Steam Punks, Steam Trains and Al Pacas!

ˈstiːmpʌŋk/

noun

a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.

a style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction.

“the essence of steampunk is homage to vintage fashion with a modern, sassy twist” 

This friendly Al Paca comes from a homestay farm near Whangarei.

The Steampunk movement is alive and well in New Zealand. I have twice been invited to photograph a ‘steampunk’ event.  I am amazed at their enthusiasm and passion. Many people as they get older sit around and watch Netflix and or do jigsaw puzzles. Not these folk. Their idea of leisure is sourcing their next outfit or manufacturing it in the workshop. Some sew their own costumes, others buy on line. My first experience  with these folk was at a beach north of Auckland where the Steam punks teamed up with Al Pacas for the day. My second experience  was in the rain at the Glenbrook Vintage Railway station where steam trains and steam punks teamed up for the day. They spend hours having hair and makeup done and love to be photographed.

So step back in time and enjoy my photos.

          

Their clothes are a mixture of the Victorian era’s romantic view of science in literature and elements from the Industrial Revolution in Europe during the 1800s. The fashion is designed with a post-apocalyptic era in mind. Steampunk fashion consists of clothing, hairstyling, jewellery, body modification and make-up. During the 80s and 90s, steampunk fashion grew along with the goth and punk movements in fashion. Cyberpunk and diesel punk fashion are variants of the steampunk fashion of the 1980s. Within the steampunk fashion, there are a number of personas, or archetypes, such as the valiant explorer with pith helmet, brass telescope and binoculars; the debonair aviator with birdlike gadgets and devices, leather helmet, brass goggles and canvas coat; and the gentleman, with a lab coat over formal clothes and belts for all sorts of implements and instruments. As a result husband and wives, children and grandparents often all take part in this fun activity.

Check out alternative Steam Train events here.

I found these guidelines on ‘Buzz feed’ about being a Steampunk; the subject is vast but I liked these descriptions.

1/

Steampunk fashion is a real-world reproduction of the clothing that is or could be found in steampunk literature.

2/

When in doubt, dress Victorian and then add. The Victorians were the first people to fully capitalize upon steam technology in a way that affected everyday life, so it is no surprise that most steampunk writing either takes place in the Victorian world or is strongly inspired by it. If you’re afraid that your outfit is “too Victorian” you’re probably doing it right.

3/

Steampunk fashion is about creating an outfit that delights the senses, entertains the wearer, and engages the viewer. Never feel obliged to take away from the style or appeal of an outfit simply because you fear it will be “not steampunk enough”.

4/

There is no “steampunk color.” Some people have claimed that steampunk is only brown, or only black, or only white, or only light, or only dark. They are wrong. Virtually any color can be steampunk (though perhaps one might balk at neon). If you like to wear black, there is a steampunk justification; if you like to wear brown, there is a steampunk justification; if you like to wear bright colors, there is a steampunk justification. Remember, steampunk is set in a world of comparatively advanced technology, so it is perfectly reasonable to have vibrant colors and complicated machine-made patterns.

5/

You are allowed to like other genres. If you like a style of fashion that does not fit into steampunk (Enlightenment era, Pulp Adventure, Mod 60s, Medieval, etc.) be proud of it. Do not feel compelled to try and wedge it under the steampunk caption.

6/

Have fun and be yourself. That’s what this is about. Don’t feel compelled to conform with everyone else. Don’t feel shy about posting just because you don’t want to dress like the other people who you’ve seen post. And don’t post with the question “do you guys think this is steampunk enough?” Post with the statement “I feel that this is steampunk, and here is why I think so.”

If you want to join the Steampunk movement  google

So watch out for “Steam punkers” near you…  Huge gathering is planned for 2018 in Oamaru. Oamaru is considered the Steam Punk capital of new Zealand.

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