On Saturday 6th, Brisbane hosted the inaugural Steampunk Strides event. Billed as "a night of well-mannered frivolity, where the Steam World and Modern day society meet!", the event entertained near-capacity attendees with music, burlesque and belly-dancing, fashion, stalls, a make-yourself-steampunk display and a photo booth. The concept of Ged Maybury (author of Across the Stonewind Sky), he formed a local band of enthusiastic smart-people with the dual goal of providing a place for local Steampunkers to showcase their talent and to show interested people just what Steampunk was about.
And it was great.
It was held at the Kingston Butter Factory, right near a train-station making it easy for people to get to. Booth-holders were a collection of local, well known alternative fashion groups and highly talented individual artists of stitch and seam (including a make-up booth; an ethical taxidermist along with wonderful jewellers [some of whom alter origami into washing-machine-defying broaches and earrings]). The ROSEA-pioneered "MakeYourselfASteampunkOutfit" booth saw a more elaborate version at this event, and was joined with a photo booth that did colour, black and white or sepia pictures and was lots of fun (thanks for your original idea, Lady Alex!). The musical accompaniment to the fashion shows was provided by Gimpus, a heavy rock band who toned their show down to be a real accompaniment to the fashion display and the fashions themselves were brilliant.
One of my biggest surprises was the number of steampunkers who I had never met before, and the number of steampunkers I do know that didn't make it to the event. I take this as a positive sign that, despite the cries of Beiber (which I have to say is a bit harsh) and the woes of mainstream, the movement is continuing to (ahem) stride ahead. The quality of the entrants in the Fashion/ Build award was testament to that, the well-earned winners being a family Steampunk Ghostbusters team with elaborate and device-functional backpacks (and the cutest darn little steampunker you ever did see that wasn't my own son).
As an attendee, I have to rate the Steampunk Strides an unqualified success and dearly hope they are planning on making this a recurring event.
To see more from the event (I took no photos as per the request to only allow the official photographers their space):
- Loose Lemur Clothing's fashions on the catwalk
- The winners' backpacks and the trophy they received
- Official pictures
- Selected pictures from the photo booth
[pellicle, 2012-10-14 22:19:59] Nice shot too. Like the use of photoshop too
[Professor von Explaino, 2012-10-14 22:29:35] Thanks, pellicle. The background of the doorway leading out was less than impressive; so it was either this or a flat colour background that was even less impressive than the doorway.
[Alexis Anastasi, 2012-10-23 22:38:53] Thanks Professor for the fantastic review. We endeavored to provide a night of steampunk wonder for the veterans and a chance for newer members to experience and learn more about the culture.
I guess the next big question is...what do we do to top it? :-)
[Professor von Explaino, 2012-10-24 18:57:41] I'm thinking Zeppelin Races ala Girl Genius: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4s8dQWPcYQ.
[Steampunk music band, 2013-09-05 00:13:22] Serrendipity at its best. I was glad to find this post
[Ged Maybury, 2017-10-14 22:47:43] Those were the days. Will we ever see it again? Not unless a load of people commit an entire year to creating a repeat performance.
I watch the NZ scene go leap-and-bound for multiple annual events, but sad-sack Brisbane (almost as big as all of NZ combined), muddles along.
Hey-ho. I guess a few of the movers-and-shakers have re-focused on other things, now.
A Trans-Tasman 'Steam-off'? "Get your Steam on for the great ANZAK* Steam-Off!" [*now we just have to figure out what that's going to mean!]
Great review. Great memories. Thx.
[Professor von Explaino, 2017-10-15 00:23:41] I was only just thinking of events/ socials etc. this week. It might be nice to have another Steampunk in the Park even, but I think we've missed the not-too-hot window. NZ has been a bastion of steampunk brilliance for a long time, it's nothing to be ashamed of to be second best to them. Most of Australia's steampunkery seems to have cooled; I haven't heard much from the SA group, Perth or anyone else for a long time.
I wonder if everyone's just gone digital.
One day we'll kick things off again. One day.