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Posts Tagged ‘Clockwork Couture’

gail carriger (2)

Gail Carriger made a book tour stop in Houston, Texas for her new release, PRUDENCE : The Custard Protocol: Book One. In this latest novel, Alexia’s girl, now all grown up, with all the spunk of her mother and then some ventures to the exotic land of India. Her high priority, top secret mission involves tea, vampires and weremonkeys. 

At Murder By the Book, Gail shared with her fans that she did a lot of research for this novel as it is set in India. The mythology used in the book including that of the Rakshasas, India vampires, and the Vanara, India weremonkeys is accurate. In her research she also uncovered the interesting historical tidbit that Bombay was originally several islands the English engineered into one by means of land reclamation projects.

Ms.Carriger also discussed how she comes up with such interesting names for her characters. She uses names for humor. Sometimes the name just comes to her as she’s writing like it did for her main character, Prudence. She also looks names up in Victorian registries and on tomb stones. Sometimes she likes a word so much she just adds a letter or letters at the beginning or end to make a name.  Another way she choses names is what she calls cookies, meaning it’s a treat for anyone willing to do the research. She’ll pull a name from a real historical character or the name will have a hidden meaning or she’ll spell a word backwards for a name. One such cookie is Lord Akeldama. If you don’t know where and what Akeldama is, google it. It’s interesting. I have to say my favorite new character name in Prudence is Spoo, she’s a lively member of the Spotted Custard’s crew.

At the book signing, Ms. Carriger was asked how she explains Steampunk to people who aren’t familiar with it? She says, “Imagine living in a time period where you can take a hot air balloon to the moon.” Speaking of fiction genres, she also divulged that she likes military sci-fi including Rachel Bach’s Paradox series and Valor’s Choice by Tanya Huff. And she likes some romance in her sci-fi reads. Ms. Carriger even has a book club on Goodreads where you can read along with her. A book she likes is chosen each month.  Also on My Book The Movie blog you can see who she would chose to cast for Prudence if it were a movie.

I read Prudence and I love the line,

Rue was moved to italics by the gesture. “Mine?”

As you can see from that sentence, PRUDENCE is as charming and humorous as all of Ms. Carriger’s books.

She could be a member of the Spotted Custard crew, perhaps Greaser Phinkerlington or even Spoo.

She could be a member of the Spotted Custard crew, perhaps Greaser Phinkerlington or even Spoo.

In PRUDENCE, the adventure begins when Dama gives Prudence an airship, which she paints to look like a lady bug and she names it the Spotted Custard. Of course her good friends Prim, Percy and Quesnel come along. Intrigue and espionage ensue, which Prudence thinks is all due to the special tea Dama has sent her for but it turns out it’s also about supernatural beings in India, the vampiric Rakshasas and the Vanara, weremonkeys.  I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say of course in the end Prudence manages to save the day.

The book is a funny, sweet, fresh delight. It’s ever so creatively original – after all it’s by Gail Carriger. I highly recommend PRUDENCE for anyone who likes good books and of course it’s a must read for all Gail Carriger fans.

Here is a video from Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego 03/17/15

Other Gail Carriger related post on Steamed:

Book Monday: Timeless by Gail Carriger

Maeve Alpin Reviews Gail Carriger’s Timeless
How To Make A Proper Pot Of Tea by Gail Carriger 
In Which We Get Cozy with Gail Carriger
In Which Author Gail Carriger visits

~      ~      ~

Maeve Alpin, who also writes as Cornelia Amiri, is the author of 26 books. She creates stories with kilts, corsets, fantasy and happy endings. She lives in Houston Texas with her son, granddaughter, and her cat, Severus.

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In case you need books to read, here’s a great list of steampunk books. 

I have a case of the Mondays. 

I’m going to be doing a couple of panels at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in April in Los Angeles (including one with Gail Carriger, squee!)   

 I need clothes to wear.  I can’t actually buy things to wear, but I still need them.

