Steampunk is one of the best fashion trends. It contains passion, a love of history and engineering, a keen eye for cleverly placed details, and a nostalgic nostalgia for a bygone era. This article will systematically tell you all about steampunk fashion style with more than 100 images.
⦁ What’s the Steampunk style made of?
Regarding steampunk, “Hal’s Moving Castle” should have left a deep impression on countless people’s childhood. This magical world with magical teenagers and mechanical castles has fascinated and yearned for countless people.
As one looks back on history and imagines a world set against the backdrop of the First Industrial Revolution of the Victorian era in the 19th century, a retro science fiction combined with classical cultural symbols. The world was born, an overhead world based on the power of deified steam.
The thick smoke from factories rushed to the sky, smoke and fog enveloped the city, and steam-driven vehicles were driving on the hazy roads. Gentlemen and ladies were walking on the streets, and the homeless and orphans were running on the streets. “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate” scene concept with the First Industrial Revolution as the background.
The Victorian era was the peak of the First Industrial Revolution and the British Empire, and it was also the most glorious time of the empire on which the sun never set. Because of this, cultural symbols belonging to the United Kingdom have been spread and printed worldwide, and the British style has also become the main feature of steampunk.
The Victorian era is an era in which mysticism and emerging science and technology coexist. In a world where technology and magic coexist, steampunk has become a special fantasy contrast. The interweaving of classical and modern, the bustling and dim city, and the collision of technology and magic are all subordinate to the great charm of steampunk.
The classical art style combined with the mechanical features of the early industrial revolution jointly constructed the visual foundation of steampunk. The retro-future world is under the beauty of classical and mechanical beauty.
Although steampunk does not have many classic literary works and lacks a certain literary foundation, it cannot resist people’s love for the Victorian retro-future visual style. This classic and sci-fi style continued to be popular among niche groups such as clothing lovers and coser. Enthusiasts transform Victorian clothing with retro mechanical devices to form a unique visual aesthetic.
Steampunk is more visual aesthetics than literature and spiritual core, and some people love this art style. Just like the popular Hanfu culture in China, it has become a grand event for retro culture lovers.
⦁ Where does Steampunk fashion come from? / Steampunk Fashion History
Retro beauty and mechanical beauty
The classical cultural symbols of the Victorian era and the mechanical aesthetics of the First Industrial Revolution jointly constructed the visual foundation of steampunk. Next, I will start from these two points to analyze steampunk’s visual and cultural beauty.
1. Retro Beauty
Steampunk clothing and accessories
Victorian men’s clothing is not complicated. The coats are mainly dark suits, with top hats, vests, trousers, and white shirts as the main form. Sherlock Holmes is the representative image of the Victorian era. We can pass many classic Sherlock Holmes works. See the clothing features of that time.
Some nobles, soldiers, or clergy still wear traditional clothing to express their status on formal occasions.
Pocket watches were a common element in the Victorian period and a symbol of the wealthy and proletariat, usually made of brass or precious metal, inlaid with gems, or engraved with ornate patterns.
Its inner rotating gears and mechanical structure are major features of steampunk mechanical aesthetics.
There are also various designs of watches in the steampunk style works, and the design style of brass and leather is also the distinctive feature of steampunk. Brass and leather colors are also steampunk’s main colors, highlighting retro machinery’s temperament.
Victorian women’s clothing was mostly classical-style skirts. The middle and upper classes were allowed to wear off-the-shoulder clothing, while working-class women were not allowed to show too much. The use of lace and spun yarn was the main feature of clothing, followed by the waistband that has been passed down since ancient times. Bad habits, with intricate ruffled skirt structure.
Of course, due to the progress of industry and the development of the times, masculine women’s clothing has also become popular, making it easier to participate in production and outdoor activities.
Corsets and Workwear
The biggest feature of Victorian women’s clothing is the waist, which is an outer form of underwear used for tight-fitting in ancient Europe.
With the improvement of steampunk enthusiasts, the waistband has become a functional existence for carrying small props around the waist and dispersing gravity.
No matter what clothing is on the waist, especially leather materials, it will have a strong Victorian and steampunk flavor.
Some of the modified waistbands have designs similar to belts and suspenders, which are somewhat similar to workers’ clothing in industrial culture.
Numerous working machines have also spawned more mechanic maintenance specialists, and mechanics wearing goggles and leather clothing are also common characters in steampunk works.
