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Steampunk Inspiration: Movies

As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, one of our most frequently asked questions is “What is Steampunk?”. Sometimes the best way to explain it is through movies. If you want to familiarize yourself with the Steampunk genre or you’re looking for some visual inspiration for your steampunk costume then these are some movies I would check out. A caveat, these aren’t great movies but they do have some really excellent costumes and sets.

Wild Wild West

I think the 1999 Will Smith and Kevin Kline film is one of the most frequently referenced when people are trying to explain the steampunk aesthetic to muggles. Waistcoats, corsets, gadgets, giant robotic spiders and googles are just some of the steampunk elements that this movie highlights. Wild Wild West gives us cowboy steampunk. What’s not to love about that? A warning though, it has a terrible script so maybe watch it on mute. If you want to make a Wild Wild West inspired costume I would start with a double breasted waistcoat and build your outfit from that.

Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch is probably the next most referenced film when people are looking for steampunk examples. It offers a more militaristic version of steampunk. Most of the colours are muted compared to Wild Wild West. This movie is highly stylized and visually stunning. But the story is weird and the ending is unsatisfying. The costumes and character designed are super cool though and it’s worth watching in the background if you’re trying to come of with a steampunk character. For a Sucker Punch inspired costume, I would start with a holster harness.

Sweeney Todd

So I had to include at least one movie set in Victorian England and while Sherlock Holmes and The Prestige are great choices I choose Sweeney Todd. Tim Burton’s twisted dark fairy tale style gives Sweeney Todd a little bit more personality. Everything Mrs. Lovett wears is amazing. It might not be strictly steampunk but it’s close enough. I especially love her swim wear (pictured above). Unlikely the other movies on my list, Sweeney Todd is actually an enjoyable film especially if you like murder musicals and Alan Rickman. For a Mrs. Lovett inspired outfit, I would start with a rail pull skirt.

Did I miss anything? What steampunk movies would you include on your list? What do you watch to get inspired? Let us on know on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. We’re always looking for good references to steer people towards!

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The Epic Tale of Our Floor

floor blog

The Epic Tale of Our Floor

(TL:DR We have to be closed for the first 2 weeks of January for renovations. CLICK HERE to get an email to notify you when we’re open again.)

If you’ve been the shop recently, you may have felt a little off centered. Maybe if felt as if the world was tilted. Or you may have even possibly felt a little spring in your step like you were walking on a trampoline. There is a very good reason for that. Our floor is slowly failing and we have no choice but to fix it before someone falls into the center of the earth.

What is Happening

One morning I was sweeping behind the trunk where we keep our extra corsets and I noticed that some of the tiles on the floor were cracked. I showed Sanné and we decided to keep an eye on it. It wasn’t clear whether they were cracked from the floor failing or whether something had fallen on the floor. We made sure that nothing heavy was resting there and let the landlords know. Cut to a week later and cracks were starting to show up all over the place. We reinforced things as best as we could but in the end we had no choice but to temporarily close so that we can guarantee that no one will end up in Wonderland if they step in the wrong spot.

How long will we be closed? 

Here’s the thing with renovations, it’s hard to know exactly how long it will take to repair. The contractor has estimated that it will take a week or two but, as anyone who has ever redone their kitchen knows, it’s only an estimate. We’re hoping that it will be closer to a week and as soon as we can be open again we will be. We will be keeping you updated on our progress via email, the website and social media so keep your eyes peeled.

Where can you get your VM fix?

If you are stressing out and wondering how you could possibly survive without Venus & Mars in your life, don’t worry. The website will still be up and running. You can shop online 24/7 while we’re closed. In fact, we’ll even give you 15% off if you use the discount code RENO. We will also be updating our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter daily with awesome outfit ideas.

It can be really stressful closing for two weeks and for some small businesses it can be the kiss of death. That’s why we are so grateful to have the most AWESOME customers in the world. Having your support for the past 25 years alleviates a lot of that stress and let’s us know that everything will be okay. Thank you so much for being you. We can’t wait to see you in 2019! Have a safe and happy holiday.

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Summer Hours (We’ll be open longer!)

Summer Hours

Summer Hours (We’ll be open longer!)

In Vancouver, we’ve been getting serious summer vibes for the past few weeks. It’s so warm and lovely and beautiful out. I just love it! While it’s not officially summer until June 21, we are officially starting our summer hours this week! We will be open longer and later to meet all your shopping needs. Fear not, festival goers we are here to help you find goggles and pocket belts. Cosplayers and steampunks, we’re here to help you find the perfect corset or waistcoat. Goths, we’ve got light weight asymmetrical skirts in black so that you melt in the summer heat.

Our Summer Hours will be:

  • Monday – Thursday 11am -7pm
  • Friday and Saturday 11am – 8pm
  • Sundays and Holidays 11am – 6pm

Shopping online is available 24/7 from the comfort of your living room. Check out what we have in stock while you lounge around in your pjs with a glass of wine at 3am on a Tuesday. We wont judge. Live your best life.

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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New in Store – Waistcoats, Jackets and Cloaks!

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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Christmas Party Outfit Ideas for the Ladies

Costco, Michael’s and The Bay have had their Christmas displays up since like August, but now that it is officially after Remembrance Day, we can start getting into the nitty gritty of Christmas. When I worked in an office, our Christmas Party was one of the only days of the year when I felt like I could dress like myself. Monday to Friday, I had to cosplay as a secretary but once HR had a couple of sips of eggnog I was free to be my corseted self. If you’re anything like me then you’re ready to let your freak flag fly in the office. Last week we covered outfit suggestions for guys, this week these are my suggestions for Christmas Party Attire for the ladies.

Underblouse and Cincher

This is one of my favorite combinations. The underblouse has three quarter length sleeves that give you a bit of coverage on your shoulders and upper arms but the sheer fabric helps you feel sexy. The underbust feels like a hug when you wear it. Bonus, the boning will make you stand up straight. If you wear this combo with a camisole and pencil skirt then people will hardly even notice that you’re wearing a corset.

Queen Anne Corsetlet and Princess Skirtprincess skirt

If you’re feeling dramatic and you want everyone to know, then I suggest a Queen Anne Corsetlet and Princess Skirt.  You will look like the royal you suspect everyone knows you are. You’ll look formal enough for any venue you visit. Don’t worry about being overdressed, when you’re a queen everyone is simply under dressed.

christmas partyCorset Waist Belt and any little black dress

If you’re feeling a bit shy and you don’t want to go balls out bizarre around your muggle coworkers, try a corset waist belt with a little black dress. The waist belt will show off your curves and the lace up in the front gives the appearance of a corset without all that pesky boning. You’ll be able to eat and drink as much as you like and dance the night away. Win!

Venus & Mars is a small business located in the heart of Gastown, Vancouver, BC. We have been providing quality, handmade, alternative clothing since 1993. Everything Venus & Mars is designed by shop owner, Sanne Lambert, and made in Vancouver. We started out making Goth and Victorian alternative formal wear but over the past decade we have morphed into including pieces for steampunk, cosplay, festival costumes, and LARP gear. Now, we provide awesome people with clothing for weddings, grad, Burning Man, conventions are everyday life. We have also been featured in some film and television. Please visit our About Page for a comprehensive list. Want to stay up to date on what we’re up to? Join our mailing list to get weekly blog posts delivered to your inbox. Or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.