Monday, August 29, 2011

Steampunk 101

Welcome to New Muse Monday!  For those of you are unfamiliar
with steampunk, let me see if I can help. 
Our friends at wikkipedia define Steampunk as a "sub-genre of science fiction, fantasy and alternate history that came into popularity in the 1980's and early 1990's.  It involves a world where steam power is still widely used, usually victorian era Britain, with futuristic innovations as the Victorian's may have invisioned them".

An image from the clockwork couture web site.

As always I will be exploring the influence of steampunk on modern fashion, while Braxton (yep, he's back) will explore it's influence on decor and furniture.
The Prestige
If you're still unsure about the look of steampunk let me recommend the following movies which all include various aspects of the asthetic.
  • Howl's Moving Castle.  (This was recommended to us by Braxton's cousin and I have to tell you I really did not like this movie, yet it's on every list I can find of steampunk inspired film, perhaps you'll feel differently.)
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. ( Short on storyline, long on beautiful fashion.)
  • Sherlock Holmes (2010) ( Super fun, cute guys, great fashion, very steampunk).
  • Three Muscateers (2011)
  • Wild Wild West  (I did not expect to like this, but I did.)
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • The Time Machine
  • Van Helsing
  • The Prestige
  • The Golden Compass (Oh, the flying machine!)
If you can think of any others, please let me know.
Clockwork couture.
The following picture is one that I found years ago, before I even knew what steampunk was.  I kept this on my inspiration board for a very long time.  If I remember correctly, this is a group of Boston University students dressed for a steampunk party they had on campus, and they rock the steampunk vibe perfectly.

Another early picture Braton and I found of a "steampunked" laptop.  This can be found on the website steampunk laptop.  Apparantly the artist is working on a new one that will be available soon.

The Steampunk asthetic can be described as neo-victorian or a blending of victorian and edwardian asthetics with modern technology.  Anacronisms are welcome.
Sherlock Holmes.  Yummy.
Steampunk fashion would include;  gowns, corsets, petticoats, bustles, suits with vests, coats and military inspired fashion.  Accessories would include; time pieces, parasols, goggles and ray guns.
The following photo is one that Braxton found years ago of an incredibly beautiful steampunker.
The time period for steampunk would be any recent science fiction that takes place in a recognizable historical period where the industrial revolution has begun, but little electricity is used, with an emphasis on steam propelled transportation and gadgets. Got that?

When we discovered steampunk for ourselves years ago, Braxton and I thought we had fallen into another world.  I love the blending of the feminine (victorian fashion) with the masculine (hacked technology), and the whole other wordly vibe of the look.  I can never tell if steampunkers are serious as a heart attack or just really really into the theatricality of the whole thing.  Either way, who doen't love to play dress up?
If you would like to add anything to the discussion , please don't hesitate to leave a comment.  It's going to be a fun week!
Have a beautiful day.

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