When I first read that “Victoriana Lady Lisa” Griffiths was releasing a Steampunk-related book, I knew it was going to be something special. Lady Lisa has Victorian/Edwardian credentials that distinguish her as truly unique in her field of passion. I recently had the honor of interviewing her about her past (and her passion for the past) for a recent blog post about her on www.ninemusepress.com. At the time of that blogpost, however, I hadn’t yet received my copy of her new book, International Steampunk Fashions. So it was with no small degree of anticipation that I awaited its arrival at my doorstep.
The book is, in one word, delicious. Like any good tour guide, Lady Lisa offers a quick primer concerning the topic, setting the stage for what’s to come. Once done she steps aside, returns to the shadows, and lets the pictures do the talking (look closely, though – she’s in a few of those pix!). Every page is overflowing with Victorian/sci-fi photography contributed by some of the top Steampunk designers, photographers and models in the world. It’s a delightful kaleidoscope of corsets, clock gears and bowler hats, all luxuriously framed within an absolutely stellar book design by Danielle Farmer. There’s very little white space in this book – every inch seems to offer some bit of fascinating Steampunk eye candy. And fortunately the page dimensions are generous as well, giving the models and settings an opportunity to stretch out and overwhelm.
And Schiffer Publishing certainly didn’t scrimp as far as quality. The full-color, bleed-off-the-page printing is vivid and crisp, and the pages are heavy and hold the inks well. Being a book collector myself, I’m truly excited to see this well-produced work find a place of honor in my collection.
If you haven’t yet started exploring the world of Steampunk, Lady Lisa’s book is where you want to get your first taste. And if you happen to already have a penchant for that special magic that only happens when Victorian crinoline meets futuristic gadgetry, then so much the better – International Steampunk Fashions is the beautiful homage you’ve been waiting for. And thank you, Victoriana Lady Lisa, for being the perfect host and author on this stunning journey into the “future-past” exploding fashion movement that is Steampunk!