Who is Kato Steampunk?
By Steampunk Origins | Updated Oct 30, 2018
She is considered by many to be the very face of modern steampunk fashion, but who exactly is Kate Lambert?Kate Lambert, popularly known as Kato Steampunk is a professional model, fashion designer and entrepreneur who was born in Wales, but emigrated to the U.S. in 2007. Kato is considered one of the most recognizable faces of steampunk and is often referred to as the supermodel of steampunk. Kate Lambert has inspired many other steampunk models including Lady Mechanika.
What Are Some of Kato Steampunk's Works?
The works of Kato have been featured in many books on steampunk art and fashion. Her photo features prominently on many steampunk fashion shows including the International Steampunk Fashion Show.
She has also featured on the cover of August 2014 issue of Bizarre magazine. She has been described by several steampunk magazines as a steampunk idol and pin up legend.
Kate Lambert has also appeared on the covers of Spring 2012 issue of FEY Magazine, September 2012 issue of Ladies of Steampunk, April 2013 issue of LoSP Bronze Age Magazine and July 2016 issue of Phantasm Magazine.
This model has earned the title of de facto queen of Steampunk, which is probably why she has been a guest speaker at several steampunk conventions including the Wild Wild West Convention and the Salt City Steamfest.
How Would You Define Kato Steampunk's Couture?
Kato literally lives steampunk. Her home is one of the most stunning steampunk houses in the U.S. A vintage train carriage serves as her dining room.
Her bedroom looks like it was plucked straight from Captain Cook’s cabin with a steampunk laboratory beside it. Kate Lambert’s home serves as a living space but it is also her studio set and live in set.
The first floor of Kato’s home has an open plan design with a dining room that has a tea nook. Steampunk items that adorn the dining room include a vintage train carriage with luggage cases and car number.
The tea nook does not have lots of decoration and is more like an area that one would enjoy an afternoon cup of tea - how fitting. Her bedroom, which is also her workspace and studio lab, can best be described as dark and decorated from floor to ceiling with shelves filled with various items of curiosity.
Where Does Kato Steampunk Draw Inspiration From?
Kato is the third of four daughters. At 16, Kato left school and joined a tech school where she completed a two-year program in fine art. Thereafter, she joined the South West Wales School of Art in Carmarthen where she finished a course in fashion and textiles. She launched her first business called Moshka shortly after graduating.
In 2004, Kato began to design and make steampunk outfits with a Victorian and post apocalyptic vibe, albeit without knowing the genre of her designs. She used to model her first collections herself and post them on MySpace.
Attention to detail and commitment to aesthetics is what has made steampunk so popular all over the globe. That said, Kato admits that she did not actually know what steampunk was when she started designing her collection.
A friend kindly informed her that her outlandish creations and taste had a specific name and sub-culture associated with it. Her inspiration stems from the fact that she grew up in a Victorian rectory and was practically surrounded by steampunk almost all her childhood.
However, she once recounted that her love for steampunk blossomed after watching the first Mad Max movie when she was about 11 years old. Kate Lambert’s collection combines rugged Victorian aesthetics with the apocalyptic biker style. Besides her upbringing, Kato considers Magdalen Veen as one of her major influences.
Although many people are familiar with steampunk, some are not yet familiar with steampunk couture. This is a brand that has experienced significant evolution throughout the years. During its inception, it was mainly characterized by buckles and straps and was extremely dark due to its gothic influence.
Over the years, steampunk has leaned more towards traditional Victorian designs and fashion basics so that people can add their own flair to it. Steampunk has been greatly influenced by the DIY creative energy. Therefore, you can easily customize your steampunk outfit to suit your identity and take part in the evolution of the culture.
What Are Some of Kato Steampunk's Recent Projects?
As more people join the steampunk movement, Kato’s brand and team also grows. Kato works with a team of interns, tailors and assistants.
Her team has worked hard to release an extensive new line that coincided with a new product division and brand known as Kato’s Closet. This brand offers steampunk clothing, accessories and other steampunk treasures including teapots, pipes and jailors’ keys.
When she is not creating steampunk clothing at her home in Oregon, she is visiting antique stores for vintage trinkets. However, she does not just pick items and pass them on to the next buyer.
Rather, she customizes the items she buys to reflect her style before putting them up for sale. She believes this is one of the best ways to present customers with unique steampunk products.
You can find a wide range of steampunk clothing in Kato’s Closet. Although the brand is known for steampunk wear, it also offers light, shabby chic style clothing that appeal to a wider audience.
One of the reasons why Kato’s brand has grown so immensely is because she prefers to work directly with her clients so that she can take their interests into account when designing their clothing. Today, Kato’s brand is one of the most recognizable companies for providing steampunk gear and apparel.
With her brand firmly established, Kato has lots of room and time to experiment on ideas. She plans to expand her jewelry and leather works collections. Other future endeavors for Kato’s brand include art dolls and steampunk underwear.
So Who is Kato Steampunk?
The steampunk genre has grown immensely in popularity and mainstream appeal. However, it would be inaccurate to describe Kato as a designer who is simply jumping on the bandwagon.
She practically eats, sleeps and breathes steampunk. She is just one of those designers with a deep affinity and connection to the steampunk culture and style.