Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Steampunk Love

I don’t know how I have been around so long and not heard of Steampunk before.  I have seen it, in movies such as Wild Wild West and the Extraordinary League of Gentlemen, and even the kids movie Atlantis.  I have loved Jules Vern forever too, and the scene in Back to the Future 3 where Doc makes a time machine out of the old steam train.  And also Dr Who and Captain Jack from Torchwood and basically any historical fiction or time travel movie or book.  Basically, (according to Wikipedia) "steampunk involves an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century and often Victorian era Britain—that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy."  
Remember that giant spider robot in Wild Wild West?
The Steampunk band Abney Park in their song Steampunk Revolution sing of being sick of evolution, and having a revolution -  “in with the old and out with the new’.  This song really explains a lot about what Steam punk is, and the video is great  - see it here on youtube. 
Part of the Steam punk philosophy is “Use what you have”– when things are broken, figure out how to fix them, and find out how things work.  I think Steampunk will suit my youngest son – he loves to collect old shiny things and make them into other things.  I can fix things like clothing, and of course I love to thrift, but mechanical things are a little beyond. me.  My dad on the other had is brilliant at this, and will hopefully pass his skills on to my son.  For example Dad has part built and renovated every house we have ever lived in, and recently when the fan on his tv broke he used a normal fan set up behind it until the replacement part arrived (which he then installed himself).  I have also just found  instructables which has loads of videos on how to fix things too.
  source  source
There is Steampunk fashion, which I love – very vintage. Although costumes can include corsets, long Victorian dresses, blouses and top hats, much like burlesque, much of it can be worn everyday, like vests, white shirts, boots, jodhpurs or khakis and suspenders. Goggles and monocles are popular for certain Steampunk looks, and others are associated with more extreme articles of costuming, such as mechanical arms or ray guns.  Although you can buy ready made steam punk costumes, they really are just costumes, like something you would wear on Halloween.  More important in Steampunk, as with any vintage style, is to make it your own – make it personal.  Get a thrift or army disposal item and modify it.  Take it in, hem it, create a ruffle.  Artvixn has a great book on the Steampunk archetypes, and a great introduction on how to dress Steampunk on Squidoo, if you are interested.  The main Steampunk styles are The Lady/aristocrat/dandy, The Aviator/explorer, the military man, the western/hunter/fighter the femme fatale/Lolita and the inventor/mechanic/scientist with derivatives within these.   I love the explorer look – it’s so practical, if only I looked good in jodhpurs!
Of course you can also get steam punk inspired sculptures and  jewellery, which my daughters love.
I love this seahorse, of course.  Maybe some steam punk inspired seahorse jewellery…….and steam punk interiors also abound:
The Edison  in LA’s historic centre, with an amazing website you just have to see for yourself (make sure the sound is on!) by Kelly Architects.

An open office space for Three Rings game development studio in San Francisco, designed by Because We Can, with workspaces for over 20 people, a game  room, lounge, and a bike storage rom.  Wouldn’t you love to work there!
Bruce and Melanie Rosenbaum began fixing and enhancing period pieces for their own house, and then founded restoration and redesign business ModVic.  Go to their website for a virtual tour of their amazing home.

A Steampunk Apartment designed and built by movie producer Jeremy Noritz.
Steampunk NY flat
You can see more photos here.  Hmmm, a zeppelin light, now there’s an idea…..
So Steampunk – do you love it or hate it?
Deb xx

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