If you mix science – that is, technological innovation – with art and fashion, what do you get? Steampunk! Ladies and gentlemen, for those of you who are yet to be introduced to the world of scientific romanticism, introducing to you Steampunk. It may be a word quite strange to a number of people, to help cure the estrangement, we will dissect the word. There are two main words to be discussed “Steam” and “Punk”. Each has their own individual significance, but when you combine them to one it gives a whole new meaning. Much of this inspiration is seen in steampunk clothing like belts and vest.
Let us proceed with the first word, steam. To completely understand its essence in the whole word, we would have to turn back the hands of time a bit and journey to a time when steam was the most important source of energy – industrial revolution. Industrial revolution used coal as an energy source to power steam engines, such as trains and ships. As anyone would have expected, authors and scientists of the era would imagine a futuristic world of technological advancements powered by steam. Hence, the strongly steampunk Edisonades of the Dime Novels, whose stories almost always revolve around a brilliant inventor and his steam inventions. These famous writings eventually influenced a lot of scientific minds of many generations to come.
The second part of the word gives a bit of flare and a touch of individuality to the steam scientific innovations. As is well-known to many, punk is a subculture that is centered on punk rock music. But if you go beyond the “rock music” part, and take a look at the ideology behind it, you will see that it basically emphasizes one very important concept: individual freedom. In this ideology, you can express your individual freedom through clothing, hairstyle, cosmetics, tattoos, and such. This idea encourages you to go against what is conventional, because if you follow convention then you will simply disappear along with the common lot. But if you take a different step, if you mark the world with your very own unique handprint, then you celebrate your individuality.
Now, let’s combine the two words together. Steampunk. A combination of scientific technological advancement and a touch of individual creativity. You see, steampunk is an alternate universe of what could have been if the world continued to progress with steam technology. In the minds of all the authors who created stories that strongly influenced Steampunk, various steam inventions can be made to express the inventor. It is the unique mark of the inventor to the world. Something the inventor can have adventures with. Inventions like steam-men and steam-elephants are just some of the wonderful imaginings of steampunk authors. In other words, steampunk encourages you to go against what is conventional. Go for what is unique. Strive for what is different. No wonder the fashion can used to express steampunk is also very unique and expressive. But that is a discussion for another day. For now, take your goggles and ray guns, get ready to embark on an alternate universe that will surely take your breath away!