The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

I'm fairly new to steampunk.  For the few years I usually sit in the background and cheer on my friends while they have fun with their steampunk endeavors.  However, one thing I've have notice there is an absence of color.  When I have asked people in my local community about it,  I've been told that it is an absolute no-no.    Repeatedly I have been told it's solid earth tones with the occasional reds/burgandy is ok.   It just seems odd to me for a person that is a fan of Victorian era clothing that I must give prints and vivid color.  Is really wrong to infuse color into steam fashion? 

 

Regardless I will go forward and be an individual and go for color because it is appropriate for my alter ego.

Tags: color

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I'm also new to Steampunk, and me and my fiance were just discussing this the past weekend. We both had red to our outfits and that seemed to stand out. To me, I think that'd make for a pretty drab world we're all living in if we are to limit ourselves to just solid earth tones. While historically from a photographic standpoint, we're limited to grayscales and sepia tones, but looking at just the mass collection of historical catalogs and fashion magazines we see that color was as huge as it is today. I've seen examples of some downright ugly prints, and mismatched colors that would make your eyes hurt.

I say, infuse all the color you want. I don't really see there being rights and wrongs to the world of steampunk. That's the fantasy of it. Besides, if you're dressing up as a well to do lady, wouldn't you want to have a fancy satin dress of an emerald green, or a pretty pink silk? Something to make you stand out from those lowly mechanics...

The other thing I see is such a huge rejection for iron, main component to all the steam powered machines we idol. Not to mention steel, which has been around since the Renaissance, and especially when it's mass production was a huge part of the industrial revolution, by the mid 1800s, steel was easily and cheaply produced compared to the other alloys of the time. I guess it just doesn't have the "look" that is desired.
Bah. You are involved with a "local community" which has no vision or perspective. They sound like a bunch of narrow-minded stitch coutners.

Aniline dyes were invented in the Victorian age, so bright and bold colours were a status symbol. I would avoid any neon shades, but mauve in particular practically defines the period we are emulating.
I also completely disagree with this. Color was everywhere in the Victorian era, and loud, chemical colors were the height of Parisian fashion. There was even a fashion revolt against that but it was not devoid of color either, just a preference for natural dyes versus synthetic ones.

The earth tones only seem to be suggestive of the military, post-apocalypse or film versus the realities of Victorian high fashion. Of course, the less rich dressed a bit differently, but they weren't drab either.
Also, remember that we are not Victorian Re-Enactors, but are just inspired by popular notions about the Victorian era.

Therefore, we are attempting to re-create the actual, daily dress of people who would wake up, put on their goggles and wrist-mounted gatling guns, and fly their dirigibles off to fight the Martians. As far as I remember, folks dressed in all sorts of ways back then....

Damn straight! :-)

Also, don't be afraid to use a nice striped pattern! It wasn't uncommon at all for bright striping on silk and even plaid patterns. The is a movie called "The Buccaneers", based on Edith Wharton's novel of the same name. "New Money" American girls go to England to find husbands, known as the "American Invasion". There are beautiful examples of Victorian gowns and they certainly weren't afraid of color!

The Widow Next
The Professor inclines to a darker neo- victorian look but endorses the thrust of comments regarding C19th use of color . He is partial to loud vests and tie . To echo Dr. Fidelius - we are not all attempting a Victorian re-enactment and our characters dress to suit their particular style and occupation . Check out ' Steampunk Flickr ' - above all - enjoy youself .
I shall be in full bloom when I construct my outfit.Its a choice thing i am sure.
Looking forward to the Nightshade blooming !
Oh, for a muse of fire COLOUR that would ascend. The brightest heaven of invention! A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,. And monarchs to behold.....

nothing like a splash of colour in the waistcoat and tie to punch up and contrast with the tweed...
Sound advice - reminds me of something or someone - to thine own self be true ?
or perhaps
there once was a young lady from Dorset
who had quite a colourful corset
[ok I better stop now...;) ]

...and yes you nailed it...

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