Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Steampunk World's Fair

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a steampunk fanatic.  Not that I'm alone in this; several friends and I have created an elaborate steampunk universe, and base our outfits off of our characters.
Man, I wish I could live there!  I go somewhere like the steampunk world's fair, and am happily lost in the haze of beautiful costumes, creativity, and bohemian people- the very stuff of my imagination...but then the next day, when I'm back in the normal world, to quote my friend Leo, "Life seems so underwhelming,"

Not that it is, of course… As long as I can be creative, then I'm happy.  It's just that it makes me question why the population has to be "normal".  Is there a pressure to wear a pencil skirt and blouse and pantyhose and torture shoes when you go to work?  Why not express how you feel with how you look?
I feel like steampunk is actually a really good thing to have in your life, or at least be exposed to, because most importantly, it lets you dress up and make up stories like you did when you were a kid.
Also, in this society, we buy something, use it briefly, and then throw it away.  Or we buy stuff just for the pleasure of buying stuff, and then forget about it when we buy the next stuff.  Why not make something beautiful that lasts for a really long time?  There's enjoyment and practicality every step of the way, plus you're reducing what you're putting into a landfill.
In  steampunk literature, there's a lot of focus on bringing to light the oppression of the victorian age, such as women, other races, other classes, gender identities, etc.  Sadly, this isn't the case in the "normal world"… not much more than it was in the Victorian era.
I love wearing steampunk clothing in public because it makes me feel like I'm in that universe, and it breaks up the mundanity of everyday life.
However, I wish that steampunks (or at least steampunk women) were as respected as they are in that community, because the night I came back from the steampunk world's fair last sunday (the 18th), AT LEAST three people hit on me.  (One was a goth transvestite or genderqueer person)
This happens every time I am steampunk in public!  I wish that people would see that I'm trying to express myself artistically, and just because I'm wearing a tight corset, doesn't mean you can try to pick me up!

Now that I have a job (okay, I busk, but it makes money, right???), I plan on making more steampunk clothing.  I get inspired easily for outfits, most of them very bohemian or punk or whatever.  Like I said, I feel like I'm living in that universe when I'm all steampunk'd up.
For the steampunk world's fair, I didn't have much time to order the corset making supplies I usually use for steampunk events, so I did the best I could with the things that were around my room.
A while back, I bought an ugly-a$$ amish dress from a thrift store in Texas.  My mom said I shouldn't get it, but I thought it really had potential.  So I cut off the skirt part and added elastic to the waist, and voila!  Then I created a lace-up bodice recycled from the fabric from my costume when I was Jan-the-Sweet.
Even if you don't have any money when you go to the Steampunk World's Fair, it's a LOT of fun.  You can listen to the dozens of live steampunk bands, or attend the (free!) workshops (some of which being "Book Purse creating", and "history of voodoo").  Also, on the last day, people will likely give you free stuff, or five dollars off of their merchandise.
However, I do recommend coming with about a hundred dollars, because there are REALLY amazing things being sold, most of them handmade, all of them fascinating, unusual, and beautiful.
Everything from corsets to leather masks to Doctor Who tea.
I went to the fair with Leo and Julia, a girl who used to be homeschooled but now attends high school.  Julia also brought her friend Emily from high school to enjoy the adventure.
Julia's mom, Pam, drove us ALL the way from Brooklyn to Piscataway.  I think that next year, when I learn to drive, I'm going to drive my friends there, cos I hate being a burden on the parents of us crazy teens.
Leo proposed an idea that we get a three-day pass next year, and stay in the hotel.  Julia, who makes jewelry, wanted to open a stall at the steampunk world's fair so that we could go for free.  Thank GOD I'm legally going to be an adult next year!  Then we can do whatever we please (More or less), with me as their guardian!  I've been writing steampunk songs ever since the fair, in the hopes of performing there next year.  We all want to perform in a sort of cabaret show, where we have singing, short scenes, dancing, comedy, maybe improv, etc… a bunch of our friends would each contribute something.
Oh, I wish I could live in the steampunk universe!  But that's why we write, right?

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