Speaking: Exploring Steampunk

Next month is South Australia’s History Festival.  And I’m excited. I’m addicted to history. You may recall, Dear Reader, my posts on procrasti-research and disappearing down the ‘research rabbit hole.’ (Not that I didn’t enjoy that. I did. Way too much!) I’ve learned so much since I started writing full time. And now I get a full month of lectures, walks, workshops and trails to choose from. There are so many I would love to attend (and still get my writing done). My head hurts!

Most of all there is an entire weekend dedicated to costume in Dressing Up (May7-8th).

pisa dress 2008 JA tribute costume colloqium FlorenceA big part of my costuming (other than Doctor Who) has been historical re-enactment. First I discovered medieval and renaissance costume recreation. I joined the Society for Creative Anachronism in 1994. I delved into research and concentrated on the fashion, historical patterning and sewing techniques of the Medicis in the 16th century –  a fusion of costume and archaeology! Two of my favourite subjects. I was fortunate to attend the Janet Arnold Tribute Costume Colloquium in Florence, 2008. And discussed Medici costumes with the conservators at the time. I was in heaven!

By this time I had also discovered steampunk. I now had the opportunity to research Victorian fashion and sewing techniques and I could entertain thoughts of science fiction and fantasy as well. I wasn’t restricted to merely recreating historically accurate attire; I could let my imagination run riot with alternative history and let my inner-writer out to play.
I was almost complete: Research, history, archeaology and speculative costuming. (Just add writing.)

Exploring Steampunk

Last month I was contacted by History SA, wondering if I would be able to do a talk on steampunk and steampunk costuming – with a view to expanding the event from strictly historical costuming and artforms and looking at other forms of costuming and art influenced by history. Steampunk was perfect!

Join me for Exploring Steampunk –  A talk on the origins of steampunk, the creative movement re-imagining an alternate history and tips on how to create your own steampunk look.  Held on Sunday 8th May at 10.15am at the Drill Hall, Torrens Parade Ground, Victoria Drive, Adelaide.

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Click here to download the pdf flyer: Exploring Steampunk PC

But wait. There’s more.

Other Dressing Up events include When Smalls Were Large (an historical underwear workshop), a Victorian fashion parade, talks on the clothing trade, swimwear and military fashion. You can even ask the experts. The conservators from Artlab Australia will be available to advise you on textile or costume items you bring along.

I have already booked for Captured on Tin, to have my portrait taken in tin type, a historic photography technique recreated by artist, Andrew Dearman.  (Viola Stewart would be freaking out right now. I know I am!) You will need to book if you are interested in participating.

Other events are planned throughout South Australia. May is jam-packed full of amazing and informative events including:

  • events at the SA Maritime Museum, the National Motor Museum, the Migration Museum
  • a series of musical events such as An Afternoon of Dance and Displayed Costumes, Adelaide Heritage Walks: Music in the City, and Music for Grand Organ: Vibrant Vintage Victoriana 
  • heritage walks and looks inside our building heritage: Carclew Open House, Adelaide Heritage Walks: Glenside Hospital and Historic Pubs of Kapunda.
  • and a series of public lectures.

(You can download the programme pdf from the History SA website: HERE)

To top it all off: May also incorporates National Archeology week (15th – 21st). Costuming, historical photography and archeaology. Oh my!


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