Steam Punk Brings Retro-Futuristic Victorian Garb To The High Street

The latest buzz in the fashion world is the emergence of the niche style steam punk into the mainstream fashion world. Originally a retro-futuristic style found in fiction and art, the romantic fusion of Victorian attire and futuristic technology is making an appearance on the high street and on the fashion catwalks. Thousands have already adopted the style, but the information technology giant IBM has measured that steam punk is not a passing fad, but a commercially viable and growing trend that could hit mass production over the next two years. Let’s take a closer look.

What is Steam Punk?

Steam punk first existed as a fictional genre set in an alternative Victorian era or a post apocalyptic time that has reverted to steam for its energy requirements. The most distinctive elements of steam punk is the use of Victorian technologies alongside futuristic inventions, or futuristic according to the perspective of Victorian folk. Great literary examples of steam punk can be found in the works of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and Phillip Pullman, which include fantastic steam punk inventions such as analogue computers and floating airships. As important as these steam punk roots are, we’re not here to talk about fictional literature, but rather trending fashion.

Steam Punk Fashion

Steam punk fashion has been greatly influenced by the interpretation of steam punk literature by film creators. In particular, The Prestige, The Golden Compass, Van Helsing and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea can be credited with influencing steam punk fashion. The style is immediately distinctive as well as appealing for its fantastical elements. Steam punk chic includes typical Victorian headgear, such as top hats, bowlers, veils and even ballroom masks, all with a futuristic industrial edge to them of course. Heavy military style coats and blazers are an essential, and should be accessorised using opulent brooches in silver, copper and bronze hues, as well as pocket watches. For women, chiffon blouses are popular, as well as bustles and petticoats. Materials are typically Victorian and include lace, velvet and velour, however mix it up with more modern materials, such as demin, to create a less severe look. Your steam punk wardrobe must include lace up boots and aviator goggles to complete the look.

Steam Punk on the High Street and Catwalk

Prada’s recent men’s winter campaign featured heavily tailored suits influenced by steam punk style. John Galliano made a successful comeback with his summer 2013 collection with hats and equestrian themed outfits that borrowed from the Victorian steam punk imagery. For steam punk inspiration, don’t forget to check out their work.

Penny Munroe is an avid writer in fashion news and tips from around the globe. Her articles serve to educate readers on a variety of relevant topics, such as caring for your cashmere sweater or tips for recreating the latest glamourous red carpet look.