If I could buy new steampunk clothes for this convention, this is what I’d buy:

I would get this beautiful skirt in black from Clockwork Couture because I could wear it with so many different things…Oh, how I want this skirt so much!

I would love to find a little cape like that to go with it.  I am also fond of hats.  I like this one I found on ebay to pair with it.

I have this wonderful tan asymmetrical steampunky blazer I wear to work.  I found this great skirt on ebay.  I bet I could put them together and create a nice look for a panel. 

I’d pair it with this lovely hat from Maritime Arts, only I’d want the ribbons and flower in green.

In case I actually make it to the masquerade ball, I’d want this mask in cream from Asfina on Etsy

If I had an infinite amount of money, I’d get this dress from Bound By Obsession, because it is really, really amazing and would match my clockhand tiara. 

Isn’t it breathtaking?  I covet this dress.

 

I love my clockhand tiara from EJP Creations.  But this one from SparklyJems is a beauty. 

 

Okay, that sums up my list of things I wish I could buy for RT.  If you’re going, look for me.  I’ll be there with bustles on…

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The fabulous Lolita Donna, aka Donna Ricci, proprietress of Clockwork Couture has come to my rescue and put together an amazing post about building a Steampunk wardrobe from the ground up.

Building a Steampunk from the grubby ground up

Creating a Steampunk ensemble requires imagination, ingenuity and creativity. The New Victorian movement is rarely portrayed accurately in movies in the true style of genre. To say that it “Damns the factory but celebrates the machine” is one of the most accurate quotes stemming from the budding subculture. Aristocrats are not fine lords and ladies but rather ship captains, yard bosses and storekeeps. This is the working class Victorian. Creators, inventors, metal smiths, dressmakers, musicians and explorers are the celebrities of the time and with that comes a more practical ensemble.

Figure out who you identify or can lose yourself in. After that, you must create the wardrobe to support it.

Thrift stores can be a great source to find sacrificial items to be altered. Many a prom dress was reinvented into a Victorian Steampunk gown. Do a little research before going in so you can keep an eye out for what makes sense.

If you want to do a period recreation, consignment shops and ebay can be a great source for authentic late 1800’s that is still very wearable. Beware that storage and sun are factors in how well a garment can withstand a soiree. Showcase it knowing that it may be a one shot deal and have a backup (or at the last great underclothes) should it fall away during the night’s revelry.

You can also either commission or buy off the rack at one of the online Steampunk Clothing stores opening up. A helpful salesperson can even guide you to get pieces that support your ideal self.

For ladies, you can never go wrong with a swag-front bustled skirt, ruffle-front blouse, granny boots and great little hat. Do remember your foundation when dressing, utilizing a corset to get the hourglass silhouette of the time. An underbust corset helps create that look while giving you more “breathing room”. Literally.

For men, a true gent can never be without coat and tails and a proper topper. Men’s clothing largely hasn’t changed over the years too terribly much. A pair of dress slacks and shirt will go well under a well tailored frock coat or tuxedo jacket. A bowler or top hat complete a dapper look. Spectacles or a dangling monocle distinguish a literary man from the uneducated worker and a cravat or ascot can cover up an unsightly or non period button up shirt. Don’t be afraid to show some frill. The Victorian gent was the first metrosexual.

Some pointers: Like a towel, a Steamer can never go wrong if he knows where his goggles are. It’s much like a passport, you should have a pair because you just never know what adventure awaits you today. Flights on dirigibles were as common as train rides in our alternate history, and one really does not fancy a bug in the eye.

Every subculture has had it’s ”symbol” as it were. The punks wore anarchy symbols stitched, painted or drawn on clothing and jewelry and the Goths had the ankh. Steampunks unite under the cog to show their avid love for invention, mechanics and time travel. Never be afraid or ashamed to don one.

Not unafraid of social qualms, Steampunk-styled ladies are NOT afraid to show their well fashioned corsets on the OUTSIDE. Cinch up a well curved waist over a skirt and show off 2” of backlacing. I dare you.

