Circus of the Steampunks

There are a million predictable ways to celebrate the spook season that’s fast approaching — haunted houses, “Saw V” — but the tented Brooklyn Indie Market in Carroll Gardens has planned something more unusual for this Saturday: a big, stylish, steampunk-themed fest called “The Grand Chrono’nauts Tea.”

What, you might ask, is steampunk? An aesthetic movement with a mix of antique (think Victorian or Edwardian) and time-traveling fantasy (imagine Apple laptops in the steam engine era), and a punk/maker flair, steampunk has been around since the late 1980s, but gained a recent resurgence in popularity, as noted within the style pages of The New York Times, and evidenced by the installation of the Telectroscope in Dumbo this spring.
photobooth.jpgTo celebrate the fad in time for Halloween, Brooklyn Indie Market, or BIM, has put together a full day of steampunk and vintage-inspired merriment. At 1:30, G.D. Falksen, featured in the aforementioned Times article and a steampunk scholar of sorts, will deliver a Steampunk 101 talk and reading. Throughout the day, two Victorian photobooths will be set up to take vintage shots, one in color, one in black & white; a tarot reader will be divining strangers’ stars; and ninecakes will sell “Victorian” themed cupcakes. There’ll even be a saw musician (how apt).

But the day will emphasize steampunk fashion above all, with the BIM “Steam Team” selling their handmade goods throughout the day and showcasing their designs in a runway show at 2pm. Expect to see structured pieces like shirtwaists, tall hats, cinched waists with bustles, and bustiers from indie designers like Sylvia Holden, who uses recycled clothing to make her deconstructed pieces.

wren1.jpgThere will also be plenty of vaudeville- and burlesque-inspired accessories like parasols, pocket watches, and snazzy mechanized brass goggles. Wren from Purevile (pictured) will accessorize the show with his collection of brooches, necklaces and bracelets that seem straight out of a curiosity shop (doll parts, bones and all), and Rebecca Shepherd, co-organizer of the Brooklyn Indie Market, will showcase her jewelry design talents.

The event promises key accessories for those still piecing together their costumes, a chance to check out new designers, and to see the steampunk freaks come out in daylight.

Brooklyn Indie Market’s Steampunk Themed Day, Saturday, October 25, 11am-7pm under the red and white tent at Smith & Union Streets, Carroll Gardens. F/G train to Carroll Street.

Sent by Chrysanthe. First photo courtesy Paul Kostro via Flickr, portrait by RA Friedman via Flickr, Purevile via Etsy.

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