Archive for steampunk

Lolita or something like it

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2010 by dollpart

Fashion is a beast of many backs, layers, flavors and styles. Lolita as a  style takes influences from the Rococo/Baroque decadence of the 17th and 18th Century, mixes it with other historical styles popular well into the late 1900s with a modern playfulness. Early modern influences include Vivienne Westwood, Young Edwardian and Gunne Sax – designers from the 1960’s to the late 80s who had touched on whimsical and romantic themes. Lolita is a very romantic fashion in the sense that it looks back to historical fashion, rose glasses squarely placed on the face of it and remixed with modern textiles (such as the plastic jewelry) and an ‘old world’ sensibility (Parasols, Petticoats and bloomers – things that are no longer a staple part of a modern wardrobe).

Taking a look back at this style is a good way to look back at the things that had also inspired Lolita and like Lolita looked to historical influences to create a unique and romantic aesthetic. For some people, these styles are a gateway to Lolita, some can be included into Lolita and some prefer it to Lolita. Retro/Vintage style is unquestionably popular and for some affords a comfortable, relaxed and unique way to dress stylishly in a romantic, adorned and textured dress without the tyranny of the Lolita silhouette.

White Off the Shoulders Dress

White Lace dress by Gunne Sax

One of my favorite fashion brands is Gunne Sax (by Jessica McClintock) which during the 1970s popularized the Prairie-Revival and Medieval-Revival look. Essentially responsible for the Puffy-Sleeve craze of most of the 1980s – both leg-o-mutton and puff ball.

Puff sleeves, back bow - look familiar?

Gunne Sax made a lot of formal gowns, wedding dresses as well as party and casual dresses, favoring long and full skirts, puffed sleeves, layering lace, ruffle and trim and fitted bodices for a more ‘princess’ look. The Prairie style was more provincial in its styling, looking a little dirndl like and referencing the floral prints and styles worn by early 20th Century American settlers.

A related label are Young Edwardian for the vintage hunters out there who enjoy a less ‘bohemian’ look and a more 60’s Mod style that is still rather romantic.

Coat by Young Edwardian

Coat by Young Edwardian

In recent years the popularity of the “Maxi” style dress has made it a staple in most modern/mainstream wardrobes. I guess it took normal people a while to remember that long dresses that swoosh in the breeze and as you walk were fun, easy to wear, playfully feminine and stylish things. Unfortunately, most modern “Maxi” dresses are low plunging in their necklines, not full enough in the skirt and with a high waist making those who do have any slight curvature in their figures to look like little sail/salt shaker/chess pieces. Not to mention the choice of prints is rather dire; the look is too ‘modern’ and looses a lot of the charm those previous incarnations of the long dress had.

Long Black, lace overlay Dress

Long Black, lace overlay Dress by Gunne Sax

If you are looking for Gunne Sax dresses many are available as commercial paper patterns on Etsy (  and hundreds of dresses, blouses and skirts are for sale on Etsy as well as eBay. Your local vintage store could also potentially have Gunne Sax dresses but do note that they are highly collectible items and some you will have to pay a lot of money for the more sought after dresses.


Por Homme: Part Two – What to Look For

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2009 by dollpart

For basic Kodona stlye there are some key basics that you will need to pull this look off starting from the bottom up.

To read the first part of this article click HERE

Boots (knee high, ankle, mid calf) of various styles are appropriate (Preferably lace up, in leather, suede or a matte patent) in black is the most common (though brown can be worn too).
Others: Brogues/Oxfords, riding boots, polished leather school shoes, creepers, wingtips and winklepickers.

The same applies for women but they can also get away with wearing platformed and heeled shoes (men can too, it’s a matter of taste and comfort)

Brands: Dr. Martens, Underground UK, Most Japanese Brand stores (Sizes run small even in men’s shoe) – also inquire at at the mens wear section (formal) of any major department store or mens clothing store.

Do – Invest in a high quality pair as they are versatile and good quality leather will last you for years.

