era outfit, but it seemed like the wearer had put their own sort of spin on it? Most likely, you've seen something "punked"! I'm going to be doing a series of blogs over the next couple of weeks on different types of "punk" costuming, including Dieselpunk and Rococo-punk, and starting with Steampunk!
If you're into costuming or attend conventions, you likely already have at least a general idea of what Steampunk is. Steampunk is a retro-futuristic genre, based upon an alternate Victorian timeline where instead of going with electricity, everything remained primarily steam-powered. The clothing reflects industrial pieces as art, often incorporating gears and other mechanical bits. While most people think that Steampunk clothing is just brown (and the genre is sometimes referred to as "what happens when goths discover brown), it can (and should!) include whatever colors you'd like! Most costumers come up with some sort of a character idea and then figure out what that person would wear. Lots of people like to add goggles, but it's not necessary unless you feel like they fit your outfit!
In every sort of "punk," the style doesn't just invade the characters' clothing but everything in that world-- architecture, technology, and art! According to Wikipedia, the term Steampunk was first used in 1987 (because 1987 is an awesome year to be born. Just sayin'. ;) ), as a play on the term "cyberpunk" by author K.W. Jeter. This genre frequently features airships, analog computers, and if it isn't powered by steam, it may, in fact, have something to do with aether. Steampunk is often confused with other "punk" genres, such as Dieselpunk and Dustpunk, which is what prompted me to do write this series of blogs for you!
Authors who are generally considered to be Steampunk include H.P. Lovecraft, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells (although, I consider those more as period scifi, since Steampunk is a relatively new concept.). Some more modern authors are Kaja Foglio, G.D. Falksen, A.W. Exley, and Delilah S. Dawson. If you are looking to gather some inspiration from movies, Wild Wild West and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen are generally the most mainstream that you will find, but some other titles include Katsuhiro Otomo's Steamboy, Disney's Treasure Planet, and Hugo. My personal favorite Steampunk graphic novel is Lady Mechanika (and I'm going to cosplay her one day, so help me!), and I have been known to dabble in the steampunk tabletop game of Malifaux.
Most Steampunks base their clothing upon Victorian Era England, but any country's attire from that period (1837-1901). I love Steampunk attire with Asian influence, but haven't dabbled in it yet. Most ladies (and some men) add corsets to their outfits, but it is not necessary if you don't want to! If you do decide to get into corsetry, please do some research first! When worn properly, corsets are awesome, but when you get an ill-fitting or improperly made one, it can hurt you. Other garments that are featured prominently are bustle and cage skirts, waistcoats, tailcoats, and top hats. Jewelry and accessories are, of course, a big deal and can really set you apart from the casual costumer. Daniel Proulx of Cathrinette Rings and Dr. Brassy Steamington are wonderful artists, but I am of course partial to myself, Figment Costuming & Jewelry.
Below, you can find some examples of Steampunk outfits. Sorry, it is a little bit light on men. Instead of just pilfering images from the internet, I asked my friends and followers to share their outfits! Feel free to share pictures of your own steampunk outfits in the comments!
If you have any questions for me, as always, leave them in the comments section, and if you're interested in sending me pictures for the forthcoming articles in the "Punk It" series, follow me!
A few weeks ago, I was requested to provide some ideas for a Steampunk version of Snow White, including some that are "less revealing." Disney's version of Snow White features a blue bodice, yellow skirt, red and blue puff sleeves, and curly black hair. I have seen her done with switching the shirt and bodice colors, or variations on them, and you can still tell who Snow is, pretty much, as long as you've got the primary colors in balance and black hair.
To start out, I decided to share some pictures of my friend Jen in her own Steamed Snow costume (with her permission of course)!
Jen's costume features a steampunk wench corset, cropped vixen corset, tierrany skirt, and blouse by Damsel in this Dress. Her hat was created custom for her by Chiki Bird Hat Studio, and her pouch was also custom made for this outfit by Soleste Custom Pouches (You can't really see all of the detail in it, but trust me, it is so gorgeous! It's hand embroidered with sequin flowers!). The detail I love most in Jen's outfit, though, are the seven dwarves she crocheted and put on her belt! Jen's version of Snow White is sweet, and I feel like if Disney was going to do a Steampunk version, she'd wind up something like this.
This version of Snow White starts with a blue holster corset by Heavy Red, a 25 yard golden skirt (which you can easily raise as much as you'd like by using a pair of skirt hikes), and a cute yellow bustle by BlueMoonKatherine. I love the color in the top made by RailiNolvak. I accessorized this look with red October boots by Miz Mooz, a neat recycled bracelet that says "Be the Change", and coordinating goggles by SteampunkDesign. Topping off this outfit is a poison apple necklace. The wig I chose for this version is "Bang Bang" by Rockstar Wigs.
