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Venus & Mars at Vancouver Pagan Pride

Guess what! We’re taking the show on the road (again). You’ll be able to find our extremely awesome pop up shop at Vancouver Pagan Pride Festival on September 9, 2017. Vancouver Pagan Pride is taking place at Trout Lake Park (3300 Victoria Drive, Vancouver, BC) from 10am – 6pm.  It is a free event to attend.  This is our first Pagan Pride Festival ever and we are pumped! Sanne has been busy making cloaks, pocket belts, holsters and other treats.

About Vancouver Pagan Pride

VPP is a non-profit organization held in participation with the global Pagan Pride Project. Pagan Pride Project is an international movement to promote community and understanding of the Pagan path. Vancouver Pagan Pride events increase community goodwill, public education and awareness towards Paganism. VPP is open to Pagans, non-Pagans, passersby, and onlookers.

Through education, activism, charity and community, the project promotes tolerance and understanding between people with different belief systems.

If you are a Pagan, the project can help you find pride and confidence in your path. If you are not a Pagan, the project can help you understand your Pagan friends, coworkers, and family members.

The first Pagan Pride Day was September 19, 1998; Vancouver Pagan Pride had its first event the following year. Vancouver Pagan Pride Day occurs during late summer/autumn, which symbolizes the responsibilities Pagans hold to their town/city/province in honor of the various Thanksgiving holidays.

Are you planning on coming out to Vancouver Pagan Pride?  Let us know all about it in the comments below.

Do you want the inside scoop on other events that we will be attending?  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Want super secret deals and tricks and tips for building your wardrobe? Don’t forget to sign up for up the Steampunk Tempest.

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Venus & Mars Summer Re-Cap

Holy smokes, the summer of 2017 has been so busy! I swear I only closed my eyes for a second and all of a sudden we were at the end of August. How did that happen? I guess to figure that out we have to think way back to the end of spring.

June

I don’t know why but this year has been the year of the steampunk wedding.  We got to help so many awesome couples steampunk their outfits for their unique celebrations. From costume party dinner cruises to three day long festival themed wedding extravaganzas, we got to sprinkle a little Venus & Mars fairy dust on some very rad people.  Thanks for letting us be a part of your day!

Towards the end of June, we also got to vend at East Side Pride for the first time ever. It was a super busy day full of excellent drag performances and musical numbers. We saw a couple familiar faces and met some new friends.

 

July

July was all about Bass Coast. We had silver things and galaxy leggings and leg wraps as far as the eye could see for the space theme this year. It was super fun to dress people up in sci fi futuristic outfits.

In mid July, we returned to Vancouver Folk Festival to vend after a five year hiatus. I can’t for the life of me figure out why we waited so long to go back! The music was awesome and the people were super friendly. I got a little bit sunburned on my face but all in all it was totally worth it to go back.

August

August so far is all Burning Man and Oregon Eclipse. We seen a lot of familiar faces for Burning Man but we’ve also had a ton of people who are new to the Burn and new to Venus & Mars. Goggles, Pocket Belts, Boots, Cloaks and Tutus have been flying off the racks.

We also lost our minds and did three events this month.  Two of those events were on the same weekend. We started the month with Anime Revolution (shout out to all our cosplay friends) and then we did the Pride Festival on Sunset Beach. Just this weekend Sanne went to Langley and worked at Arts Alive.

Looking back, it’s no wonder our summer flew by. We got to do so many cool events and make new friends in the shop.

What did you get up to this summer?  Let us know in the comments below!

Do you want the inside scoop on other events that we will be attending?  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Want super secret deals and tricks and tips for building your wardrobe? Don’t forget to sign up for up the Steampunk Tempest.

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FAQ: What is Cosplay?

In less than 2 weeks, we will be vending at one of our favourite events, Anime Revolution! We also have so much fun at anime events: everyone is super friendly and happy to be there, we get to learn about the latest news in geek culture and best of all we get to see everyone’s fabulous cosplay! Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the term, one of our most frequently asked questions is “What is cosplay?”

Cosplay is actually a portmanteau of two words: costume and play. Originally, I think that the word specifically applied to anime culture where people would dress up as their favourite anime characters.  As time has gone by, it has expanded to include pretty much any pop culture icon. Some people are purists and get every detail perfect right down to the colour of the thread on the switching.  Some people mash up differently cultural elements to create a new version of a character like making a steampunk sailor moon or a little mermaid princess Leia.  Lots of people make gender bending version of their favourite characters like a male Harley Quinn or a female Captain America. The options are limitless and the community is super accepting.

If you are still not sure you understand, fear not! I have some examples of awesome Venus & Mars  versions of some of our most favourite fictional badass ladies.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman is one of my personal favourite super heroes so naturally we had to include her.  It’s so empowering to have a strong, fearless female hero kicking ass and taking names. Who wouldn’t want to dress up like that? For Wonder Woman we combined the iconic Linda Carter look with some of the badassery of the new Gal Gadot look.  We put together a gold Venus & Mars bandeau with a red reversible VM waist cincher some blue booty shorts, a black velvet cloak and gold pointe glovettes.  Suffering Sappho, I have never seen a cooler Wonder Woman!

