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Inspired by Shelly. (No silly, not Mary Shelly of Frankenstein fame, nor Percy Bysshe Shelley, either. Besides, they have an extra "E" in their names!) Our own very dear "Miss Shelly" inspired this lovely little hat. And it is not for the "Vanilla Ladies," now is it, Miss Shelly? LOL!

Miss Shelly has the most wonderful wardrobe, and after absconding with our Red and Black Shadow pinstripe Victorian Skull Cameo hat.....Okay, Okay! She didn't abscond with it so as much as 'Buy It" I admit, but absconding sounds so much more romantically Steampunk, don't you think? As we catch up with our heroine she was last seen entering a Millinery Shop in London.....

Miss Shelly eyed the little mini mini Victorian top hat in a two tone Burgundy with lace and braid trim in the widow of the shop. It featured a lovely Victorian Lady, with a skull face, (her favorite) and an intricate hairstyle in cream on a black background charmingly framed in ruched lace. It was asymmetrically wrapped and had the most yummy fluffy black feathers in the back, with lace and braided trim in burgundy and black for days. Yes, this was certainly the one meant for her. It was tiny, but she knew very powerful in it's own right, so she dashed inside with only one thing on her mind....

She quickly scanned the shop, and when no one was looking, she grabbed the little hat from it's stand, and flew out the door towards the wharf, where hidden in a warehouse was her band of elite scientists and artists and the huge steam powered airship the likes of which no one had ever seen before..... She held her skirts aloft while she ran, searching the street for foes and desperately wishing for a carriage, "This running business is for the birds," she thought as she rounded a corner.

After running for two blocks, that seemed like ten in twenty pounds of skirts and petticoats, she was finally able to catch the attention of one of the carriages drivers and he pulled along side her in the dirty narrow Victorian Street. Something was vaguely familiar about the driver she thought uneasily, but she had no time to waste. She shouted "To the wharf, and there is an extra crown in it for you if you do it in ten minutes!" as she climbed into the carriage. And off they went, poor Miss Shelly was bounced around the carriage like a baby boy on the over zealous knee of a father trying to toughen up his son! It was all she could do to hold on and not be tossed out of the carriage. They careened around corners, barely avoiding collision with other carriages and the local riff-raff. Finally,the wharf was in site, and the very top of the great warehouse could just be seen over the rise of the low lying buildings.

Without waring of any kind, a great deluge of rain slammed onto the carriage roof, followed by wave after rolling wave of thunder. Suddenly, in a flash of lighting, dark figures on horse back appeared at the windows on either side of the carriage, and all were wearing ominous black hoods! Her heart leapt in fear as she clutched her shawl tighter and tighter about her. One hooded face appeared very close to the window and put a finger to his lips indicating his wish for her silence. And then he had the utter cheek to wink at her! She would have screamed, but the fury of the storm would let no sound pass from the carriage to the driver. And what good could he do when so outnumbered even if he could hear her?

Oh no, she thought to herself, I have been discovered! A huge banging sound came through the carriage from where the driver sat, and the carriage lurched this way and that, and she just caught a glimpse of the face of the carriage driver in a flash of lighting as he was thrown onto the street! She was right! With the dirt washed from his face she recognized her enemy Dr. Mezzario!

But what was happening? She was being stolen from one enemy by another? (Miss Shelly had many, you see. She was the envy of all in London, if not all of England, Europe and the Empire, for her style, stunning Scientific Discoveries, and now, quite possibly as the woman who discovered Nirvana! But she would never make it to the wharf with the map in time now that these scoundrels had her!

It had to be the Vanilla Ladies' goons who had captured her! They were the most stuffy group of Victorianas who thought women should be seen, not heard, and certainly not involved in "Men's Matters," like Science, or adventuring, or anything really that wasn't in the home making one's husband the center of their universe! Her stomach turned at the thought! She would not spend her days ordering the maid and cook around, and bearing children for an ungrateful lout! Convention be damned! She was not a brood mare, after all, but a brilliant mind in her own right! Truth be told, she was twice the "man" her husband, Lord Nigel Hollingsworth Farthingale III, was, and who had taken lately to frequenting ladies of the night, as well as opium dens. (Or so the Vanilla Ladies would have one believe.) Most probably, and with any luck, he was dead by now. She chuckled to herself and wondered what her parents thought of the great match they had so proudly procured for her now! But, to the matter at hand, what to do?

Peering out the carriage window, she noticed they were still heading east. and almost upon the warehouse! The rain was began to let up as the carriage came to a sudden jolting stop and she was unceremoniously thrown to the floor. The door slammed open and a dark hooded figure appeared. He winked again and moved forward menacingly, reaching for her, she tried in vain to move back, but her massive skirts took hold of the carriage carpets and she knew she was trapped. All was lost, she thought sadly. Nirvana lost forever. With a great flourish, the figure removed his hood, and a devilishly handsome face appeared. It was Alisdair! (He aptly lived up to his name this day, as in Gaelic it meant "Defender of Mankind.") And he was grinning in a very smug manner for his ruse of a kidnapper.

She sighed. He was darkly handsome, a touch of the Black Irish adding the curly dark hair and brightest blue eyes to his lovely Scottish complexion. He secretly loved her you see, and always would, so with a sparkle in his eye he said mockingly "Make haste, darling, we will never find Nirvana if you lie about on carriage floors all day!" He picked her up as if she were only so much fluff, and set her solidly on the soggy pier, and before she could catch her wits about her, he spun her around and began pulling her along towards the warehouse and the airship.

Stopping abruptly at the door to the warehouse, he said "Did you get the hat with the map in it?" looking a bit stricken at the prospect of this all being for naught. Shelly triumphantly pulled it from the deep pocket in her skirt. The Gothik Goddess had hidden the map inside the little burgundy hat. Shelly's network of like minded spirits spread throughout the Queen's Empire, and the Gothik Goddess had procured this for the advancement of the cause. She gazed into Alistair's eyes, and thought to herself, "Perhaps I have already found Nirvana." They quickly jumped aboard as the roof of the warehouse groaned and complained as it parted in two like a great Venus Flytrap searching for it's next meal. And with that, the great gleaming airship floated up towards the skies, like an huge elegant lady rising to her feet.

She made a mental note to find out if that reprobate husband of hers had already wasted into nothingness." Now you may think that is a bit wicked, but then again, karma is not a kind mistress to those who choose to harm special souls, like Shelly..... proving that you don't have to have the extra "E" in your name to be just a little, but quite deliciously, E-vil.....

Steampunk Burgundy and Black Victorian Riding Hat Mini Top Hat with Skull Cameo and Feathers


  • Handmade item
  • Materials: fabric, thread, ribbon, feathers, skull cameo, lace
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 15 reviews
  • Favorited by: 16 people