Friday, March 11, 2011

WWWC Costumes: Orientalism

This was my costume for Sunday. I knew I wanted something I could dance in, because I was taking a belly dance workshop, and I also wanted something without too many layers because it was hot and I had offered to help a friend tear down her booth (luckily she got someone bigger, stronger, and less costumed to do it instead). So I decided to emulate some of the Orientalist paintings of the Victorian era, and go as a Victorian perception of a belly dancer, but steampunked! My concept here was that my steampunk persona had recently returned from the Orient and decided that their clothing was much more comfortable and appropriate for the desert than bustle skirts and corsets :) Because my persona is a former saloon girl, she doesn't mind showing a little skin, and she's already been running around an airship in pants, so pantaloons are fine by her.

I put this together out of stuff that I already had on hand, but I like it enough that I'll start buying things specifically for it, to have for the next time I need to be a steampunk. I'd like to get some much poofier pantaloons, preferably made out of something shinier. And maybe replace my entari (the long jacket-y thing) with a more diaphanous one, to be closer to what the painters portrayed. Of course, brown and gold stripes are pretty steampunk and they kept the sun off of me, so who knows. But pantaloons are a must!

The components:

Entari, turkish vest, and pantaloons all purchased from Anaya Tribal, all part of my regular belly dance wardrobe.

Homemade steampunk tribal belt. I started with a woven belt that I bought at a thrift store and added a drape made of chain, chain tassels, and keys, with a huge kuchi pendant thingie front and center.

Unique tribal beetle necklace made by yours truly, AJ of Erthe Fae Designs, with an MZ Glass beetle focal. For some reason, I don't have a steampunk tribal necklace. This must be fixed.

I also made the yarn dreadfalls, which you can barely see in the picture. Some people are of the opinion that steampunks should not wear falls. I am of the opinion that those people should take their costume snobbery back to whatever reenactment group they originally belonged to. Ahem.

The scarf I'm wearing around my head was a few dollars at a cheapy mall store. It's held in place using a flower clip that I bought at the dance studio and a feather fascinator from Kyla's Keepsakes. You should see that thing -- it's got a locket, and leaves, and a vintage button, and a tiny shrew skull!

This was probably the most comfortable costume that I wore all weekend, if you ignore the fact that those dreads weigh a ton, and that I am in fact wearing the scarf to help distribute the weight a bit :)


  1. Another cute outfit! The belt is very cool!

  2. Thank you! I am thinking of reinforcing the belt with leather or something so it won't do the gappy pulling forward thing that it's doing in the picture.