Last January, the DSU Theatre department did a production of Hedda Gabler, a play written by Henrik Ibsen that takes place in 1896 (right during the Victorian ages). The story has very dark themes, so the director decided that he wanted his concept to be "steampunk" with "lots of jewel tones and gears." One of my friends who was the costume designer listened to his concept and tried to create a more steampunk version of Victorian fashion. This included some very nontraditional Victorian things, like exposed corsets and short hair on women. The main character, Hedda, is the one who showed the most steampunk in her look, because she is the darker more serious character of the play.
Here is a production shot that shows Hedda's costume (sitting on couch).
I find it interesting that the director went with this Steampunk concept in a show that already takes place in the Victorian era. It just goes to show how steampunk has become its own time and style that is inspired or reflected off of an actual time period.
I am personally not a huge fan of the Victorian era, because the first thing I think of is the lack of personal hygiene, but this era has influenced an entire population of people who have created something new from it. There are many other eras that are romanticized and that have produced their own following, for example there are fans of the Regency era (Jane Austen) who romanticize that time in history and try to live that way as well. There are also people who romanticize the "roaring 20s" or the 50s and have created their own style of living that adheres to the ideals and styles of that time period.
I find that especially today, our generation is so influenced by nostalgia and the past. I find this most evident in the clothing of today. The interesting thing about fashion is the change of silhouette. In the past, most decades or eras are pretty defined by their silhouette in clothing, but if we were to give a single silhouette that defined the fashion of today, it would be nearly impossible. Dress styles from the 50s and 60s are becoming much more fashionable and everyone is all about "vintage" clothing and shopping from thrift stores. It seems that as we move into the future, our styles are moving back into the past.
Here are some funny clips that kind of parody the "Steampunk" style and type of person:
And here is a Vimeo link to the second video since I couldn't find it on youtube:Key & Peele "Steampunk Skit"