Being a celebration of technology, adventure, hopefulness and travel. It’s not uncommon to see the everyday tinkerer strapped into a homebrewed invention or altered object. Perhaps you could make a better pocketwatch or tietack. Perhaps they are both the same thing?

Because many period images were in sepia, many Steampunks have fancied themselves in browns and blacks. Partner that with the working class appreciation, and they tend to shun the acid dyes of the Victorians. This is not to say it’s not allowed, just know with Steampunk, brown is the new black.

Movies to watch for inspiration: Wild, Wild West starring Wil Smith and Kevin Kline, Steamboy (animated), The Prestige, Sherlock Holmes and Firefly. Recommended sounds: The Unextraordinary Gentleman, Tin Hat Trio, Emelie Autumn, and Rasputina.

With your help, we can create a night of Neo-Victorian opulence. A new Utopia with elaborate dress, impeccable manners, renewed chivalry and undeniable kindness. I hope to see you at the celebration.

Yours truly,

Captain Donna Ricci of the S.S. Clockwork Caravel

www.clockworkcouture.com

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First off, before we get to today’s visiting Lolita, I’d like to announce the *finalists* of the Clockwork Couture ensemble contest. Thank you so much to everyone who entered, we had 44 entries! I am so glad I wasn’t the judge because there were so many amazing ensembles. Also, thank you to Donna at Clockwork Couture for sponsoring the contest.

The five finalists will each receive a tiara (because I’m all about tiaras, lol). The grand prize winner wins a $150 gift certificate to Clockwork couture. All winners, please email me at suzannelazear (@) hotmail so you can get your prize. The winner will be announced tomorrow.

The finalists and winner were chosen by our esteemed guest judge Gail Carriger. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to judge our contest.

The finalists are (in no particular order):

OM Grey’s “Gothic Steampunk Lolita” ensemble:

Marissa’s photoshopped creation:

Sangu’s Steampunk Outfit:

Steampunk Outfit

Mithril Designs’ “Absinthe Afternoon”:

Absinthe Afternoon

and VBunny’s “Black and White Tea”:

Black and White and Tea

Thank you again to everyone who entered, stay tuned for the winner!

Today let’s give a big Steampunkapalooza welcome to Edanna of EJP Creations, makers of fabulous clockhand jewelry, including my favorite–tiaras.  She will also be giving away a beautiful pair of earrings.

Recently, I was at an event that was attended by a horde of Steampunkians. My heart swelled with pride at the diversity, and enthusiasm emanating from it’s handsomely coiffed participants. There were brisk airship captains, elegantly refined Victorian ladies, dapper aristocratic gentlemen, cog-encrusted machinists, noir neo-Victorian mavens, burlesque carnival consorts, rakish goggle-donning scientists, and adventurers aplenty. Upon looking over this entire crowd the only thought that kept running through my head was, “THIS… this was the future I had always dreamed of. And if we can’t have zeppelins taking us to work each day, or adventures under the sea in great diesel-powered mechanized tubs then, by god, we shall make our own reality. Our groupthink will force it to happen, and we shall live as if this existence spans our entire globe!” I make my accessories for a clear and selfish reason. In adorning the coif of that elegant lady, or ornamenting the lapel of that mad scientist , my accessories help to flush out their character and accompany them on their next adventure. Fostering that reality into being by contributing a little of my vision for the world with a tangible, wearable bobble.

Distressed imperial elegance is the main thrust of my current designs. Apocalyptic chic, one might say, containing all the grandeur of toppled gilded empires, of their opulent treasures covered in dust and rubble. Encased for eons in their forgotten tombs only to be unearthed millennia later, shined up, and repurposed by a mad scientist of a woman wielding a hammer, and a pair of pliers. Using design elements from a bygone time, giving them a modern, urban spin. EJPcreations specializes in tiaras, chokers, earrings, necklaces, fascinators, and hair combs with a noir, and gothic flair. Creating body adornments with a hint of vampire elegance, a dash of Steampunk bravado, and plenty of Neo-Victorian sensibilities. Perfect for prowling the streets, haunting the clubs, or adding an aristocratic air to any outfit.

