We like to think of the Victorian era as majestic, beautiful, artistic but not only that, but also old and outdated. This thought process of ours is quite accurate since the Victorian age did comprise of immense beauty and artistry, from gorgeous artworks to literary ingenuity to majestic architecture and finally right down to the very people that inhabited this enigmatic age. But at the same time it’s also outdated, simply because it was so long ago and completely devoid of the sights and sounds of the technological society that we have grown so accustomed to living in.
But what if the Victorian age was just as much if not more technologically advanced than our society is today or in retrospect what if all the beauty and art of that lost age were still preserved in today’s society, perfectly co-existing with modern day technology. What would the world be like then? The vision of this world where aesthetics and mechanics exist in perfect harmony with each other is what has come to be known as Steampunk.
The above video is a widely held sentiment of many who enjoy Steampunk as a pass-time.
Of course, this may not be the first time you’ve heard that term. Steampunk in the modern era actually started off as a very innovative visual style in computer and console games. Games like Fallout, Bioshock, Dishonored etc. are all built around a world that is both retro and radically advanced at the same time. As a gaming trend Steampunk is actually on the rise but the very basic essence of Steampunk has been around for a lot longer than gaming or the word itself. This concept has had a profound influence on the works of some of history’s greatest science fiction writers and has given rise to a completely separate sub-genre of sci-fi, typically depicting incredibly advanced machinery powered by something as basic as steam.
For some years now the concept of Steampunk had become a fashion movement for a growing number of people who would combine top hats and corsets with hi-tech contraptions and then throw in the good old pocket watch for good measure. This year Steampunk as a style trend, is all set to explode onto to the international fashion scene and become a full fledged global fashion trend. Of course don’t take my word for it, because frankly i was not the one who said it.
Recently, IBM issued a press release stating that according to its socio-economic analytical data Steampunk is going to be the biggest fashion bubble to rise up this year and greatly influence the retail industry. Some of he biggest fashion and accessory labels are expected apply Steampunk aesthetics into their designs. Of course jewelry makers shouldn’t be far behind. IBM’s data is based on the analysis of about half a million posts, messages and threads on blogs, forums and other entities of social media. By making use of a pioneering analytical technique known as sentiment analysis, IBM has been able to track global trends on a 3-dimensional level – chronologically, geographically and also culturally and the data suggests that the amount of chatter relating to Steampunk has seen an eleven fold increase for a 3 year period (2009-2012).