As part of Steampunk activities, I take part in Steampunk cosplay. This involves me in creating my own costumes and accessories. In the two images above, I converted a 1980’s short-sleeved dress and a second-hand lace shirt into a vest with coattails and the coat’s sleeves into spats. The vest was success, the spats not so much. Below is the outfit, worn to the Steampunk Charity Ball 2014.
I was a much thinner and younger woman when I wore that dress. When I finally accepted that I was never going to fit into it again … ever … I made the decision to make it over rather than throw it away. I went hunting through op shops looking for other fabrics that matched the neutral colours of the strips, and lucked out by finding a lace shirt in the exact same colours. With some creative splicing and sewing, I converted two items of clothing into Steampunk fashion items. I made some new memories, from the satisfaction of completing a project successfully and all the fun I had at the ball.
There can be great memories made by going through old photos and letters. In the future, with most of us living online rather than writing letters or getting photos developed, I wonder if we are cheating our descendants out of the fun they could have going through these old memories.
Of course, I suppose they could go through my online accounts…
But they will have to dredge through a lot of trash to get to the nuggets of treasure.
This is where Steampunk is ahead of the game. It takes old memories and makes new ones. It means that my great-umpteen grandchildren will know what was important to me by seeing that dress turn up in a pile of images. That might even have kept the vest as an heirloom. I certainly hope they never toss away the Steampunk Ghostbusters backpack. That really is an original work of art.