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In With The New!

Byzantine Dress

Ready to conquer an Empire? The Empress of Byzantium would certaintly aggree she’s ready to reign supreme in H&R London’s amazingly popular Byzantine Dress! The beautifully made Byzantine Dress will have you realizing your dreams of royalty. A strappy swing dress with a strikingly bold brocade print, the dress has delicate lace on the straps and a corset-tie waist to tighten or loosen for a perfect fit. The sweetheart neckline enhances the bustline and the built-in cotton lined petticoat really makes this dress extra special. The Dress hits at the knee, and zips up the side. Available in both Black and Red.

Black Brocade Steampunk Jacket Tail Coat with Lacing

Black brocade tail coat with black lace and satin ruffle along neckline and cuffs. This gothic jacket is short at front with a longer split tails at the back. There is cord lacing though eyelets down the centre back. The front and sleeves are detailed with antique-silver buttons and studs on military style straps. The jaquard fabric is of high quality and the tailcoat is fully-lined. In view of the critical lack of decent coachmen nowadays, this is obviously a must-have for any lady who has to drive her own coach! A perfect topper to your dream steampunk ensemble.

Steampunk Poet Shirt – Black Cotton, Lace-Up

Add a little romance to your wardrobe with a poet shirt. Note! These shirts are not meant to be fitted in any way. The loose following sleeves and drop shoulder will make your feel like you just walk off the cover of a Gothic Romance and into modern times. They look great with a pair of jeans if you’re just looking to spice up your everyday look but they look even better with a waistcoat or jacket. We like Poet Shirts the best when paired with vegan leather jeans and a steampunk frock coat.

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FAQ: Do you do custom?

Why we don’t do custom work

One of our most frequently asked questions is: do you do custom and/or alterations? It’s a totally reasonable question. If everything with the Venus & Mars label is handmade in store then it only seems logical that we would be set up to do custom but the truth is we’re not. Back in the day we used to do custom but a steady increase in business and customers has made it impossible to continue. The following is why.

Custom is expensive

Custom work is expensive. In the time that it takes to make one custom jacket, we could probably make two dozen steampunk frock coats (more on that below). From an accounting standpoint, it’s difficult to justify charging the same amount for one custom jacket as it would be for one regular jacket that we could produce in a small production run. We don’t think it’s fair to charge $1,000 or more for just one jacket but we wouldn’t be able to survive if we charged the same amount for custom as we do for off the rack.

steampunk frock coat

It is time consuming

Everything we make is made in small production runs. That means that Sanne uses a pattern (of her own design) to cut multiple items at the same time. She then bundles everything together for our sewer and we get shiny new awesome products once they are all put together. If it is a brand new design then Sanne will cut one and sew a sample for our sewer. Depending on what we are making, we generally have a turn around time of a week for multiple items in a size run.  Custom work requires a lot more time.We have to set up a consultation, make a new pattern, construct the garment, provide a fitting, and make any necessary alterations. In the time that it takes to do a consultation alone, Sanne could have cut 6 black wool cloaks.

Bonus: Putting together a cosplay? Check out  What is cosplay for suggestions on how to put something together off the rack.

We don’t want to

Sanne started Venus & Mars in 1993 because she wanted to make her own designs. People come to us with excellent suggestions and incredibly creative ideas that we love to hear about. Sometimes these ideas even inspire us to make new things (for example the ladies tails vest) but that’s on our own terms and in our own designs. What has made the store successful for a quarter century is Sanne’s unique designs and we would like to continue in that vein.

We totally want to make your vision a reality. If you bring in a picture of what your trying to recreate, we can offer suggestions and help you come up with at least a base for your outfit. We’ll try to recommend other places too that might have what you’re looking for. If you do end up getting custom work done then make sure to do your homework. Look up reviews from other customers and shop around for a price that fits your budget.

What has your experience been with getting custom clothing made? Let us know in the comments below.

Like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the latest scoop on what we’re up to. You can also sign up for the Steampunk Tempest in order to get awesome, secret deals.

 

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What’s New Pussycat?

Underbust Holster Vest

 

The underbust holster vest is where fashion meets function. Starting at the top, the hood is detachable and comes with a piece that lets you wear the hood on its own. There is a zipper in the front that makes the holster easy to put on and take out. The back is elastic to allow for maximum comfort. There are also 2 large pockets. That’s right, we made a vest for women and we included large, functional pockets. Like pockets that fit things. We think it looks great with tap shorts and a peasant blouse.

