I have to admit I didn’t know much about steampunk. I probably still don’t know a lot about steampunk, even after my long conversation with two neat people who came into my store dressed in Victorian steampunk style. I’m learning however.
However, I am always curious and open to new things. Shrugging off my middle America farm girl cloak, I went looking for answers to my question “What is Steampunk?” Thanks to Wikipedia I learned that Steampunk is a genre that originated during the 1980s and early 1990s and incorporates elements of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, horror, and speculative fiction. It involves a setting where steam power is widely used—whether it be an alternate history such as Victorian era Britain or the “Wild West” era United States, Science fiction depicts Steampunk in a post-apocalyptic time —that incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy.
Now I understand it. Turns out I do know some of the steampunk styling’s after all. TV Shows such as the television series The Wild Wild West (1965–69), which inspired the film Wild Wild West (1999) with Will Smith as James West. is a Steampunk genre. The popular “Sherlock Holmes” series is considered Steampunk, the modern version with Robert Downey, Jr. more so then the older versions. I love these type of films. If you want to know more about the history of Steampunk, look up the Wikipedia article. It’s a comprehensive look at the genre and the history. I understand why it is attracting so many young people today. It’s creative and inventive and that is exciting to anyone who has a pulse and the ability to fly in the face of convention. I understand this.
I find myself involved because of the linens and the lace that I have in my stores. Turns out the Victorian style genre that steampunk builds on, incorporates the linens, lace and the styles from the Victorian era. Both of my stores are perfect for the creative imaginations of the steampunk aficionados. Even my husband’s collection of desk and writing items; some from the late 1800’s, plus his ornate watches that he has tucked into “Dads Corner” suit the genre. I can’t say that you will ever see me dressed in the steampunk style, (as a teacher I may frighten the conservative parents of my students) but I love the freedom of expression and uniqueness the genre brings. I’ll continue to furnish the lace and satins, but it will take a more creative stylist then I to make the material live in the steampunk tradition. I would love to see the results however.
I’m sure I will have more to say about this fascinating art in later posts. Readers feel free to help me out here. Point me in the right directions.