Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Steam punk fashion and fabulous hats

OK I admit it, I just love the genre’s name. Steam Punk. It’s awesome. I actually enjoyed the movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, but I really only watched it for Jude Law and the fantabulous fashions sported in the film. Red lipstick, I gotta say, Gweneth can pull that sh** off. On me it’s a little questionable, but I love it none the less.

I only came into full awareness and understanding of the world of steampunk recently. My sister-in-law introduced me to the term and the most wonderful website on earth on which to find anything and everything steampunk fashion related that one’s heart could desire for the wearing, Etsy.

After the initial first seven hours or so, I knew I’d found a new home, a community of artists and craftspeople, kindred spirits, an outlet for my over active creative tendencies, and an avenue for getting something started that my life has been missing, something real, something beautiful, something magical. Inspiration had struck. Steampunk was the catalyst.

Before I even really knew how or why mini burlesque top hats made of rich brocades and lavishly decorated fit into the genre of steampunk, or why I was immediately compelled to make them, I found myself running the aisles of my local fabric store grabbing feathers and rhinestones and satiny ribbons til I nearly just died from all the fabulousness. Then I spent the entire weekend creating. Along the way somewhere I also found time to look up steampunk on Wikipedia in an effort to understand why I was suddenly obsessed with mini top hats. Wiki says “works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have envisioned them; in other words, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, art, etc.”

It all made sense now, you see if Victorian culture had continued on into a future where steam still powered everything and there were dirigibles flying around in the sky, then fashion clearly would have evolved along similar lines, fantastical and overdone, yet with a nod to the past. Ladies of course still wear corsets, only now instead of being underwear, they are evening wear. So if you’re going out for a night on the town in your dirigible, wearing your corset, mini tutu and diamond net thigh highs, you need a feather and rhinestone bedecked mini top hat, cocked jauntily to one side, as the perfect pièce de résistance for your outfit. (As a side note for readers, those of you who know me will already know that jaunty is one of my very favorite words, for those of you who may be new to my musings, get used to hearing it a lot)

A friend of mine recently started a blog to promote her photography business, my brother has been blogging for years about game programming, why am I the last person on Earth to start a blog? Afterall, I have always fancied myself a bit of a writer, I have always entertained friends and acquaintances with my wry humor infused babblings via email, twitter and facebook, and I have been trying to find a way to get a jewelry and accessory design business off the ground. How is it I managed to put off blogging for this long, still writing in my leather-bound paper journal with an ink well and quill . . . ? I suppose that is how one would write in Victorian inspired steampunk world, only the quill would be operated and the pages turned by an unnecessarily complex contraption powered by steam, but I figured maybe its time to jump into the now.

So, it was these jaunty feather-tacular little top hats that I started crafting the other night on one of my whimsiest whims after learning about Etsy and steampunk, that became the spark that finally lit the fire, and has given life at last to Angelique Ashton Designs.

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