Don’t – Wear construction work shoes such as Blundstones, sports shoes/sneakers/hightops/open footwear/cowboy boots/canvas shoes such as Vans and Converses* (*Though some people do get away with wearing all black Cons – a pair of black lace up leather shoes/boots is the safest option)

Accessories: Spats are popular for Aristocrat and men’s Steampunk as well. Spats are usually canvas or leather covers that go over your boots/shoes.


Bare legs (save for knees) are not often seen in Kodona/Prince/Aristo. Socks or stockings in solid black and white are most versatile, also popular are black and white stripe or coloured stripes in horizontal or vertical stripe. Stockings, both knee high, thigh high and full are good options for girls and also me (just make sure to buy the thick kind because leg hair poking out of socks is not a good look on any one)

Brands: Sock Dreams, Metamorphose, Moi Meme Moitie, Alice and the Pirates, Baby the Stars Shine Bright

Do – Invest in several pairs

Don’t – Buy ribbed / textured / work/heavy duty socks. They must be smooth on the leg.

Accessories: Garters and spats


Traditionally for Kodona they can be around knee length, knickers, jodhpurs, plus fours, and breeches and sometimes shorts. For Aristocrat and Prince you can also wear long slacks. Colours can be basic black though other colours like brown, navy and creams are acceptable and there’s no reason why Kodona cannot be as bright as Lolita, Pastel colours were once a standard in all mens wear in the royal courts of Europe prior to the 1780s. Fabrics include tartans, cottons, polyester, corduroy, tweed and velvets. They can be adorned with buttons and buckles at the knees or have embroidered details.

Brands: Atelier Boz, h.Haoto, Peace Now for Men, Union Jack, Moi Meme Moitie, Alice and the Pirates and Metamorphose.

Do – Make sure they fit well (Japanese mens sizes run very small and some/all brands have pants fitted for women)

Don’t – Wear blue jeans, denims (though sometimes Black jeans can be a comfortable substitute) jeans shorts, cargos, chinos or board shorts.

Accessories: Chains, belts, pocket watches, punk style over skirts, sashes, sword belts.


A basic button can often work just as long as it has a peterpan, pointed, batwing, ruffled or feature collar. Some with high collars can be worn unadorned or with a cravat, jabot or stock. Traditionally either a black or white long sleeved shirt, with ruffled or lace trimmed and often they are cotton and either a little over sized or tailored. For girls you can wear any basic lolita blouse with a long sleeve or detachable sleeve as long as it’s not too “Sweet” or have any ribbon or decoration besides lace/pin tucking/ruffles/frills or embroidery ect

Brands: Atelier Boz, H.Naoto, Black Peace Now (and BPN Mens), Moi Meme Moitie, Metamorphose, Alice and the Pirates and Innocent World

Accessories: Waistcoats and vests

boy oh boy!

Waistcoats/Vests/Jackets/Coats ect
What really finishes off an outfit is a statement making coat or waistcoat. They can be anything from long overcoats in a heavy cotton or medium length frock coats in a rich brocade to a short, military inspired jacket with brass buttons.

Brands: Atelier Boz, h.Haoto, Peace Now for Men, Union Jack, Moi Meme Moitie, Alice and the Pirates and Metamorphose.

Don’t: Wear hoodies, modern military coats, bomber jackets, woolen or fleece jumper/sweaters.

Accessories: Brooches, pins, pocket watches, capes, scarves.


Other Accessories:
Hats: Tricons, top hats, bowlers, boaters
Jewelry: Rings, chains, cufflinks, tie pins, bracelets, piercings
Hair: Can be worn at any length, long hair can be tied back neatly into a bow or let loose on the shoulders, messy pigtails and buns can look cute for girls in kodona too.
Make up: Can optional but if you do like wearing it opt for  light colours like bottle/moss green, greys, silvers, browns, black, dark purple and nudes.

Next article will be about expanding on all the brands mentioned in the past articles, which ship internationally, sizing and options of men as well as western based options, plus size concerns and cheaper alternatives.

