Friday, July 30, 2010

"no corsets, no hatpins... and no crying"

It's my birthday.  Which means I am giving myself a break from a purely neo-Victorian post.  This time it's a neo-Regency Era post.  Not that much of a stretch from the purposes of this blog, I know...

That being said, I bring you a modern day film mixed with Jane Austen characters into the best YouTube video I've seen in weeks.  Ladies and gents, prepare yourselves for the brilliance of...

The Jane Austen Fight Club:

Jane Austen's Fight Club - watch more funny videos      

If I ever chance to meet the ladies who put this "trailer" together, I will shake their hands. And then duck before they sucker punch me.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

d is for death

Yesterday I "Stumbled Upon" a rather macabre ABC book, written and illustrated by the infamous Edward Gorey, called "The Gashlycrumb Tinies."  Drawn in a rather goth-like cartoonish Victorian or Edwardian setting, the artwork depicts 26 children and how they met their deaths in rhyming dactylic couplets:
images source: Stumbled Upon
I've seen this book for sale on ModCloth before.  I wonder if Gorey's book is really an efficient way to teach kids their ABCs.  I certainly won't forget K anytime soon.
image source: Stumbled Upon

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"it's the opheliac in me"

Going back to a previous blog post from May about my lack of updates on my blog, I wrote that it may have been because I tend to write more when I am depressed.  Since I was at a really good place regarding my mental health at that time, I surmised that I was less depressed, and therefore blogging less. 

It's ba-ack.

It started a few weeks ago with a few work-related stressers and got progressively worse with a few deteriorating personal relationships and a tense living situation (I am fully convinced that adult children should not live with their parents, for the benefit of both sides.)  I won't delve into the details, as they're much too personal to put on the public soapbox that is this blog. That, and you readers came to read about all things neo-Victorian, not my messy personal issues.

Suffice to say, things got so ugly, my own sense of worth was so low, and my outlook of the future so bleak that I had my suicide fully planned out at this time last week.  I was just waiting to complete my usefulness in a few projects of which I am an essential, if not an appreciated part--mainly the annual battle reenactment at Bushy Run Battlefield.

Then a loving friend purchased VIP tickets to the upcoming Emilie Autumn concert. I can't go without seeing her.  That, and it would be a slap in the face to my friend, who did it specifically to give me something to look forward to so I wouldn't focus so much on the act of self-destruction I had planned for.

I am still convinced that I wore out my use as a human being in high school.  But for my loving friends, I am certainly trying, for you at least, to focus my energies on getting another job, a car, and a place of my own, instead of focusing on my Opheliac tendencies.

And what are these tendencies?  They are results of the disease of Ophelia.  And what is the disease of 'Ophelia'? As Emilie Autumn's Dr. Lymer states in The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls:
"[The] 'disease of Ophelia' is the disease of the melancholy, mad, and female..."
The title track of Emilie Autumn's Opheliac album has been a great comfort to me as of late:
Studies show:
Intelligent girls are more depressed
Because they know
What the world is really like
Don't think for a beat it makes it better
When you sit her down and tell her
Everything's gonna be all right
She knows in society she either is
A devil or an angel with no in between
She speaks in the third person
So she can forget that she's me  
I am not alone in my thoughts of worthlessness or hopelessness.  You don't sympathize, Emilie Autumn.  You empathize because you get it.  I may be crazy, but so are you.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

new album!!!!!

I should have joined The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls mailing list eons ago.  This message was waiting for me in my inbox this morning:
Just a little note from me, EA, to all my Plague Rats out there:

This Fall 2010 N. American tour is a very special tour indeed, as well as an extremely emotional one. The reason for this is that the next time my Bloody Crumpets and I stand on a stage before you, it will be in celebration of an entirely new album (the title of which I believe most of you have already figured out;). This is exciting, of course, but it also means that this Fall tour is the very last N. American tour ever that will be based on the music from "Opheliac," a work I still consider totally relevant, and which I could sing with you forever and never, ever tire of, because it is my soul, and my story. However, there is so much more to the story than that, and we must all march forth into the darkness, and be brave little Muffins. During the last three years, you, my Plague Rats, my Asylum Army, my Inmates, and I have been collecting, honing, and sharpening the tools necessary to climb to the next level of existence within the Asylum. There are dark times ahead, but we are ready.


New albums from favorite musicians of mine have greatly disappointed me in the past (*cough*Evanescence*cough*).  At the same time, those musicians usually suffered significant changes in the band's line-up or some other problem that either made the quality of the music go down or alter the genre of music the band had played when I fell in love with them.  From what I hear, Emilie Autumn is a control freak to the point where her music and her stage show is purely hers, and no one else's.  Unless she suffered a drastic change in musical leanings or got lazy with writing and compiling the songs (the latter of which I doubt she is capable of doing), I think the new album will be a truly great addition to the Victorianindustrial genre. 