I have been creating unique and obscure items my entire life. Anything my little mind could dream up was instantly put on paper so I could work out the puzzle of making it a reality. Coming from a very creative family, this notion of making artwork in any form has been ingrained in me since birth. As an adult, this has primarily taken the form of wearable art, but I also enjoy creating other kinds of functional and mixed media creations as well. Contained in my artistic arsenal is an AA degree in Visual Presentation, a BFA in Crafts and Metalsmithing, and a BA in Anthropology with a focus in Japanese Urban culture and Primatology (specifically prosimians). In some amazingly mystic and extremely bizarre way all these studies have funneled into the work I produce today.

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Thank you so much, Edanna, for visiting us. We really appreciate it. One lucky poster will get a pair of these earrings, which can be converted into clip-ons.  I have a pair just like them and they go with everything from jeans to corsets to little black dresses.  All you have to do for a chance to win is post a comment.

To get an extra entry, you can join EJP Creation’s Facebook Group and/or the Steamed! facebook group. Please let us know in your posts so we can give you your entry. If you already are a memeber let us know and you’ll still get the entry.

Blogging/posting/tweeting about this post and/or Steampunkapalooza also gets you another entry. Please let us know where and please don’t spam. For a final extra entry, you can subscribe to our blog. If you already are a subscriber, let us know so you get credit, too.

Contest ends Tuesday, April 20th at 11:59 pm PST and the winner will be announced on Thursday, April 22nd when YA rockstar Scott Westerfeld comes to visit. John from Steampunk Tales swings by on Monday, April 19th. Hang onto your fishnets when the Smutketeers join us Tuesday April 20th. Artist Simply Willow will be our guest on Wednesday, April 21st as Steampunkapalooza continues all April long.

I’m going to close with a really pretty tiara, because I can, lol.

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It’s Friday! We have a number of contests going on. The contest to win a signed print by Jasmine Becket-Griffith ends tonight. You can also win a copy of Jana Oliver’s SOUJURN. If you haven’t entered our ensemble contest yet, you have until Sunday — the winner gets a $150 gift certificate to Clockwork Couture.

Today we welcome back the fabulous Donna Ricci of Clockwork Couture, Steampunk Clothier extraordinaire. She has another fabulous post on Steampunk culture for us.

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Steampunk Mickey Mouse at Disneystore.com

People have been up in arms about Steampunk showing up in Hot Topic, on Disney’s new products and anyplace they deem “mainstream”. This secret subculture that only they and another few thousand knew about, that somehow most members feel they have contributed to it’s creation has created a by product;

elitism.

“Oh Steampunk is DEAD!” say many. “It’s now MAINSTREAM!” *firmly place back of wrist against forehead and look piteously at the sky*.

Wouldn’t it awesome to walk into *gosh forbid I enter one* a 7-11 and see one of those dreadful hot dog cookers with brass fittings, a boiler pot underneath pouring steam into the case to cook them, and mechanical hands holding each (lips and assholes log) between it’s fingers, turning them around for an even roasting.


“Steam Machine” line by Lip Service Clothing Co.

How COOL would that be? Ladies are wearing hats again, men are opening doors, showing a bit of romantic chivalry and the art of letter writing without an “lol” is back, with pen and paper, and wax sealed closures.

AIrship rides are not only affordable, but more plentiful and etsy is now outselling ebay for hand made inventions.

I gotta be honest, this sounds like a dreamy Heaven, and far from the Hell people are making it out to be.

Okay, so people like Tarina Tarantino, Victoria’s Secret and Disney are jumping on the Steam Engine. They are now making items that don’t look like some truckstop day shift whore would wear, and frankly, they have set the bar higher.

