Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Steampunk is better when it's not made by steampunk fans.

I told myself I'd use this blog exclusively to post art, but I guess time makes fools of us all. 

Go look at this:


I saw these earlier and I've been thinking about them all morning. My final thought is:

"Steampunk is better when it's not made by steampunk fans."

These designs are beautiful, dramatic and full of narrative. They practically write the script themselves. Unfortunately, I doubt we'll ever have this beautiful steampunk movie. To create designs of this quality requires too much research and effort, two scary words that most artists run to steampunk to avoid. 

I like steampunk. I like the idea of it. I like that it's a mini-genre that is a product of (but has enough distance from) it's massive parents, Fantasy and Science Fiction. Unfortunately, most artists who dabble in it do so in part because it is easy. Do a quick search for steampunk and you'll find piles and piles of the same re-chewed aesthetics. The same costumes, the same airships, the same bullshit mechanical fluff and decoration hot-glued onto every surface. 

The Prada Menswear Fall 2012 line was not created out of laziness, but passion tempered with good research. The result is elegant, striking and packed to the brim with emotion and mystery. These are the things the steampunk aesthetic is going need if it's going to learn how to walk instead of crawl. 

9 comments:

Rushputin said...

Man, that really nails it, doesn't it?

There's so much to like about the steampunk aesthetic and such, but inevitably it just gets turned into, "Let's glue gears to stuff LOL!"

Always Kind said...

Really interesting article! I agree completely. I too liked steam-punk, it's a really cool concept but over time it just turned into .. top hats and copper tubing.

Nat said...

I bookmarked that page immediately. There's so much inspiration it makes my head ache.

Ray Greaves said...

That's insane how true it is. Seeing the steampunk craze REALLY kick off at Gencon a few years back really almost made me hate the genre, but seeing this sort of thing reminds me that there is still a level of quality that can retain dignity. Good catch.

dorobo said...

well.. a good clothing designer did those that's why it looks great :)

Kolpakov said...

Totally agree with you.
Awesome designes!

Greeneyes said...

I totally agree with you. Steampunk when it has brass, over-the-top victorian clothes and gears for no reason always annoyed me.

You should have a look at the Dishonored video game made by Arkane Studios. It's described as steampunk but its is beautiful and unique!

Anonymous said...

meh, i like the stuff people make themselves better, the prada stuff just looks, meh

Solo Solar said...

These contraption are not "just glued together". http://www.steamworksresearchlabs.com/steamworks-rd-labs.html Check 'em out!