Steampunk Fashion could be loosely defined as Victorian silhouettes mixed with industrial mechanicals. It is a juxtaposition of the symmetry and elegance of Art Nouveau and the sleek simplicity of the metal elements of the post industrial age. Its welding goggles, top hats, bustles and corsets signify the basic elements but the free-form uniqueness of the 21st Century takes it beyond boundaries. The Grandfather of Steampunk style is Jules Vern. His visuals of big brass diving helmets, large welding rivets and other metal sculptural elements began the Victorian view of the future. The father of Steampunk style, filmmaker Tim Burton, brought the elements together in sets (like Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice) and costumes (like in Sweeny Todd, Sleepy Hollow and parts of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) and many other parts of his movies (such as Big Fish). The key element is the unique mixture of metals (especially gears and goggles) mixed with a bit of whimsy and dementia. The fashion side uses historical silhouettes in dark and faded colors and fabrics that run the gamut between beaded lace velvet and sand blasted denim.

Much of Steampunk fashion embraces the use of recycled clothing, materials and parts to create a dark and worn look. The fun is in finding antique lace, leftover silks and velvet pieces, as well as old classic leather jackets, purses, and belts, then blend them together with corsets, top hats and long coats and capes. Jewelry is made from a mix of recycled brass and copper findings, blended with pearls and glass beads to create elegant, yet demented accoutrement for highly individualized looks. A recent NYTimes article claims that some Steampunk Fashionistas take electric sanders to their band new leather boots, gloves and bags to give them a more authentic Steampunked look.

The fun of Steampunk is to venture down the many paths that all reflect a similarity, yet have little in the way of limits. There are sub-genres within steampunk, including Wild West, Vintage Futurist, Adventurer, Scientist (mad or otherwise), elegant Vampire, Time Traveler, and even Steampunk Airship Pirate. It is a style that has both classic elegance and shape mixed with vintage, edgy, and highly creative styling. Steampunk is gaining in popularity in fashion, art, decor and more.

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