According to the Urban Dictionary, “Steampunk is a sub-genre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It could be described by the slogan “What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner.” It includes fiction with science fiction, fantasy or horror themes.” This may be a good definition; however the term is still unclear to many people.
The term, steampunk, was first used in 1987, by K.W. Jeter, who is a science fiction author. He used the term to describe a new science fiction genre which includes components of fantasy, horror, historical fiction, alternate history and speculative fiction. Steampunk normally includes steam powered machinery or retro-futuristic inventions with a background based in Britain’s Victorian age or in the America’s Wild West. Many steampunk stories are set in post-apocalyptic times.
The foundations of steampunk can be traced to the fictional machinery in the stories of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and Mary Shelly. There are also many modern authors who employ steampunk inventions and themes in their writing. The movie industry has inspired steampunk ideas, with their images of fictional machinery and futuristic inventions. Steampunk has also been influenced by television shows, such as Dr. Who and the Wild, Wild West.
Steampunk’s impact has grown and can now be found in literature, art, architecture, roleplaying games, video games, music and fashion. Even Disney’s theme parks have added steampunk designs in The Mysterious Island at Tokyo, DisneySea and Discoveryland at Disney, Paris. Sky Harbor Airport, in Phoenix, has a steampunk art display, named ‘Steampunk: The Exquisite Adventure.’
Steampunk fashion is interesting in that it has no set guidelines. Styles have been synthesized into modern designs, with influences from the Victorian era and speculative futuristic ideas. Current steampunk fashions may include bustles, corsets, petticoats, waistcoats, tailcoats, and military-like trim. Finishing touches are added with top hats, spats, boots, parasols, goggles, ultramodern ray guns, Victorian timepieces, and jewelry or trim made from gears and metal. Post-apocalyptic components, such as gas masks, ragged clothing and tribal ornaments may also be incorporated into the fashion designs.
Sedona Olde Time Photos has just started offering steampunk styles and accessories. We have a few costumes for males and females and plan to get more if these costumes become popular. Stop by and see what steampunk designs are available or watch our Facebook page as we are always posting photos of our customers in our costumes.