Steampunk movies do not do very well, financially. Some of them have bombed. Some have closed off legendary careers, such as Sean Connery’s 2003 swan song, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. No, steampunk is not exactly popular in the mainstream. But, many see that as a good thing. For now, steampunk is a vivacious and eccentric alternative clothing style and aesthetic. Steampunk clothing for women is fashionable, bizarre, and wholly satisfying.
Steampunk has a cult following. Some incredible movies have captured the modern idea of steampunk wonderfully. Perhaps one of the best is Hugo, which is really a celebration of 19th century cinema and the beauty of humility. The story follows a young boy who explores cathedrals, giant clocktowers, and industrial plants to find the secrets of the very real filmmaker, George Melies. Melies directed some of the oldest films known, including 1902’s A Trip to the Moon.
This is important because it stresses what steampunk is typically all about. It takes real influences, particularly from 19th century literature and fashion. But, it merges all this with incredible high fantasy. The proliferation of steampunk makes sense right now. Game of Thrones is a high fantasy book series and television show on HBO that indulges in the fantasy of dragons and sorcery. Yet, there is a renowned focus on the historically rich Victorian era.
This culminates in some seriously great Alternative clothing for men and women. Not all steampunk movies are great. Wild Wild West was a travesty, and set the subculture back in the late 90’s. Others have derived from the East, including Hayao Miyazaki’s incredible Howl’s Moving Castle. It had all the hallmarks of steampunk, including a giant floating castle built with train parts, pipes, and monsters.
Steampunk is a whole lot of fun because it captures the real world with the purely fantastical. If a steampunk outfit can look just as much like Game of Thrones as it can a Victorian-era corset, something is going right. There is a classic beauty about steampunk, but it is so much more. Some people are hoping it stays just as popular as it is right now. Popular enough to get support. Not so popular that it ends up at Hot Topic and the GAP.