Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Guest post: Steampunk Fashion by Zoë Archer + Giveaway

Today I am very happy to welcome to the blog the wonderful Zoë Archer, whose latest exciting novel releases from Avon Impulse today, congratulations Zoë! Skies of Fire: The Ether Chronicles is a unique steampunk romance and Zoë is here today to tell us about one of the most exciting things about the genre: steampunk fashion! So please give Zoë a warm welcome and take a seat in the front row to experience your very first steampunk fashion show! ;-)

Steampunk Fashion
by Zoë Archer

One of the things that has attracted me to steampunk is the clothing. If you’re not familiar with the term steampunk, or have heard it bandied about without much explanation, the most basic definition is: Victorian science fiction. More specifically, it’s contemporary writers and artists imagining how people in the Victorian era would create and implement advanced technological developments such as air travel and computers. Think of authors like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, or such films as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (based on a series of graphic novels) or The Golden Compass (based on a series of YA books), and you get a good idea about the nature of steampunk.

Besides the technological innovations in steampunk—airships, ether guns, complex automata—another key element is the clothing. Steampunk clothes take the basic shapes and construction of 19th century clothes, and then add liberal doses of science fantasy. This means exaggerated silhouettes, considerable adornment with an eye toward utility chic, and generally just having a really good time.

Some key elements in steampunk fashion:

• Goggles (useful when flying in open-deck airships)
• Boots (my favorite!)
• Corsets as outerwear
• Gears and clockwork mechanisms as ornamentation
• Belts with utility or ammunition pouches
• Buckles (also a favorite of mine)
• Military-style details
• A general fondness for earth tones (recalling adventure narratives as well as a visual callback to 19th century photography)
• Hats (top hats are popular, but the bowler hat is also a favorite)

None of this is hard and fast. Steampunk fashion is meant to be fun and open to the individual’s interpretation. Half the enjoyment of steampunk clothing is making your own or modding (modifying) existing costumes and surplus. That way, it’s infinitely customizable as well as unique to the person wearing it.

I’ve never been into cosplay (though I admire and respect people who do), but if I ever had to pick a genre of costume for myself, steampunk would definitely be at the top of my list. It’s fun, historical, imaginative, and perfect for adventure!

So, my questions to you are, are you familiar with steampunk fashion? What elements about it do you like or don’t work as well for you? If you were designing a steampunk costume for yourself, what would it consist of?

(You can try this out for fun, too: http://www.dolldivine.com/steampunk-costume-creator.php)

Leave a comment, and I’ll pick a winner to receive a copy of SKIES OF FIRE: The Ether Chronicles, my new steampunk romance from Avon Impulse!

Man made of metal and flesh

Captain Christopher Redmond has just one weakness: the alluring spy who loved and left him years beforewhen he was still just a man. Now he's superhuman—a Man O' War, made as part of the British Navy's weapons program—and his responsibility is to protect the skies of Europe. If only he could forget Louisa Shaw.

A most inconvenient desire

Louisa, a British Naval Intelligence agent, has never left a job undone. But when her assignment is compromised, the one man who can help her complete her mission is also the only man ever to tempt her body and heart. As burning skies loom and passion ignites, Louisa and Christopher must slip behind enemy lines if they are to deliver a devastating strike against their foe . . . and still get out alive.

Zoë Archer is an award-winning romance author who thinks there's nothing sexier than a man in tall boots and a waistcoat. As a child, she never dreamed about being the rescued princess, but wanted to kick butt right beside the hero. She now applies her master's degrees in Literature and Fiction to creating butt-kicking heroines and heroes in tall boots. She is the author of the acclaimed BLADES OF THE ROSE series and the paranormal historical romance series, THE HELLRAISERS. Zoë and her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, live in Los Angeles. Nico’s story in the world of The Ether Chronicles will be available in July 2012. Please visit Zoë on the Web at http://www.zoearcherbooks.com/

You can also reach Zoë on her website, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.


Avon Impulse has generously offered a copy of Skies of Fire: The Ether Chronicles to a lucky commenter!

All you have to do is leave a comment answering Zoë's question: are you familiar with steampunk fashion? What elements about it do you like or don’t work as well for you? If you were designing a steampunk costume for yourself, what would it consist of?

Giveaway ends on 10 April 2012 and is open worldwide!

Good luck!

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