i have a few ideas for you but they might not be very good
first, rather than using fresh film and fresh paper to do your work
you might look for something a bit on the out of date side. film fog
and paper fog might be your friend in cases like this ...
you might also process your film in a paper developer or film developer that
increases fog on your negative ... for a long time i got very foggy film, outdated film
and processed it in spent paper developer ... it is tricky because sometimes you get bromide streaking
you might be able to do this with "combination printing" by sandwiching a foggy negative along with your other negative ( or negatives ? )
to make your final print ... processing the print in a coffee based developer might help with your toning as well,
coffee sometimes, depending on how strong, and the type of coffee it is + additives in the developer, can give a nice and weird brownish
greyish silverish tone ... as for the out of focus sort of thing ... you might have to find the sweet spot with your lens &c ..
stop down a little bit, and FRONT focus ... so things upto-and a little behind your main subject is in focus and then behind goes out of focus ...
i hadn't seen the work you mentioned, i love that sort of wacky edwardian - stuff, i hate to say this but it reminds me a little bit
of thomas dolby's she blinded me with science ( a tiny bit ) but the architect's brother is much more fun
good luck !!