Video games meets high fashion

Author’s note: a post about the status of this blog to come! Yes, I realise it’s been 5 or so months.

I am so beyond excited about the sequel to American McGee’s Alice, Alice: Madness Returns coming out later this week. Most people know I have this intense obsession with all things Wonderland, but what I really love about AM’s Alice – and hopefully the sequel game – is that it was an example of style with substance. I could really rant on about why the game and the concept was so good, but I’m going to stop myself because I have a personal blog for that purpose.

Anyhow, to celebrate a decade of the original game and the release of the new sequel there is a gallery art show dedicated to conceptual and fan art for the games. Amongst some of the lovely, lovely visual art work comes these lovely one-off blazers. There were only three made, and I suspect they’ve already been sold for quite a nice amount of money. I still want one.

Using the Japanese textile “Boro,” a mended and patched material over a 100 years old, Dr. Romanelli was able to encapsulate both the dark and mysterious elements of the traditional Alice In Wonderland folklore and the unique, detailed vision of American McGee. Limited to only 3 pieces in total, the Dr. Romanelli “Alice” Blazer is something you’ll want to see in person.

Dr. Romanelli explains, “Boro textiles are usually sewn from 19th and early 20th century rags and patches of indigo dyed cotton. The diversity of the patches on any given piece is a veritable encyclopedia of hand loomed cotton indigo from old Japan, mostly created by happenstance and not planned by the maker.” (source)


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MLX10 Hangar Dance

Someone emailed me through the site the other day and I was all 😀 😀 😀 😀 I was always going to post another update but I made this more of a priority after people said nice things about me. Strangely my timetable has not freed up post-exams due to the huge number of things I’m juggling.

One of my current obssessions hobbies is swing dancing and as everyone on Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook already know I went to this amazing event organised by the Melbourne Lindy Exchange that was:

  • diesel-punk costume themed, and
  • located in a real airplane hangar, and
  • had a live big band playing, and
  • obviously, for swing dancing!

Bear with me if I’m repeating myself, but the outfits at the event were really amazing and if anything I was underdressed. That said, I dressed to the theme but knowing that I’d be moving around a lot and getting very warm and sweaty.

(And yes, that is a real plane in the above picture. It is an aircraft hangar after all.)

Dieselpunk

Over on the BrassGoggles forums I once came across this timeline of -punk addages that seemed… excessive, but anyhow dieselpunk is the alternate history version of WWII, the period from about 1920 to 1950 (think Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, the mOBSCENE video, and even um this Christina Aguilera videoclip) but it often gets lumped together with steampunk since there’s a lot of overlap between people interested in retrofuturism (which is also why I’ve stuck this under the steampunk category).

Where steampunk has the frills and ruffles of Victoriana, dieselpunk is a lot more utilitarian to reflect the wartime. Clothing shapes are very fitted against the body in comparison to wide skirts and puffy shoulders, and the lines tend to be very clean and straight rather than curved. You see a bit of brown here and there, but I’d say the staple colours are army green, beige, tan and all the shades of camouflage. Navy blues are also popular (to continue with the military theme) and bright reds are nice on Rosie The Riveter style outfits.

The Outfit

When I first heard about the event I immediately knew what I wanted to wear, and that I wanted to go with a more militaristic look.

  • Backless, sleeveless shirt-halter vest thing – $10 from a random clothing store
  • High-waisted skirt – $35 from a Dizingof sale (!!)
  • White scarf – under $5 from thrift store
  • Olive Military Jacket – Westco, bought from eBay for $10
  • Goggles – $10 from eBay
  • Fingerless leather gloves – $20 from Sportsgirl
  • Boots – My $100 favourites from Tony Bianco

In terms of building the silhouette, everything is quite close-fitting, and I got more of that pinched waist look by the high-waisted skirt (which also has a bit of boning at the front which really helps keep the shape). The skirt is especially military-esque because of its colour, but also because of the position of double rows of buttons on the front. That’s something to look for in both your jackets and tops and bottoms (you’ll notice my olive jacket has two rows of buttons as well), and something you can definitely recreate by stitching button on existing items if you don’t have anything especially military-esque.

For maximum maneuverability I decided to forego a corset or a fitted belt, and similarly for dancing reasons I decided on wearing this halter-shirt-thing instead of an actual long-sleeved shirt and a neck tie, even though the latter would probably look a lot more formal.

If had the time I would have made myself a garrison cap (this pattern was originally from HMA Badger website, but the site is down as of this post which is why I’ve reuploaded it), but the goggles did a good job of keeping my hair back and the cap possibly would have just fallen off.

Style Quickie – Sherlock Holmes (BBC Sherlock)

Is it just me or are we getting an influx of extremely well-dressed male characters lately? Or shall I say, GQMFs? Even though I’m probably the only geek in existence who isn’t watching the new Doctor Who I decided to check out Steven Moffat’s new Sherlock series because I’d heard such rave reviews about it.

Sherlock, my friends, is GQMF (I mean he’s actually in GQ). No deerstalkers to be seen (not that there’s anything wrong with deerstalkers), only shirts, suits, scarves and a magnificent winter coat that GQ says only cost oh £1000. He also inexplicably wears designer shirts and suits but I don’t care because the costume designer Sarah Arthur is my hero:

“Holmes would not have any interest in fashion so I went for classic suits with a modern twist: narrow-leg trousers and a two-button, slim-cut jacket,” she told us. “I also went for slim-cut shirts and a sweeping coat for all the action scenes – it looks great against the London skyline.”