I'd like to call this look "The Lady Snow." This aristocratic variant began with a vest and blouse by Fan+Friend Garden; this company will custom make their items to your measurements if you want! The fishtail skirt is very elegant, but the bustle overskirt gives it some more vavava voom! The pearl shoulder epaulettes are classy and a lot of fun, but they are pretty expensive if you want to buy them; if you're crafty, I don't think you'd have a problem making your own. I love the addition of the faux fur capelet to this, but you could go with or without. I've accessorized the outfit with a Bali silver poison ring, a heart locket, and an elegant slave bracelet. The wig I've chosen is Gothic Lolita Wigs' Sweetheart, and I added a hat by Chiki Bird. The shoes are Pleaser's Wink bootie in blue velvet.
For the final outfit, I wanted to do something with pants because not every girl likes skirts! I feel like this is Snow after she's been living in the woods for a while and needed something that was more functional, but still wanted to be gorgeous. This pair of gold pants is by Free People; I adore patterned skinny jeans and I like the weight of a jean a lot more than that of leggings, plus you shouldn't have to worry about panty lines or other inherent dangers of leggings! I added Violet Vixen's Sherlock Rocking Red Corset, an upcycled tatter bustle, and a steampunk utility belt by BlueMoonKatherine. To get some more yellow into the outfit, I selected a ruffled top by H&M. The wig I chose is Gothic Lolita Wigs' Rhapsody because it feels lived in, but still beautiful, like the rest of this outfit; a crocheted blue headband will help to keep the hair out of your face. These fingerless gloves bear the definitions for "flora" and "fauna", which are details I feel are wonderfully befitting of this character. The red boots have little pockets on them to hold essentials, weapons, or whatever a princess living in the forest feels like she might need. I like the addition of the apple core necklace, as if she's already beaten the Evil Queen.
I hope you guys really like these outfits! I had a lot of fun putting them together to get three very different looks. If you're looking for some other options, check out the Pinterest board I made for Steampunk Snow White. Is there a different costume you're having trouble getting ideas for or need some help with? Let me know in the comments! -Midian
For my first costume post, I asked my friends what they'd like to see me start out with. One of them has been having trouble gathering inspiration for her Little Red Riding Hood outfit, so I figured I'd give her a hand! Jen already has these two pieces from Damsel in this Dress (my favorite corset maker! If you don't own any Damsel yet, trust me, you need to!):
This is an awesome base for Red! It's just making my brain explode with possibilities! Here are few takes on her that I hope give everyone some wonderful ideas!
This first version is what I feel a traditional Red Riding Hood would be like. It features Jen's red Hooded Vixen corset and red Carousel Skirt, both by Damsel in this Dress. I've added a cute peasant top that I think any costumer would be able to get lots of use out of, a red tartan renaissance-style skirt (so much fun!), and an amazing wolf claw and moonstone necklace, which is the splurge piece in this ensemble (I couldn't help myself!). I love the buckle detail on the boots and they should be easier on your feet if you've got a long event because they're flats. The belt is great for hanging little things off of if you're going to Con or Faire, like a mug, money pouch, or wolf's paw!
For this look, I went with a simple black long-sleeved boatneck shirt under the Vixen corset because a huntress isn't worried about a pretty shirt that will just get snagged and ruined during the hunt anyway. The fur is a coyote pelt instead of an actual wolf because there is a huge price difference! I would lay the fur across a shoulder. The boots are Carlos Santana's Zhivago, and they are a little bit impractical, but I couldn't pass them up-- they're too sexy! If you want something more functional, you could easily swap them for a pair like the ones from the first look. The red leather bracers are by Clockwork Firebird, who is a wonderful guy from the UK with whom I've had the pleasure of chatting a couple of times on Facebook (check out the other goodies in his shop, too! He's got great prices!). The necklace is, again, my splurge piece because I adore the way the colors blend in it to add a subtle air of danger. I feel that the slashed leggings are wonderfully indicative of what this character is all about.
Personally, I feel like making a costume come to life is all about the little details, and there is no better genre for minutiae than Steampunk! I've added a patchwork skirt by Damsel in this Dress to be layered under the Carousel skirt by same. That skirt can also be hiked to show off some fantastic striped stockings and splurgeriffic Amelia boots by Miz Mooz. I am a big fan of ruffled shirts and this one has some great ones going on! I also love the little shoulder poof and the straps of the Vixen corset will accent it nicely. The goggles can be worn on your head or on your eyes, but don't put them around your neck or you'll cover up that great bronze wolf claw pendant by Lost Apostle. A lace face mask keeps wolf stink out of your delicate ladylike nostrils, while gloves keep your hands clean while still allowing your digits to dial 911 in case of werewolf attack. Good thing that phone is at easy access in your super awesome burgundy utility belt!
These boots are by Gipsy Dharma and I think that they would be a wonderful addition to your costume contest if you're ready to treat yourself to something great!
I hope that you've gathered some great ideas for your own versions of Red Riding Hood! I had so much fun putting these together for you! Please send me pictures of your outfits! Don't forget to load up the comments with other costumes or characters you'd like to see me take on in the future!
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