Sunglasses and Optical Instruments
Steampunk sunglasses and goggles are common steampunk elements used to improve vision or protect the eyes. Based on the original structure, various modifications have been made to make it have the functions of telephoto and magnification, which are used for fine operations such as distant observation or mechanical maintenance.
Nowadays, many designers have introduced this punk element into the design of sunglasses frames. Whether it is the design of rivets or some bold diamond-encrusted designs, exaggerated shapes are full of cool feelings.
Especially the design of the retro rivet sunglasses frame. Rivets are typical of the punk style. Even a simple sunglass frame can be transformed into punk style by adding a few rivet decorations.
Fashion is popular under continuous innovation and inheritance. The sunglass frame is a kind of jewelry that can use all fashion elements. The material can be various, and the shape can be very strange. No matter how it changes, the weight of sunglass frames is always the same in the fashion industry.
⦁ What are the main elements of Steampunk?
Beak Mask and Plague Doctor
Whether it is the beak mask used to prevent infection during the plague pandemic, or the gas mask invented later, to the mask that everyone must wear when going out, even when driving a Gun dam in space in the distant future, the mask is a kind of fashion.
Doctors used the beak mask during the plague to prevent rancid smells and blood splashing. Because of the high mortality rate of the plague, the appearance of a doctor wearing a beak mask means that death is approaching, making it a symbol of death, and its dark clothes are also very similar to the image of death, which is still in the Victorian period. Popular mysticism has added a lot of weirdness and darkness to it.
Magic and Mysticism
The plague doctor himself has a strong mysticism. Although the Enlightenment and rational thinking progressed in the Victorian period, various superstitions and legends are still very popular.
The basic tenet of mysticism is that there is an unknown mysterious power (magic) in the world, and there are things (witches) that can understand and manipulate the mysterious power, which is full of strong idealism. Mysticism includes many scriptures and subjective verification methods, such as metaphysics, spiritualism, “wand” questing, numerology, yoga, natural magic, freehand craftsmanship, freemasonry, witchcraft, astrology, and alchemy Wait.
The collision of technology and magic
In some works, technology and magic are set to conflict with each other. The power of science and technology and the power of magic are natural forces drawn. When science continues to develop, the power of magic is constantly weakened until it disappears.
Monsters and Hunters
Many mystic isms have had a profound impact on Western civilization. These settings can often be seen in some literary, film, and game works, the most famous of which are the legends of werewolves and vampires and the creation of Mary Shelley. Frankenstein image.
The former is folklore handed down since ancient times, while the latter is a classic image created by Victorian science fiction writer Mary Shelley.
Frankenstein is a humanoid monster created by scientist Frankenstein by splicing countless pieces of a corpse into a complete human shape and then giving life to it through lightning. Frankenstein is known as the first science fiction novel, and its author Mary Shelley is also known as the mother of science fiction. This classic image and bridge section is deeply loved by people and has appeared in many works after the excavation and expansion of later generations.
The werewolf is a kind of orc who transforms into a wolf on a full moon night in western folklore. This image has been widely circulated.
Vampires originated from some folklore, but they continue to evolve. The image of vampires has gradually been fixed as a noble living in a Gothic castle. The most classic is Baron Dracula.
In many modern film and television works, vampires and werewolves are often associated with mutual enemies. The ferocious and brave characteristics of the werewolf and the vampire’s elegant and noble aristocratic temperament are indeed a good pair of Cps at the moment.
If there are monsters, there will naturally be watchers. Werewolves and vampires are set to be extremely afraid of silver objects, so watchers with silver bullet guns are also born.
The movie “Van Helsing,” starring Uncle Wolf, is a collection of Victorian monsters. Although this film is difficult to define as orthodox steampunk, it is more appropriate to call it Victorian fantasy (fantasy-based). Still, the film also shows a lot of Victorian technology and exorcism weapons.
The Order 1886 had a similar setting, with the Knights of the Round Table hunting werewolves and vampires with cutting-edge weapons. The Order 1886 is a steampunk theme that everyone generally recognizes.
There can be werewolves and vampires in steampunk works, but it cannot be said there are werewolves and vampires in steampunk.
Monsters in different cultures
The monster settings in different cultures are different. China is a monster like a fox demon. In Love Dead – Happy Hunting is a Chinese-style steampunk created by the three-body English translator Liu Yuyun. It is set to exorcism in the late Qing Dynasty. The son of Shi became friends with the fox spirit and became a mechanic according to the times.
