steampunk Mark 5
November 1, 2010
Here’s Mark 5. A lot of potential here. I made the bodice over a couple of weekends (it was one of my spring projects!). I like the pattern, but I’d like to see it with a big foofy skirt, which I didn’t have time to put together this time. So instead we have elegant and piratical.
Over the last week or so the backlash against steampunk has been awfully concerted, as have the declarations that steampunk is dead. (It’s appearing on primetime network TV, it must be dead!) Not surprising, when the whole thing as an aesthetic movement seemed to get so damned popular so damned fast. (And anything that popular can’t possibly be punk anymore, right?) I have a couple of responses. First, steampunk’s been around a long time. It may not ever be as popular as it is right now, but it’s not going to ever vanish.
Second, a lot of the backlash seems to be criticizing steampunk for what it isn’t, based on what people think it ought to be. As in, why would anyone want to glorify the Victorian era, considering all that was wrong with it? Steampunk is far too fanciful to be punk — it’s Victorian without the London slums, the atrocities of colonialism, etc. etc. Just like the SCA is the Middle Ages without the Black Death and serfdom. I think I see both movements, steampunk and the SCA, or any other backwards-looking aesthetic, not necessarily as nostalgia for a bygone time — an ignorant nostalgia in that they try to erase the terrible aspects of those periods — so much as dissatisfaction with the current era, with its lack of style, elegance, formality, and courtesy. That’s where the punk comes from, I think: it’s a rebellion against now, rather than an embracing of then. I think the same could be said of cyberpunk as an aesthetic, only looking forward to a nonexistent future for inspiration rather than looking back to a nonexistent past.
All I know is I’m having a huge amount of fun putting these outfits together.