Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Throw Down: Steampunk Villains and Detectives

Exhibit A . . . drool.
If you're as excited as I am about the upcoming Sherlock Holmes sequel, then a Steampunk party might be for you! New to the Steampunk craze? It's a genre of science fiction that takes place in a steam-powered era, usually Victorian London, occasionally the Wild West, where the author begs the question: what if computers had been invented at a time where everything was powered by steam and manufactured out of gorgeous leather and wood and brass?

This is a stylish party to throw - it's partly an homage to Victorian style, and partly a crazy technological fantasy. There's a tinge of the sinister and mysterious, and also a sense of wonderment and belief in . . . Progress!

Click here for a Steampunk playlist, and click here for a photo gallery of costume ideas.

Decor

For this party, I wanted to create the mood of gas-lit London streets - and at the same time, I knew I needed enough light to take pictures of the amazing costumes my friends showed up in. To solve this problem, I separated my living room and dining room with red plush curtains which were hung on a shower curtain rod with the help of a handy friend. I kept the living room brightly lit, but I also strung a piece of fishing line and then draped fabric around our TV to give it the look of a punch & judy show.

The dining room was lit solely by candlelight, and inspired outbursts of ballroom dancing, and canoodling on the loveseat.

Videos

I highly recommend screening movies on mute - they'll help you get swept up in the Steampunk spirit. Some of my favorites are Sherlock Holmes, The Illusionist, and The Prestige.

Costumes

Jenn constructed her own wrist guard!
Fashion-wise, Steampunk is pretty broad - it can range from Victorian with a slight nod to sci fi technology, all the way to punk with some gothic accessorizing. Generally speaking, ladies should wear long gowns, gentlemen suits or vests, and then go crazy from there. If you want to give your guests a leg up, you can give them props to pose with in pictures. Goggles are hands down the most popular Steampunk accessory, but you might also consider ray guns, canes, Victorian fans and shawls for ladies, top hats and adhesive mustaches for gents.

Sample Menu

Vegetable crudite and fresh fruit

Featured Cocktail: Cara's Boozy Apple Cider

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