Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Finding your inner steampunk


For more subtle steampunk style, check out the brown lace-front Sarai top, $70, by Australian-based tahnaya.etsy.com. With cap sleeves, high turtleneck collar. Also check out the shops' Gothic Victorian-inspired dress ($160) with a standing lace collar, short puffy sleeves, layers of ruffles and tulle and carved wooden buttons up the back. (Jeremy Sypniewski)
Steampunk is second nature to modern-day alchemist, Joshua Onysko.
Beyond the fact that he moved to India in 1999 so he could ride steam-engine trains, in his practice, and in his daily life, the Boulder man enjoys combining different elements to create something else. Whether it's as simple as adding a brass belt buckle to a regular outfit, or as complex as deconstructing plants chemically and them recombining them to create a mood-enhancing candy.

In fact, Onysko used ancient alchemy to create a cutting-edge skin-care line, Pangea Organics (pangeaorganics.com), an organic, fair-trade, natural skincare line that boasts a long list of awards and national accolades. Including the (very) lesser-celebrated Aimee Heckel Test; I use and love the Italian Red Mandarin with Rose face cream, ($36 for 2 ounces).

On Halloween, Onysko organized a steampunk-theme fundraiser at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. The party raised money for the campaign Hey GMOs, Stop Trying To Get In My Plants, a media campaign to raise awareness about the risks of genetically modified organisms in our food.

"I've always been fascinated by combining two different cultures, and that's what steampunk is," Onysko says. "It's combining the steam era with futurism."

As Onysko sees it, adding steampunk to your daily wardrobe can be as simple as copper earrings, aviator goggles, puffy shirts, brass jewelry or boots. Imagine futuristic innovations as Victorians may have imagined them. Some call it neo-Victorian: a mix of clothes from 1950 to 1910 with technology using gears and mechanics, instead of computers.

But it's more than "brass and watch parts," according to the blog thesteampunkhome.blogspot.com.

Antique black leather Victorian lace-up boots, $175, from Boulder-based charlesvintage.etsy.com. Made by Peters Shoe Company in the 1900s, and in excellent condition, too. Granny meets old school teacher meets a Salem witch.
"It's finding a way to combine the past and the future in an aesthetic (sic) pleasing yet still punkish way. It's living a life that looks old-fashioned, yet speaks to the future. It's taking the detritus of our modern technological society and remaking it into useful things," the blog explains.
Want to infuse a little more steaminess into your punk this fall? Check out these items from local Etsy sellers:

Compass necklace,
 $55, chainedbeauty.etsy.com -- Wrapped in chain mail, made from a variety of metals, including brasses, stainless steal and aluminum. The Boulder-based designer, Peter Cacek, has been immersed in medieval art forms his whole life, "ever since my dad worked a blacksmith's forge when I was a child."

Antique black leather Victorian lace-up boots,
 $175, from Boulder-based charlesvintage.etsy.com -- Made by Peters Shoe Company in the 1900s, and in excellent condition, too. Granny meets old school teacher meets a Salem witch.

Here are some other Etsy ideas from around the globe:

For more subtle steampunk style,
 check out the brown lace-front Sarai top, $70, by Australian-based tahnaya.etsy.com. With cap sleeves, high turtleneck collar. Also check out the shops' Gothic Victorian-inspired dress ($160) with a standing lace collar, short puffy sleeves, layers of ruffles and tulle and carved wooden buttons up the back.

For blatant steampunk,
 go for a handmade Alfresco-style mechanical bracelet watch with a skeleton pattern, $109, by alfrescouniquegroup.etsy.com. Leather band wraps around your wrist twice from both sides. And to be extra authentic, this watch works without a battery.

Read more at www.dailycamera.com.

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