As you all probably already know, March is Women’s History Month. At this moment, as we struggle to hold on to many of our freedoms and rights we have fought for through the years, I think it is more important than ever to talk about Women’s rights and the women who have fought for them thought history. We need to remember where we came from, and why we must fight to maintain the rights we have both earned and deserve.
So all through the month I will be sharing, both here on the blog and on social media, information, thought, and feelings about women I admire through history. I have already started on social media, and you can find those post easily by searching the hash tag #womenshistorymonth
I will be talking about women both living and deceased, so know one is exempt. I know a lot of other people are also sharing women they admire, so don’t be afraid to explore everyone’s post. And I fully encourage all of you to share as well, whether that be here on the blog in the comments section or on your social media accounts.
Just another reminder of some other things coming up soon.
Next month I will be participating again in #AllDressApril. If you don’t know what that is you can check out last years post. This year I am working on something really special for you all in conjunction with it. Look for the announcement on that near the end of the month. Since April will be filled with fashion, you probably won’t be seeing a lot of it this month.
Also next month I will be going to The International Steampunk Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio. It will be on April 28 – 30 this year. Let me know if you are going too. And don’t be afraid to say hi.
Tell me in the comments below if you have a personal female hero from history.
I may be boring some of you by now with my many post that have included thing about the 2016 Internation Steampunk Symposium. Since it has overlapped with doing the All Dress April Challenge that means that my personal fashion for the weekend has been covered for the most part. I did leave some of the details out so that we would still have some things to talk about, but I also have some things outside of my own fashion that I have not shared yet. So for those of you who are not into steampunk, I will get back to normal (well normal for me) after this post. But also, if you aren’t into steampunk, why? Yes its nerdy or geeky, whichever you prefer to call it. But it really is 90% fashion, and fashion forwards/backwards (time travel is confusing) at that. So lets talk about the things I haven’t shared first. I think I mentioned last year how much it really pleased me to see the number of beautiful plus size curvy ladies that were there. And this year was no let down. I think that the curvy women outdid themselves this year. t seemed as though there was an even larger number of plus size ladies participating this year, and the talent in costume construction was even more spectacular. Here are just a few of the ladies and their costumes that I thought were highlights: (Anyone I have a link to or permission to post their name will be listed below their picture) This costume and lady was amazing. You might remember her from last years post from the Steampunk Symposium, she was one of the few that I didn’t get her info. She had the beautiful Russian Queen looking costume. This year it took a little thought to figure out what her costume was. Once you had it, you realized it was not only visually stunning, but absolutely brilliant. She was a hot air balloon. Even down to her feet there was a little caged basket. Well this year I actually managed to get her name, and a link to her business. This beautiful and talented ladies name is Brittney Benjamin. And you can find her new costuming business on Facebook as Shewolf Studios. I highly recommend you check her items out, you won’t regret it. Any other Doctor Who fans in the house? I knew The Doctor was really a woman. I don’t know where she found her jacket or if she made it(in hind sight I should have asked), but it was so spot on The Doctor and I loved it. Representing the Airship Ashanti is the beautiful Ofeibea Loveless. (Side note: If you are not familiar with how steampunk cons work, groups can form airships that compete in competitions to earn points for winning.) If you would like info on Airship Ashanti you can contact them through their Facebook Page. This costume just looked so regal, and I loved the mix of fabrics. And best of all it was unique to her and the character she was embodying. If I remember correctly, she did make this herself. This lady and her family were walking around enjoying the festivities. I found out that her mother made the outfit. But the whole family were very talented. The umbrella she is carrying she made. And the gentleman walking around with the ladies (I assume he was related, but I did not have that verified) had made his own hat with moving parts. And we both laughed that she and I have the same necklace, well not exactly the same as they are all hand made and made unique. And this gorgeous lady was such a delight to meet. She is starting out a brand new plus size modeling career. Her name is Persephone Jones. Go give her Facebook fan page some love and check out some of her pictures.
Now I have already posted the pictures of my costumes on Instagram and in the Looks From Week Two Of #AllDressApril post. But I will share them again here in case you missed them, and share the details I didn’t in the other posts.
I was going for a steampunk version of a gypsy/witch. I listed most of the clothing and where I got them in the previous article. But I left the accessories out. In this particular costume I have three accessories. There are the shoes, a necklace and a bag that goes around your waist or hip. You can choose how to wear the bag. So both the shoes and the necklace I purchased them gently used off of shopping apps. I will talk about which ones and how they work in an upcoming post I have planned. The bag at my waist though came from The Pyramid Collection. It is their Unisex Hip Pack. I really was quite thankful for this item. One of the best investments I have made for a costume. It was great to have somewhere to put my things without having to carry a purse.
Everything has already been posted for this look in either of the previous two articles listed. But I also managed to get some decent shots of my makeup this year.
Outside of all the costuming and beautiful plus size ladies, there is a lot more to the Steampunk Symposium. Here are just a couple of the highlights from this year.
Derigible races are always a fun time. And this was one of my favorite ships to run. It didn’t win, but the design concept was awesome.
These were some of the neatest toys in the sellers market. They were all kids animated toys that had been stripped down and made steampunk.
And of course, nothing is better than getting to spend time with friends.
Over the last few years I have fallen increasing in love with Steampunk. For those of you not in the know, Steampunk is first and foremost a sci-fi sub-genre that is a imagining of what life would be like if the steam engine had taken over the world and stuck. There is a high emphasis with many enthusiast on fashion and costuming, as well as props and working mechanical contraptions.
I have always been a bit of a self proclaimed geek who enjoyed sci-fi heavy on technology, so when you give me a genre that also incorporates fabulous fashions and artistic expressions I go all out. If you follow me on Pinterest then you know that I have several boards dedicated to Steampunk.
