The Fox Journal

Student Newspaper

Steampunk aficionados strut in fashion show

By Kaitlyn Murray

Fashion show contestants Erty Sydell and Greta Dahl wait to be judged on stage at the Appleton Public Library for Steampunk Saturday Oct. 13.

photo by Kaitlyn Murray
Fashion show contestants Erty Sydell and Greta Dahl
wait to be judged on stage at the Appleton Public Library
for Steampunk Saturday Oct. 13.

The Appleton Public Library held an event on steampunk culture called Steampunk Saturday Oct. 13.

Steampunk enthusiasts dressed up in Victorian costumes, participated in steampunk crafts and fashion shows and attended a lecture on steampunk.

"Steampunk is best known to be about Victorian alternative fiction," Catherine Noble-Beyer, associate lecturer at UW-Green Bay said.

Noble-Beyer presented the lecture on steampunk culture, literature and fashion.

Noble-Beyer presented the lecture on steampunk culture, literature and fashion.

"It features steam-powered machinery rather than having modern technology."

Steampunk Saturday began with attendees making Victorian crafts, like firefly lanterns, mustache monocles, Victorian paper crafts and hat clips.

A steampunk photo booth was set up in the library and extra costuming for those without a costume was provided.

Two fashion shows were held on Steampunk Saturday. The amateur fashion show had 12 participants, all representing their own steampunk styles.

Anya Carlson won the children's category. The winner for the adult category was Anna Jennings.

Participants' costumes were rummage sale finds from the past month to the past two years.

"My dress is actually a dress used for Civil War reenactments, and I added things that I found to make it look more Victorian," Jennings said.

For most participants, fashion is their favorite part of steampunk.

"I like the Victorian costumes, the mix of feminine details with industrial details. It's both girly but tough at the same time," attendee Mikaela Ehly said.

"I like the fashion. Taking technology and combining with fashion pieces, like putting gears on hats or making a bracelet out of chains, nuts, bolts, and screws, and having it look like it's vintage," attendee Greta Dahl said.

"The fashion from the Victorian era can be added upon with a couple of gears and a pair of goggles and you will then look steampunk," Noble-Beyer said.

After the amateur fashion show, there was a fashion show for seasoned steampunkers. Four participants were in this show.

The winner was Michael Cushing, wearing an authentic-looking steampunk gentleman's outfit.

"My costume is an old suit, and I added my own bits to it. The cane, hat, and vest have all been embellished in the true steampunk way," Cushing said.

His embellishments included adding a doorknob to the top of his cane, and adding gears and chains to his hat.

Steampunk became a fad in the 1960s, but the term wasn't coined until the 1980s. It started as a new way to write fictional stories, in the style of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, focusing on the science fiction technology being used in the 19th century.

"Movies like Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey, Jr. show steampunk style with the gritty streets of London, the Victorian era clothing, and the tools and machinery that Sherlock uses during the movie," Noble-Beyer said.

Role-playing steampunk games also draw people's attention to steampunk.

"I played an online game that was steampunk-themed, and I then found another game called Castle Falkenstein that I can play with my friends and we get really into the steampunkness of it," attendee Derek Haas said.

Steampunk events celebrate fans' interest in steampunk culture.

"There is the steampunk community, people that will be dressing up in costumes, going to events together, writing, and creating art," Noble-Beyer said.

The next steampunk event, called TeslaCon 3: A Trip To The Moon, will be held at the Madison Marriott West in Middleton, Wisc. Nov. 30 through Dec. 2.

To obtain tickets and for more information, visit http://www.teslacon.com.

Top

University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley · 1478 Midway Road Menasha, WI 54952 · United States
t: 920-832-2600 · Copyright © 2012-2013 · · Comments to FoxWeb