Mother’s Ruin Millinery, including the teacup fascinators…
I love Steampunk. The combination of Victorian music hall frippery, cogs and airships has always appealed, though I have neither the budget nor the patience to commit to the lifestyle myself.
Last November I went to the Steampunk Fair at Left Bank Leeds, one of my favourite venues in the city and the most versatile-I’ve been to a wedding, a beer fest, a ceilidh, a Bettakultcha and an art fair there, and it also hosts regular reggae nights. I returned laden with Christmas pressies and a growing love of the subculture. This year, the fair returned again over last Saturday and Sunday and was just as much of a treat.
Some of my favs from the dozens of stalls, including a photo booth and tea stall, as well as an exhibition of oddities and performances from music hall poets and performers, included the fabulous Mother’s Ruin Millinery. Having a sliiiiiight penchant for tea, I fell a little bit in love with the teacup fascinators made of gauze, which are now at the top of my Christmas Wish List (after Death Comes to Pemberley and Parade’s End on Boxset. And this.)
Another stall full of wonderful things was run by the absurdly beautiful Emilly Ladybird, also known as Jema Hewitt.
Emilly Ladybird and her lovely stall
Emilly’s stall included the cutest teeny tiny top hats, which I just fell in love with, and tri-corn hats perfect for a fancy touch for a wedding or (very) fancy night out. The hand made jewellery was lovely as well. All the Steampunkers looked amazing, but Emilly’s photos of her in her ballgowns blew me away, and now I desperately wish for a giant dressing up box or a lot more money!
Teeny Tiny Top Hats
Emilly is also the author of Steampunk Emporium, a step by step guide to creating some Steampunk essentials made of cogs and gear, which is an absolute snip at £14 and would make a lovely gift for anyone vaguely interested in crafting, or the genre. Her new book, Steampunk Tea Party, is out next July.
And what did I end up with? Well, sadly the teeny tiny top hats were a little out of my budget (though I have been assured when we both have £30K a year jobs I will have as many teeny tiny tops hats as my head can carry and its on the Internet now so is BINDING) I did treat myself to a bit of light reading, The Steampunk Literary Review, Vol. 1, by artist and comic Dr Geof, author of long running comic, Fetishman. I’ve been seeing Dr Geof’s work at all the burlesque and alternative nights I’ve been to over the last few years but this is the first thing of his I’ve bought in print and it is a sweet little collections of comic strips and fake adverts for ANKLES! ANKLES! ANKLES! Again, perfect for stocking fillers, you can buy Dr Geof bags and my favourite mugs, though they might not be all suitable for work!
Once again, a lovely hour in Left Bank, and a great opportunity to explore this amazing venue. I look forward to next year.