Magdalene walks among the steampunks


Although, at first blush, Kristin Costa’s fashion collection presence on the runway of a steampunk gathering seemed a bit misplaced.

The collection, dubbed Magdalene with its references to Greek and Russian Orthodox Christian iconography, seemed a little left of center amidst the bowler hats, retro-futurist goggles, spats, canes, straw hats, and petticoat skirts and bustles at the Stupid Cupid Steampunk Ball by Oddball Newt at the Cheney Hall in Manchester, Conn.

But in a way, the eastern European religious references made sense.

Steampunk for those new to the genre is described as what would happen if the future happened during the age of Queen Victoria.

So, Costa’s fashions had a certain left field right to co-exist among the steampunk aficionados.

The Victorians, you see, were the first generation to indulge in mass tourism. They traveled Europe for sightseeing and holidays, which was a new concept. If it weren’t for the Victorians, in a sense, there would be no need for a Travelocity of Priceline.

And the Greece of the late 19th century and 20th century was a popular destination of the newly borne     middle class of the Victorian age. They would visit locales such as the Parthenon. But they also were fond of churches and took in the religious art of the Greek Orthodox houses of worship.

Costa’s Magdalene, which recently was shown at New York Fashion Week, brought to life in an avant garde manner the images on the walls of those Victorian-age churches in Athens or Mikonos. To symbolize the beams of light from figures such as Mary or the Angels, Costa crafted huge headpieces—mostly out of repurposed wood. The garments themselves offered up a variety of deconstruction to evoke the holy spirit of the original images that provided inspiration.

It was a gutsy collection—at once sacrilegious and reverent. But the gather at the Stupid Cupid Steampunk Ball appreciated the artful approach and offered up a standing ovation as the last outfit walked off the runway.

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Here are some posed fashion editorial photographs, runway photographs, and behind the scenes photographs.