Letting Out Steam

Posted on: September 1st, 2011 by O.D.  

by Malina Saval, September 07, 2011.  Reprinted from eHow.com

“It’s a combination of Victorian costumes mixed with Edwardian costumes mixed with science fiction mixed with everything wet and wild,” is how costume aficionado Daniel Hazen describes the steampunk craze. “It’s innovative and mechanical and captures various eras in time. The costumes look like something you would wear after the world was wiped out and you grabbed whatever you could from whatever was left. To describe it you really need to look at it.”

For a visual reference, Hazen, who manages Ozzie Dots, a costume store in the hip Los Feliz section of Los Angeles, suggests looking to surrealistic adventure films such as “Time Bandits” or “The City of Lost Children.” The costumes, which merge clothing from different periods, feature an abundance of corsets, handlebar moustaches, goggles, monocles and striped stockings in muted neutrals such as brown, beige and black.

“It’s all in the interpretation,” says Hazen, explaining how a couple can string the inventive trend together. “The girl could wear a long Victorian-era tea dress like out of the movie ‘Moulin Rouge’ and pair it with tall lace-up boots and a pair of goggles that look like something you’d wear when welding. The guy could wear a waistcoat and a pair of peg-legged pinstriped pants and carry an antique pocket watch. It’s almost like this pirate look but with a Tim Burton twist.”

Of course, if you don’t have the time to ransack the racks of steampunk clothiers, Hazen suggests a simpler alternative: zombies.

“Zombies are always a big to-do around Halloween,” Hazen says. “There are always new zombie movies or TV series coming out around this time. A couple can definitely dress up as zombies fairly easily by picking out what sort of clothes you want to wear and create that undead zombie look with the fake red blood and black makeup.”

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