I was asked to write a guest post on Style Wise’s fashion blog. They are a great blog with the latest tips about today’s fashion. You’ll even see some of their work here on my blog! Check them out at, http://inside-out-style.blogspot.com/
Here is my post: (The photos below are in order with the text. )
From the beautiful age of Victorian clothing sprouts the fun, fantastic, and futuristic style of steam-punk. Its foundation began when authors like Jules Vern and G.H. Wells wrote stories about machinery that could take you to the bottom of the ocean, or to another time. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, and The Time Machine, were the forerunners of what we call steam-punk today. Now, this style is very fantastical, they didn’t wear steam-punk back in the ninetieth century! Actually, it wasn’t labeled “steam-punk” until the 1980’s, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the 2000’s get the credit of nurturing the style along. It opens up a whole new level of creativity! Something that I think really appeals to people today.
There are two elements that define steam-punk. The first is steam! It refers to the steam developments during the ninetieth century. Today we have high-tech technology; in steam-punk they have high-tech machinery. They took the steam engine and perfected it. It’s where we get all the gears and gadgets on the clothing.
Steam is also how we know that steam-punk is Victorian influenced. It was during Queen Victoria’s reign that the steam development took place. But, if steam-punk isn’t historically accurate, then what was? Good question, just like there are key elements to defining this fantasy style, there are key elements to help you spot a historically accurate costume.
First, is the fabric that was used in the ninetieth century – they used what we call “natural fibers” today. Silks, cottons, and wools were used. Another key is shape; this came from the corsets both men and women wore during this time frame. Yes, men wore a type of corset too. Can you imagine!
In the Victorian era you’ll see corset shape like these: Ranging from natural-ish looking, supper skinny, to the S shape.
Things like war, trade growth, and new kings or queens were huge influences on fashion all throughout time, too. These few key elements can help define a historically correct costume. Here are some photos from the Victorian era. Note that war, the American Cilvil War is an element that changed the shape and style. In the 1880’s the American style was the big hoop skirts, where as, in England skirts were more slender.
The Victorian era covered a long time span. So, we see the influence it had on steam- punk. There’s different types of steam-punk that have developed; cowboy steam-punk, as in Wild, Wild, West with Will Smith is one of them.