Legacy of Historic Buildings and Retro Trends
The residences of nobles and gentry are mostly handed down from ancestors and will not be changed due to changes in fashion; large-scale public buildings will not be demolished, so the Victorian era has many historical buildings left.
The so-called Victorian style is a revival of various historical buildings. After the emerging middle class became rich, they began to imitate the residences of ancient aristocrats for architectural design, imitating and mixing various architectural styles in history.
The typical feature of Gothic architecture is the spire that goes straight into the sky. Pointing to the sky and the gods like an arrow is often seen in church buildings.
Classicism and Neoclassicism
St Paul’s Cathedral is a landmark in London.
Chimneys are a major feature of Victorian houses. Whether boiling water for cooking or heating in winter, heating by burning coal is essential in every household, leading to the ubiquitous chimney on the roof.
Residential and Factory
The working class and peasants, who account for most of the social population, could not yet build and use Victorian-style houses and homes. The houses of ordinary residents are simple in style. The most classic ones are wood-framed white-walled buildings and simple red bricks.
The factory building does not care about the style’s appearance and the decoration’s beauty. It is only constructed from the most basic functions. Steel pipes and a huge chimney supplement the red brick. The structure is extremely simple.
New materials and new technologies will give birth to new architectural forms. The progress of industrial materials, technologies, and processing methods has given birth to the emergence of new buildings such as the Crystal Palace. Which is the prototype of modern architecture.
The Crystal Palace was designed by a horticulturist, using the method of building greenhouses to manufacture large quantities of large steel and huge glass with uniform specifications. This temporary building was designed to be quickly fabricated, assembled, and dismantled, so it could be dismantled and transferred after the exhibition. Reassemble elsewhere.
Crystal Palace and the Industrial Revolution
The Universal Exposition represented by the Crystal Palace is used to display the industrial achievements of various countries. It is also a record of the wisdom of human civilization and an exploration of the future.
The continuous development of the Industrial Revolution has led to the continuous emergence of various new inventions. Handicrafts, construction techniques, agricultural machinery, industrial inventions, and even weapons of war will be displayed here, and countries are vying to show their national strength here. These technological products are also forming the technological basis of the steampunk world, and the mechanical design of steampunk is also derived from this basis.
Science and technology exhibits at the World Expo
⦁Where does Steampunk fashion come from?
The beauty of machinery
The forces that drive the world – steam and machinery. The invention of the jenny machine greatly improved the spinning efficiency, and people discovered the infinite potential of the machine. Since then, new inventions have emerged, and human beings have begun to mechanize.
Steam and machinery
The story of Watt’s improved steam engine is familiar to everyone. The significance of the improved steam engine is not only the improvement of power but also the transformation of the steam engine into an engine that can provide power for other machines, and the power to drive the world was born.
One steam engine powers the entire factory.
With a steam engine as the core, valves, pressure gauges, steam balls, pipes, rotating flywheels, and gears are common elements that make up the steampunk world.
The invention of the machine and the engine gave birth to the modern factory, powered by steam to drive the machines and operated by workers for efficient production.
The production of factories has also increased the demand for low-end labor. The machines require highly sophisticated mechanics to operate and maintain, but at the same time, they also require many people who screw and pick briquettes. These jobs do not require much skill and physical strength. At this time, child labor that a single bread could hire began to join the production revolution.
The unrestricted pollution discharge from the large-scale factories of Britain’s First Industrial Revolution led to a dramatic drop in environmental levels. The glorious empire in the afterglow of the setting sun is accompanied by the billowing smoke rising into the clouds, the dazzling light, and the dark smoke interacting.
The industrial revolution was accompanied by The invention of various machines that continues to rush to climax, and humans no longer rely on God and magic to seek and control the power of nature and their destiny. Since drilling wood to make fire, human beings once again crossed the boundary between man and God and once again controlled and absorbed the power of nature for survival and development. Human civilization has since entered a new stage – the industrial age.
The Difference Engine – Another possibility in Parallel Space-Time
In 1819, British scientist Babbage designed the “difference engine,” In 1822, he created a movable model, and the mechanical computer was born.
The difference engine is a mechanical computer bred in the First Industrial Revolution of mechanization. Its operation is completely performed by rotating metal mechanical computer ears visible to the naked eye. However, the level of technology at that time was limited and could not be completely manufactured. Later, William Gibson, the father of cyberpunk, created the novel “The Difference Engine” based on this concept, a mechanized information age parallel to the 19th century, advancing the information age by a century, and the hacker story in the retro era is full of imagination and charm.
