What Do You Mean, Steampunk Faeries?
This spring and summer, we’re playing drums with the Dark Follies, more often than ever before! Several of the events are steampunk festivals. What in the heck does that mean? Well, according to the Watch City Festival Gazette (published as part of the event we performed in last weekend in Waltham, MA), steampunk is “a literary and artistic movement that melds elements of Victorian-era history with modern technology and fantastical fiction.” They add that “in more recent years, steampunk has exploded in popularity as an artistic and lifestyle movement as well as a literary one.” Sounds pretty creative, huh?
BlackLion and I went to our first steampunk festival not entirely sure where we fit in. Our main challenge was costuming. BlackLion created a persona as an eccentric professor of the occult, with a cape and tie, plus a Musketeers-style hat with a feather – quite striking! I settled on a newsboy (girl!) cap and a vest with knickers. My persona is somewhat akin to “real” life – an aspiring writer who is also traveling with the troupe as a drummer. We did our best with the costumes, and more than once I gave thanks for our creative hippie household, as I pulled together most of my garb from things we already had on hand.
Then we arrived at the Watch City Festival – the amazing diversity and creativity of the costumes there dazzled our senses! Now we had lots of new ideas for adding to our steampunk wardrobe. And as we chatted with some of the vendors, we happened upon a phrase that lit us up: steampunk faeries!
Several of our close friends already call BlackLion and I “the faeries,” and we strongly resonate with fae energies. As I understand it, steampunk faeries are the mischievous vagabonds lurking at the edges of the steampunk world. They – we – are a bit more hopeful and mystical than the typical folk, and are the back-to-the-land types within this urban subculture. Think Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Blake crossed with the Theosophists and with a healthy dose of Charles de Lint’s Newford faeries (look it up). Perfect for us!
We saw some delightful wings to add to our wish list, bought a “chaotic good” button complete with the chaos symbol, and planned some fanciful vests we’ll ask Aunt Peg to sew for us. Watch out, steampunk world, here come the drumming, giggling steampunk faeries!