Steampunk is a combination of nineteenth-century style and science fantasy fiction, growing out of the novels of writers such as Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells and Jules Verne and now with its own genre of modern fiction, movies and culture. The mechanical future, the passage and measurement of time (and the possibility of travelling through it) all figure heavily in the imagery.
Steampunk style is not just for cosplay fanatics. With its vintage nostalgia and romantic imagination, it’s also attractive to those who simply want to celebrate the past as we move into a precarious future. Steampunk uses elements of romantic, arts and crafts, art nouveau and art deco style. The related Dieselpunk movement brings the look into the first half of the twentieth century—aviators’ uniforms, vintage cars and Gatsby-esque parties.
Examples of steampunk style are making their way into popular culture: for example, the movie Hugo; Shaun Tan's book and animated short, The Lost Thing (see the trailer below); Tim Storrier’s 2012 Archibald Prize-winning portrait; and homewares.
I'm an author and editor of craft books and a keen maker of all sorts of projects for fashion and home decor. I think steampunk style is the next big thing and I've started this blog to share some of my ideas, discoveries and craft project designs with you.
So strap on your goggles and gauntlets and come for a ride!