Harley Quinn

If you have ever been to a convention you know that if we had to include anything it was Harley Quinn.  There has been so many Harley looks over years and we couldn’t pick just one. We used her original black and red for inspiration but gave the overall outfit more of a roller derby feel. For this outfit, we combined a sleeveless red skinny tee, the reverse side of the reversible red waist cincher, black and red tap shorts and mix and matched a pair of red and black fishnet glovettes. We also added a pair of black goggles as a nod to the original Harley Quinn’s black eye mask. Trust me, puddin’, everyone will love this Harley look.

Princess Leia

We love Carrie Fisher. Her real life sassy no bullshit approach to Hollywood is something we can all aspire to. We absolutely had to pay homage to her with a Princess Leia inspired look. I know slave Leia is super popular but we wanted to show off the all white princess outfit instead.   We put together a white under blouse, white reversible waist cincher and cream panne cloak.  And we used a white pinstripe tube top as the skirt. To really sell the look we put Ivette’s hair into buns. I sense great awesome in this outfit. (PS. I love this picture so much. I think it’s one of my favourites ever.)

 

So what did you think of my definition of cosplay? did I get it right?  Would you explain it differently?  Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to hear about new and exciting things we are doing!

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How to Tie Your Own Corset (a refresher course)

Hey Guys!

We posted this way back in January but it’s still one of our most frequently asked questions. I thought I’d re-post it to give everyone a refresher.

Happy corseting!

Love,

Devon

How to tie your own corset

The most frequently question I get asked when selling a corset is: “Do you come with the corset?”

While I would like to believe that it’s my stunning wit, infectious laugh and good looks that prompts this question, I know that it is actually because most people don’t know how to tie their own corset. Good news, it’s not actually that difficult.  It is slightly more complicated than pulling on pair of yoga pants but I’ve broken it down for you into four easy to follow steps.

Step one:

Unlace and unbutton (or unzip or unclip) the corset. Figure out what is the top, bottom, front and back. Our corsets have a handy tag sewn into them indication the top back of the corset. You would not believe how many upside down backwards corsets I see. If you don’t feel like your corset is fitting correctly,  check to make sure it’s not upside down… or backwards… or inside out.

Step two:

Clip into your corset. Your corset should be able to stay on your body but it should not be overly tight. If your corset is falling off it’s too big. If you can’t clip up your corset at all or it is too tight for you to be able to breath then it is too small.

Step three:

Find a mirror and turn your back to it. With Venus & Mars corsets we use continuous lace up so it should look like there are 2 loops towards the middle, where your waist is. Put your index and middle fingers through the loops and pull until you reach desired tightness. Blue in the face is too tight.

Step four:

Tie the laces into a bow or knot. I prefer a bow as it is easier to undo and therefore easier to adjust throughout the day but if you can’t tie a bow behind your back then a knot will work just fine.

Step five (optional):

When you get to wherever you are going, make a friend in the bathroom. Turn to a lady at the sink and say “Hey, would you mind helping me with my corset?” If she is awesome like you, she’ll say yes! Ask her to adjust your corset accordingly. It can be really difficult to reach higher up your back if you need more support or tightness at the bust. Plus bonus, you now have  new friend!

Now nothing can hold you back from rocking your corset! If you want, you can come down to the store and get the live demo. Plus while you’re here you can try a few new ones. If you want to check out some of our corset before you come in you can find them HERE.

How many corsets do you have? Where do you like to wear them. Let us know in the comments below.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to hear about new and exciting things we are doing!

 

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FAQ: What is Steampunk?

what is steampunk

This has been the summer of the steampunk wedding here at Venus & Mars.  We’ve had so many awesome couples looking for outfits or accessories to steampunk their wedding.  We’ve also had a lot of wedding guest looking for ensembles and answers.  So many people want to know, what exactly is steampunk?

I have some good news and bad news. The bad news is that I’m not sure there is a totally definitive answer to that question.  Some people know it involves goggles and gears.  Other people is say it’s when goths wear brown. I like to think of it as a sci fi fantasy world where steam is the main power source.  Basically think Jules Vern, H.G. Wells, time travel, Victorian Fashion and goggles. Do you know what the good news is? If there’s no definitive answer to what steampunk is then you are only limited by your imagination.

Do you know what else is awesome about Steampunk? It’s so inclusive.  You could wear brown pants, a white dress shirt, suspenders, and GOGGLES and be steampunk. Or you can go all out and build your own steam powered motorcycle, convert your keyboard into a typewriter and dress Victorian 24/7.  It’s all good in the steampunk hood and you can participate in whatever capacity you choose.

what is steampunkStill not convinced steampunk is amazing? Listen to this, you can create a character with your wardrobe. Are you an adventurer finding new lands and exploring unknown kingdoms?  Then you probably want to wear something easy to move in like a pair of black cotton bondage pants, a Queen Anne corsetlet and a steampunk pocket belt (for your map, compass and gadgets). Are you a high end watchmaker/ repair person who has discovered a magic secret in a patron’s watch?  You should probably dress the part in a poet shirt, military frock coat and some round glasses. Are you socialite by day and cat burglar by night? You’ should get used to wearing a corset and skirt but make sure you have your bustle pocket belt to hold your lock picking tools.

You can make just about anything steampunk.  Your only limitation is your imagination. Don’t believe me?  Google Steampunk (insert your favorite superhero, character, person here) cosplay you’ll find tons of pictures to draw inspiration to create your own steampunk character.

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.