I know that not a lot of people like steampunk, but I really do. I think for me the reason for falling in love with it, is that I am a history fanatic. My favorite thing to do is to watch historical documentaries by archeologists and historians. The past has always held such an interest in me, mostly because this was a fond memory of my childhood. My parents loved museums, they were my Disneyland, and I found myself wondering who wore these garments hanging in cases, who ate out of the bowls that were on display, I would immerse myself in creative thoughts on the past, and wonder….
In particular, I do enjoy of all the ages, (other than the Viking or Pre-Viking Ages) that Victorian is one of the most fascinating for research, food, literature, and exploration. The lengths that these people went to, in order to find solutions to their daily lives is facintating. The documentary on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fru5Q-6p9lk, Hidden Killers of the Victorian Home, highlights what I am talking about and is a fantastic resource for those looking at how to come up with millions of storylines just based on the techonlogical marvels that the Victorian’s actually did imagine. I fell in love with the idea of the Victorian age when I got into costuming and dressing for events like the Dickens Fair in California. I am a huge fan of reenactment in general and love to dress the part when going to events. I have had a brief stint in the SCA and also in theater, so for me a chance to wear a costume is one that I don’t often pass up.
I know that these fairs are not the real representation of the era, as lets face it we all hold this insane nostalgia of the past but its not a reflection of how it was. I would likely depending on what era your focusing on, not even be allowed to be writing this right now, and I would not have access to medication, science, quality health care, indoor ammenities such as air conditioning. Our love of the past is not how it really was, but the idolized versions of what we think and see in our current media landscape. For me, movies based on any Austin novel are ones that I thoroughly enjoy, I love watching historical flicks and also movies like The Time Machine which is in itself a fantastic example of Steampunk. I think this hybrid allows you to merge what you like from history and applying it, having fun with artistic exploration of blending materials, disecting broken antiques and giving them new life. In a way, steampunk is a form of flattery, a dedication to the pursuit of art, living history, and a view of life that is rooted in the past.
For those interested in the Dickens Fair, check out this link, it is going to be their last year at Cow Palace in California, so it’s worth the trip: https://dickensfair.com/
Recollections: https://recollections.biz/ (an amazing costume place)