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

If Steampunk goes mainstream, I’m all too happy for it. Don’t worry, you’re all still unique little snowflakes to me.

Long live Steampunk and beautiful Neo-Victorian fashions.


Gear necklace at Hot Topic

-Donna Ricci, the Gothic Supermodel

www.donnaricci.com

www.clockworkcouture.com

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Thank you so much, Donna, for taking time out of your busy schedule to blog for us this week.  We loved having you as a visiting lolita and your insightful posts and hope you’ll visit us again soon.

Steampunkapalooza continues with The Royal Ladies’ & Gentle-mens’ Experimental Madness Society’s represented by Joseph CR Vourteque IV on Saturday, April 10th. Artist TotusMel will be visiting on Sunday the 11th.  On Monday, April 12th our visiting Lolita will be Aimee Stewart of Foxfire Art. Tuesday, April 13th we’ll be joined by none other than author Gail Dayton.

Keep tuning in all April long for Steampunkapalooza with more special guests, prizes, and mayhem.

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I’d like to welcome back Donna Ricci, Proprietress, of Steampunk Clothier, Clockwork Couture, purveyor of the cutest boots in town as Steampunkapalooza continues.

Have you entered our superfab contest yet? It runs through April 11 and gives you a chance to win a $150 GC to buy their amazing stuff.

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What defines a “real” Steampunker? “Real” Steamers don’t just haphazardly stick cogs and gears all over things and call it Steampunk, right? “Real” steamers know Steampunk is much more than just slapping some craft store cogs on their clothes, right?

Yes and no.

Steampunk, like so many other movements, can be crazy elaborate. It’s not uncommon to see people giving over their whole lives to the style. With it’s combination of the classic and the contemporary, Steampunk has an unusually broad appeal and feels less threatening than some other aesthetics. This is both wonderful and worrying: people of all stripes can easily be Steamers. On the other hand…people of all stripes can easily be Steamers. It’s almost too easy – hang a spare part on a chain around your neck and suddenly you’re Steampunk. For puritans of the style, it’s tempting to feel insulted. You’ve put hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars into perfecting your gadgets, devices, and look, and then some poseur comes along, glues a gear to his hat, and voila – Steampunk.

The question I find myself asking is: so what?

Back in the day, what was a simple, tell-tale sign you were looking at a daytime Goth in casual black tank and jeans? She had an Ankh on. It was like a calling card. Yup, just that symbol alone told me she was one of my own. No secret handshake needed.

Before that, Punks had the anarchy symbol. Historically, just about every member driven society has created a symbol of membership, from the Knights Templar to the Masons. It makes introductions easier and says to everyone else who gets it “hey, I know you!” even if we’ve never actually met. I knew instantly we shared at least some values and gears and cogs have become that secret symbol for Steampunks, which is why I find it puzzling that so many get upset about seeing a gear or cog on a piece. Let’s face it – the line between historical reenactment and Steampunk can be a fine one. Fact is, if I walked into Dickens Faire or a Civil War re-enactors party, I wouldn’t know a Steamer from anyone else if they weren’t of the gadget having variety.

The gear embodies the Steampunk spirit as well as it’s style. It’s true that Steampunk is about technology, advancement, travel and wonderful inventions. Just about every mechanical piece with movement from the Victorian age uses a gear or a cog in it’s inner workings. But let’s not forget that Steampunk culture is about more than objects – it’s also about people and a sense of adventure and innovation. Whether one lives and breathes it, or simply hot glues an old test tube to a lunch box, there’s room for everybody. Here at Clockwork Couture, we’re amazed and delighted at the variety of people who want to take part, from hardcore devotees to suburban housewives.

So there it is, my permission. You have it. When a new piece of jewelry you have just put together, or bag or wrist cuff looks like it’s missing one detail, you have my blessing to slap a gear on it. Honest.

Now about those goggles on your top hat…

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Thank you so much for joining us, Donna.  She’ll be back again on Friday.

