Steampunk fashion is admittedly not really a vintage style, but its roots in Victorian style clothing qualifies it as at least slightly vintage.
Like all good things, steampunk has its origins in literature. The term was coined in the ’80s, but works of steampunk fiction were written as early as the ’50s. According to wikipedia, “steampunk was influenced by, and often adopts the style of, the 19th century scientific romances of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Mark Twain, and Mary Shelley.” In short, it often describes a parallel universe where most machinery run on steam (hence the name), and where clothes and language are very Victorian, yet with modern influences. Again, in the words of wikipedia: “while most of the original steampunk works had a historical setting, later works would often place steampunk elements in a fantasy world with little relation to any specific historical era. Historical steampunk tends to be more “science fictional:” presenting an alternate history; real locales and persons from history with different technology. Fantasy-world steampunk […], on the other hand, presents steampunk in a completely imaginary fantasy realm, often populated by legendary creatures coexisting with steam-era or anachronistic technologies.”
Accessories are important, and they should contain some kind of clockwork mechanism, be self-designed and home made, but esthetically pleasing. As steampunks are always looking for adventure, goggles, gas masks, carrier bags and compasses are crucial, and one should always have some mode of transportation available.
And of course, no lady leaves her house without a hat….
Too dependent on modern technology to fully commit to the steampunk lifestyle, you say? No problem! Steampunks are nothing if not inventive, and modern gadgets can be ingeniously adapted.
Steampunk is also well represented in films and television. Famous examples include The City of Lost Children (1995), Wild Wild West (1999), Metropolis (2001), Vidocq (2001), A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) The Prestige (2006), The Golden Compass (2007), and Sherlock Holmes (2009). There are also clear steampunk elements to Doctor Who (1963-), particularly with some of the doctors (the most recent TARDIS is very steampunk indeed). And let’s not forget the steampunk Dalek…
Now, let’s check out some lovely steampunk clothes and outfits, shall we?