||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2014)|
|Kate "Kato" Lambert|
|Born||Wales, Great Britain|
|Occupation||Fashion model, Fashion designer and Entrepreneur|
|http://www.steampunkcouture.com, http://www.morigirlclothing.com, http://www.steamgirl.com|
Kate Lambert, known professionally as "Kato", is a British model, fashion designer and entrepreneur. A native of Wales, Kato immigrated to the United States in 2007. One of the most recognizable faces of the steampunk community, Kato has been called "the supermodel of steampunk"[non-primary source needed] and steampunk's "it" girl. Steampunk comic heroine Lady Mechanika was inspired by her iconic look, and her work has been featured in several books on steampunk art and fashion including International Steampunk Fashions, where her photo is featured prominently on the cover. Kato is also on the cover of the August 2014 issue of Bizarre Magazine, which refers to her as a "steampunk idol" and "pin-up legend". She also graced the cover of the Spring 2012 issue of FEY Magazine, and also the covers of September 2012 Ladies of Steampunk  and April 2013 LoSP Bronze Age (NSFW) magazines. She is a frequent guest speaker at steampunk conventions, most recently Wild Wild West Con in Tucson, AZ.
Kato is the third of four daughters born to wildlife painter Terence Lambert and his wife, a school headmistress/principal. She grew up in a Victorian rectory behind a 13th century cemetery, and credits this for her love of Victorian style. She left high school at 16 and finished her final two years at a tech college where she could specialize in fine art. She then went on to complete a course in fashion and textiles at the South West Wales School of Art in Carmarthen. After graduating she launched her first business, called Moshka, where she made and sold dread hair falls online and at craft fairs and markets throughout Wales.
Modeling and inspiration
Early in her modeling career, Kato modeled for Toxico clothing with Ulorin Vex, and later with Chad Michael Ward. In 2004 she began designing and making outfits that had a Neo-Victorian and post-apocalyptic vibe, then modeled them herself and posted them on MySpace. Her inspiration at that time was the 1800s meets Mad Max and Tank Girl, but she didn't know what to call her style until former Abney Park vocalist Magdalene Veen noticed her work and pointed out "how Steampunk" her illustrations and style were.
A few months later, in 2005, Kato founded the first steampunk clothing company, "Steampunk Couture", producing high-quality, custom-fit clothing and accessories catering specifically to the steampunk genre. Her designs incorporate post-apocalyptic and tribal influences as well as sci-fi, shabby chic and Harajuku/Mori girl elements. One of her more popular ensembles, the "Vex" outfit, was named after model Ulorin Vex, who modeled it on the Steampunk Couture website.
In 2006, Kato, then head of Doctor Steel's fan club, the "Army of Toy Soldiers", founded Toy Soldiers Unite!, the club's website. Besides running the site as "Sergeant Kato", she also designed all the club's uniforms, as well as creating the security guard and nurse uniforms worn by Steel's stage performers. In 2011, when Dr. Steel retired, Kato turned over control of Toy Soldiers Unite to its current administrators.
In 2010, Kato designed the outfit for the character "Enki" in John Soares' dieselpunk action series, The Danger Element, as well as playing the voice of the car, the "Jitnimobile". In 2013, Flirty Girl Collectibles issued a 1/6 scale collectible action figure of her wearing the "Vex" outfit.[non-primary source needed]
In 2013, Kato started Steamgirl LLC, a multi-media neo-Victorian fashion erotica site and the first subscription site for steampunk erotica. Besides designing the clothing the models on her site wear, she also builds steampunk and neo-Victorian furniture, props, and hardware as doing all the hair and makeup for the shoots. Kato is also a writer for Ladies of Steampunk and LoSP Bronze Age magazines, and was featured in LoSP's premiere issue. She also teamed with photographer Chloe Barcelou and launched Mori Girl Clothing, the first Mori Kei clothing company outside of Japan. She is currently also working on a graphic novel.
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