Recalling my first attempts at listening to Emilie Autumn, however, it may take me a few weeks to actually like the album.  Although several of the songs on Opheliac were instant favorites, the majority of the album had to grow on me over time.  But who knows?  Perhaps the adjustment took so long because the music was so drastically different from anything else I had listened to previously.

Now I must ponder the meaning of the rest of EA's message:
P.S. Did I mention that this tour will be like none before, and will feature something unimaginably new? If you think you've seen it all, you have no idea...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

new look?

As you can see, Unlacing the Victorians has a new look.  I was fooling around with Blogger templates this evening and came up with this design and color scheme.  I was trying to go for a more girly "Victorian" look.  I'm not sure how crazy I am about it, especially the color scheme I chose--I'm definitely no graphic designer, and usually I latch on better to simpler designs, something the Victorians were not well known for.   But the old template has a lot of limitations, including narrow posting columns that would force me to reformat the width of YouTube videos, and the inability to add blog posts directly to Twitter or Facebook if readers so chose.

I'll test the new design out for a few days and see how it works, both practically and aesthetically.  Let me know what you think- if you love it, hate it, or have some suggestions.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

return to the 'burgh

While checking my e-mail during my lunch break, I discovered a most surprising message from the Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls:
The Asylum Tour, Fall 2010: "The Door," On Sale Now!

Dearest Plague Rats, all N. American Fall 2010 tour dates will go on sale at 3 PM local time on the 21st of July. These will go fast, so stake your claim HERE!!! Don't miss the show PlayBoy touted, and Kerrang Magazine gave 5 stars!

The first venue on the bill? Mr. Small's Theater in Millvale, PA. I was shocked that Emilie Autumn had decided to come back to Pittsburgh for a show- her show was by no means sold out the last time. When MCR didn't sell out a show in Pittsburgh and the band got food poisoning two venues before they hit the 'burgh, they canceled their Pittsburgh date and rescheduled the venue before they were supposed to go to the Steel City for the day that they were supposed to be in Pittsburgh.

And yet here was the proof that, despite less than perfect attendance at her last gig at Mr. Small's, EA will not abandon her PR following in the 'burgh to try something that may be more profitable.

I jumped on my cell phone, called up a friend, and asked him to order two tickets for the show at 3 p.m. on the dot, as I was still at work and I didn't think the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania would appreciate my ordering tickets to a Victorian industrial burlesque show on their computer. He very kindly ordered the VIP package.

A Musical Tea Party with EA

Along with the tour dates above, we are again pleased to make Asylum VIP packages available! For a very small number of people per show, EA is offering what is most definitely the most amazing fan experience yet!

For the price of $75, thirty-five people per show date will have the opportunity to purchase the Asylum VIP Package, elevating you to Official Asylum Inmate status. Inmates will receive:

» 1 concert ticket

» 1 hand-signed and numbered limited edition lithograph art print of EA's "Plague Rat" painting

» 1 admission to a pre-show private "Inmates Only" classical violin concert featuring twenty minutes of live music by Bach and other great composers performed for you by EA

» 1 "Meet & Greet" session with EA, including autograph signing and photo opportunity

» 1 commemorative "Asylum Inmate" concert laminate

» Be the first to try a hot cup of the new Asylum Tea as you listen to the violin performance (feel free to bring your own teacup)

» Permission to remain inside the venue after the VIP session, insuring your prime spot at the front of the stage
So guess who now has the chance to have tea with the musician who inspired this blog?


My little sister Jordan will be attending as well. Her reaction to the news was similar to the one I had when I first found out EA would perform at Mr. Small's last December.

Monday, July 19, 2010

happy birthday my old (and new) friends

Today is my little sister's 17th birthday.  Happy birthday Jordan!

To honor this special day and the plethora of July birthdays that my friends, acquaintances, and myself have, I leave you with a dark neo-Victorian reminder of what birthdays signify from Voltaire and 100 Gothic Lolitas:

Birthday boys and girls, please shoot me after I've enjoyed your cake.  :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

'alice' a pleasant sequel to carroll's novels

*Warning:  Here be spoilers for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.  Proceed at your own risk*

My younger sister and I got my father a subscription to Netflix for Father's Day.  When I helped him activate it, he chose a bunch of old 50s-era TV series, a few classic black and white films circa 1960, a few Quentin Taratino films, and The Exorcist.  My mom complained and forced him to put Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010) high up on his queue. 

When it finally came in the mail, I sat down with her to see what Tim Burton had in store, expecting to hate it.  I was surprised by what I saw.

Unliek what I had previously surmised, the movie was not all about the Mad Hatter.  Alice was the integral part of the movie, and even though the Mad Hatter influenced some of Alice's actions, for the most part his character did not run the show.  Alice was still the main character and the single most important one for the progress of events.

