What is steampunk and in what way is it best described?
Photo taken from Wallpaper Access
Steampunk is a term coined from literature popularized by authors of the genre. The genre stems from the idea to describe a genre of speculative fiction in which steam, not electricity, drove technological advancements. Since then it has been used to describe an artistic and cultural movement.
Steampunk can be described as a genre that centers on having a retro world yet also having a futuristic appeal. The genre blends the aesthetic and technology of the 19th century with elements of science fiction. Its literary and audiovisual works take place in an alternate reality where technological progress is based not on electricity, but the steam engine (as taken from Steampunk Avenue).
Now imagine this type of art style and world combined with the Lolita fashion style…
As a review, Lolita fashion is a fashion subculture that originated from Japan that draws its inspiration from the Victorian-era fashion styles with other styles from the Rococo period. Victorian fashion is often focused on the use of full dresses with different layers. The fashion is often linked to different classes of people and often is a significant indication of someone's financial status. The Rococo fashion, on the other hand, was based on extravagance, elegance, refinement, and decoration. This subculture is more diverse than most of Japanese street styles that many sub styles have branched out of it over the years, and its fascinating that they are still quite distinct with one another despite them having the same silhouette and main look base-line.
Here are some of the important point of the Steampunk Lolita that you might want to take notice of:
One of the attractions of the Steampunk Lolita fashion style lies in the use of its colors. Unlike the other Lolita styles that focus on cuteness and loveliness, the steampunk Lolita focuses on, well - Steampunk fashion. Based on its literary origin, steampunk is the idea or genre in literature that makes use of retro elements and at the same time futuristic elements into action or in the world setting. And to encompass such feel into the fashion style, the steampunk fashion wants to recreate that through the use of damp colors such as browns, blacks, maroons, almonds - any dark colors, but also must not be bright in its colors. It has to have less bright colors, and more rugged, industrial colors.
Just like where the inspiration is from, the Steampunk Lolita also draws out the colors of the same fashion style - the Lolita style of the Steampunk fashion also has the colors of its dresses and skirts and jumper skirts in the colors brown, black, almonds, or simply whatever rugged color that you can think of.
Also, because of the different layers of the Lolita fashion style, the style and colors of the Lolita style itself can come off as monochromatic, and it looks wonderful! Although, this is also highly dependent on the way the user intends to wear their fashion style. Having the monochromatic style, however, is not that difficult to achieve especially in the Steampunk Lolita style as it mostly just focuses on the use of the above-mentioned colors. The style also uses some hint of white (such as cream mostly) colors on some of the layers, mostly on the blouses of the style as to make the style more fashionable and neat - to fit true to the style of the Lolita fashion.
Also, these layered clothing gives off as monochromatic because of the steady and strict colors of the steampunk fashion itself, sometimes - highly dependent on the wearer.
The Steampunk Lolita fashion is highly reminiscent of the steampunk fashion, just added with the Victorian and Rococo touch of the Lolita fashion. The style of the Steampunk Lolita fashion ranges from having an outfit of having a simple, shorter, and poofier skirt, and to outfits that are closer to Classic Lolita with a few Steampunk-themed accessories.
Just like the Lolita fashion, the steampunk Lolita incorporates the essential elements of the Lolita fashion such as the use of Victorian-inspired bell-shaped skirts that we commonly see being sported by a lot of the fashion’s enthusiasts, except, as mentioned above, there are different variations to how enthusiasts are wearing this style on their own - whether in preference of a longer skirt that is highly reminiscent of the Classic Lolita, or they have a simpler style and then go galore with the accessories that they wear.
A blend and fusion of retro and future in the form of a Lolita fashion, the fashion style is highly inspired by what the Industrial Evolution would look like, only in fashion. In this case, fashion has elements that would be attributed to the said era. Its use of different designs such as gears and leather are some of the indications from the inspired era. The ruggedness of the era is also being symbolized through the use of dark colors that makes one remember the dirt and smokes of the Industrial Evolution. Put, it the colors and styles of the Steampunk Lolita concept gives off the feeling of what steampunk is supposed to be - industrial and mechanical in designs and color, almost rugged, but still elegant and classy - the only way the Steampunk Lolita is different in.
While the inspiration may seem incompatible with the Lolita aesthetic, it isn’t. somehow, with the touch of the steampunk details when combined with Lolita, it gives off that sophisticated and heavy touch to the Lolita design without even having to neglect the elegance of the design itself.
The persistence of elegance is presented through the continuous usage of the truffles of layers of the skirt of the Lolita that reminds you of Victorian court dresses. Just as mentioned earlier regarding the different variations of the fashion style itself, designing and styling these Lolita attires are highly dependent on which style you are looking for. Accessories and layers are often used for dresses with shorter lengths, mostly a few inches above the knee level. Commonly you will see enthusiasts wear this attire often other layers on the top such as leather clothing that still encompasses the feel of a steampunk feel that they are aiming for. There are also times that they put belt-like accessories such as buckles placed strategically somewhere along with their top blouses or dresses (whichever layer is visible to the viewer) when these are large enough, or placed a lot on different places when smaller in form. There are also other accessories that they add such as spikes to give off an edgier appeal on their style, but this is again, highly dependent on the user of the outfit.
When it comes to dresses with longer lengths, however, the style changes from having to wear a lot of accessories, to wearing lesser of it. While the accessories may seem to what makes the style of the Steampunk Lolita what it is, the design of the dresses that are for this aesthetic compensates for the lack of it. The designs of the Steampunk Lolita can be elaborate as it can be in the form of prints on the skirts or intricate designs when it comes to the layers of the dress itself. As mentioned earlier, when the Steampunk Lolita dress is longer, it carries to look like what the Classic Lolita style would be.
As for the shoes, there’s not much any difference to the usual Lolita style with the use of huge boots and the like. But, for this specific style, it mostly focuses on the use of long leather boots to fit its brassy aesthetic and at the same time, still, create a touch of elegance to the overall look despite the brassiness appeal that it has. Although there are times that doll shoes are worn for this, just as long as the point of the fashion style itself is not directly affected, any boots that can go with the aesthetic itself are honestly are acceptable to use regardless of what kind. However, going outside its monochromatic colors would be a candidate for disapproval since that would be unsteampunk-like.
There are still a lot of things to discover with the Lolita fashion style. The Steampunk inspiration style for the Lolita fashion is just one of those unique fashion style under the same bracket that serves a blend of western early-industrial fashion into an elegant, sophisticated look that is of the Lolita fashion. Unfortunately, due to the fact that this specific Lolita style is often referred as a heavy type of Lolita fashion, you don’t commonly see this being sported by many enthusiasts on street fashion. But, when it comes to special events such as a cosplay convention, then there’s bigger chances of finding one yourself.
So, what do you think of Steampunk Lolita? Do you think you’ll want to try it on for yourself?