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Steampunk fashions, White Party make for fantastic evening at Kemerer Museum (PHOTOS)

August 21st, 2015 |

August 21, 2015 | In The News

Written by Tony Rhodin for Lehigh Valley Live

The Kemerer Museum for Decorative Arts on Bethlehem’s New Street held its end-of-summer White Party featuring a Steampunk fashion show on Thursday.

Described as where Victorian meets fantasy, the fashion show featured 24 true-to-era but embellished garments from RC Moore for the Unique Individual.

The fundraiser drew attention to the museum’s Steampunk exhibit, which runs through Nov. 1. Steampunk, which dates to the early 1980s, imagines a world where steam power, not fossil fuels, won out. What would technology look like? And fashion? A combination of both? Would all outfits come with ornate masks or industrial goggles? Sidearms optional?

The museum calls it “salvaged, gritty and analog.”

The movement weighs heavily on science fiction and other literature from the Victorian era through the early space age. The exhibit features items from the time of Queen Victoria, but also efforts from modern artists interpreting the fantasy.

The fashion show featured the telling of an at-times ghoulish story by a narrator and some models seemed to be made up to appear as living dead. The show ended traditionally — my wife, Maggie, explained — with a wedding dress.

After the fashion show, the models remained in costume — and in many cases, in character — in the museum’s main gallery, posing for photos and interacting with guests, some of whom were dressed in white, others in Steampunk attire.

Artists contributing the the exhibition are Felix Eddy, Will Goddard, Heather E. Hutsell, Desiree Isphording, Ed Kidera, Milan Karlik Jr., Ed Land, James Ng, David Sokosh and Karen Von Oppen, according to the museum’s website. Objects are also on loan from America on Wheels, the National Museum of Industrial History and the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society.

Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served throughout.

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