It’s getting a little warmer here in the Southern hemisphere while it’s getting cooler in the North but during temperature and weather-appropriate times, do consider wearing a great large winter coat over a suit. Even better – pop up the collar for that sort of film noir look and say that you were just uh, keeping your neck safe from the elements. Specifically you might want to look for a double-breasted black coat with large lapels that goes down to just past your knees. A super-nice version of said coat would be pleated from the lower-back and flare whenever you whisked around the streets of London.

Unfortunately I can’t direct you to where you might be able to buy such a coat but the one I own I grabbed at a thrift store for $30 in the height of summer (it’s double-breasted and tweed-ish and finishes mid-calf and fits me perfectly and have I mentioned that I love it? Yes, I’m just bragging now).

Nymphadora Tonks (Harry Potter)

Note from the author: Hey guys, I’ve owed y’all an update for AGES I know, but it’s getting closer to exam season. I actually have several drafts stored up but either A) haven’t worn the outfit yet or B) have no good photos. I am thinking hard about how to write a multi-part steampunk feature but I don’t want to screw it up because it’s a subculture so dear to me heart.

For now updates will be irregular, maybe once in a fortnight, but should this blog should hopefully kick off into once a week territory after June.

And now a proper post:

I’m sure you’ve all come to the conclusion that I’m a massive geek, if the mere existence of the blog didn’t alert you to that fact.

I bought a goddamned time turner. “Awesome” is the correct reaction.

To celebrate I thought I might show you my Nymphadora Tonks outfit. Besides being the character I most identify with in the books, she’s probably got one of the most distinct yet not too wizardy wardrobe in the films. (Also Natalia Tena is just gorgeous and in the midst of writing this post I found that she plays accordian in an awesome band called Molotov Jukebox.)

I will be tackling her earlier casual outfit that she wears to rescue Harry from the Dursley. As much as I love the Deatheater-fighting outfit I think the bustier, striped shirt (drool) and dragonhide jacket are a bit too specific to pull off without major additions to the wardrobe. (Although this outfit is also pretty damn cool and pretty damn doable.)

Unfortunately images on the interwebz are vague about the specifics of what’s under her jacket, but you can kind of get the general idea from this picture (note the enlarged version is huge, but you kind of need it to make out the details):

Here’s the breakdown of what I think she’s wearing:

  • Grey hoodie with red lining
  • Long red and black striped t-shirt
  • Black tight-fitting shorts, below or at the knee
  • Black tights/stockings with some punk rock rips 😉
  • Mid-calf black combat boots
  • Just below the knee black jacket with a giant pocket on the left side. Notice the jacket is a lot bigger at the bottom, so much that the excess material gathers from the waist down. It’s also not a consistent
  • Fingerless leather gloves.
  • Necklace of what looks to be made of large brass bells or studs (?)
  • Possibly a thin studded belt over the t-shirt.

The jacket is also pretty unique and it’s going to be difficult to find something that matches it. From order of preference I would go with length, colour, then style, as usual preferencing the overall silhouette over details.

Because she never really takes the jacket off, the details of what’s going on underneath aren’t so important. The essential item is probably the hoodie which shapes the collar area.

The main impression I get from this outfit is sort of “mainstream punk” if that makes any sense. Stick to bold colours, worn items, matte and simple materials (mostly cotton).

Book Canon

In Order of the Phoenix Tonks is described as wearing a Weird Sisters t-shirt and patched jeans (thanks HP wiki!). I think the punk/outsider style look would be pretty consistent with her character, given her pink hair and metamorphmagi status. A band t-shirt would totally work, as would some ripped jeans, patches, badges, etc. She’s kind of the punk version of perky-goths (perky-punk?), so I think experimenting with a bigger colour palette would look fine as long as it was still rough around the edges and DIY. You could probably also femme up the outfit a bit with a figure-hugging top and skirt and differently-coloured stockings.

The Outfit

When I grow up I want to be an Auror!

The breakdown:

  • Pair of thrifted pants cut into shorts then rolled up – $2
  • Emily the Strange striped t-shirt ~ $20
  • Black opaque tights/stockings ~$10
  • A black sleeveless hoodie – so long ago I can’t remember how much it cost
  • Tripp NYC Elizabeth jacket (with french cuffs and eye and hook closures at the front) – US$75 (it was overpriced and from Hot Topic but I love it anyway)
  • Fingerless knit gloves – $3
  • Leather studded collar from Diva – $5 (God I love their $5 sales – usually I can only find one good thing, but that one thing is pretty good)
  • Combat boots – $100
  • I also stuck a bunch of badges on – one of them says SPEW 🙂
  • And of course my time turner.

You can definitely replace the jacket, as noted above, with a cheaper/different version. I liked this one because it has the silver studs at the front that mimic the omgpunk. I also would’ve preferred to wear my Doc Martens instead for a rougher look but they were being fixed and unavailable. You could also grab a pair of old stockings and rip them but I rather like all the pairs that I currently have.

Images of Tonks gacked off the Natalia Tena fansite.

Haute Macabre Clothing Swap

Haute Macabre, the fashion blog for growned up goths, ran a giant ridiculous clothing swap where they matched blog readers of similar sizing together so people could pass on some wardrobe they didn’t wear and receive some exciting surprise clothing for the cost of a mailbag.

Well my parcel came in the mail and it was basically bulging with funky new clothes! Thank you Emma from the ACT! I am in love with this jacket and skirt.

Not pictured:

  • Polka-dot shrug that fits as long as I don’t button it up (actually the only thing that fit a bit funny)
  • Light grey jacket with 3/4 sleeves