It’s also not to late to win a signed print by artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith.

Author Jana Oliver will be joining us on Thursday, April 8th. On Saturday, April 10th we’ll be joined by The Royal Ladies’ & Gentle-mens’ Experimental Madness Society’s represented by Joseph CR Vourteque IV. On Sunday, April 11th TotusMel will be dropping by.

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Today’s visiting Lolita is Donna Ricci, Proprietress, of the super fabulous Steampunk Clothier Clockwork Couture.

Not only do they have amazing clothing (and boots to squee over), but they have a wide variety of accessories (can anyone say octopus parasol?) and men’s stuff. You can win some of their loot for yourself by entering our contest which runs through April 11.

Let’s give visiting Lolita Donna a big steampunkapalooza welcome!

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Remember the scene with Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny finding a cave heaped high with gold and jewels? Daffy jumps up squealing, “Mine! Mine! Mine! Back! Back! Back! Down! Down! Down! Mine all mine!” That’s how I feel about getting a week to commandeer this blog. Happy, excited and eager to tell everyone about my entrée into the wonderful world of Steampunk. (And with no Bugs Bunny to get in my way.) Not unlike the newly converted, I’m ready to spread the word of how…well… connected the world of Steampunk is and should be.

I wasn’t always into connections.

I started in the world of Goth…

Long Beach, CA  1996

Long Beach, CA 1996

From the moment I heard of Steampunk 6 years ago, I didn’t entirely know what it was. Partly due to a poor explanation, partly due to my own lack of imagination, I didn’t connect to it. The singular thing I loved most about Gothic fashion was the Victorian aspect–once I found out about Steampunk my world popped open. Not only could I have color, I could have 19th century style and a computer too! This my friends was a match made in heaven. Never were more surrendering words spoken as I shed my funereal garb and set forth for the brave new world…

my wedding at the Magic Castle, Hollywood, CA September 2003my wedding at the Magic Castle, Hollywood, CA September 2003

You might think I’m a “subculture hopper” or “bandwagon jumper”, but the fact is, I had just actually been wandering around in Steampunk waters for more than 20 years. Now with bright eyes, eager wallet and a whole lot of inspiration, I knew the first thing on the agenda was:

Fashion

The original attraction began with the clothes. A girl can only acquire so many black garments before she realizes that she’s hit a sartorial wall. I mean, black is slimming and all, but I needed a lift. And blood red? Not everyone can carry it off. I wanted color back in my life. Moving from goth to Steampunk was like Dorothy landing in Oz, going from monochrome to big, bustling Technicolor.

Friends

The SteamFashion community on Live Journal is still my biggest source for new virtual pals, inspiration, places to shop and a testing ground to show off mine. There are  specific yahoo groups for my area, other Live Journal communities, Tribes and Facebook fan pages to find other Steamers. Because everyone from Grandmothers to teens can appreciate the style and beauty of the Victorian era, you can find new comrades of all ages.

Lifestyle

This I found, was the easiest part. Years of live-action roleplaying (get your mind out of the gutters), Comic Con, wacky friends and board games all has taught me that having a great persona and even more open-minded attitude is the keys to enjoying this  new sub-culture.

Fun

This can be hard when something is both new, and attaining rules for itself. Luckily, I’m secretly an immature, gay, black, punk-rock boy stuck inside this pale waif vessel, and nothing gives me more joy than saying “F*ck the rules”. Giving myself the freedom to ignore everyone else’s expectations makes having fun a whole lot easier.

I have since felt myself warmly welcomed into the Steampunk community. I now define myself as within that- happy to be among such like-minded people. The gentility, chivalry and friendliness I have encountered with these new friends has indeed immersed me in a new happy place, and frankly Auntie Em, I’m glad I’m not in Kansas anymore.

I hope we’ll stick together this week to see what my brain comes up with for you, and in turn, would love to hear from you as well. donna@clockworkcouture.com


Remember, have fun.

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