¨¨¨°º the adventures of choklit chanteuse º°¨¨¨


Dances of Vice

I'm thinking about taking out an ad for Atelier Choklit in the program for the next Dances of Vice festival. Being of the West Coast ilk, I haven't had the pleasure of attending one of their Manhattan events yet, but it sounds like it's right up my alley... a community of "elegant flappers, dandies, time travelers, artists & ne'er-do-wells."

If I wasn't going to be packing for Burning Man, I'd be seriously tempted to go - the theme is the Munchausen Time Traveller's Ball. Not only do I adore that movie, the venue looks amazing, and the dress code is nothing less than "18th Century, Victorian, New Romantic, Elizabethan, Carnevale, Edwardian, 1920-30s, Steampunk, Decadent..." Hello, Choklit heaven?

Is it just me, or are we experiencing a renaissance of events for the costume set? I'm thrilled. One can never have enough opportunities to look fabulous in dramatic uncomfortable clothes, I say.


100 Hearts and Garters

Last night I reached 100 hearts for my Etsy shop, Atelier Choklit. I must say it was largely due to my fortuitous first front page appearance in a treasury by CalloohCallay, which doubled my hearts in an hour...

I've also been quietly working on some adornments for the gentlemen, not least of which is a stack of silk sleeve garters, which, according to Wikipedia, were originally used to adjust sleeves on shirts that only came ready-made with extra long sleeves. Pictures soon - for now, you'll have to be satisfied with this one of Skyeboy getting ready for the Edwardian Ball, sporting the pair I made for him in a lovely silver silk.

I'd love to do hat-bands, as well, but I'm still figuring out how to make them adjustable enough to fit all sizes of hats while keeping the fabric-covered button closure.

I'll admit I'm also thrilled with the idea of a photo shoot featuring some of the dashing men in my life. Dandies on film, sigh.


I Made The Team!

...the Etsy Steampunk Team, that is...

And it kind of feels like suddenly being part of the varsity cheering squad I so purposefully avoided in high school, except the "cheerleaders" are all smart, hip, crafty counterculture types. This is no small thing, lovely readers. I'm in with the in-crowd now. These people are seriously talented, and seriously organized. And they welcomed me with open arms despite the fact that my adornments are more Neo-Victorian, looking over flirtatiously at Steampunk.

Here's just a wee sampler of some of the beautiful things made by my fellow Steam Teamers: Clockwork Green Pendant by Heterodyne, Steampunk Gold Lace Cuffs by GrandmaWasAFloozy, The Adventures of Captain Octavio collage by WinonaCookie, Widow's Weeds brooch by slvrlily and TotusMel, WWII Spat Corset by velvetmechanism, and Nautilus Necklace by ClockworkCrow.

Not only do they have a blog, a Flickr group, a mySpace page, and a web site, but there are also incredibly active, and addicting, private discussion Forums.

So I'm meeting new people, and getting new inspiration, and suddenly I have friends on Etsy! And they like to talk about all the same things I like to talk about! This is a very good thing.

Be still my heart!


Sub-Culture Cross-Pollination

Etsy's fabulous web-zine The Storque recently published an article, Circus Couture, alerting readers to the trend of carnival-inspired fashion. The article featured inspiring pictures of Cirque Beserk and Lucent Dossier.

I was intrigued by the discussion, particularly the concern of a commenter about the crossover with steampunk, burlesque and Burning Man aesthetics, and some debate about which sub-culture came first.

Why limit oneself to a single rigid sub-culture? I'd much rather take the elements I like from each and create something new and different... as demonstrated by Fudo, Wizzbang and I in this picture from Baby Seal Club's last gig - clearly, we're Tribal Victorian Burner Circus freaks.

Huzzah to all of it, I say! Give me bloomers with my goggles, and stripes with my corset. The beauty is in the blend, in my humble opinion. I'll check all of the boxes, no limits, please. And how serendipitous that I just finally listed my Cirque collar on Etsy...


A Civilized Outing

Will we never tire of costumed debauchery? Sunday was Lord Wizzbang Hopton Mahnkae's birthday, and we saw fit to organize a party to attend Bustles and Baseball, a event organized by the esteemed Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild, in concert with the Bay Area Vintage Baseball League, in full regalia. We had about twelve people dressed in neo-Victorian picnic gear - straw boaters, knickers, and parasols, and we waved our pennants vigorously for the home team. Seems much of the action was actually happening in the bleachers.

Ah, too much sun and white wine on a summer afternoon while strapped into corsets and waist-coats - does it get any better?

We all agreed that the Trockenbeerenauslese provided by dear Meester Ralph was delightful.

Afterwards, we took half the baseball team with us to the Alembic to carry on with the carousing. Several strong whiskey old-fashioneds later, this intrepid Victorian explorer had to be ported home by her more, ahem, sober dandies.

Happiest of birthdays, my dearest Mahnkae.

Lovely photographs by the talented M. Mendelson / www.InnerCamera.com - see more of them here.