Alternative fashion shop steams into Harborough

Mel Preston of 'Lily Grace Design' with models Grace Preston and Sarah Pollard dressed in a Steampunk theme
Mel Preston of 'Lily Grace Design' with models Grace Preston and Sarah Pollard dressed in a Steampunk theme

Hollywood star Will Smith has starred in many blockbuster films, but his Wild Wild West movie probably had the most outlandish wardrobes out of all his box office hits.

With tight corsets and dapper suits, mixed with large shoulder pads, and crazy inventions, such as a steam-powered wheel chair, the costumes and props in the Western comedy are certainly unique.

But the fashion in the 1999 movie is largely credited to be a big nod to the Steampunk culture, which will soon be motoring its way to Market Harborough this summer.

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialised Western civilisation during the 19th century.

Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American Wild West and involve devices or technologies that harness steam power.

And now a Steampunk and vintage theme store is set to opens its doors in town.

Mel Preston, of Lubenham, has been creating outfits inspired by the sub-culture for several years and felt it was the right time to open a shop.

The 41-year-old said: “One day my daughter wanted a corset and I thought, I could make that! So, I made the corset and then other people started asking me to make other stuff for them, and it sort of snowballed from there.”

The new store, which will be above Harborough Stone in Sulley’s Yard, Adam and Eve Street, will include clothes made by Mrs Preston, and it will also allow customers to make unique outfits tailored for themselves.

It will also stock jewellery, accessories, hats, and some children’s wear.

Mrs Preston said she was drawn to Steampunk because it was unique and exciting, and she describes the look as “Victoriana mixed with steam engines”.

She added: “ The store will be unique in Harborough and I’m hoping that people will be interested to come and check it out. I have customers that already come to me for Steampunk outfits, but hopefully it could interest new people.”

It’s hoped the new shop, called Lily Grace Design, will open by the end of this month.