My first introduction to KMK designs came when they did a trunk show at the now closed Bombshell Boutique (whose loss I still mourn). Meeting the mother daughter team who own the business was a real treat. I ordered a steel boned corset. After my final fitting and last payment, I found out the wee dictator was arriving, and unfortunately, my steel boned corset sat in the closet for two years. (My midwife did say I was early enough along when Ren Fest came to be fine wearing it for one day, but I ultimately didn’t take the chance.)
Despite that, everything I have bought from them has been unique and good quality. KMK Designs is the place for Steampunk, garb, or fantasy/sci-fi cosplay. Their fur hood was perfect to wear with my wool trench coat in the winter (a co-worker told me I looked Russian) complete with warm and cozy mittens that I don’t actually wear because I am terrified of them getting lost. I have actually worn my cowl shirt to work (it is really nice for fall, when its chilly but not cold). When I saw their Halloween leggings it was on my must have! List. Their collection of gothic and festive masks gave me something to look forward to in this pandemic.
KMK isn’t perfect—they’ve made a couple of mistakes on my orders over the years. But when I brought it to their attention they took immediate steps and I was happy with the resolution. The Etsy shop is full of good quality handmade items, which means they aren’t fast or cheap. For more expensive items they do offer payment plans. Ordering through the internet would require taking measurements, but I have always found them helpful and responsive to questions about sizing.
I do wish they had more for women’s tops, now that they stopped selling their steampunk blouse. I would love to get one of their jumper skirts, but I am not sure what top I could wear with it, and I admit I am lazy. I would say their biggest negative is they’re a shop for cosplay, not reenactors. (Anytime a corset is worn as outerwear is not historically accurate.) So while fun and gothy, they aren’t historical.
After several decades of telling myself I would learn to sew and make my own Ren Fest garb and ritual outfits, someday, maybe, when I had time or was done with blah, I have come to accept that it isn’t going to happen. I am too lazy to learn sewing beyond mending and reattaching buttons, which is a necessary skill, so I would rather buy from small businesses of people who enjoy their work. KMK is a collection I browse dreamily through as I imagine a post COVID life where all the events that haven been cancelled are back on. But they also have some wonderful unique masks for a variety of needs. Maybe now is the time to order a new outfit when we can glimpse a post COVID life.