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Steampunk fashion is a subgenre of the steampunk movement in science fiction. It is a mixture of the Victorian era‘s romantic view of science in literature and elements from the Industrial Revolution in Europe during the 1800s. The fashion is designed with a post-apocalyptic era in mind. Steampunk fashion consists of clothing, hairstyling, jewelry, body modification and make-up.
Steampunk fashion is a subgenre of the steampunk movement in science fiction. It is a mixture of the Victorian era’s romantic view of science in literature and the industrialization in most parts of Europe. The aesthetics of the fashion are designed with a post-apocalyptic era in mind. At the first steampunk convention, “SalonCon”, in 2006, steampunk enthusiasts dressed up in costumes reflecting that era. The costumes included clothing, hairstyling, jewellery, body modification and make-up. Steampunk fashion has later gone on to include gadgets and contrasting accoutrements.
Initially, the clothes such as bustiers, bodices‘, jackets and other items were mostly handmade and customized, but as the steampunk movement grew, entrepreneurs and companies became interested and started to mass-produce steampunk clothing to be sold both online and in stores.
Since the genre emerged, the aesthetic of steampunk fashion has remained constant. New ideas in literature, and advancements in science and technology have resulted in subtle changes. Even though the genre did not become widely known until the late 20th century, steampunk and its fashion is said to have existed earlier.
Steampunk fashion is influenced by the fashion of the early 19th century. For women this fashion was often dominated by long, flowing dresses and regal jacket bodices. The latter extended over the hips and matched the skirt fabric only occasionally. In the beginning of the 1860s, the bodice ended at the waist. New styles emerged and the Garibaldi blouse, made its appearance. During the early 1860s, the hoops of the skirts were also taking on an elliptical shape, with a much fuller back and a narrower front silhouette. The ensuing conical shaped skirts have also inspired the steampunk fashion. At the beginning of the 20th century, skirts that were flared at the hem became popular. Dresses for women were sometimes masculine tailored and made to look intimidating. Evening wear for women were decorated with sparkling beads, bangles and gaudy embroideries. The hobble skirt was also introduced at that time.