Over the weekend I had the chance to dawn an entire outfit created and accessorize by Austin Vestal owner and operator of Corsets and Cogs in Salisbury, Maryland. I had seen his designs on some of my favorite models in the DMV area and never once thought I would have a chance to wear them myself. Honestly, I thought I’d never have the chance because of my skin color.
I know what you’re thinking, “don’t make it about race, Neeks!” I wish I didn’t have to but, I just haven’t seen a large amount of POC model’s in the steampunk or alternative fashion scenes. I have seen some in alternative spaces, sure, but the steampunk scene, maybe three total. I LOVE Steampunk fashions, I love steampunk stories but, I just have not seen women who look like me in those fashions or stories. This was such an actualizing and fulfilling experience.
It all started when talking to a friend of mine (Amelia Renee). I love steampunk, I’ve said this before, and she really likes the style of Sucker Punched the movie so, we decided it’d be a good idea to do a shoot in those styles. She pulled in Lolita, who pulled in Jessica (The Gothic Anachronist), who pulled in Austin! It was the perfect storm of knowing the right people.
Now with four girls and super sweet product, it was definitely a worry of mine that something would go wrong. Something did early on, I won’t get into it right now as it’s not conducive to the post but, it did make me worry that this beautiful opportunity to model designs I really love was going to poof and go away. I definitely felt like suddenly my chance was gone. However, things somewhat resolved and I was comfortable continuing forward with plans.
The outfits were all specially made for each model! Everything sans a few pairs of tights and few amazon orders (glasses, wigs, etc). The themes were explorer, industrialist, lady of the court and regal. You can imagine which one I went for. REGAL! I wanted to get my queenie on.
The day itself was absolute magic. Despite the two hour drive, accidental toll road hit and the fact that I didn’t take nearly as much behind the scenes as I wanted, it was AWESOME! Everyone came together to make it work. When I say that the positive energy was thick, I mean it.
As you know all know, I’ve had poor experiences with mostly female creative endeavors (see my post about Senior Year Slasher). This was such a welcome relief! On top of working well, I believe I’ve made some long-lasting friends.
In any case, please watch and enjoy the behind the scenes video I made of all the cheeky girls. If it pleases, please like and subscribe to my channel as well.
Until next time!