Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Steampunk Brainstorms

Since it is July, after all, my brain has now entered warp speed when it comes to Halloween-thinking.  My yearly marker, when Michael's Craft Stores puts out their Halloween whatnots happened last week so now I can begin to indulge nearly 24/7 in Halloween.  With that being said, my husband Jim and I have decided on our Halloween costumes since this year we are planning on going out on the Saturday before Halloween, Grown-Up Halloween (I already have a sitter lined up.) It will be the first time we went out in full-effect since 2007. 

We are going to be Steampunk.

Is that how that would be said, "Going to be Steampunk?"  I don't think that is correct.  We are going to be something within the Steampunk genre.  Is that better?  Maybe my lack of knowing how to speak about it has to do with the fact that I don't really know what Steampunk is, but I know it looks cool. 

At the risk of seeming like a poser I have decided to educate myself about Steampunk a little bit.  I'd hate to have a great costume I can't back up with facts, if that makes sense.  According to Wikipedia (Wikipedia is never wrong, right?) the genre started in the late 1980's and early '90's in literature, a version of alternative history or science fiction ("It's like if cyberpunk happened in the Victorian age," my exasperated husband is trying to explain to me as I stare at him blank-face.) And made its way into other media.  Hence the following conversation after Jim started with, "You know the book Neuromancer by William Gibson?"

"Okay, you know in League of Extraordinary Gentleman?"  Jim asks

"Nope.  Never seen it." I say.

"Okay, how about 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea...."

"Uh, no."

 "The Rocketeer?"

*head shake*

 He is no longer speaking to me at this point.

So maybe it's my lack of viewing mediocre movies that makes it so difficult for me to grasp.  Retro futuristic, maybe, is the best way to put it.  Lots of steam-powered instruments and gears and whatnot.  In the Victorian Era.  (Jim is now back to listing Steampunk movies to me, "The Prestige? Van Helsing? Hellboy? The Golden Compass?"  Well, I LOVE The Golden Compass book, and we all know how I feel about Hellboy, but I feel some of this list is a bit on the broad side, but whatever.)

Understanding the genre, while not beside the fact entirely, isn't as important has creating a kick-ass costume.  So I consulted a costumer!  My friend and co-worker Megan, who has made a splash in all sorts of amazing costumes, and just won an award at the Twin Cities Sci-Fi and Fantasy convention, Convergence, for her "Victorian Lady Dr. Who" costume:

I don't get it myself, since I don't watch Dr. Who and I'm pretty sure he's a dude and he travels through time while having sex with everyone (pan-sexual, or is that someone else?  Dr. Jack?  I dunno, like I said, my Dr. Who knowledge is slim to none.) But, Megan looks fly and always does when it comes to costumes, so I checked in with her. 

"You want to start with a character."  She told me, "If you start with the character I think you'll have an easier time creating your costume.  Plus, Steampunk is all in the accessories." 

A character!  My mind went immediately to my favorite of characters, witches!  Surely there is no such thing as a Steampunk witch, is there? 

Holy cats!  This girl is a superstar.  Look at that hat alone!  The bar, m'dear, has been set high. 

But, I am not sure if I want to pigeon-hole myself so much.  I was taken with a picture of a woman at Comic-Con this year, which made me want to do Steampunk in the first place:

I can't decide what I like more about this costume, the hat, the gun, the dress.  I think it's the dress.  I love the peek of the ankle and the rusty feel to the color.  It's a spectacular and beautiful piece of art, really.  

And these Steampunk ladies seem to be into the red hair, which I already have, so I'm halfway there, right?!  

And this dollface not only has a bird in her hair, she is also wearing something called a "neck corset."  While it looks lovely and elegant on her, well....

I don't think Steampunk costuming is it's traditional use, if you know what I'm saying...(and this was one of the tamer photos I found.)

I am intrigued at the idea of a neck corset as used in Steampunk costuming however since it seems it would eliminate any kind of wonky double-chinned-ness and may even give me some definition between my chin and neck, something I don't have in spades. 

Now, I have many options to work with on my Steampunk costume, but my husband, well, we are having a harder time nailing down a character for him, and I keep getting distracted by things like this:

 Steampunk Iron Man!  

Steampunk StormTrooper!  Ha! 

Megan suggested a Steampunk Vampire Hunter is actually a fairly popular male Steampunk character.  Jim was even able to find a Steampunk crossbow in the dark reaches of the internet.  But, would that mean I would have to be a Steampunk vampire?  Because that could be pretty cool.  I would just have to pop some fangs in! 

So many options, so little times (only 97 days until Halloween!)

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