Ohmigosh, complete fangirling moment right here! It is ON! I have discovered the wonderfully dark and antiquated mechanical world of Steampunk! *sigh* Ok... I think I'm done. NOT!
Ok, for the millions of you poor people out there who are in the dark to what the wonderful world of steampunk is, I shall attempt to describe it to you. It centers around what I (possibly inaccurately) call Victorian London. Mostly it revolves around teen novels centered during this time period, but there's a twist- and a big one. The world is almost always focused on steam power. Electricity is benched to create an alternate history- one focused on steam-powered mechanics and technology, lots of gears, lots of leather, lots of chain and metal, and generally some very spunky heroines. Throw in automatons, steam-powered weaponry and transportation, and occasionally some twisted DNA, and you get one very dirty steam-filled world in the chaos of industrial revolution and Victorian values from a modern viewpoint. The whole thing started out there as an idea, and has morphed into a who genre of books, clothing, and accessories. One that sadly few know of. Oh well, I DO! XD
I just finished a book entitled The Girl in the Steel Corset, which I loved. Perhaps a little historically inaccurate, but most of these are in one way or another. I just usually grumble and move on past it into the glorious plot. And glorious this plot is. It was based around a girl named Finley, an average commoner who has basically a split personality. You find out later in the book her father was a scientist which literary history calls Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde (for those of you not familiar with the particulars of that book, a scientist separates his goodness and his evil into effectively split personalities, but the evil is a monster that eventually destroys his goodness). So poor Finley has a darker side that comes out when she feels threatened and it causes all sorts of problems for her. She end up hanging out with this Duke named Griffin and his friends who also are abnormal in one way or another, and because of the same little bacteria-like buggers called Organites, which their parents messed about with. This insane man named the Machinist, an old friend of everyone's parents (who he killed, btw), then tries to kill them all, but not before we get an American cowboy involved, a love story happily situated, and the reader (well, me at least) just about screaming at Griffin and Finley, who obviously have feelings for each other but refuse to admit it because they're being stupid combined with the fact that she's a commoner and he's the next step down from prince... argh frustration. Book two, here I come.
Another great Steampunk series is the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld. Much more historically accurate than the Steel Corset book, it is a very interesting read I highly recommend to anyone. It basically creates a world divided between those who accept steam-powered machines and those that have eschewed dirty steam for animals specially "fabricated" from "life threads" (DNA cough cough). These beast are combinations of several other animals and are used for all sorts of things from cleaning and mail service to air transportation. Throw in a girl disguised as a boy so she can get into the Royal Service and fly, and the kind-of illegitimate son of an Austrian Archduke, and you've got a plot that is impossible to ignore. Oh, did I mention that WWII begins shortly into book 1? *sigh*
Ugh, I have basically written a novel for you and haven't even begun to discuss clothes. Well, if you stuck with me this far, I recommend you go google steampunk clothing immediately. Its all just so fantastic!!! I hardly know what to do with myself. I found this really cool instruction vid for how to make goggles from foam. His instructions are a little much for me, personally. Epoxy? no thanks... Latex? Ugh... what a mess. However, I do have the basic craft foam, and a little hot glue and Aleen's should be able to fix all the overly-fancy gluing problems I may face. I am biting at the bit to get started, but I dont have a spare set of sunglasses lying around for the lenses. I am gonna have to improvise anyway, because you need to pay $5 to get the template. I'm just gonna freehand it and roll, which will be more fun anyway, but is gonna take longer, and I'm gonna need to get my sunglass lenses ahead of time so I can work with them. The price I pay for improv DIY... oh well! Still super excited!