This past weekend I went to my first ever Steampunk Con, The International Steampunk Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Its an event that last for several days, however I was there for Saturday only. It was such a great experience I am already planning on going for the whole thing next year, as well as possibly a day or two of another one.
Before going, I of course planned out my costume. In the world of steampunk, you can be almost anything you can imagine, as long as you conform it fit the few guidelines to dressing steampunk. Like many things though, it is harder to find plus size items, and it often means a heftier price tag. But with a bit of imagination, craftiness, and willingness to put some time into bargain hunting you can cosplay a steampunk character with the best of them without breaking the bank. After a couple of funny conversations with some friends online, I chose to do a Unicorn Queen costume for the sake of an inside joke.
First lets talk about where everything came from.
The skirt was one of my Christmas gifts from my husband this year. It is the Victorian Bustle Skirt from Hips & Curves. It is also available in a black and white stripe pattern. Both options are available in 1X to 4X. Mine is a 3X, and I typically wear a 2X with most things at Hips & Curves, so you might want to size. I did order by the size chart on this one, so you should be good if you go by your measurements.
The top is the Prudence Top from Spin Doctor, and I purchased it from a Canadian store called Sweet Echo. I am wearing a 3X, as Spin Doctor fits more like a junior plus brand. For me, while in most traditional plus size companies I wear a 20W or a 2X, with Spin Doctor I wear a 3X if it is very stretchy or 4X if it has little to no stretch. There are even some items I can’t wear at all, as 4X is the largest size they offer.
The waist cincher is a custom made item purchased on Etsy, from a shop called Gone Away Designs. She has several waist cinchers as well as skirts that are fitting steampunk designs. There doesn’t seem to be any extra charge for larger sizes. And she is willing to customize, she did for me. Since mine was strictly for costume I wanted something that was going to be comfortable for the day as well as easy to take on and off as needed. So she made the front with a hook and eye closure for just a few dollars more.
The fascinator is also a custom buy from an Etsy shop called the Black Unicorn Shop. It is the same as the one pictured in the shops banner, but with a couple of slight modifications. This shop is located in Europe, so if you purchase from them, make sure you allow enough time for shipping when buying for an event.
Both my necklace and my scepter were custom designs from another Etsy seller called DR. Brassy’s Steampunk. My first purchase was the necklace, which is a part of her Trademarked Sightmares collection. Each Sightmares piece is custom made and unique. And as much as I loved the pieces in the pictures, they are even more fantastic in person. I decided to custom order a scepter shaped like a unicorn horn with a matching Sightmares eye. Here are a couple of pictures so you can see the detail more thoroughly.
Custom Sightmares Pocket Watch Necklace
Custom Unicorn Horn Scepter With Sightmares Eye
Unicorn Horn Scepter – View From The End
All I can say is these are the work of a true artist, and I love everything about them. I will definitely be buying from Dr. Brassy’s Steampunk again in the future. Be sure to read up a bit on Dr. Brassy’s business as it in itself is interesting. And if you decide to buy from the shop, make sure to tell her I sent you.
The one thing that I am wearing that you can’t really see in the pictures is my shoes. When choosing shoes I had two issues I tried to keep in mind. First I have a lot of back and feet pain due to some of chronic pain conditions I have, so I needed something comfortable. I also have a foot that verges on being in wide widths depending on the brand, and unfortunately a lot of Victorian/Steampunk looking styles seem to run narrow. While I wanted to keep my cost down for my costume I decided my shoes were the one area I felt it was okay to really go ahead and splurge more than I had planned, and my feet thanked me for it. While I still had some soreness after it was all said and done, I know it could have been much worse. I ended up going with this pair of Hush Puppy Booties. I wish I could direct everyone to a place to purchase them, but I had to special order them from the UK even when I got them.
Hush Puppies Victorian Style Booties
Of course I didn’t go alone. I went with one of my besties Jenny, who you have seen before as well as our husbands. Jenny wore a Tribal style costume, which is also one of the accepted styles of dress for Steampunk.
We had a great time together tooling around the convention.
I also want to share with you some of the other great people and fashion I saw at the Steampunk Symposium
This lovely lady pictures with my friend Jenny is former news writer, turned Steampunk writer, Emily P. Bush. You can check out her bio on Amazon.
Then there was this fantastic costume:
I was suppose to get back with this lady and trade information, so if anyone that was at the con recognizes her, message me with her contact info or have her contact me. I want to give her the proper credit for her awesome costuming skills.
Another impressive costume as well as a just lovely lady to speak to:
I wish my pictures had turned out better of this one. I am not really sure what happened with them, but it looks like I had some interference going on when I took these. But this ladies name is Helena and she is a costume designer. She makes custom and original pieces for all sizes. You can check out her store the Kinki Kitty.
And by far one of the most awe striking costumes I saw was this:
It wasn’t just the costume, it was the makeup. Yes folks that is makeup. As she walked near it looked like she was wearing a mask, but then she spoke and you knew it was makeup. And her hair, which turned out to be a fantastic wig with intricately woven in lace and lights, as seen here:
The entire look was absolute perfection. Her name is Madame Dowd, and she is a costume designer. If you are interested in purchasing one of her custom costumes or accessories you can visit her Etsy shop the Boutique of Curiosity.
Now if you are wondering what actually happens at a Steampunk Con, here are a few details and pictures to help you out.
We had a tea:
There was men parading around for the Beard and Mustache competition:
And there was Tribal/Belly Dancing:
All this long with much, much more. And one of the best things is there were all types of people of all shapes and sizes and colors and ages. And everyone is okay with that. If you would like to join us next year you can sign up here.