Monday, September 8, 2008

Neo-Victorian Military Uniforms, Part 1

Admiral Angus Ceawlin, Royal Antiquity Navy
Full Dress Uniform (sans cover)
Pictured officiating at the Antiquity Regatta, c. 2007

Victorian Military Uniforms, Part 1

I’ve found myself a bit busy with RL to address all of the projects that I had intended on completing, much to my chagrin. However, I was able to steal a few moments, roll up my sleeves, and begin on one of the projects, an overview of Victorian Militaria in Second Life.
In the past, I’ve flown skyships and am currently fight pirates on the high seas, but regardless of the location, one aspect that differentiate a soldier from pirate rabble (for the most part), is a smart uniform, denoting discipline and professionalism. While most pirates will wear gaudy and flash attire due to the flaunting of Elizabethan Sumptuary laws of the times, specifically…

… Clothing provided an immediate way of distinguishing 'Who was Who'! Medieval clothing and fashion like everything else was dictated by the Pyramid of Power which was the Feudal System. However, the old Feudal system broke down and the ravages of the Black Death (Bubonic Plague) significantly reduced the population - even the peasants were paid! During the reign of King Henry VIII a new and wealthy Merchant Class arose. These wealthy men were looking above their station! They needed to be kept separate from the Upper Classes of the Nobility. Henry VIII drafted a new series of laws concerning dress and personal adornment - he updated the existing "Sumptuary Laws". His eldest daughter Queen Mary I (Bloody Mary) followed suit! The English Sumptuary Laws were excellent tools for maintaining control over the populace!

- From Pirate Clothing,

… the military uniform has always had a … uniform look to it. While the details of Victorian military attire are perhaps better addressed in numerous other military websites, books, and other media, finding a good match of said attire can be a "hit or miss" endeavor in Second Life. As such, I will be listing a few merchants that carry these items.

Pearse’d and Cut

One of the first Neo-Victorian merchants to offer era-specific uniforms, the Earl has quite a selection of attire, though mostly in Caledonian colors. He offers a large selection of British Victorian-era uniforms, along with a good number of kilts with varying patterns (I must admit my ignorance in this category, unfortunately, as I an unacquainted with the knowledge base of Scottish clans.).

A tidbit of the selection at Pearse'd and Cut regarding his military uniforms

However, do visit his emporiums for a wide selection of SL militaria (and associated gentlemen’s attire – one does eventually take leave!) His flagship store is located at:


Moyer Military Outfitters

My most recent discovery in the genre, Colonel Moyer enterprise has a superb selection of historically accurately designed items of both Army and Navy leanings. Located near the Royal Antiquity Military Academy, Moyer’s is a key part of the "military-industrial" complex there, which includes Rau Paraphernalia (armaments), Edison Corporation Retailer (airships), and of course, the ever popular Speculaas ships.
His attire spans the 19th century, with a superb variety of uniform items from which to choose.

A small view of the selection at COL Moyer's Military Outfitters

My personal favorite is the British Naval Officer’s uniform, though his Late Victorian Braided Officer’s Jacket is quite smart. Additionally, the Colonel offers free pants (one can never have enough pants – lol)! A definite "must visit" for the discerning Victorian uniform connoisseur. To visit the main store in the Shouls, do turn to:


Plunder / Civvies

Taking a bit of a Steampunk-ish leaning, Plunder is perhaps one of the best kept secrets of gentlemen’s Steampunk attire. A good quantity of the attire is more modern in appearance, but there are two sets that stand out – the "Road Agent" overcoat and the "Steampunk Coat". With a bit of tweaking, they make excellent Steampunk military garments.

The "Road Agent' and the "Steampunk Coat" pictured above

There are additional accessories that can be converted to "military use", but the two aforementioned items are (to my understanding) their best sellers due to their versatility. To reach the flying platform housing numerous Steampunk aero items, turn to...


Mako Magellan’s Emporium

Mr. Magellan’s is geared more towards general gentlemen’s attire, but there are a good number of military items that worth exploring, including his Civil War uniforms, his ceremonial Light Horse Dragoons uniform, and something I have not seen since it came out, a version of Sgt. Peppers resplendent uniform (that would be from the Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band, for those who are a bit… younger)! Most certainly worth a visit!

The "Sgt. Pepper's uniform" in full regalia!

As with many of my projects, I end up underestimating how large it will be… at the current moment, I see this being at least three parts! However, if the reader knows of a location I haven’t mentioned, please do note it (and appropriate credit will be provided, of course!) In Part 2, a trip to a Victorian Uniform design genius… and a good personal friend!

{This is a cross-post from the Antiquity Gazette, but I would venture that most era gentlemen have some military experience, so I felt that a post here might be apopos.}


Hotspur O'Toole said...

I just might have a penchant for in world uniforms, particularly historical ones.

Lately, I've become quite a fan of Mr. Moyer's work.. he recently designed the new Wrath Exiles Fleet uniforms within the space of a few hours. He does great work.

Thanks for posting this and thanks for the tip on the Sergeant Pepper rig. I'm getting one!


Dr. Rafael Fabre said...

Indeed - though there are a good number of era uniform designers (more than I had realized), his work is quite outstanding.
The Wrath Exiles Fleet uniform is quite impressive - not that I'm biased with its nautical origins (lol)!