Monday, October 13, 2014

Steampunk... ish

I'm not planning to attend a Halloween party this year, but if I were, I'd come up with a steampunk-ish costume. I can't say I'm a fan, but I find the visual elements of the subculture very interesting and inspiring. What's not to love? The subtle muted color palette, the layering, the textures, both the historical and fantasy influences, the whimsical detailed accessories stimulate imagination and make me want to incorporate at least some of these elements into my everyday style. I first heard of steampunk subculture only a few months back when a friend told Justin and I about a festival in Port Townsend which we consider visiting next year. 

I realized that steampunk style brings me back to my childhood. As a teenager, I enjoyed Jules Verne's novels and movies based on them - "Дети капитана Гранта", or in English translation In Search of the Castaways, being my favorite when I was 14. I remember that I finished reading this thick novel, 600 pages or so, in just three days/nights (probably, on my Summer break) which was not typical for me - I read a lot, but I never was a fast reader. I think I had a little crush on Capt. John Mangles played by Oleg Shtefanko in one of two Russian adaptations of the book. (By the way, this Ukrainian Soviet actor later immigrated to the US, and I even saw him in a couple of Hollywood movies, including one of my favorite shows, Frasier.) Oh and Jacques Paganel played by the wonderful Estonian actor Lembit Ulfsak I think charmed all of us viewers! 

Both my Dad and my brother loved Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, which is a second part of the trilogy Verne started with the novel mentioned above. I don't think I read that one though. But of course as kids Andrei and I just adored the Australian cartoon series based on Verne's novel Around the World in Eighty Days. We'd leave all our kids' stuff, which was always plenty, games and all, you know, and watched every episode when the cartoon was on TV. Good times.

"Do you have a plan, Mr. Fix?"
"Do I have a plan? Of course, Mr. Fix! I always have a plan!"  


But back to now. I think both my new jacket by Ashley Stewart (I only wore it for the second time on the day we took these pictures), bought of course on a good sale, and my new boots have a good adventurous steampunk spirit, and if I wanted to kick it up a notch, I'd add some funky steampunk jewelry (plenty available on the web) to my imaginary costume, and probably dust off Justin's leather aviator hat and goggles...

At one of a few air shows I visited with Justin who at some point wanted to become a pilot himself and actually learned to fly. Adventurous clothing has been a part of my style since I was a teen. I remember having pants very similar to these when I was 14. They were custom made for me from my own idea.
Ohio, 2006

The rest of the photos are from Seahurst park in Burien (near SeaTac airport) which was recently remodeled. Justin and I are both quite impressed with the project. The beach was restored, and  access to it is much easier now. I think there is also a new building for the Marine Technology Center, a rain garden, small locks for salmon as well as new restrooms and a kid's playground. I also like it when government posts updates on construction/restoration projects like this one on their web sites, you can see the process practically step by step here

So, that's my take on steampunk and a possible Halloween costume. What's yours? 
Does steampunk as a style interest you? 
If you were going to a Halloween party this year, what costume would you wear?

Ruffle-edged Jacket - Ashley Stewart web site (still on sale in various sizes)
Dress - Old Navy (old)
Boots - Born via Zappos
Mixed metal earrings - Chico's
Purse and pouch - Guatemala made, found at antique mall
Scarf - Walmart


  1. ah natalia! fabulous!
    steampunk or not - this is a gorgeous outfit and it suits you so fine! that color of the jacket makes your own coloring glow!

    i had my good share on jules verne as a kid too. and steam engines fascinate me. and i live with them: paddelweel steamboats crusing on our river regularly, sometimes a steam locomotive passes our house, even the house was build in the steam engine high noon....
    but i have to confess that the whole steampunk thing is for me to - ahem - ... - its not my cup of tea ;-)
    but if you have fun with it - why not! and the adventurous gear suits you so good - love the pic with the pilot cap!


