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Sherlock Holmes Would Like His Laptop Back

Here’s the latest steampunk laptop from “Prestidigital Datamancery & Paraphernalia Technofetishism” expert Richard Nagy. The New York Times describes steampunk as “a subculture that is the aesthetic expression of a time-traveling fantasy world, inspired by the extravagantly inventive age of dirigibles and steam locomotives, brass diving bells and jar-shaped protosubmarines.” We describe steampunk as Comic-Con’s magniloquent Great-Aunt Gretchen serving high tea with one hand while slaying the Dungeon Master with the other.

This particular piece features a full-wood chassis with a gold foil map, physically engraved and lacquered brass keys, semiprecious gems that act as LED indicator lights and an Asus/Intel processor that might just be able to transport you and your DeLorean back to a time when normal people gave a shit about any of the words in this paragraph.

Stick with the MacBook.

Going Down


Don’t worry: It’s not steampunk and it’s not Hollywood. In fact, this is a turn of the century diving suit, put together with the best and most imaginative technology of the time.

Obviously we’re not holding our breath to see it pop up on the runway—it looks a bit heavy, for starters—but if anyone was looking to spark an industrial revival, it wouldn’t be a bad place to start. Old machines will always hold a certain fascination, and it’s been a while since anyone properly tapped into it.

On Spec


We’re always looking for someone bucking convention, even if the convention wasn’t so bad. For instance, we love a good pair of Ray-Bans, but there’s always someone out there with a new idea…

In this case, the idea comes from Alexander Hi Tek, a British subject with an uncanny knack for steampunk-inspired frames that you could actually wear on the street.

We knew it was only a matter of time before someone took this mainstream, but it’s not quite there yet. So far, Hi Tek is an eBay-only proposition, but hopefully someone will get this into a store some time soon.

A few more frames»

Man of Mystery


As much as we make fun of steampunk, there’s still a lot of glamour to be found in those days. But we prefer magicians to engineers.

A bunch of magic related mementos, including a sizable chunk from Harry Houdini himself, are going up for auction next Tuesday at Swann Galleries. You can get a few of the great man’s handcuffs, trick hinges, his magic wand, or just a few posters and photos like the one above. If apparatuses are more your speed, there’s also a few trick clocks from his namesake Robert Houdin and a host of other goodies from the period. If you’re looking for something to put on your wall, you could do a lot worse than a playfully historic document challenging Houdini to escape from a beer barrel, or a photo of the same man hung upside down above an adoring crowd. It might even inspire a novel or two.

Luckily, it’s just in time for Halloween.

See the swag after the jump»

Alternate History


Now that the industry is digging up history at an alarming rate—1962? Check. 1977? Check. 1991? We’re working on it—it was only a matter of time before we lapsed into full-blown Renaissance Fair mode.

In fact, that moment may already be here.

The New York Times style section has just devoted a full 1500 words to steampunk, beginning what trend-watchers call the “lame” period of the trend. The article name-checks Alexander McQueen and Nicolas Ghesquière of Balenciaga as potential fashionista surrogates of the style, but until we see them bust out the top hats, we’ll be skeptical»