How many times last weekend did you get asked “What’s SteamPunk?”
I can’t remember how many times myself I was asked that very same question, but it was an awful lot.
So you’ve heard of Goths and the Whitby Goth Weekend being quite famous and popular. Well the fishing town of Whitby in North Yorkshire, got its very own official SteamPunk Weekend festival the last weekend of July 2017. Attended by several hundred, it’s quite safe to say it was a success and we hope there will be many more, and look forward to the next one only being bigger and better.
So what exactly is this SteamPunk stuff you keep hearing people talking about?
It is quite tricky to explain, but I will try. It is a fashion genre. A sub-genre of Goth culture. Imagine if you will a visual fusion Gothic fashion inspired by early and late Victorian style. Now add a sprinkling of illustrations and inspiration from French novelist Jules Verne. Something like his well known 20000 leagues under the sea. Add a little more inspiration from the mechanisation of the brand new industrial revolution, a touch of (OK a huge dollop) retro futurism from the same time period, many things being powered by clockwork and steam. The beauty of polished copper and brass in panels and coils like some early 19th Century Sci Fi novel, and this should bring you quite close to what SteamPunk is, only it is so much more because of its base of visual fantasy, it has no exact specification and is therefore limitless as to what you can make of it as a visual treat, and there in lies one of the main reasons why it is so popular around the globe both in the west and in Asia.
Fancy some future tech prosthetics? They’re the next big buzz, with cybernetic implants and bionics. Well our Victorian friends way back when were coming up with future tech enhancements well before anyone else today was or is, thinking they are so cutting edge. Part of the Steampunk fashion visualisation includes adornments and appendages to enhance vision, such as goggles and special ocular devices allowing the user to see what is normally hidden to most humans, mystical potions and apothecaries help distil fuel and aid function. Steam powered mechanised wings anyone? Enhanced strength of a limb anyone? All part of the visualisation of SteamPunk done well. It’s all open to your imagination.
If you’re into dressing up and you want something to really rock visually, SteamPunk is the ultimate in what you’re after.
Here are a few of the images I managed to shoot at the event.