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CyberCandy
04-01-2011, 03:33 AM
I've always admired Steampunk fashion from afar. It's always something I've been interested in, but been afraid to do because I'm too fimilar with it. Since I first saw images of Steampunk fashion in a magazine called Coilhouse, it seems like steampunkers have been growing out of the woodwork so to speak. So I really want to obtain my very first steampunk outfit.

Though to be honest, I don't feel comfortable with making it. Eventhough I've seen a lot of photos of steampunk, i still don't quite understand it. I think it's mostly because I'm a really colorful person. & from what I've seen steampunk has lots of earthtones, mostly shade of brown and gold. So are there any 'rules' persay to Steampunk?

Also, I was wondering if there were any decent website to buy steampunk clothing and accessories from? C:

thanks so much<3

Mehdia
04-01-2011, 11:05 AM
For the colors, it's been said before, that while steampunk is usually very earthy with the browns and drab colors, maybe splashes of red, you can go bright and colorful. If you are doing something more aristocratic, back in the Victorian times they used every color they could get their hands on, so you could always work with something of that sort to create a steampunk character and have your bright colors too.

Shine-Chan
04-01-2011, 12:10 PM
There is no reason to shun color as a steampunk. The victorians loved some eye bleeding bright colors too. Some of my best pieces use bright sari fabric and my favorite combos are screaming blue and black and vivid green and black. You should look at some of the steampunk flicker groups or the brass googels forum for insparation on useing color.

As far as places to buy clothes have you thought about going to thift stores and altering things? You can get amazing one of a kind things that way. Also if you want to buy show stoper pieces I would look at etsy. There are some wonderful artests on there and the steam team is a good place to start. And try looking at the steam fashion live jornal. A lot of makers show off there or offer discounts and they are wonderful to newbes looking for help too.

Clem O'Grady
04-01-2011, 02:49 PM
I really recommend the Steam Fashion community on live journal. On the first sticky post is a list as long as my arm on places to buy steampunk items and clothing, as well as some tips for putting together an outfit.

And yes, colors are good. The photography was black and white, but the fashion wasn't. Sky's the limit.

CyberCandy
04-02-2011, 12:10 AM
thanks so much everyone C:

fallenone121
04-02-2011, 12:51 PM
As has been pointed out the steampunk ideals has no real 'clear cut' rules behind their forms because it is based largely on Victorian fashion. The only real rule would be to be able to explain 'why'.

If the character your are playing out is lower class, would it have higher class fabrics?

Would you really need clockwork parts as 'decorations' on a multitude of your garments?

Would a lady of court have a hand spanner or goggles?

There is little limit to colors or what exists in forms and fashions, since Victorian is the style that bore into existance the stripey bathing suits.

I would say that if you could wear it in lolita or frontier fashions you could wear it for steampunk. And frontier fashion was the one known for the rule of (due to their use of sack cloth for low income clothes):

"If you can get your hands on it, you can use it."

fallenone121
04-02-2011, 12:54 PM
Steampunk clothing websites:

www.gentlemansemporium.com (yes, they have a women's shop)

www.clockworkcouture.com

www.etsy.com (great for accessories)

kaligoddess
04-02-2011, 06:06 PM
Steampunk clothing websites:
www.gentlemansemporium.com (yes, they have a women's shop)


The ladies' side is the aptly named http://www.ladiesemporium.com/ ;) And the steampunk specific side is http://www.steampunkemporium.com

Psycho_Kitty
04-03-2011, 02:50 PM
I'm also new to steampunk I'm finding out ebay helps out alot when it comes to accessories or even shoes. Thats where I bought my boots for what I'm doing. Also if you are planning to do any type of weapons nerf guns are really easy to customize.

CyberCandy
04-03-2011, 07:56 PM
I'm also new to steampunk I'm finding out ebay helps out alot when it comes to accessories or even shoes. Thats where I bought my boots for what I'm doing. Also if you are planning to do any type of weapons nerf guns are really easy to customize.

thanks so much C:
are there any sellers you sugguest or just any are fine?

Volnixshin
04-03-2011, 11:47 PM
do you feel to be steampunk you need to have a Victorian aesthetic?

Mehdia
04-04-2011, 12:04 AM
do you feel to be steampunk you need to have a Victorian aesthetic?

I would have to say that my opinion on this is yes AND no. Victorian and Edwardian styles are what most steampunk is loosely based upon. Once you get into the early 1900s, you're slowly moving into more of a dieselpunk style. The Victorian aesthetic is a great one to use as a jumping off point, but I don't think that someone who wants to be steampunk or make a steampunk costume should limit themselves to what was just in that era. When you start to limit yourself, that's when you fall into cliches and can mess up the whole thing. Also, limiting yourself doesn't allow you to be all that creative. If you just do corsets, bustle skirts, frock coats and waistcoats, then you get typical and boring. Am I saying don't use those things? Of course not, because I'm guilty of it myself in creating steampunk designs for myself and friends. But don't let those be your only options. Take a basic idea and run with it...and don't just throw on goggles with a Victorian outfit and announce to the world "I'm steampunk now!" That really is just overdone.

Kelley
04-04-2011, 03:02 AM
Be careful buying anything labelled "steampunk", especially on eBay. Often you can find the EXACT SAME products for a fraction of the cost without the label - for instance, $50 "steampunk" pocket watches sold for $3 otherwise.

