"Demi-Divas" by Durelle

Chic Indulgence

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Couture Doll Design Challenge

~The Steampunk Couture Challenge~

"Our guest judge this week is well known for her creative work in designing, but has also made Steampunk one of her signature styles. Now if you don't know what Steampunk is then you've got to do your homework to please this judge. This week's challenge is all about the sub culture known as "Steampunk". This unique fashion genre runs the gamut from purely Victorian to post-apocalyptic. Steampunk may take many forms of alternative clothing, often romantic with a twist of futuristic technology. It has been described as Jules Verne meets the Wild Wild West. Just like real life, Steampunk can encompass many aspects of fashion...the explorer/traveler, the air ship pilot, the warrior, the aristocrat, or the mad scientist. To keep with the up and coming fashion trends, such as the new military look for 2010, the twist of this challenge is to create a Steampunk inspired fashion with a military theme."

As your guest judge this challenge, I wanted to share some fun and motivating idea for your Steampunk challenge! To start things off I want to share one of my favorite Steampunk bands…..that’s right Steampunk BAND! The Air Ship Pirates...........

Abney Park………..Enjoy!

I have a few links and some simple research I have found to get you one your way to learning all about the sub culture know as "Steampunk".

First off, don’t let the word Steampunk scare you. It’s not punk, and it’s not all black. It started in 1980 as a science fiction/fantasy theme based in the mid-Victorian era, where steam was the fuel that drove engines and machinery. It combined science fiction, like time travel and journeys to the moon, during a time when that technology really wasn’t possible except in the imagination.

So imagine you’re a Victorian lady, or gentleman, and by means of a time machine (thank you H.G. Wells), you traveled to the year 1960 and see women wearing pants, or parts of men’s clothing, like shirts and vests. You grab a couple pieces, and continue on your journey. Now you’ve traveled to the year 2030, and suddenly you’re attacked by thieves, but fight them off. During the struggle, you got hold of a ray gun, and you stick it in your reticule. Oh wait, you liked that backpack better, and it holds more things.

Get the idea? You’ve picked up souvenirs on your travels, then go home and add it to your wardrobe. Or try and rebuild something you found but with only the technology available in the 1880s. There’s no limit to your imagination because this is a time period that never existed. So you don’t need to worry if you’re getting it wrong. You can’t!

It’s up to you to decide if you want to stay within the origins of Steampunk, in Victorian costuming, or go into the many different sub-genres that can veer off and out of the Victorian age.

1. Books

Steampunk by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

Extraordinary Engines, the Definitive Steampunk Anthology by Nick Gevers

The Steampunk Trilogy by Paul Di Filippo

Girl Genius comics by Phil Foglio

Online: http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20021104


2. Films – (read the books also!!)

The Time Machine

The Golden Compass

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Wild Wild West – Will Smith version but see the old TV series too

The City of LostChildren

Adventures of Baron Munchausen

The Illusionist

Van Helsing

Fabulous World of Jules Verne


Back to the Future trilogy


20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (James Mason version)

A Trip to the Moon (1902)

Journey to the Center of the Earth (James Mason version)

Young Sherlock Holmes

Stardust Rocky Horror Picture Show

Flash Gordon

Adventures of Jules Verne

Time Bandits

Firefly and Serenity (TV)

Themes for Steampunk Costuming

1. Historical costume angle

a. Do you want to stay with SP historical origins, or branch out?

b. Victorians travel into the future, and bring back technology to build it with their steam engine technology.

c. There is no “correct” costume because SP is not a true historical period.

2. Do you want to be a particular character?

a. Adventurer/Explorer/Hunter

b. Aristocrat

c. Aviator

d. Military

e. Cowboy

f. Scientist

g. Mechanic

h. Superhero

i. Sky Pirate/Airship Captain or crew

j. Post Apocalypse (like Mad Max)

5. Accessory Checklist for Your Character

a.. Pick a theme or character you’d like to use.

Determine what your character would use, and think in the future, then make it look antique.

b. Mix historical clothing w/ modern.

Think of traveling in the future and adding to the wardrobe.

c. Add a mix of antique & modern jewelry

. d. Colors to use:

Victorian black, browns, grays, are most common, but garish Add bright colors to it; Victorians loved it when aniline dyes came out.

6. Guns –Rayguns… If you’re so inclined .

7. Hats using a hat was a part of a Victorian’s costume,use your imagination on how you could add modern trims to it.

8. Purses/Travel Cases & Shoes. they’re an expected accessory.

9. Goggles You don’t have to use them if it doesn’t make sense for your character. It was the most recognizable accessory to Steampunk, but do you really need them?

And finally…………..

13. Websites for Inspiration:

Article on dressing SP


Guidelines for a beginner:


Picture collections on Flickr:


So there you have it…..what I know in a nut shell!

Now all you need to do for this challenge is to take this information and twist it all into a Runway ready couture Military look.