What is Steampunk?

Avid readers and writers are probably already familiar with the term SteamPunk. However, many of them may still have to ask exactly what is SteamPunk? What started off as a subgenre of literature is quickly becoming a new trend in pop culture all over the world. SteamPunk has moved beyond the pages of literature and found its way in film, music and even fashion. For many, SteamPunk is much more than a pop culture movement but a particular mindset and a way of life.

SteamPunk has its roots as a literary subgenre of science fiction and fantasy that reimagines the past. A typical storyline within this area involves the technology of the 19th century or some other recognizable social aspect of this time period. However, the time period is usually shifted to a previous era in which the technology did not exist or to a later one in which the technology is still relevant because electricity or petroleum did not become predominant energy sources. This reimagining may also include some type of rebellion. In other words, the appeal of SteamPunk is that it offers a kind of romanticized view of technology by making it retro.

Many have been inspired to take SteamPunk from its roots in literature and graphic novels and adopt it to their way of life. For instance, some fans recreate gadgets and other forms of technology found in the genre. However, the area in which the impact of the genre is most visible may possibly be fashion with corsets, frock coats and tops hats worn in combination with ancillary wings, compasses and pocket watches doubling as time machines. Perhaps the most popular accessory defining steam punk fashion is a pair of goggles.

There are many outlets that incorporate steam punk clothing and the accompanying jewelry into its inventory. One can look into outlets such as Retroscope Fashions to find clothing reminiscent of the Victorian and Edwardian eras while finding jewelry from RockLove Jewelry to give the Victorian look a modern touch. It is also even possible to give new technology such as computers, iPods and instruments steam punk inspired retro looks.

Of course, there are also very prominent figures within the whole culture. One of the most well known is designer Kit Stolen whose work has been a consultant on films such as Red Riding Hood and has created his own web series called Project 420. Bands such as Abney Park, Rasputina, Vernian Process and hip hop artist Dr. Steel provide the soundtrack to the movement.

Vintage Tomorrows

SteamPunk emerged in the mainstream within the last few years and continues to make its impact on pop culture. With films such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and The Golden Compass, SteamPunk has moved from its underground roots to infiltrate fashion, films, music, music video and video games. The genre that refuses to be pigeonholed continues to expand its appeal to pop culture.