I never expected that I would get into the ‘dress-up’ side of Steampunk. Really, never. But when I was asked to intro Abney Park on the main stage at Maker Faire this year I knew that I was not going to stand up in front of those folk wearing my usual bowling shirt and shorts!
Time was short and I had discovered Gentleman’s Emporium a few months ago so I decided to bite the bullet and order up some duds. You can see the result at right, a photo from Stargazer95050’s Flickr stream.
Now, like I said, I did not expect that I would get into to this whole dressing up bit, but the moment I stepped out from behind the screen where I had been changing into my new outfit a pair of Steampunk lovelies said in quick succession "Wow, he cleans up nice!" and "Honey! I’ll have me a slice o’ that!" Well, now I’m totally hooked!
. . .
Fortunately, it seems that Gentleman’s Emporium is aware of the rise in interest in Steampunk fashion and is adding new inventory items in response. For my first outfit I wanted to avoid the all-black look and I wanted something that looked a bit more American than the European styles usually seen. I’m particularly happy with that pecan top hat!
In addition to their historically accurate line of men’s outfits, Gentleman’s Emporium has recently added some ensembles for the more adventurous. Most of their apparel is showcased in outfits associated with fictitious characters and the new ones are no exception.
At Left we have:
Dmitri Zelenka, Victorian Gentleman
Mr. Zelenka arrived quietly around five years ago, purchasing a large manor home outside of town after arriving from Europe by steamship.
It’s rumored that Mr Zelenka is actually the hereditary Count of Galacia, in Eastern Europe, but he will politely deflect any inquiry into his past, espousing the philosophy that each man makes his own way in life.
Because he suffers an unpleasant sensitivity to sunlight, Mr. Zelenka prefers indoor activities to physical sport, although he is a champion fencer and an unmatched debater. He is also a regular and welcome guest at evening charity events around town, and his philanthropy is renowned.
‘Unpleasant sensitivity to sunlight’ eh? Well, we all know what that means!
And at right:
Heir to a vast industrial empire, von Frohman abandoned his classical training in the sciences and has dedicated his fortune and tireless efforts to proving the superiority of aerial transport over rail, sea, and other antiquated modes of conveyance.
His factories produce several lines of commercial steam-powered dirigibles, and are rumored to have supply contracts with each of the prominent military powers. Some would say that with his combined inventory, the Baron commands the largest private fleet of airships in the world, but he is quick to dismiss such seditious notions.
When not directing production efforts in his Alpine workshops, von Frohman is active in scientific circles. He is perhaps most notable for his vocal denunciation of Bernoulli’s principle as "pure fiction", and recent demonstrations of heavier-than-air flight as "mere parlor tricks, no more interesting to the scientist than the ballistic flight of a well-shot cannonball."
The Baron holds a number of altitude and airborne endurance records, and the annual dinner party aboard his personal luxury airship, The Valkyrie, is a must for everyone who’s anyone in Europe or New York.
I’ll definitely be ordering from these folks again, right now I have my eye on this gorgeous Rifle Frock Coat.