In the movie “The Time Machine,” scientists in the 19th century designed a time machine to travel in time and space to save their lover. The movie drew on the design of the different engines in the design of props.
Brass collides with gears, the mechanical character of steampunk.
The beauty of the decoration
The sense of decoration is the distinguishing feature of steampunk machinery. First, when the industry was underdeveloped, many inventions were made by individuals or customized by others, so some family symbols and decorations in line with the times were engraved on these mechanical creations according to tradition. Like today’s manufacturer logos and stickers you put on your phone, the steampunk era machinery and props also use a lot of classical decoration.
The beauty of patchwork
The sense of patchwork is a problem in the initial stages of all technologies. Because the technical force is relatively low and there is no unified industrial specification and standard accessories, it can only rely on continuous patching and stacking of parts to achieve relatively strong functions. A stacked, complex feel will also give people a more ancient feeling. Because this kind of thing will only appear in the initial stage of underdeveloped technology, everything used now is simple, beautiful, and powerful.
The beauty of nakedness also manifests the original sense of technology. The first is the heat dissipation problem of steam power and the easy maintenance after damage. The third is the irregular shape caused by patchwork, lack of better integration and packaging technology, and cannot reasonably arrange and protect parts. The current mechanical structure is integrated into a small box, in an orderly.
Nowadays, based on people’s love for mechanical structures, there are products with transparent shells that can see the inner structure.
Steampunk transportation system
Steam power gave birth to the train, an efficient means of long-distance transportation, linking the continents as a whole. Steamships freed human beings from the limitation of wind and could travel faster and farther, and the world was connected. The dream of human beings to fly to the sky has never stopped. The development of mechanization has led to the invention of various flying devices, and human beings have also begun to soar in the blue sky.
From walking out of the African continent to sailing to the sea with an airship to flying to the blue sky with an airship, humans have since conquered all areas of the earth.
The train is a representative element of the steampunk era and is also the steam engine’s main application scene in the early days.in scene
Carriage alternates with car
The industrial age has just started, machinery has not yet been fully popularized, and horse-drawn carriages still dominate the road traffic in the Victorian era.
The early car shape evolved based on the horse-drawn carriage, retaining the shape of the horse-drawn carriage and then changing the power source to steam power.
Early steam locomotives were characterized by huge boilers and long chimneys like trains, and such vehicles appeared in large numbers in “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Aviel’s Fictional World.”
Of course, these are all realistic prototypes, but the early steam locomotives were cumbersome and unsightly.
Aircraft in the 19th century was still in the experimental stage, and all kinds of aircraft were invented, with simple structures mostly made of wood + cloth. Therefore, the aircraft belonging to the steampunk style is to make a difference in structure and material, imitating bird wings or original mechanical structures with the splicing of wood and cloth.
⦁ Steampunk in different civilizations
Different civilizations have different cultural characteristics.
The United Kingdom is a Victorian steampunk.
The cultural characteristics of other civilizations combined with the mechanical beauty of steampunk can also develop their steampunk.
Steampunk in the American West
American steampunk is characterized by its unique combination of western culture and industrial reform background, trains, cowboys, revolvers, and western towns.
The more representative ones are Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress and Zephyr Zombie Loli Steam Train. Very interesting worldview, but unfortunately, the story is unfinished.
Love Death Robot: Happy Hunting is a Chinese steampunk story.
The steam engine is only one type of energy device. The reason why science fiction is because of its fantasy elements. People’s recognition of a style is more of an external visual feature, and internal scientific principles are part of science fiction. You can play and expand according to the settings of the world view, thereby creating a different fantasy world.
Steampunk does not have a clear and systematic definition like cyberpunk. The atmosphere of mysticism in this era is still strong; science has just started, and the industrial revolution has greatly increased human productivity. Although there are many problems, overall, It is a high-spirited optimistic situation, and it will not completely deny the prosperity brought by industrial progress because of the negative impact of industry, so there is a lot of space for steampunk to discuss or because there are not too many people to make steampunk. A clear definition is more about the love of the style itself. The personal, multi-handmade inventions and creations make technology not so cold. This is a world that everyone can imagine. It can be full of magic. It can also depict industry and machinery, or their fusion and collision with each other. The world of steampunk is a world full of infinite possibilities.