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Neo-Victorian Movie Fashions – Part Three

Cogpunk Steamscribe

Bram Stoker’s Dracula may not seem like a Steampunk movie on first viewing. But any movie with Doctor Abraham Van Helsing should be automatically slotted into the Steampunk genre, because he uses modern technology to fight vampires, such as electric lamps which could be attached to a prospective victim to act as a deterrent. He is also one of the original ‘mad scientists’ of the literary world – not the action figure portrayed in some movies and comics. (However, Carl from 2002 movie Van Helsing has my undying admiration for his gadgetry.)

mina-harker-green-walking-dress-03 Mina Harker’s green walking dress, worn by Winona Ryder and designed by the late Eiko Ishioka.

Dress designs for the movie were by Eiko Ishioka. There were many gorgeous dresses in this film, but my personal favourite is the green walking dress worn by Mina , played by Winona Ryder, the original Manic Pixie Girl. Dracula was written…

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March 17, 2018 · 11:27 pm

Victorian Crossdressing as a strategy for Victorian Political Issues

Cogpunk Steamscribe

Cross dressing Temperance Parody. Men cross-dressing as a parody of the Temperance Movement.

Strange to say, cross-dressing was often used by staid Victorian-era men to make fun of views in opposition to their own Patriarchal discourse. This cross-dressing was a kind of negative social pressure applied to any group where women were shown to be politically active, like the Suffragettes, the Temperance Movement or the Dress Reform Movements. They wanted to depict such women as ugly and too ‘masculine’ to be taken seriously, because, you know, only spinsters and old man-hating harridans want equal rights and respect.

AN-ARIZONA-SUFFRAGETTE-antique-vintage-crossdressing-photograph An Arizona Suffragette

This type of attack wasn’t limited to photographs. Postcards and cartoons were also written and illustrated to conform to this strategy. Because pretty girls don’t want to hang out with all the plain ones … plainness is catching, don’cha know?

Do you know what this says to me? That some men prefer dressing up…

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October 9, 2016 · 10:39 am

Memepunk: The British

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July 4, 2015 · 7:54 am

A Steampunk Teardrop Camper

I haven’t come across this camper before. Delightful!

Preindustrial Craftsmanship

34viewSome of you Teardrop aficionados out there have undoubtedly seen photos of Dave Moult’s spectacular build.  The best write-up I’ve come across is from the Living in a Shoebox blog.  This is not Mr. Moult’s first build and it clearly shows.  This one has a retro-futuristic Steampunk theme and uses a lot of copper and recycled wood to create a real eye-catching look.  The gizmos and do-dads are not merely for show and that’s something I can truly appreciate.

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”  William Morris.

vwntearMr. Moult has created something that is not only useful, but beautiful and interesting with this camper; and his tow-rig isn’t too shabby either.  The trailer comes in at about 400 kilos loaded (just under a thousand pounds) so it will not be a chore to tow for most vehicles.

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June 7, 2015 · 12:12 am

Steampunk Movie Review: Hugo (2011)

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June 5, 2015 · 12:18 pm

Welcome to the First Installment of “MemePunk”


May 20, 2015 · 11:55 pm

So what is neo-Victorianism? A working definition.

I like to see everyone joining in the discussion of what Neo-Victorian means … since I describe Steampunk as Neo-Victorian (or Vicwardian, to cover the Edwardian era) Retro-Futurism.

Past Books

Basically, Neo-Victorianism is the explosion of corsets, top hats, high tea parties, BBC adaptations of Dickens and Austen, tattoos of Alice in Wonderland, Steampunk everything, and novels set in smoggy London.

It is the contemporary re-engagement with and the reimagining of the Victorian era. It is, as put so delightfully by the founding editor of the Journal of Neo-Victorian Studies Marie-Luise Kohlke, “the afterlife of the nineteenth century in the cultural imaginary.” And it is a huge and expanding industry.

Neo-Victorian fiction is a particularly interesting area. Television adaptations of Victorian texts are rampant, and filmic adaptations from within the last two years include Anna Karenina (2012), Great Expectations (2012), Les Misérable (2012), The Three Musketeers (2012), Wuthering Heights (2011), and Jane Eyre (2011). Then of course there are the novels, which range from recognisable adaptations of Victorian texts such as Peter Carey’s Jack Maggs, which offers…

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April 24, 2015 · 2:43 am

Steampunk Sourcebook: Charles Darwin

For Whom the Gear Turns

Student Days

  • young-charles-darwinCharles Robert Darwin was born in 1809 in Shropshire, England. He was the fifth born of Robert and Susanna Darwin’s six children. Both his paternal and maternal grandfathers, Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgewood, respectively, were famous for their abolitionist activities at the end of the 19th century.
  • He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh but became fascinated by the non-human world of biological studies. His first animal kingdom of choice to study in detail was marine invertebrates, but he also learned taxidermy from a freed slave named John Edmonstone in his early days at University.
  • Darwin was first introduced to the concept of evolution during his tenure with the Plinian Society, a club devoted to natural history at the University of Edinburgh. Darwin became deeply involved after his appointment in 1826, and was later elected to the council.
  • He worked for some time at the University museum…

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April 17, 2015 · 1:52 am

Mechanical Menagerie: The Creepers and Crawlers

For Whom the Gear Turns

There are lots of artists doing interesting and often Steampunkish things with insectoid forms, or even the insects themselves. Check out my gallery of just a smattering of these amazing works of art.

Like what you see? Check out some of my other “Mechanical Menagerie” posts about undersea creatures, birds and our four-legged friends.

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April 13, 2015 · 5:24 am

A Hat Fit for a Tiny Mad Hatter

The Exalted Tailor

I have been working with a friend to make her first Steampunk outfit.

This outfit has given us one problem after another. After finally completing it in two whirlwind multi-day sessions the outfit, consisting of an insanely pleated skirt, problem-riddled-now-lacing-instead-of-zipping bodice, and a jacket that would have been fine if we hadn’t been working on it at midnight after a day of chasing her toddler around.

All that said and (finally) done, she needed a hat, because its a Steampunk outfit – you must have a hat. So I gathered a bunch of scraps from her garb and headed home with them. This is what I did with them.

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April 13, 2015 · 5:24 am