It was the 1999 movie Wild Wild West with Will Smith and Kevin Kline which first introduced the family visually to the modern trend of Steampunk in our isolated location in the Northern Territory. We of course had been exposed to the start of steampunk culture through the literature of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells but not to the visual culture other than our own imaginations. One of my favourite novels as a child was "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea" which had a futuristic machine for the time period. This love of science fiction and fantasy is also shared by other members of the family and as a whole we have a significant literature collection in the genre from the early 1980s onwards.
To today's society the Verne and Wells books are now classed as old-fashioned or passe ideas but when they were written they were very futuristic in nature. So what is Steampunk visually it is best described generally as a blend of Victoriana and the modern age through the mechanics of steam, cogs and traditional engineering. It is technology mixed with fantasy with a dash of alternative history.
Steampunk has become a mainstream sub theme in the fashion industry with the use of intricate integrated cogs and gears into designer clothing. While locally there is not a cosplay scene, the world wide scene is taking this trend forward. Since the outfits and accessories are not easily purchasable and the feature of customised role play this genre is highly supported by the individual creative community. There is even a sub genre of steampunk within music. Recent films such as Van Helsing (2004), Around the World in 80 days (2004), The League of Extrodinary Gentlemen (2003), Hellboy (2004), The Golden Compass (2007), Stardust (2007) and even Sherlock Holmes (2010) have elements of steampunk which can be observed within the costuming of the main characters and movie props.
Daughter and I got into steampunk as we both don't have the body shapes that fit modern highs street fashion and the aesthetics of the mixture of old and modernism appeals to our fantasy loving minds. While we mostly have some pieces of steampunk jewellery we have purchased a couple of clothing items. For example the daughter's prom dress is made out of recycled silk ties but has some classic Victorian styling that makes it a steampunk item. Daughter is not a Goth but steampunk can also be a observed as subgenre for the gothic movement. I have also made some clothing for the daughter that blend steampunk themes into modern clothing so daughter has unique items for her tall bird boned thin body.