Tag Archives: Alternative subculture

Celebrating 30 years of (official) Steampunk

Celebrating 30 years of (official) SteampunkCelebrating 30 years of (official) steampunk

K. W. Jeter coined the term ‘Steampunk’ in a letter to science fiction magazine Locus, with the letter printed in the magazine’s April 1987 issue. It was meant to be a playful, tongue-in-cheek term for the genre. It stuck!

Steampunk was around long before 1987, but its birthday is this month. Let’s celebrate!

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Filed under Alternative Subculture, Books & reading, Celebrating 30 years of Steampunk, Community, Cosplay, Steampunk, Uncategorized

CapriCon – get up close and personal with Cogpunk Steamscribe

CapriCon

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Cogpunk Steamscribe – in her alter ego of Lynne Lumsden Green, will be attending CapriCon to discuss Australian Steampunk Authors.

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Filed under Alternative Subculture, Personal Appearance, Personal experience, Pop Culture, Steampunk, Steampunk Genre, Uncategorized

Making New Memories from the Old

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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.

My backpack

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.

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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.

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Filed under Alternative Subculture, Cosplay, Fashion, Steampunk, Steampunk Cosplay, Uncategorized

Lynne’s Five Accessories to Achieve Steampunk Aesthetic.

1/ Goggles

Nothing adds instant Steampunk goodness to an outfit than goggles. They can be as simple or complicated as you like. My first pair of goggles were cheap goggles from a hardware store, painted with a metallic copper paint. Aviator goggles, diving goggles, welding goggles, all of these can be adapted to a Steampunk outfit.

Doctor Who Series 8 (episode 9)

Peter Capaldi as The Doctor

2/ A Snazzy Hat

Hat with buckles AND bows - image from eBay

The Steampunk Aesthetic can work with any sort of top hat or bowler. It can be worn plain, or as decorated as you like. Pith helmets are also good and aviation helmets. The Victorians wore all sorts of hats, so it is easy to  find a style that suits.

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Professor Elemental

Professor Elemental

3/ Gloves and Gauntlets

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A pair of gloves or Steampunk gauntlets improve the style of any Steampunk outfit. Again, they can be as plain or ornate as you want. Driving gloves go well with airship pilot cosplay, and lacy gloves complete a feminine outfit with a bustle and a corset. There are tutorials all over the Internet on how to make gauntlets.

Antique Victorian knitted silk gloves.

4/ Boots

Be they thigh-high pirate-style boots or dainty ankle-length boots with buttons, boots indicate you mean business. Modern looking high-heel shoes need not apply…the more straps, buckles and lashes, the better. A pair of spats needn’t go astray, because they can convert a plain pair of shoes into Steampunk footwear.

Boots from Polyvore

straight-razor-slasher-white-spats from Solia Online

5/ Belts and Suspenders

It can pretty hard to keep you trousers from sliding off when you have a lot of gadgets and buckles and chains decorating them. Not only are suspenders stylish for both men and women, they also are useful. I hang a Steampunk chatelaine off my belt, and if you want to hand a holster for a parasol or fan off your belt you really do need suspenders.

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Filed under Alternative Subculture, Cosplay, Personal experience, Steampunk, Steampunk Aesthetic, Steampunk Cosplay, Uncategorized

The Steampunk Aesthetic: or, how I learnt to love the cog.

No words.:

Tauruscat Dream Helmet

I am not of a fan of the ‘less is more’ minimalist fashion trend. This helmet is a perfect example of what I like. There is a clear indication of complicated gadgetry while still being stylish.

Image from Brute Force Studio

Image from Brute Force Studio

I was married in the Eighties, and I wore a dress based on the Late Victorian era Lingerie dress. It was very similar to the one below, except is was a heavy cream, almost light tea-with-milk colour. I tea-dyed my veil to match. As you can see, I was a fan of Victorian styles well before I become an official Steampunk Enthusiast. I also had a white lace blouse that resembled the top of that dress, which I wore with a brooch at the throat of the collar. I’ve still got that dress and that blouse, but I am no longer married to that man.

1980s Lace Wedding dress

1980s lace wedding dress

It was fated I would become a Steampunk Enthusiast. Gadgets fascinate me. Science beguiles and excites me, as does the history of science. Victorian fashions suit me. Put that all together and what do you get?

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Recreation of a Victorian style dress for ‘Little House on the Prairie’

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Filed under Alternative Subculture, Fashion, Steampunk, Steampunk Aesthetic

Snarky

Generally, I can remain fairly even tempered with other people. But even the most placid human being (which I am most certainly not) has a breaking point. And I am distressed to see the proliferation of the “Steampunk is when Goths Discover Brown” meme.

 

Steampunk is meant to be a bit of fun. But when you’ve just spent twenty minutes explaining the Steampunk literary genre and Aesthetic to newbies, this meme just confuses the cog out of them. It was funny the first three times. Now I just want to rip out someone’s throat.

This might sound like I’ve lost my sense of humour. After all, Steampunk is just a bit of fun, right?

Right. And wrong. Steampunk is a big part of my life now, and I won’t have it denigrated!  It isn’t a serious genre, but it should still be taken seriously. Goth is not the black version of Steampunk, and Steampunk is not Goth-lite.

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Steampunk Ghostbuster Proton Packs

Matt the Tinkerer and his Steampunk Ghostbuster's Harness

Matt the Tinkerer and his Steampunk Ghostbuster’s Harness

I am extremely fortunate to live in a city with a vibrant Steampunk Community. I am even more fortunate to have made a lot of new friends within the community, while at the same time reconnecting with an old friend from school and discovering a shared love of the Steampunk Aesthetic. One of my ‘new’ friends is Matt the Tinkerer; he is a new friend only in the sense that I met him and his family through the South-East Queensland Steampunk community. Matt is an inventor, and he designed and constructed his Steampunk Ghostbuster proton pack, and my own, and the one his fiancée Colleen wears. He assisted the other Steampunk Ghostbusters with their equipment, which is why our equipment looks so authentic.

The back of my ball outfit, phot taken by Susan Wolf

Some people have approached me and asked to purchase my pack. The answer will always be ‘no’, because it is :

  1. A work of art by an inventive genius;
  2. Irreplaceable; and
  3. You should make your own.

To assist in designing your own proton pack,  here is a labelled original pack from the original movie.

You can see that my pack lacks a lot of this detail … because I am a middle-aged woman who can’t really carry around too much weight on my back while wearing heeled boots. You can see that Matt’s pack is much larger, more detailed, and much, much heavier. When you are designing your pack, you should take weight constraints into account. The male members of my team always have sore backs after a night in costume. They look amazing, but they pay for their commitment to their art.

Below are some other Steampunked proton packs.

Steampunk Ghostbusters proton-pack by James Odinson Mclardy

An assortment of proton packs. As you can see, you can get fairly creative but you should still be recognisably a Ghostbuster.

I may be a tad biased, but I like Matt’s interpretation better than this.

One of the proton packs used by the League of Steam.

Of course, not everyone is as creative or clever as Matt the Tinkerer.Of course, it also helps that Matt has the love and support of Colleen. But half the fun is giving it a go. You can’t make a hash of it, because it is your interpretation!

Matt the Tinkerer and his beauteous Colleen.

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Filed under Alternative Subculture, Gadgets, Steampunk Cosplay, Steampunk Ghostbusters