Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Steampunk: Origins and Elements

The term “Steampunk” has gained tremendous popularity over the years and today we have books, movies and TV shows inspired by this phenomenon. So, what exactly is Steampunk? 

This genre is based on the late 19th century but got its name in 1987. Author K.W. Jeter coined the term as a tongue-in-cheek reference to cyberpunk, which was a rage in the 1980s, to describe works on alternate history and steam power that he’d published along with his friends. 

The Oxford Dictionaries entry on Steampunk reads thus: “A genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.”

In simpler terms, it is fiction based on a world where machinery from the 19th century is still prevalent. Thus, technologies that were new and popular back in the day, such as steam, electricity clockwork, dominate the genre. Authors also had a big part to play in Steampunk’s development, such as H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, who let loose their imagination and wrote about expansive devices which technology could not quite support in reality – Captain Nemo’s submarine Nautilus (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea) is a case in point. 

Steampunk clothing is also based around the Victorian era but with greater liberty to experiment. For instance, it takes the looks of 19th century explorers, lords, soldiers, and countesses and throws more contemporary trends into the mix. Steampunk fashion has certain archetypes, such as the intrepid explorer’s helmet, telescope and binoculars; the adventure seeking aviator’s leather helmet and brass goggles; and the Steampunk gentleman’s lab coat, to complement an assortment of tools and accessories.

You can find high-quality Steampunk collectibles and accessories here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Fashion of Ancient Greece


An appropriate word to describe Ancient Greek clothing would be “minimalist.”  Clothes were typically rectangular in shape, rarely cut and worn in various ways with little or no sewing required. Women were responsible for making them and the clothes were usually crafted of linen, silk, and wool. 

The style and type of garment depended on the individual and the occasion. A chiton was the most basic type of tunic for Greek men.  It was typically fashioned of a lighter linen material, which provided comfort during the hot Mediterranean summers. This rectangular garment could be draped over one shoulder or both. It was known as an exomie when draped over one shoulder, usually the left. The exomie was worn for outdoor activities, such as horseback riding or exercise.

peplos (also peplum) was the female equivalent of the chiton. This was made from a heavier wool material, and the rectangular piece of fabric could be draped and fastened with pins, brooches, or buttons. A peplos was a full-length garment as a proper Greek lady exposed very little.

The Greeks wore a cloak over their tunics during the winters, known as a himation. This garment, usually made of wool, was worn much like the Roman toga. The himation also served as a warm blanket for soldiers on cold terrains. 

Another type of cloak was the epiblema, which was the Greek version of the “shawl.” It was more popular with the women and frequently worn during the fall season. The epiblema was also more colorful than other pieces of clothing.

Then there was the chlamys, a popular garment favored by young Greek males. Like most Greek clothing of that period, the chlamys was also rectangular and was made of wool. About the size of a blanket, it was the smaller version of the himation. 

What about footwear? The Greeks liked going barefoot, especially indoors. However, they would bring out their leather sandals and boots during special occasions. 

They also used headwear, albeit infrequently. A petasos was a wide-brimmed hat that was worn in hotter days. Women also wore hats exhibiting high-peaked crowns, though they were reserved for exclusive events. 

In conclusion, we can say that Greek clothing was functional at best but, more importantly, durable. Its influence is apparent in modern fashion, especially the peplos that is worn by women even today. Ancient Greek clothing is quite popular in cosplays and history-based fairs. And if you are planning to flaunt the ancient Athenian look for the next fair, there are enough places offering high-quality Greek costumes, online or in stores. All that is needed is a little research.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Stories of the Immortals!



 

Being in the business of sword manufacture can lead to some interesting finds around the office. You can find miscellaneous weapons in different stages of production, sketches of marvelous new clothing designs as well as various baubles and medieval decor pieces. One of my favorites though has to be new books to read! Fantasies filled with swordplay and adventure! For many it's were the journey all began. It wouldn't be fair to keep it all to myself now would it? From the minds of W.L. Jones and L. Bordoni comes the Highlander Imagine Series, and yes, it's THAT Highlander! What's so amazing about this series is that the authors have been given the authority to elaborate on some of the Highlander cannon story! Taking place five seconds before the bullet hit Tessa in the episode called The Darkness this series explores the lives of this immortal family from then on. Cool!! Of course, there is an angle of involvement for us as well. It has been Museum Replicas own swords and images that have been used for reference! The book even has a picture section to give a clear idea of what characters are wielding! Such an amazing story, with the right setting and right information is a fun reading extension of the original works!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Museum Replicas offers 15% off on all products for Valentine’s Day


The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but also has origins in the Roman history. There are three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred (ouch), which the Catholic Church admits the holiday might be named after. One legend declares Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. It was at that time Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families. So naturally he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.  Whatever you believe, it's a wonderful day to show loved ones you care. Museum Replicas will be celebrating this time of year with a 15% discount coupon code good now through the day of February 14th!