We’re excited to welcome our first Steampunk costumer, Captain Constance Bashford, a polarizing personality based in the Netherlands. Mysterious and engaging, extremely savvy and creative, she’s constantly moving toward her goal of making steampunk into a career.
Enjoy this enlightened and entertaining interview with the Captain.
So, explain to our readers what steampunk actually is and how it fits into cosplay ?
Steampunk is always hard to define as everyone has different opinions on the subject. I always describe Steampunk as Victorian Science Fiction. How people from the Victorian Era would see the future, with the (limited) knowledge and technology they had at the time.
Steampunk could be seen as a genre, or a lifestyle but it can definitely be cosplay. Cosplay is well-known for the anime characters being brought to life, but that doesn’t mean something steampunk (and not anime) can’t be cosplay. At least, that’s my view upon it.
A lot of the steampunk shoots I’ve seen seem to be rather dark and visceral, and somewhat historically driven, is that a running theme with steampunk?
It doesn’t have to be dark, but I do think the costumes and the amazing props easily suit a dark setting. It is often historically driven, you are correct, and that is probably because people want to use the Victorian influences in their costumes, seeing as that’s where steampunk is coming from.
What about the SP community do you like the most?
Personally I love the inventiveness of other steampunks. I love what people create, and how everything we do is an inspiration to others, just as other work is an inspiration to me.
Do you make all of your costumes? If so, what’s the complexity in your builds, all steampunk costumes seem so elaborate.
I don’t make my own costumes, Emma McMurphy (from Murphy’s Attire) is the lady who makes my costumes. She makes the most complex clothes I can’t believe how she comes up with that. Very glad to work with her!!
Do you have to deal with many inappropriate comments or harassment on the internet or at conventions? Is it different in the SP community versus cosplay?
At events (or in facebook comments etc.) it’s not that bad. People that go to events where I’m at usually love the outfits I wear and love my character, as well as people who follow me online. It’s at outdoor shoots (with outdoor I mean shoots that do not take place at events, and are in public places) there have been some incidents that were very inappropriate.
People that have no affiliation with steampunk seem to think it’s okay to yell random BDSM comments at me or think because I look the way I do that it’s okay to grab me in certain places or push their faces in my cleavage. Lol. People are weird. Mostly men. Sorry guys!
Clearly the mask is kind of your trademark, what made you go with a wardrobe piece so mysterious?
Besides my mask being beautiful I just love the anonymity it gives me!
Explain to us what The Airship Peregrine is?
Airship The Peregrine is the Airship I am Captain of. We’re having great adventures, and we’d love to take you with us. We’re working on a big project as we speak. One I cannot say a lot about just yet, but if you keep a close watch to our Facebook page you’ll be the first to know!
What kind of hobbies/nerdy activities do you have outside of steampunk?
I am a nerd like most other nerds. I play D&D, love comic books (The Walking Dead, Sandman and many more!), I collect retrogames and consoles, I love to paint and draw and love to sculpt sandstone even more. As for movies I am a huge Sci-fi lover, more of a Trekkie than Star Wars, and I think Predators are awesome creatures.
How has your fan base and the business end of your modeling been growing over the past year?
My fanbase has grown substantially! It’s great to see so many people on the other side of the world love my stuff, and Facebook is a great way to interact with them. Businesswise things are going great! I have received a lot of invites to several events to be there as a special guest or model. I am also doing workshops in photography/modeling together with talented Photographer Ruud de Korte. These workshops are so much fun to do, and the people we get to meet are great!
What are your thoughts on companies like SteamGirl? The nature of the photography is classic, but it’s still overtly sexual. Does it send the wrong message for newbie steampunk models?
I think SteamGirl does a great job in making money wisely with (erotic) art. I love their photosets and to a certain level they are of an inspiration to me. There have been huge discussions on the internet about the “sexualizing” of steampunk, I am glad I did not engage in this whole discussion because nobody can win when everyone is having different opinions. And people should have their own opinion, I mean that’s important. I don’t think it sends the wrong message. If you’re a new steampunk model you should be able to determine what you want and don’t want to do, and you should try to be original and unique and find your own way. There are a lot of steampunk models who do great work without being overly sexual.
What’s the best thing about the Netherlands?
I think what I like most about the Netherlands is that the people are so down to earth. Most Dutchies are real and don’t pretend to be someone better. We’re also very honest. If we don’t like something, you’ll hear it. If we love something, you’ll also hear it.
Best food you’ve ever eaten?
Which superhero would you like to see in steampunk form?
Well. I am a huge Captain America lover so I would definitely go for him. Also I think he is a character that can easily be “steamed”!
If steampunk was a college course and you were the professor, what would it take for a student to fail?
Haha, good question. I would be a very bad professor I guess, as I am far too kind. I love creativity and when I see someone putting a lot of effort in something you’d easily score points, even if it’s something someone else might not immediately refer to as Steampunk. We all have different visions, that’s perfectly okay.
l’d probably fail someone when they copy others work to try to score points as if it was their own work. Be original and unique, and be who you want to be. Also bad attitude might get you expelled in Steampunk 101 by Cpt Constance Bashford.
One really weird thing about you that no one knows but you’re going to tell us anyway?
Pfff… Okay this is gonna sound completely random, but I have a small phobia for brooms. What people have with nails on a chalkboard I have with brooms on pavement outside. Brrr. Got goosebumps just by thinking about it. Hahaha!