Now, it’s well known that I’ll Charleston at the drop of a hat. But aside from my passion for the 1920s, my interest in fashion and textiles spans a much wider period (from Ancient Egyptian beaddresses to m-notch collars on 1820s-30s tailcoats). The steampunk genre has a long-held fascination, from its sci-fi resonances with everything from Jules Verne to Lovecraft, to the playful and creative way it reimagines Victorian costuming. I’ve never had the opportunity/excuse to play with it before, but now – with the museum opening a steampunk associated children’s exhibition and a staff Christmas Party themed along those lines – the chance has arrived.
I thought briefly of pulling out my real Edwardian skirts, and looked at the available corsets in my wardrobe, and gazed thoughtfully at my Edwardian opera hat (did I dare put goggles on it?), but decided in the end to go to the experts for advice, and took myself off to the Gallery Serpentine in Newtown.
I’ve been past this store, which specialises in Steampunk and other alternative looks, a few times, and had long wanted to go in for a fossick. Now that I had a very good excuse to do so, I had a fabulous time. Mel, who assisted me, was enthusiastic, knew her stock, and was able to pull items off the racks (even when I was dubious about them fitting me, she was spot on in everything she chose). Very honest with what did and didn’t work, and full of ideas and ways to tweak the look.
I’ll post more photos after the party next week (and may try on a different corset I own with an Edwardian skirt this weekend), but for now…I have my corset, my goggles and my gun. What more does a girl need?