Thursday, September 17, 2009

Money Dress: the Steampunk Edition

Yesterday, I posted the sketch for Alma Garrett's Money Dress, and promised there would be a variation on it. Well, a few months back, a friend announced she was having a birthday/New Year's party this year, and it would have a Steampunk theme. Steampunk is not something I come to naturally; I know of it, but that's the extent of my experience. Still, I knew I was already building this dress for my own birthday party in November, so I started to brainstorm ways to convert for the later event.

Following images courtesy: We Heart It

Steampunk is not terribly easy for me to grasp as an aesthetic; there seem to be a lot of different ways of doing it, from the very historical to the vaguely Victorian. It runs the gamut between bustle skirts and corsets to leather harnesses and brass goggles.

I had to do quite a bit of research before I felt I was beginning to understand the look, but as I did I started to get pretty excited, beginning to even build a character around the dress I was designing:Captain Wilhemina Harcourt.

Steampunk seems to center around airships, huge hulking Victorian flying machines full of pipes and gears and rusty brass fittings, and I decided if I'm taking on a project like this, then she gets to be a captain. No point otherwise, right? So, epaulettes and gold braid on the shoulders, and a vaguely 18th-century feel to the bodice, with a tall velvet collar and over-sized cuffs to go along with my mini tricorn. Interestingly enough, this is not historically inappropriate: around 1876, colonial-inspired fashion was big to honor the centennial, so there were a lot of tricorn hats and such around. The leather faux-vest and the neck-corset and gauntlet start to veer away from the norm, however, and they will be covered in gears and watch parts, of course. I also plan to use a little rigid colloidion on my face to create a scar over one eye, and will wear a white-out lens. Harcourt is pretty badass, after all. Either that, or she doesn't know how to duck.

The bodice pattern is another Truly Victorian one, this time the TV405 Vest Basque. With a few adjustments to the collar, it works pretty well. The jacket will be out of the clover silk that makes up the skirts, but it will have chevroned stripes of the satin ribbon.

So, here's my first foray into Steampunk; I have to sit down now and figure out a way to convert my sister's gown as well, though she already has a holster and gun to wear on her hips that should look pretty kickass. I'll post progress once I get started . . .


Kendra Logan said...

I like the drawings!

Your blog is really interesting!


Anonymous said...

I love the steampunk version...oh gad. I love it so much I think I might have to create a version of YOUR version for myself...! :) I don't have anything that's basically more "elegant victorian" steampunk - and I'm thinking that's a sad thing to lack.

Kimba said...

I'm soooo glad to know you're excited for the Steampunk party! Me too!!

Ginger said...

Tab just started to do a little research, and we're both getting pretty jazzed about it;)