Friday, September 13, 2013

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"Real" Late Victorian Steampunk Fashions for Women

The Met, 1897-99 (via) - an excellent start to a fabulous Steampunk ensemble.  My favorites are the original gowns that unknowingly have that Steampunk flavor.
I haven't been working on my wedding gown.  I'm quite terrible and maybe lazy, but I just haven't felt like it.  All I've been focused on lately is shoes, shoes, shoes (it's a good thing, though, being my employment!)

This weekend is the 3rd Annual Steampunk Ball in Virginia City, Nevada, an event our little costume club started three years ago, and has since grown into a big crazy thing.  I'm very excited! So I'd like to share some "original" Steampunk fashions - that is, extant ensembles that didn't know they were Steampunk over 100 years ago when they were first created.  These make excellent Steampunk gowns - just glue some gears on it, right?



LACMA, 1898, bicycling outfit - yes, please, and all that Russian braid!
The Met, 1896, another cycling outfit
1890, red linen suit - via
The Met, 1893-98, gym suit - someday I will make this, I swear.  The pom poms on the sash alone are simply splendid!
The Met, tintyp, dated 1870
Whitaker Auctions, 1885, side saddle riding habit. YES YES YES
Antique-Dress.com - a gorgeous directoire revival piece
Minnesota Historical Society, beaded gray wedding gown with a decidedly Morticia twist.
The Met, 1891
The Met, 1899 - that's my jaw on the floor...WOW
Remember, of course, these are all original garments. O course, I am wearing nothing like them tomorrow, but perhaps for next year? :-)
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22 comments:

  1. THE RED LINEN!! The Directoire revival!!! And all the sculptural lines everywhere else, and the buttons!!
    Just splendiferous, and I can for sure see you in them.
    Pix please?
    Auntie Nan

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    1. Ha! I just need to find the mad skills for all the embroidery or russian braid wrangling!

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  2. Oh, and any reason those buttons are on the INSIDES of the arm?
    Weird!
    N

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    1. Maybe so it's easy to button them up yourself? They're sort of on the "top" the way the arms are twisted there.

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  3. The navy blue and red gym suit is absolutely perfect for wo-manning the dirigible!

    Your blog is one of the reasons I get out of bed in the mornings. I do so look forward to your photos of the ball.

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    1. Thank you so much!

      Also, I totally want to go ice skating in that gym suit...

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  5. lovely collection! thank you for posting.

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  6. Oh, so lovely and seriously awesome!!
    (Although some of the waists are truly terrifying :D )

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  7. These are so amazing! There are some 1890's styles that I despise, but with the buttons and the generally sane sized sleeves, these are fantastic.

    One of my all-time favorites is the 1890's cycling ensemble from the KCI. If I could afford all that wool, I would make it. I can see it being worn to an anime convention without drawing any suspicion.

    http://www.kci.or.jp/archives/digital_archives/detail_96_e.html

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    1. That is one of my absolute favorites from the book, too! Plus the tailoring on it, oh my goodness...

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  8. Holy wow! Especially the gym suit!

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  9. What a wonderful smorgasbord of tailored late Victoriana! I'm generally not partial to cycling outfits but I just adore the look of that first one with all the braid - so chic!

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    1. I agree! I think you could totally pull it off in splendor and glory :-)

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  10. I truly appreciate you including the tintype! It's helpful to see the garments as real people wore them, and see details such as the way the bodices wrinkle at the waist...they weren't always smooth and flat as shown in museums and fashion plates. Another thing I noticed is the gloves. The lady on the left is wearing fingerless gloves, which I had heard was a modern invention; the lady on the right has gloves so thin and fitted that you can see her fingernails.

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    1. I agree! it's easy to get sucked into the idea that all historical items were perfectly fitted, but wrinkles are so period! /feels better/ You're right about the gloves too - it's a detail I hadn't noticed. We should all realize we know enough about historical clothing to know we know very little. :-)

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  11. Wow, what beautiful clothing. There is so much detailing in all of them. You are so right about them being the style of the newish Steampunk rage. I wonder if they are from the days when you had a lady's maid, all those buttons and such? Fun Thanks for sharing Paula

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  12. Wonderful collection of late Victorian fashions. I wish I was going to be in Virginia City this weekend. I think the tintype fashions are not from the 1870, they must be closer to 1880 or the early 1880s based on the silhouette and the hairstyles and hats on the women.

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    1. I totally agree about the dating on the photo - I didn't want to gainsay The Met, so I just put their date, but I think they definitely got it wrong, haha

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