Dark & Steamy: Gothic Steampunk Printable Paper Doll

Today’s paper doll is a little gothic and a little steampunk. That’s okay right? It’s not like mixing oil and water or something.

Erin, who won my little Trivia contest from last Monday, wrote me the following description of what she wanted for her custom Marisole paper doll.

I know that I want my doll to be very pale with brown hair… As for style of clothes and what not, I know that I love Victorian and Steampunk style. Belts, buckles, zippers, lace, keys, and corsets. That kind of stuff. I have included a few links as inspiration I guess, but feel free to disregard them. I dislike the color yellow, LOVE red, black and purple, but other than that… I’m not overly picky.

I asked for a little clarification on shades of brown (she said red brown) and exactly what sort of colors for metals she liked and then set to work. Like a deadline, it was oddly liberating to be paper dolling based on someone else’s guidelines. I’ve done other steampunk sets, but this one quickly got a gothic steampunk paper doll flare- I think the color scheme is what pushed it into gothic territory for me. I’ll always think of those as a gothic colors. I do hope she’s pale enough, because outside of doing another vampire paper doll, I couldn’t imagine going paler than this color. I think it reads as “pale” rather than reading as “corpus.”


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Since one of my favorite features of Victorian dresses was the fact that women got to wear all sorts of different clothing for different activities, I decided to treat the paper doll as though she was an actual Victorian lady- all be it in an alternative steampunk universe- in need of costumes for the range of standard Victorian lady activities.

Here we go.

The Morning Dress: Morning dresses were always more casual then other costumes. Erin sent me a reference link to this beautiful costume. I loved the colors and the drape. To make it a little more Victorian feeling, I added sleeves. Though technically a morning dress would never be worn outside the house, I added a hat since the reference costume featured one. Also, I like hats.

The Walking Costume: The other set of reference images I got was for a beautiful 1880’s reproduction bustled suit and I confess the early 1880’s when skirts were tight, before the huge bustle emerged is one of my favorite times in Victorian fashion. I made the suit purple (to match the purple/red color scheme), created a totally non-period hat and added some accents in silver and brass.

The Afternoon Dress: Mostly an excuse to draw a wild leather corset (well, I imagine its in leather, I suppose technically it could be any fabric you like), the afternoon dress was inspired by the corsets of 1910. The net/lace overlay was my attempt at lace, though I have mixed feelings about how it turned out. Afternoon dresses were also often visiting costumes, so she had to have a hat.

The Ball Gown: No costume set could be complete with out a ballgown and as I love drawing corsets, no ballgown couldn’t not have a corset top. The far left costume of this fashiion plate inspired the oddly bondage-esque skirt. I got a little carried away with my lock and key motif I think, but I had fun doing it.

As regular readers know, I’m a wee bit obsessed with Victorian inspired costumes. I’ve done two other steampunk/neo-Victorian Marisole paper dolls. There was the slightly candy like one (a lesson in how colors don’t look so bright before I process the images for Web and then seem to get brighter) and a more traditional color scheme.

I will probably do another trivia contest thing next week. So, keep your eyes open for that.

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10 Responses to Dark & Steamy: Gothic Steampunk Printable Paper Doll

  1. Sara says:

    If I was Erin I would die of pleasure! Pfft, I’ll die of pleasure anyway!

    Beautiful dresses! =)

  2. Marie Louise says:

    That is crazy amazing!

  3. Monica says:

    That is so…..awesome….


  4. Corissia says:

    Gorgeous. There’s not really any thing more to say after that. Fantastic job.

  5. Erin says:

    OMG…. I am simply blown away with what you have created!!! I never imagined it would look this…. wow. The hair…. the dresses…. (and yes, she is exactly as pale as I wanted…) Thank you soooo much for this!!! It’s perfect!!

  6. Erin says:

    Forgot to mention…. those shoes??? I seriously want each of them to wear myself. 🙂

  7. Sonny says:

    I was wondering, is that a necklace, between the girl and the morning dress?

  8. RLC says:

    Yep. It’s a necklace. At least, that was my intention Sonny, though it could be worn other ways I suspect.

    And I’m very glad you liked the paper doll, Erin. She was a lot of fun to draw. A lot of fun.

  9. marge says:

    Are you sure you are studying the right courses in school? I think you should be a fashion designer. This is a fabulous set. A Wonderful job.

  10. Janani says:

    This is so pretty! It looks so sophisticated, somehow. Not that it shouldn’t look sophisticated, but.. oh well, we know what I mean. Erin had such good ideas!

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