Steampunk Waistcoat

Attention Steampunks of the world: Your wardrobe needs at least one waistcoat! A waistcoat will take your cosplay from recognizable to exceptional in the blink of an eye. Imagine, you can go from drab to dapper just by putting on a vest. Obviously, you can wear your waistcoat for more than just cosplay. They look great with a nice shirt and jeans if you are going for a casual look but when worn with black dress pants and a dress shirt they become formal enough to wear to a wedding. Our favorite outfit is matching one with a poet shirt and steampunk bondage pants.

Royal Blue Velvet Lined Cloak

I’ve found there’s 2 kinds of people in the world: those who own a cloak and those who have not got one yet. If you’re the latter, good news, today is your day to start your cloak collection. If you’re the former, good news, we have lots of colours and styles available to grow your cloak wardrobe. Why would someone want a cloak in this modern age? Aside from being a blanket that is social acceptable to wear, cloaks can make any outfit formal and add an air of fantasy to your everyday life. Plus, if you have a cloak in your wardrobe then you always have something to wear to a last minute costume party. We think cloaks look the best with a gown or a poet shirt.

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New in Store – Waistcoats, Jackets and Cloaks!

Venus & Mars - new in Shop

Steampunk Waistcoat – Double breasted

Steampunk Waistcoats are a great addition to any wardrobe. Got a wedding to attend? Try adding a Venus&Mars Steampunk Waistcoat to a plain white dress shirt and black pants to elevate your look from everyday Joe to Mr. Darcy. Become the ultimate steampunk master by wearing your vest with a military frock coat, top hat, goggles and a pocket watch. Cosplaying as a character in a three piece suit? Adding a Venus&Mars Steampunk Waistcoat will push your cosplay one step ahead of your contemporaries by adding a subtle uniqueness. Our Steampunk Waistcoats are so versatile that you could wear them to the fanciest of red carpet events or just on a Tuesday with a nice shirt and jeans. You definitely need one of these in your closet.

Steampunk Frock Coats

This is definitely a customer favourite. Steampunk frock coats look great on everyone. You can wear it completely buttoned up for a military look or wear a couple buttons undone for more of a traditional looking lapel. The brown tapestry contrasts nicely with the black canvas giving you a really unique look.  When worn with a dress shirt it is perfect for any formal event. You can also try it with a black tshirt and jeans for a more casual look. We think it looks the best with a Waistcoat and a ruffle poet shirt. Oh and don’t forget a pocket watch for time traveling adventures!

 

Velvet Lined Cloaks

Become the regal person you were always meant to be, get a velvet lined cloak. Velvet lined cloaks are perfect for alternative outdoor wear when you have a special event. They are also great for staying cozy at home. The luxurious velvet will brighten anyone’s day. The deep hood will let you maintain an air of mystery. What’s not to love? Try one with a gown!

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Check Out Our Local Artists!

Venus & Mars- Men's Festival outfit

Did you know that, in addition to making everything with the Venus & Mars label, we carry treasures made by local artists? It’s true! If you’ve ever come in the shop, you have probably marveled at the feather bras or skeleton necklaces or leather masks. We thought it was about time to shine the light on some of our favourite artists!

House of Slaughter

Everyone loves the feathers in the store. House of Slaughter crafts beautiful and sexy handmade feather bras and wraps.  She also makes the light up bras and feather wraps. Transform yourself by adding a feather wrap to a corset into an evil queen. Add a light up bra to a side lace skirt and pocket belt for the ultimate festival look.

Caridwen

Caridwen creates stunning resin cameo necklaces, chokers and earrings. Embrace your darkness with one of her Victorian Skeleton Lady cameos. Bring out your playful side with a kitty cat cameo. Be a pirate queen with a classic skull and crossbones cameo. All of Caridwen’s jewelry is perfect for steampunk cosplay. Add one of her lace chokers to a peasant blouse, waist cincher and circle square skirt.

KWest Costume Art

Regardless of what you’re into, you probably need a good leather mask in your tickle trunk. KWest creates fabulous hard leather masks that are formed to your face. They are perfect for cosplay, fetish, and masquerades. Want to cosplay as steampunk catwoman? KWest has the perfect mask for that! Try his black catwoman mask with a black corset, black velvet capris, boots and a black pocket belt. Whip is optional.

 

Who is your favourite local artist that we carry in the shop? Let us know in the comments below!

Like us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get the latest scoop on what we’re up to. You can also sign up for the Steampunk Tempest in order to get awesome, secret deals.