You're better off buying thrift-store stuff than spending a lot of money on something from a "steampunk" store. For instance, "Gentlemen's Emporium" is a lot of polyester stuff in modern patterns at high prices. You don't need to be historically by any means, but polyester is almost never good and you'll fall victim to the "we all shop at the same store" cliches if you buy what everyone else is buying and don't modify.

Buy used and modify or make your own. Don't get stuff with "stuck on" gears.



I'd highly recommend historic research because it gives you a base of knowledge to be genuinely creative with. Again, no need to be "historically accurate" - but you are only making a copy of an interpretation if you don't do your own research and that's how Steampunk gets stale and cliche, when people don't really understand what's the influences are.

Clem O'Grady
04-04-2011, 09:40 AM
do you feel to be steampunk you need to have a Victorian aesthetic?

I would say that concerning the Victorian aesthetic in the truest definition of the word, yes, it is important. I'm not talking fashion, I'm talking the broad ideas of objective beauty that applied to the Victorians and their sensibilities. Victorian things were ornate, excessively decorated, and made to be beautiful. Edwardian has a very different aesthetic, just as our modern time now does. A lot of our modern fashion, especially formal wear, is Edwardian based (just look at mens formal wear).

While steampunk is about being creative, its also rooted in Victorian times. There were elements to that time period that are distinctive, and without them, the aesthetic gets a bit muddled and lost. Everything can't be steampunk just because its cool.

CyberCandy
04-04-2011, 08:09 PM
Be careful buying anything labelled "steampunk", especially on eBay. Often you can find the EXACT SAME products for a fraction of the cost without the label - for instance, $50 "steampunk" pocket watches sold for $3 otherwise.

You're better off buying thrift-store stuff than spending a lot of money on something from a "steampunk" store. For instance, "Gentlemen's Emporium" is a lot of polyester stuff in modern patterns at high prices. You don't need to be historically by any means, but polyester is almost never good and you'll fall victim to the "we all shop at the same store" cliches if you buy what everyone else is buying and don't modify.

Buy used and modify or make your own. Don't get stuff with "stuck on" gears.



I'd highly recommend historic research because it gives you a base of knowledge to be genuinely creative with. Again, no need to be "historically accurate" - but you are only making a copy of an interpretation if you don't do your own research and that's how Steampunk gets stale and cliche, when people don't really understand what's the influences are.

Thanks so much for the advice C:

Kelley
04-04-2011, 09:36 PM
I disagree that steampunk needs to be Victorian.

With something like steampunk, you need to remember where it came from. It came from literature. It is most commonly accepted as having an Industrial Revolution setting because this is an easy place to play with, but you have as much wiggle room as you have creativity.

There was legitimate claim for steam power in ancient times and I've actually done some "steampunk" designs from this period. There's also "dieselpunk" and "clockpunk" and whatever you can imagine. Edwardian can be steampunk - usually WWI is the divide between Steampunk and Dieselpunk, but it's really up to you and how you want to utilise ideas and technology.


Also, steampunk doesn't need to be "Victorian" in the sense of "English Victorian". There were many other parts of the world existing at that time. You don't need to be a "gentleman adventurer" or a "loveable street urchin".


Yes, to some it's just an aesthetic, and that's okay. But it's more than that, and you can make the richest costumes by creating worlds and ideas to go with them, not just using someone else's plug and play format for creation.

As a note, I also go to a steampunk forum and we have discussed this topic. This is it : http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php , and there are other great resources out there. I would check out the library for some awesome historical costuming books - they are a great source of fresh ideas to pick through and learn about.

Seiten Taisei
04-05-2011, 12:43 AM
Honestly I don't think Steampunk has to be Victorian. That just seems like a starting point.
I mean...
Look at us, my group. Our group is rag-tag mix of western American costumes with flare of Steampunk influence. We are outlaws, thieves, even a mad scientist or two. Then again, we focus more on the "evil" darker end of Steampunk.

Clem O'Grady
04-05-2011, 12:17 PM
Honestly I don't think Steampunk has to be Victorian. That just seems like a starting point.
I mean...
Look at us, my group. Our group is rag-tag mix of western American costumes with flare of Steampunk influence. We are outlaws, thieves, even a mad scientist or two. Then again, we focus more on the "evil" darker end of Steampunk.

The American West, and what was referred to as the Wild West (which translates to Weird West in steampunk) was during the Victorian era.

I think it needs to be a bit more clearly defines that Victorian doesn't, in this specific sense, refer to only the British Empire and those under Queen Victoria's reign, but to the period if time in which she ruled (1873 to 1901). That's just what is was called in the UK. The rest of the world was doing their own thing. But its easy to divide fashion and things of that nature up into terms like Victorian/Edwardian...etc. But there was a style, aesthetic, and mode of thinking during that time period that influenced, and is heavily adopted, buy many steampunks. But no, it is not NEEDED. There were just many, many things that were historically happening at the time that facilitate a steampunk/alternate history setting.

Honestly, the one really, truly important part of steampunk is the steam.

I know wikipedia can be a bit eye rolling, but I think as far as getting an idea of what it is, where it comes from, and why it is the way it is, the wiki page for Steampunk is really well rounded.

Volnixshin
04-05-2011, 08:55 PM
I prefer my steampunk non Victorian personally. Just me. Not saying anyone else. Steam cons are just overflowing with Vics like its the plague outside,