The Sublime Moment

Joyce Grenfell once said that "happiness is the sublime moment when you get out of your corsets at night" but I think we all know that happiness is the sublime moment when you find a good corset. And now we've got one more choice, thanks to Miss Terry Lightfoot.

Miss Lightfoot, shown in her shop.

Miss Lightfoot, proprietor of To a T ~ T.Lightfoot Designs, recently released a new steampunk corset, the Automated Alice. This metalic underbust corset comes in silver, silver & brass, gold, iron & gold, rusty iron & silver, iron & silver, and copper & mixed metals. It is designed on three different clothing levels for ease of mixing and matching with other pieces.

Miss Anna Darwinian, modeling the Iron & Gold Alice.

The basic corset is available for L$150 and comes with the very daring Kiralette ruffled blouse in cream. However, it's also possible to purchase the corset at part of an ensemble that includes fishnet stockings, Sarah Jane bloomers, the Kiralette ruffled blouse, a lace cameo choker, the Telsa bowler hat which sparks on touch, the Tempus Fugit fob watch, and of course the Automated Alice corset for the exceedingly reasonable price of L$450.

Your humble blogger, modeling the Copper & Mixed Metals Alice.

I asked Miss Lightfoot to tell me about the creation process for the Automated Alice. She said that after attending a steampunk convention last fall, she felt inspired to "make more steampunk oriented work, not be so tied down only to period wear." While the corsets were completed earlier on, the blouse took some time to get just right.

"In meantime lots of other things slowed me from completing the set," she said, "as I rebuilt my shop and was working on that as well with builder extraordinaire Angus Mesmer." Not content with the corset and blouse, Miss Lightfoot decided the pieces needed bloomers. "Once I had the bloomers I realized I had to make boots to go with it for the vendor pics". She giggled charmingly, adding "The end."

Dedicated costumers like Miss Lightfoot who go the extra mile (or more) to bring us their creations are part of what make Second Life (and writing this blog) such a pleasure.


Steampunk and Historical Accuracy

Bwah ha ha ha ha.

There is a movement afoot among some members of the RL steampunk community to demand historical accuracy in costuming. I think I've made my opinion of that idea fairly clear above. You'll hear me comment approvingly on SL clothing designers who lean towards Victorian/Edwardian accurate shapes and details, but you'll nevver hear me complain about the ones that don't.

As one friend said, "I'm sorry, is my cog corset ruining your steam fantasy?"

Silk Taffeta Day Dress by Skye Qi, writing desk, chair and book/pen by Tiger's Bookshop.


Das Boots!

Boots are very much quintessential footwear for the steampunk set. Some of the boots I'm going to share with you today are so amazing that you might never get around to looking at the rest of the outfit, should you encounter the wearers in-world, but that's the risk of having fab footgear. Let's start with some basic, well-crafted Victorian styles:

These are my personal favorite everyday go-to boots (that's go-to, not go-go, thank you very much). These are Bettie's Victorian Ankle Boot, priced at a very reasonable L$300. They include both a smaller and a larger size on the sculpted uppers and lowers, although only one base size. They work well with a variety of outfits and I have never caught them acting borky. Sadly, they only come in black.

Next, another good, solid pair of Victorian boots from Lassitude & Ennui. These were brought to my attention by Miss Hope Dreier, who contributed the picture. These are the Elizabeth boots. They come with both silver and gold grommet options, and the tied laces can be hid or shown as the owner chooses. They come in nine different colors (coal is shown here), for L$300 each, and a fat pack of all nine colors is available for L$1350, which is a pretty hefty discount.

Getting a bit more fanciful, we have the spiffy Ziggy heels designed by Miss Tesla Miles, and available at the Tesla Flagship Store. They come in seven different colors (I'm wearing "enlighten" here), and are L$399 which is an outstanding price considering the level of detail. My only complaint is that occasionally the foot shape seems a bit odd, depending on the position, but it's a minor one. I definitely have another color or two on my wishlist.

Next, we have the Punk Junk Funk boots from Le Petit Prince, modeled here by Anna Darwinian (please take a moment to check out her photos, they are amazing!). These are sort of a steampunk Swiss army boot, decked out with all sorts of useful bits and bobs, for a mere L$320. Miss Darwinian said that they were one of her first pieces of steampunk clothing. You'll find them in both black and brown.

Finally, a pair of boots so amazing that the only reason you'll ever notice the rest of the outfit is that the rest of the outfit promises to be just as incredible. These are a work in progress (!) by the wildly talented Mr. Nix Sands. Mr. Sands modeled his creation, the Rocket Dragoon Boots, for me on the top of Mt. Caledon. Here they are in action:
The detailing is just astonishing and these pictures don't do them justice. The boots feature animated gauges on the toes and spare fuel cells strapped to the legs. The rocket cones fold when the wearer is not in flight. When Mr. Sands walked to demonstrate the boots on the ground, they clanked and hissed. Each boot is comprised of two hundred and sixty-nine prims. The scripting is equally detailed; parts of the boots are visible or invisible as appropriate to their current state. They will eventually be offered for sale, rejoice! I can't begin to say enough good things about Mr. Sands' craftsmanship and attention to detail.

That's it for today. I'm sure there will be more boots to explore in the future, but what an introduction to the subject. My deep gratitude to Mr. Sands, Miss Darwinian, and Miss Dreier for their assistance and contribution, and my thanks to Miss Poppy and everyone on ISC who helped me figure out how to get SLURLS.


Welcome to Cogs and Togs

Ah, Second Life. If you can imagine it, you can find it or build it in Second Life. And whatever it is, you can blog about it. My name is Tehanu Marenwolf and I'll be exploring a side of fashion in Second Life that seems to be going a bit under-examined. Of course, now that I've typed that, I'll probably find a dozen blogs devoted to Victorian/Edwardian/steampunk fashion in SL, but what the heck, the more the merrier.

In-world, you'll find me most often at home in Caledon, an amazing region full of fascinating and creative people, where the theme is Victorian steampunk. I had the immense luck to rez for the first time in Caledon's Oxbridge University, one of the best place for a newcomer to find themselves. I found shopping for certain items to be a bit challenging, and for others, just plain brilliant fun. There are a lot of very talented people out there, making wonderful things for the Victorian/steampunk crowd. I'm going to investigate as much of that as possible.

Generally, I'm going to focus on historical fashion from 1840 to about 1919, with the occasional overshoot in either direction, and also on the cogs and gears goodness that is steampunk. Steampunk is about living in a world where steam power is still widely used. Interlaced with this semi-historical setting you'll also find elements of science fiction and fantasy. Think Jules Verne. Think fairies. Think dirigibles, ray-guns, the Nautilous, aether-powered rayguns and more. It's a potent blend and the costuming is amazing.

Many thanks to Cherry Gumbo for thinking of the blog's name, and to everyone at the Palm Court Tea Dance who pitched in with ideas.