Should I worry about steampunk?

Anatomy of Steampunk cover
Anatomy of Steampunk by Katherine Gleason

Is it wrong that I worry about the integrity of steampunk? I know I’m relatively new to the community and I hold no authority on what is right or wrong. No-one does, really. So why am I worried that the New York Post have ran an article on a steampunk book? The book looks very good. I think my concern is partly due to the suggestions of how to accessorise to get the “steampunk look” below the article.

Must-haves include an iPhone case with cogs on it, some studded gloves from H&M (those well known steampunk stockists) and a T-Shirt with a corset design for a measly $134.

Of course this is what designers do, isn’t it? They find a niche that is becoming popular and put their “twist” on it. The twist is the bit I’m most worried about. When a fashion house gets hold of steampunk, they’ll make mass produced rubbish at massively high prices and the bespoke love that pours into steampunk will be diluted. In the meantime, the market is saturated with cogs and gears to the point where people get sick of seeing it.

I’m loathe to watch as today loving, technology advocates wearing T-Shirts and torn denim sit in a design room and tell us what steampunk is about. While I admire the steampunk moral standing of having no rules, will you be happy to sit and watch as the integrity of steampunk is eroded away by a bunch of spiky haired fake-tan kids, sipping on Starbucks through over white teeth?

Hopefully, the fad will be just that and will hit a crescendo. All we’ll have to do is weather the storm and come out the other end. We’ll pick up some enthusiasts along the way and that will be a big benefit.

The point I’m making is that; to me, steampunk isn’t about the money. On a personal digression, I do hope to use the Journal as a point of income at some stage but I want do that while trying to keep it free to readers. However, the accessories that the NYP article shows are all expensive. Or at least it’s possible to find more moderately priced versions that will, arguably, look more authentic. Inevitably, people will start to jump on the bandwagon and sell cheap rubbish because it’s the craze. Sifting through the decent stuff will become increasingly more difficult to do.

I posted a poll on this recently and it came back with an overwhelming majority of 100% of voters saying that steampunk should stay without rules in order to retain its fundamental values. That’s a fair point and I think shows the gritty resolve of steampunks all over that even with the possibility of people who aren’t interested in steampunk getting involved purely to make money and thereby ruining it, you still don’t think rules are a good idea.

Have a read of the article here: Steampunk book of fashion

11 thoughts on “Should I worry about steampunk?

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