Steampunk Wearable Arts
Steampunk takes it’s starting point from the Victorian era. The British Empire was at the height of its power, fuelled by its world-wide commercial interests and built on the industrial implementation of its inventive ingenuity and the imagination and determination of its intrepid sailors, explorers and scientists. No snake infested, tiger filled Malay jungle, no arid Beluchistani desert, no Zulu inti and no frozen Antarctic waste deterred their curiosity to uncover the geographical, botanical, zoological and anthropological secrets of the unknown.
One hundred and fifty years on when the atomic and digital age has relegated their pioneering enterprises to the virtual world of the computer, growing numbers of sensitive souls have asked: what if things had gone differently? What if the inventions and technologies which where dreamed of then had come into being and steam power still ruled the world? What would our world look like now? Who would we be? What would we be wearing? This is the essence of Steampunk, the future re-imagined from a late 19th century, viewpoint.
All Steampunk converts harbour a secret belief. Hidden beneath the retro fashion of their subculture is a striving to design an alternative future that may save humanity from a post apocolyptic digital wasteland.
The steampunk artist is part visionary, part inventor, part engineer and part mad scientist. Many describe themselves as imagineers, gadgeteers or tinkerers. Steampunk design looks to the aesthetics of Victoriana and takes into account the inventions of the industrial age with its emphasis on mechanics and hydraulics – wind up clocks and watches, telescopes, eye-glasses and inventive travel aids. They are more comfortable working with metal and wood, leather and cotton, whalebone and silk, steel and glass and lace and velvet and are suspicious of synthetic materials and dangerous chemicals.