I’d like to welcome back Donna Ricci, Proprietress, of Steampunk Clothier, Clockwork Couture, purveyor of the cutest boots in town as Steampunkapalooza continues.
Have you entered our superfab contest yet? It runs through April 11 and gives you a chance to win a $150 GC to buy their amazing stuff.
What defines a “real” Steampunker? “Real” Steamers don’t just haphazardly stick cogs and gears all over things and call it Steampunk, right? “Real” steamers know Steampunk is much more than just slapping some craft store cogs on their clothes, right?
Yes and no.
Steampunk, like so many other movements, can be crazy elaborate. It’s not uncommon to see people giving over their whole lives to the style. With it’s combination of the classic and the contemporary, Steampunk has an unusually broad appeal and feels less threatening than some other aesthetics. This is both wonderful and worrying: people of all stripes can easily be Steamers. On the other hand…people of all stripes can easily be Steamers. It’s almost too easy – hang a spare part on a chain around your neck and suddenly you’re Steampunk. For puritans of the style, it’s tempting to feel insulted. You’ve put hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars into perfecting your gadgets, devices, and look, and then some poseur comes along, glues a gear to his hat, and voila – Steampunk.
The question I find myself asking is: so what?
Back in the day, what was a simple, tell-tale sign you were looking at a daytime Goth in casual black tank and jeans? She had an Ankh on. It was like a calling card. Yup, just that symbol alone told me she was one of my own. No secret handshake needed.
Before that, Punks had the anarchy symbol. Historically, just about every member driven society has created a symbol of membership, from the Knights Templar to the Masons. It makes introductions easier and says to everyone else who gets it “hey, I know you!” even if we’ve never actually met. I knew instantly we shared at least some values and gears and cogs have become that secret symbol for Steampunks, which is why I find it puzzling that so many get upset about seeing a gear or cog on a piece. Let’s face it – the line between historical reenactment and Steampunk can be a fine one. Fact is, if I walked into Dickens Faire or a Civil War re-enactors party, I wouldn’t know a Steamer from anyone else if they weren’t of the gadget having variety.
The gear embodies the Steampunk spirit as well as it’s style. It’s true that Steampunk is about technology, advancement, travel and wonderful inventions. Just about every mechanical piece with movement from the Victorian age uses a gear or a cog in it’s inner workings. But let’s not forget that Steampunk culture is about more than objects – it’s also about people and a sense of adventure and innovation. Whether one lives and breathes it, or simply hot glues an old test tube to a lunch box, there’s room for everybody. Here at Clockwork Couture, we’re amazed and delighted at the variety of people who want to take part, from hardcore devotees to suburban housewives.
So there it is, my permission. You have it. When a new piece of jewelry you have just put together, or bag or wrist cuff looks like it’s missing one detail, you have my blessing to slap a gear on it. Honest.
Now about those goggles on your top hat…
Thank you so much for joining us, Donna. She’ll be back again on Friday.
It’s also not to late to win a signed print by artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith.
Author Jana Oliver will be joining us on Thursday, April 8th. On Saturday, April 10th we’ll be joined by The Royal Ladies’ & Gentle-mens’ Experimental Madness Society’s represented by Joseph CR Vourteque IV. On Sunday, April 11th TotusMel will be dropping by.