Thursday, 24 January 2013

Glue some gears on it ...

Just glue some gears on it and call it steampunk;
That's the trendy fashion nowadays!
A copper-painted chunk of some 1980s junk
Will fetch a pretty penny on eBay!
- Reginald Pikedevant
A few days ago Felix Grant sent me a clipping from the Independent on Sunday, Steampunk! Introducing Britain's latest fashion craze ("The retro-futuristic blend of Victoriana and sci-fi is the next big thing to hit the high streets, forecasters say"), and Time magazine just covered the same topic: Will Steampunk Really Be the Next Big Fashion Trend?.  Both articles draw on the same IBM news release based on its "Social Sentiment Index": IBM Social Sentiment Index Predicts New Retail Trend in the Making ("Analytics points to the 'Birth of a Trend,' steampunk aesthetic to pervade pop culture in 2013").

I immediately thought of Reginald Pikedevant's song (above), inspired by the category Not Remotely Steampunk on Regretsy, a site devoted to documenting examples of naff art from Etsy, a marketplace for "handmade and vintage items".

I do rather like the idea of steampunk becoming a fashion, but I agree with RP that studding retro clothing with non-functional gears is not what appeals to me about its possibilities; I want geeky retro-styled hardware that's functional. For example: for some years - despite varifocal glasses - I've been using a folding lorgnette to get higher magnification. It would be nice if steampunk glasses with a tidily-incorporated loupe become mainstream fashionable.

- Ray


  1. Oh dear: fun for a bit, but hoped it had been and gone. Must rip off the song in case they're right.

  2. JSB> It would be nice if steampunk glasses
    JSB> with a tidily-incorporated loupe become
    JSB> mainstream fashionable.

    [smile] I'm reminded of those glasses with fold-down sunfilters (my father wore them in the Australian summer when I was 11 or so, as did many of his contemporaries) ... or the ones shown in Popular Science with little windscreen wipers run from a battery pack in the jacket pocket ... or the ones still sold in novelty shops and market stalls, where you suck up a drink and it swirls around your eyes... :-)

    1. You can actually get them - for example - but I do like the idea of them not being viewed as mad / eccentric / affectation. I have enough trouble with my pseudo-tortoiseshell lorgnette.