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 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.
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!
First of all, if you’re not finished you’re Christmas shopping yet, don’t despair. We will be open 11-5 on Sunday December 23, 2018 and 11-5 on Monday December 24, 2018 for all your last minute gifts. If you don’t know what to get but you know your person loves the store remember that a gift card will always fit! We will be closed Tuesday December 25, 2018.
Now for the good stuff! Wednesday December 26, 2018 we will be open from 11-7 and everything in the store will be on sale (except items on consignment from local artists). Regular prices items will be on sale for 20% off! Gowns are on sale for $149! Clearance items will be on sale for $25! Our boxing day sale will only be on for December 26, 2018 so make sure you get down to the shop to check it out. We will not be doing any exchanges on December 26, 2018.
But wait! What if you’re out of town or you can’t make it to the shop? Don’t worry, we got you. You can use the discount code BOXINGDAY20 to get 20% off everything online! It will only be valid on December 26, 2018 so make sure you log on to snag a deal!
I don’t know what’s going on in the city right now but I’ve had a tone of people coming in for steampunk costumes. I felt like it was the perfect opportunity to give a little bit of a refresher on steampunk essentials/ steampunk outfit ideas. And I decided to include some of my favourite steampunk pictures for reference.
You cannot go wrong with an underblouse and corset or waist cincher combo. It’s the perfect base for your outfit and immediately conjures up Victorian imagery. Alternatively, a waistcoat in place of a corset or cincher is also a good option if you’re not a fan of being laced in. Then all you need to do is add a princess skirt if you’re a fancy lady or a pair of velvet capris if you’re more of an adventurer. If you feel like you’re somewhere in between fancy and adventure then I suggest a long asymmetrical skirt.
My ideal men’s steampunk outfit is steampunk bondage pants, a poet shirt, a waistcoat and a steampunk frock coat. That can get a little bit expensive if you’re just starting out. I usually recommend guys start with a pair of brown or black dress pants and a white dress shirt then you can add one of waistcoats or a frock coat and immediately elevated the look.
Accessories are the best part and there is no limit on what you can add to your outfit. A pocket belt is probably a good start. You’re going to need somewhere to put all your time travel gadgets (not to mention your wallet and phone). Pocket watches are also pretty standard for steampunk. Suspenders will give any outfit a little something extra. Oh and goggles! How could I forget goggles! Steampunk and goggles are almost synominous.
What does your ideal steampunk outfit look like? Let us know in the comments below!
Way back in August Andrew and Patty came into the shop looking for outfits to wear to a steampunk themed photo shoot at the Langley Museum. It turned out that Andrew is a photographer and Patty is a model. After finding the perfect outfit for Patty (and later Andrew too), we started discussing doing a potential collaboration. We were reluctant at first. In the past, we have loaned out clothing to photographers and/ or film makers and had the items returned damaged or dirty. We’ve also worked directly with photographers and ended up never hearing from the photographer again or seeing a single picture from the photo shoot.
Andrew understood where we were coming from but he was also very persistent. In the end we agreed to put something to together on the condition that I could come along to make sure the clothing didn’t get damaged. As it turned out, Patty has an identical twin (Many) and their good friend Aman is an excellent make up artist. Andrew was also able to get the back bar at the Clough club for us to shoot in so it was difficult to decline. The only ting left to do was pick a date to do it.
Unfortunately, when we met Patty and Andrew we were in the middle of our busiest time of year. We decided to wait until after Halloween to pick a date. None of our schedules’ lined up until January. But it was totally worth the wait. The day of the shoot ended up going really well. Aman did some beautiful makeup. Many and Patty were troopers and went through each outfit with ease hardly taking a break all day. Andrew was super prepared and had come with a schedule, poses and lighting all ready to go. Then, after the shoot, Andrew spent a lot of time editing all the pictures and adding in our logo.
We’re so happy with how everything turned out and we can’t wait to use the images for up coming projects.
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 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.
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.