How to steampunk this?

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#1 CelenaSardothen on 5 years ago

So I've got some hunter green velvet that I can't use for the original cosplay I planned. What I want to do is a steampunk costume based off of a Goodeys fashion plate from 1887. My problem is I'm having a hard time trying to figure out how to really turn it steampunk. Not just glue some gears on it. ;)


I'm looking at the maroon and gold one on the right.

#2 Dieselpunk on 5 years ago

Personally I think that the Steampunk aspect of a costume is in the accessories. The dress looks great and to add the Steampunk flair you need to think about a tool belt, bandoleer, steam powered parasol, etc. What about a steam engine hidden in the bustle with 2 smokestacks coming out of it?
I would recommend sticking to the gold fabric in the front and in the bustle.

#3 Boreotheria on 5 years ago

You could try making it more practical. Fashion-plate fashion from any era is notoriously not really good for much other than standing around and walking short distances. ;) My favourite thing about steampunk for women is the ability to pick and choose which aspects of fashion you want to keep and which are just too frilly, restrictive, or impractical for the character/lifestyle you're imagining.

I would go with flat or nearly-flat boots rather than heels. They can still be tall boots. Something that buckles up or laces.

The skirt could have pockets added to it or that front-bustle bit (the gold flounce at the front of the waist) could be converted into a secret pocket.

The skirt and sleeves could be shortened, or the skirt could even be replaced with breeches or plus-fours.

The hat could be something smaller and less prone to wind damage. If you still want it to be fabulous and dashing it could be a little Robin Hood type cap with the big feather.

And yes, accessorize according to character.

So that's just me. If you wanted to keep the fashion-plate look and upper-class feel but take it out of the pure historical Victorian, you could mess with the fabric/pattern choices and have some non-standard accessories -- I have a vision of a cameo brooch where the carved subject is something steampunky rather than the typical portrait, flower, or animal. Maybe a rocket or a hot air balloon.

#4 CelenaSardothen on 5 years ago

I've done some more looking around and thinking since i first posted this.

I found my tudor hat I picked up at the last renaissance fest I went to, so I've also picked up some silk duponi to match that. I'm thinking much less of a shelf bustle, and more just have the gold drapery in the back provide the majority of the volume. I'm also thinking of shortening the skirts to just below knee height, and adding a cute pair of bloomers.

I'm also thinking something aviation themed. I know there were lots of strange ideas for flight around that time, maybe icarus style wings? That would be the biggest steampunk element, plus the biggest design challenge.