If it weren’t for the brightly shining sun on the leafy green trees and modern cars out the window, you might think you were in Victorian England – where the fog would obscure the cobblestone streets and gas lamps, so you could only hear the hoof beats of horse-drawn carriages and the hoot of the steam train in the distance. But this lovely little room is in the sunny Southern California suburb of Burbank!
Clockwork Couture has more than Victoriana, it offers the opportunity to become a Steampunk! To be a steampunk, you need to imagine that you’re living at the turn of the last century, when science is making huge strides and the British Empire stretches across the globe. The Queen’s subjects bring tales of steamship adventures and souvenirs from exotic lands. America lures many with the promise of freedom and danger in the wild West, and grand Colonial plantations in the South are creating Civil War, while on the East Coast, a new-world version of Victorian refinement can be found.
From this exciting point in time, almost anything could have happened. Things could have gone a different way -- technology could have been developed using clockwork gears and steam power…or at the very least, the aesthetic of highly ornamented and shining brass. It is into that world of possibility that Steampunks launch their imaginary travels.
Such journeys can be taken through speculative fiction or the screen, role-playing games of different types or at conventions. (Or all of the above, of course.) There are now many books in the sub-genre to supply you with tours of the Steampunk world, but allow me to draw your attention to the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger. Not only are they “wickedly funny” as it says on the author’s website, but Clockwork Couture’s Captain Donna Ricci graces the cover of each of the books in the series! See?
Silver screen-wise, adding a retro-futuristic twist to Victorian style is great fun for Hollywood production designers--sci-fi that looks like a highbrow period piece!
• The Wild Wild West (Will Smith, Kevin Kline-1999)
• The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Sean Connery-2003)
Even the recent film Suckerpunch (Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens - 2011) had a steampunk style to it.
The beloved Joss Whedon TV series Firefly (Nathan Fillion, 2003) and it's follow up film Serenity (2005) fits too with its cowboy-in-space thing, (as does, I’m sure, Cowboys and Aliens Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, 2011).
There’s less need to be historically accurate and more call for imaginative incorporation of fictional devices that could-have-been along with fashion twists on Victorian staples like corsets and feathered hats, or aviation goggles and brass accoutrements.
That’s why at Clockwork Couture, you’ll find everything from cowboy boots to Absinthe sets, ornate timepieces to feathered hats, and complete clothing ensembles with jewelry to match.
Check out Clockwork Couture at ClockworkCouture.com. They make clothes and hats to order (great for Red Hatters!) and can ship them anywhere, but make an appointment to visit the shop in Burbank and they’ll make you tea!
Watch the video here or on YouTube and tell your friends!