It is always wonderful to see a sea of Steampunk costume, especially here in the middle of the U.S. where Steampunk is just catching on. Though attendance may not be the greatest, the enthusiasm and dedication to Steampunk is apparent.
I also enjoy the variety of Steampunk you see in this region because two things are self-evident: there is an anything goes attitude and everyone is open to seeing a new twist on Steampunk. There is very little snubbing or distaste for those just stepping into the world and in fact a lot of encouragement. The other aspect I enjoy about Steampunk is the varied age groups; from 9 months to 90 everyone has a chance to dress Steampunk.
At ECSE the strongest flavor of Steampunk was Wild West Steampunk and Pirate Steampunk. This is not surprising since we are in the Great Plains and the creators of the event also participate heavily in the local Renaissance festivals.
ESCE had the great opportunity of having the Airship Isabella attend, who stun and awe everyone with their rich beautiful costuming and fantastic gadgets and gears.
I have the wonderful privilege of knowing this great group and their best feature is how open they are to helping others enter the world of Steampunk. They strongly believe the only way the subculture will grow is by allowing people to become part of it. They along with other groups including Steampunk Europa encourage and enlighten those who seek to know more about the world of Steampunk.
Those that consider Steampunk in this region to be limited forget that this region was built on the blood and sweat of pioneers and innovators. Creativity and Ingenuity run rampant, in fact perhaps this region’s greatest flaw is that they are too creative for their own good.
Very little that was seen at ECSE was bought off the internet, most was made in the garages and basements of those wearing the items, even when Steampunkers buy their items they are looking for handmade and not mass produced. There is a great amount of respect between crafters and vendors, though both find pros and cons to making versus selling their items. As a costumer I encourage my fellow Steampunkers to do a little of both. There are items out there that you will have to make yourself in order to get what you want, but Steampunk vendors are skilled and if they focus on one area of expertise you will find
purchasing certain items very rewarding and extremely time saving. My husband adores his anaconda skin goggles, and I could have never made those for him, but I made his coat and even if I made that military frock coat pattern again, there will never be another like it.
Authentic clothing is also not lost on the Great Plains, much like during the days of the Frontier there were women known as Butterflies, who ignored the blowing prairie winds and displayed the finest fashions. Two in Particular deserve note; Mrs. Pixie who not only makes her own clothing, but everything Peter Pixie wears and Laci Neal, whose attention to authenticity and detail deserve great merit. Both of these ladies showed off multiple outfits pulled from historical patterns and research.
Check out those Railroad Tie stockings and ruby slippers! FYI if you didn’t know Railroad Tie stockings were very popular hosiery at one point during the Victorian Era.
The men also did not disappoint. From Peter Pixie shown above and these other gentlemen that reminded everyone that Steampunk can be drawn from various decades including early Victorian, which can also carry Steampunk flair. Check out the Leather men’s corset and that pseudopod brooch. The stunning Maroon Jacket is by Time Traveler Outfitters and will be seen in the upcoming movie Phobia.
Burlesque is another aspect of Steampunk in this region and the ladies do it justice being both beautiful and lush.
Multiculturalism was given a fair nod from this woman’s exotic Moroccan attire to the lovely wind up doll in a Kimono.
Even this gentleman got in on the fun. With a little help from Butterfly Creations he took his Samurai attire and turned it into assimilated mix, not unlike what was seen in movies such as The Last Samurai.
Games such as Steampunk Europa allow all genres of Steampunk to mix and intertwine since each nation tends to favor one Steampunk genre over another. Here you see a Meridian (Wild West, Aussie outback), a Galen (Galeic/Victorian England) and a Yuan (Asian) in a standoff.
Talk about a picture worth a thousand words!
I was excited and enthused by all the fashion that wandered the halls of ECSE and if you’d like a more extensive review of the event and guests, including O.M. Grey, Unwoman, External Combustion Orchestra, The Aeronaughts, & the Kinetics, then check out the con review on Emerald City Steampunk Expo.