Sunday, January 8, 2012
My son has gone steampunk and has informed me that my style is steampunk as well. Nice to have a teenager around to tell you these things. He even took me on a tour of our home and master bathroom pointing out very steampunk objets d'art that I have collected and placed here and there.
I won't be walking down Main Street in a corset anytime soon, but it did explain a lot about my style. I just always say that I was born a century too late and knew that I loved anything from the Victorian era from clothing to furniture.
I didn't know that my collection of various pieces that I call "the prettiest shirt in the whole wide world", tops that I throw on with jeans and boots in the winter or pair with jeans or denim or floral skirts and sandals in the summer, were part of a certain movement. Anything Victorian, lace, crochet, floral...my style...preferably layered. It's just me. It always has been. I never go with the flow and I am not a shopper, but I have a knack for seeing a piece of clothing in the midst of racks and racks of boring pieces that twenty women around me are wearing trying to copycat each other, and bee-lining for it then walking away with a smile. This means that my wardrobe grows very very slowly, one piece at a time, but my closet is full of "me". Also, I am always altering clothes to fit my style, even if the pieces are brand new. And sometimes I'll buy an article of clothing with the intention of altering it in some way to fit my style.
So when I added a few pieces of lacy looking black floral jewelry to my beady, hippy collection the other night, my son showed me online that they looked awfully steampunk.
I loved everything I saw and was reminded of a clock we saw while Christmas shopping. It was made of different clock parts. We decided at the time that we would make something like it for my son's room by using the mechanisms and gears from old clocks and industrial scraps. He explained to me that steampunk accessories are the same and said that the movie Wild Wild West with the giant mechanical spider was all steampunk. So cool!
We looked up different pieces of steampunk accessories for him through various websites and started deconstructing some old watches his father and I had collected over the years. Half a tube of E6000 and a splitting headache later, I presented him with the finished products.
There was some debate over using an old Clue game revolver, but when we thought of how Old West clothing also falls under the label of steampunk we decided that it had to be included.
Another neat piece was the end of a bolo tie I inherited from my grandfather. The stone was my birthstone, so after he passed away almost twenty years ago and my grandmother gave it to me along with his black Stetson I wanted to find a way to use it. I took the stone off and made it into a broach that I could wear, not realizing just how steampunk that was even way back then.
This left the two silver ends of the bolo tie unused and hidden in my jewelry box for all of these years. One of them was the perfect finishing touch to one of the necklaces we made for my son.
A raid of his father's closet produced a purple and gray button down linen shirt and when he spotted a fedora for sale in the hat section of our local department store he had to have it, even though a top hat is on his wish list and fedoras were popular a decade or so later than the era the steampunk style encompasses. And, believe it or not, my son and I wear the same size shoe at the moment so an extra pair of my subzero fur-lined black leather boots that I found in the mens department a few years ago ("your mother wears combat boots"?) have been moved to his closet. He found a cross ring that is a combination ring for two fingers at Hot Topic to add to his collection even though it is a little on the Gothic side.
This is so my boy. He loves all things Jules Verne so this makes total sense to me, but he seems to have aged five years in his new look and, in fact, was stopped as we were exiting a concert venue last week for trying to take an alcoholic beverage out of the building. I was floored. My "little boy" was standing there holding a plastic cup full of soda with big permanent marker Xs on his hands, the mark of the underage at this particular concert hall, and the person manning the doors wouldn't let him leave until she smelled his drink to see if it contained alcohol. My jaw was hanging as I sputtered, "He's thirteen!" My brother who was with us corrected me, "He's fourteen!" I almost made him take the fedora off at that point and insisted that he shave every day of his life till he turns eighteen. My goodness! I was NOT ready for that.
I don't know where this is going, but I think a steampunk convention of some sort is in our future. In the meantime, we will be searching flea markets and thrift stores for more cool pieces that can be repurposed into art that he can wear. I'm just really hoping that he passes on the goofy, GOOFY looking goggles that are so popular with the steampunkers. As for me, I will continue to scan for the "prettiest shirt in the whole wide world" when I'm passing a rack of clothes, knowing that I'm not the only flake in the whole wide world who likes my style.