People on the street were extremely gracious about posing, even about being moved into the shade for better shots - thank you, everyone! There was a Costume Parade in the Scottish Hall on Sunday, for some prizegiving and for serious costume review. Unfortunately, while the costumed gentlemen and ladies were happy as posing flaneurs on the street, they got hasty on stage, so I didn't get the greatest photos.
Tomorrow I'll do a general travel post about the festivities and the Oamaru area. And you'll get to see my costume.
- Steampunk style is for costuming only. Not so! I incorporate steampunk items all the time. My more "everyday" steampunk-flavored looks set aside strong costume elements - long skirts, hats, and ray guns - and give normal garments a twist.
- Steampunk style is based on a muted brown/gold palette. Like these looks here.- It's often said that "steampunk is what happens when goths discover brown." My everyday steampunk look is, admittedly, exhibit A. But steampunk can be done up in any color palette you desire. Club-room Victorian colors seem like naturals (navy, hunter, burgundy, amber) but the Victorians themselves loved what artificial aniline dyes could do for their wardrobes. And there's no reason that the pastels of the late 1800s and the Regency aren't steampunk. So if you aren't an "autumn", you can still get steampunky.
- Steampunk style is hard to find. - Granted, not everyone has a great-aunt who empties the lumber room for you, but most of my key steampunky pieces were thrifted or second-hand. Victoriana and "the military look" come and go.
- Outerwear/The "Third Piece" - A button-and-buckle laden coat, a nipped-waist jacket, or a tailored vest.
- Detail and Richness - Pattern and texture, quality and patina. Brocade, stitching and fabric layering. Tweed and leather. Buttons. More buttons. All the buttons! Perversely, I like mixing Arts and Crafts patterns into steampunk looks, even though the Arts and Crafts crew were entirely against 19th century industrialization. Brocade jeans are having a moment, by the way.
- Jewelry - Steampunk rewards those who love good bling. A simple outfit framing steampunk jewelry is a great way to evoke steampunk 24/7.
- Victorian/Edwardian Looks - Buttoned gloves, buttoned or laced footwear, lavish blouses, a purse with embellished silver hardware, a hat or headband, even some real vintage in a scarf, fur, bag, or jewel.
- Bump Up The Quality - Speaking of jeans, it is indeed possible to have jeans and sneakers as the backdrop for all these steampunk accoutrements - if the jeans are trim-fitting and fresh, and the sneakers are smooth dark leather or brocade fabric. Be thoughtful about your foundation wardrobe - quality never hurts. It's my experience that people who like steampunk are smarter than average, and I'm confident that you can extrapolate on this.
- Aethercon - New Zealand's steampunk convention. Held last weekend in Wellington, it was absolutely fantastic and you should come along next year!
- Steampunk Oamaru - The delightful Victorian town of Oamaru in New Zealand hosts twice-annual steampunk festivities.
- Brass Goggles - A very fine blog for the steampunk aficionado.
- 2D Goggles - Amusing web comics about a version of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage...who fight crime!
- Gail Carringer - Her Parasol Protectorate series is engaging steampunk romance/comedy, complete with awful millinery. And Gail Carringer herself, when I met her, was a lovely person, even when being mobbed at a Worldcon. Her retro style blog is separate from her author blog.
- Vintage Textile - Do not stop, proceed directly to the Victorian/Edwardian textiles.
- The Three Graces - Estate jewelry, and how.
- Vintage Skins - Again, check out the Victorian/Edwardian section - authentic bags from the period that often look surprisingly contemporary.