  2. The fish gargoyles...yes! I do love this outfit Natalia. As Beate says, you glow! I'll have to ask the kids if they've seen that cartoon series. It doesn't ring a bell with me, but I was raised in PNG. My dad was an aircraft engineer on single engine planes which we flew in all our childhood. So I'm very comfortable in the air. He didn't own a lovely cap like Justin's.
    Xo JJ

  3. Fantastic outfit, you look so tall and lean in that elegant maxi! The bag is stunning and the army jacket gives the outfit an edge.
    The steampunk thing here isn't that big and its mostly frilly shirts, top hats with clock faces and lots of black, not half as stylish as you.
    Love you as a pilot! xxx

  4. Oh that is such a great outfit on you, Natalia! It just shows that you don't have to have lots of colour or print to make an outfit interesting, sometimes just leaving the shape, silhouette and details to do the talking works brilliantly. The jacket is such a great fit.
    I'm not that fussed about the whole steampunk thing; there is a big Halloween weekend every year in Whitby, the seaside town in North Yorkshire where Dracula arrives in the novel, and that has a real steampunk vibe to it (some friends of mine go and have shown me the photos). But obviously it's a very theatrical and costume-y affair, while your version is a more wearable everyday look.
    Do you know, I have never read any Jules Verne? Is that really bad? Oh well!
    Love the pilot photo, and the brooding and moody skies! xxx

  5. I've never heard of that culture. But I must say...I LOVE this look on you. Has anyone ever told you that you dress cute :)

  6. Oooh! I LOVE that jacket! The colour, the fit, the details. Actually I like the whole outfit and don't think it looks costumey one bit.

    That bag is fab.

    Steampunk is too much work for me. I just like vintage. But I do love the feminine shape that steampunk has.

    We are planning on going to a Halloween dance if Robert is in town. We have some great costumes, but they aren't easy to dance in so I'm not sure what we'll be wearing. Normally I love to dress up for Halloween.

    That aviator hat goggles are very cool!


  7. I love Seahurst. Funny thing too, and I'm proud to say this. You know those speed bumps near the stop sign about half way down? Well, I use to burn rubber right there in my car before there were speed bumps. In fact, my whole high school class got pretty good at it. We had so many parties down there that 1977 was the reason those speed bumps were brought in! My claim to fame. I think about that every time I drive down there. Such great memories!
    I love the steampunk look too. All the jewelry inspired by it is gorgeous. Your jacket and boots are the perfect bend toward that style. I'd love to have boots like that!

  8. I love this look on you and I also think you look so sweet and cute with that aviator hat! I love how you guys always seem to be creating new memories, too many people live their lives always looking to the past. I love how your family embraces the now!

  9. I really like steampunk style and especially steampunk gadgets and shoes. Your outfit is great and the aviator hat with goggles rocks!:)
    For Halloween party I could dress up as a fortune teller, especially that I used to love reading cards and may still have my old Tarot somewhere:) Could also take my cat with me:)))) xxxx

  10. You look amazing in this outfit! Love the jacket! The tassel earrings are very cute, I need to make a pair for myself. You look so happy on the picture in Ohio. Such a genuine smile.

  11. I do like that trend!
    I must say that whatever you call this look, is 100% gorgeous. Love the details ( ruffles, fab embroidery on the bag, ankle strap boots to die for) and the color palette.
    You are adorable in your cargos and aviators, too.
    Love these photos, so well done!
    XX, Elle

  12. Autumn colours with a vibrant pop of yellow and orange, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    So lovely, dear Natalia

  13. Love this outfit! The muted colors are beautiful on you and I adore the boots and flower purse. I want to dress up for Halloween but I find it very difficult to think of a costume! Maybe one day!

  14. Ha! I remember that cartoon :) It was same with me and my friends: we left everything to watch every episode. And then quoted most favourite phrases. I still remember many of them...
    Nice outfit! Brilliant colour combination and man, I am in love with the purse, what an amazing thing! And we are invited to a Halloween party this year. I am still working on the outfit

  15. Hello, dear Natalia. My daughter Rebecca kept it in Berlin, lol. You know how it is, hahhahaha
    Thank you so much for being there.

  16. As others have said you do really glow in these colours, Natalalia. The area looks lovely. Love you in your aviator gear.I must admit I am not familiar with Steampunk, , will check with my sons.


  18. I've been a steampunk fan for ages! I did a steampunk vampire killer outfit a couple of years ago (, and went to a big local steampunk expo a couple of years ago (

    I love your jacket - it's the perfect shape! I haven't quite sorted out my Hallowe'en costume yet.