Micro Post: Boots

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2009 by dollpart

Never under-estimate the power of a good pair of lace up black knee high boots. As long as they’re round toed it doesn’t matter if they’re platformed or heeled, they look awesome with most gothic lolita, Elegant Gothic Aristocrat punk lolita, Pirate Lolita/sailor, some classic and steampunk lolita and occasionally sweets outfits. Also they also work with anyone’s goth and punk out-of-lolita outfits and as far as the mainstream winter boot trend (Australia) they are VERY in right now.

They’re the LBD (Little Black Dress) of the alternative fashion world.

Steam Burns: Steampunk and Lolita

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2008 by dollpart

Talking to one of my fellow lolita friends about Steampunk and the crossovers between Steampunk and Lolita – which of course is a hybrid style known as Steampunk Lolita/Steam Lolita.

It’s interesting to see the correlations that occur between the two styles*. Both taking cues from a historical fashion period and remixing it with modern/pseudo-modern textiles, accessoriesand motifs. From what I understand, Steampunk is primarily a literary movement, think Star Wars but downgrade the technology to run on steam (like a Steam Train Engine) but it’s also become a fashion movement Steam punks can range from a mechanics class, pilot/militaryor freelance or pirate, inventors, artisans and aristocrats.  Think Back to the Future part III meets The Fifth Element. Think Sherlock Holmes meets Babylon 5!

The blurb/manifesto on the steampunk lolita community:
This is the journal for people who wish to dress within the Steam Punk and Lolita aesthetic. Here talk will be of technology and the future but from the Victorian perspective and aesthetic.
We shall discuss fashion and literature and how we can impart the sense of wonder and joy we get from the great potential of steam power and Mr Babbage’s Analytical Machine into our clothing and way of life.
We admire buildings not just for their beauty but for their construct, we see machines as objects of art as well as function.
We are the Future Thoughts of a Past Time

 Unlike Gothic Lolita and closer to Classic, the colour pallet tends to go to using brown more heavily than black, browns, metallic colours like copper, brass, gold, navy, off white, white, pearl, Burgundy, dusky pinks and rich moss greens. Depending on which tribe or class of Steampunk the outfit can be more deconstructed or highly tailored like the Elegant Gothic Aristocrat look. Textiles include more leather, chain, steel, copper (wire/cogs), velvet, felt, brocades.

 As for incorporatingthe motifs between the two looks – it’s easy to combine things such keys, crowns, cameos, fler-de-lis, Moitie’s famous Iron-gate/ect Prints with existing steamy motifs like clocks, gears, cogs and Roman Numerals.

 Brand wise – Steam friendly brands include Alice and the Pirates, Innocent World (For their boystyle and colour pallet, making quite a few items in brown), Putumayo (for a punkish edge), Moi Meme Moitie/ Atelier Boz (for aristocratic tailoring). For the most part Steampunk style is heavily dependant on DIY, reconstructing and second hand, as each person likes to have something truly original or unique that sets them apart. Steam reality is a more fluid one – rather than the lolita desire to travel back to a more authetic period – there’s is one of a dynamic past reality primarily that of a psuedo-Victorian era.

The style is facinating on it’s own and it’s melding with Lolita is truly an interesting mix of two similiar fashion cultures and aesthetics – I just wish there were a lot more good image examples that were free to use. If anyone has good Steampunk Lolita images please feel free to show me them!


*Talking about Steampunk as purely a fashion/style aesthetic and not much to do with any inherent lifestyle activities / meet ups / role play / ect

Lolita has a Posse

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2008 by dollpart

A friend of mine asked me who would win in an epic battle – Lolitas v Steampunks?

I figure lolitas could mod most of their accessories into weapons (modifying brand? blaspheme!) – swords hidden in the hilts of parasols, parasols with cattleprods tips, hair bows that double as shirkens and if all else fails taking off our big, heavy Rocking-Horse shoes and clobbering people with them. Steam punks are heavily armed and have better shielding than tulle petticoats and bad-attitudes but what we lack in amo and defences we make up with pure crazy rage.

I mean, just look at us:

Don't FUCK with us!
Frilly Gangsters – WE OWN THIS CITY.