Originally Posted by TheFontBandit
Exactly! I think saying "Well, you can't do X or Y... and whatever you do, don't do Z" really hampers creativity. I love seeing how inventive people can be with steampunk, and I think creativity really flourishes best when you can say, "start with X and see where it takes you". It makes the whole genre more fun when it's more open-ended, rather than restrictive.
I also honestly have no real problem with people just sticking gears on things either, but I know that's a sticking point for a lot of people, too. I figure we add plenty of non-functional items to our clothing nowadays purely for aesthetic value (hello rhinestones, studs, non-functioning buttons, and superfluous zippers). So why not gears, if you like the look of them? If it were Fleur-de-Lis shaped buttons, would it be an issue? It's intriguing when people really do take into account actual mechanics and make functioning gears, but I don't think it should be a requirement.
Anyway... yeah, I'm always for just doing what appeals to you. If that's a lime-green and hot pink ensemble using Victorian silhouettes and fabric types as an inspiration, power to you! (The Nerfpunk group at last year's D*C really made me smile). I love seeing things I haven't seen before, and I'm a big fan of bright/rich colors in general. Brown hues do evoke a specific "old-timey feeling", but I'll admit I'm getting bored with a sepia steampunk wardrobe and I'm really starting to play more with color, even if it is outside the box.
Wow, you really do think about it a lot like I do! I'm so happy to see someone else who views steampunk the way I do. While I won't just stick gears on things, I do still use them (like on my hat for my wind-up doll and a few other things). I think they can be aesthetically pleasing if used in certain ways and not just crammed on every surface.
I am in love with the idea of doing colors in steampunk. The very first costume
I made for someone that was steampunk was brown leather, off white shirt, and blood red corset and bustle. One of mine
(which I've yet to finish) is charcoal gray with navy blue accents. And then most recently for a friend I did a bright red shadow stripe corset and bustle
that was accented in black and silvery gray (it still needs the steam added to it, but we might go with it being a steampunk showgirl a la the Moulin Rouge). I think it's fun to play with color, theme, style, and accessories in steampunk. It's like a free for all and can come out being some of the coolest stuff ever.