Profiles By: Jessi Thomsen

Edits By: Jessi Thomsen

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Steampunk Fashion

Steampunk fashion is indicative of the Victorian era—corsets, parasols, vests, and decorative hats—with a twist. Quirky watches or goggles add to the technological aspect of steampunk. Earth tones are commonly seen. It is at steampunk events such as steampunk conventions, tea parties, or time-traveling balls where people can wear elaborate costumes. They can be homemade, purchased, or, more likely, a combination of the two. Vintage clothing stores are certainly a common site for finding pieces fit for a steampunk costume. There are also patterns available for people to sew their own ensembles. As steampunk has grown in popularity, there is also a new outlet for people to find steampunk clothing-designer stores. Brands and designers such as Alexander McQueen, Prada, and even Ralph Lauren, to name a few, are embracing the steampunk look.

This includes “tailored steampunk-style suits (railroad stripes included)” or Victorian-inspired gowns for women (Skarda). Although recognition for steampunk is a positive thing, some people living the lifestyle may lament the presence of steampunk in popular fashion. Mass-produced clothing inspired by steampunk may be considered going against what steampunk is truly about—originality. Part of the fun of steampunk events is to admire the unique look that people have created for themselves. Steampunk going mainstream may not be enjoyed by all members of the subgenre, but even so, there will surely still be many people who continue with the do-it-yourself philosophy of steampunk.

 

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Steampunk Movies, Music, and Novels

Clothing is not the only popular aspect of steampunk—music and movies feature it as well. Some popular bands include Abney Park, Vernian Process, and The Nathaniel Johnstone Band. A quote from The Nathaniel Johnstone Band says of steampunk music that, “[there] are elements of folk, industrial, swirly-goth, americana, metal, hip hop, and there’s even more musical textures and styles popping up everyday” (steampunk-music.com). Nathaniel Johnstone also speaks of a “blend of the old with the new” in the music (steampunk music.com). Technologically enhanced music may accompany Victorian-themed lyrics, or classical, more orchestral music might be paired with modern lyrics. There is not one specific type of sound in this subgenre of music. As long as it