The colors and imagery were beautiful, even if the scenes seemed wat too computer-generated to be convincingly real.  But the characters were all designed extremely well. I especially liked the Mad Hatter's make-up.  Alice's many costume changes were so refreshing.  My favorite dress was the one she wore as "Um" in the Red Queen's court:

image source: Style By Joanne
image source: Style By Joanne
Mia Wasikowska certainly played a convincing Alice with the curiosity of a child and the sense of a smart and strong-willed individual.  While she is in the "normal" world she knows she is abnormal by their standards, but accepts herself for who she is anyway, even if no one else will.  She is not bothered by her curiosity, by being blatantly honest, or by expressing what she wants.  That certainly never changes while she is in Wonderland.

This movie also did not waste a huge amount of time on a backstory or unnecessary scenes or actions.  The movie was under two hours, so it got straight to the point and never looked back.  While that may have been a disadvantage to those unfamiliar with Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass: and what Alice found there, it certainly was nice to not have to sit through some long, complicated explanation of why Alice was in Wonderland after so many years, for example.  And it was nice that Alice wasn't wandering around questioning everything she saw or being afraid to do anything.  She fit into her Wonderland perfectly, which seemed more like home for her than the stuffy Victorian party she had been to shortly before falling down the rabbit hole.

Overall, it was a nice, concise, refreshing retelling of Alice's experiences in Wonderland.  It wasn't the best movie I've seen, but it was a good effort that did not alienate fans of Lewis Carroll's original stories and had enough kookiness (such as the floating heads in the moat) to make its mark as a Tim Burton film.

Friday, July 16, 2010

limited edition female miniature in steampunk style

Dark Sword Miniatures is selling a special edition miniature of talented painter Jen Haley of Paintrix Miniatures.  Sculpted by Tom Meier, this gaming miniature will be in a steampunk style.

image source: Dark Sword Miniatures
As Dark Sword Miniatures writes:
Jen was very involved in the concept phase of this design as she wanted to be a SteamPunk character. The results speak for themselves and I think many folks will have fun painting this piece up. The detailing on her hair, bodice and dress are just amazing.
If you've ever seen any female wargaming miniatures, most tend to look like apes with breasts. This miniature is truly a work of art, capturing the mechanics of her weaponry, Victorian-esque clothing, and smooth and feminine contours of her face almost perfectly.
The proceeds from the sale of the miniature will go to defraying Ms. Haley's costs to attend an international painting competition in 2011.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

another take on star wars

I have previously posted several steampunk versions of Darth Vader here and here.  Why not go mechanical with the stormtroopers as well?

image source: Geeky Gadgets

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

clockwork couture not so cheap?

Based on my post from Monday, sydneysomething responded to tell me that Clockwork Couture was not as cheap as I praised it for being.  Apparently a lot of their clothes can be found at Fanplusfriend, a site that sells Gothic Lolita and cosplay items for reasonable prices.

While I couldn't find any duplicates of items that Clockwork Couture sells, I did find a ton of affordable Lolita gear.  One Lolita I spoke with back in March said that some Lolita outfits can be in the hundreds of dollars.  While many of the dresses in Fanplusfriend were over $100 (but on the lower side of $100), there was quite a selection that was under $100, such as this dress (only $40!):
image source: Fanplusfriend
Thanks to sydneysomething for pointing out a new source of neo-Victorian fashion and suggesting I look for cheaper items on other sites than Clockwork Couture.  Some research will be necessary.

Monday, July 5, 2010

affordable neo-victorian attire

I just found the best steampunk clothing webstore ever.

Check out Clockwork Couture, a clothing store selling predominantly steampunk and neo-Victorian apparel and accessories:


But it gets better. Usually specialty stores jack up their prices because one can't get the type of clothes they sell anywhere else.  But not Clockwork Couture.  Many of their clothing is affordable for meager budgets like mine, a rarity for a fashion statement that is still relatively new and won't go mainstream in a while, if ever. There are a few blouses and shirts under $40, and some under $30.  Sure, blouses are in that price range, but that's unheard of for a store that specializes in the steampunk genre.

I've eyed up a few blouses, and may get either one of these two.  They're truly neo-Victorian, the type of blouses you're not going to find at Macy's:


There's even a Clearance section.  This skirt would have been mine if there were any left in my size:


Friday, July 2, 2010

i'm jealous of 9-14 year old girls

Pettigrew Home and Museum in Sioux Falls, SD, is hosting a Victorian Day Camp for pre-teens and girls in their early teens.  According to the Argus Leader:
Girls ages 9 to 14 can spend the day learning about what it was like to be a young girl in the 1800s at the Victorian Girl Day Camp from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 13 at the Pettigrew Home and Museum.

Girls will learn about Victorian tea parties, play indoor and outdoor games and take a tour of the historic home as a part of the day's events.
I would have loved to have attended sch a day camp when I was that age.  Heck, I'd do it now at the age of 22.  It is a similar event to one I am planning for Bushy Run in the fall- an 18th century tea party.

Check out a photo from one such day camp at this historic house on Pettigrew's Facebook page.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"whom shall you telegram?"

The following video, which I came across on VH1's Best Week Ever page, just made my day.  I especially love the overdone silent screen make-up: