Overdone Steampunk Fashions at WWWC

As people are returning home from their adventures from the Wild Wild West Convention in Old Tuscon, the commentary about the event is starting to pour in. While most of the commentary on WWWC has been largely positive, there is something about it that has apparently offended Fashion writer Niki D’Andrea of the Phoenix New Times: our Steampunk sense of fashion.

It’s true. In her article, Seven Overdone Steampunk Fashions at Wild Wild West Con, Ms. D’Andrea expresses her passionate distaste for our top hats, stripey stockings, and goggles. We’re apparently an uncreative and lazy bunch according to her refined sense of fashion. Here’s what she had to say about our steamy top hats:

Abraham Lincoln would so not wear that.

Alas! All these years I’ve spent as a Steampunk, I’ve been striving to replicate Abraham Lincoln’s wardrobe. *dies from shock of failure*

Ms. D’Andrea seems to be under the impression that Steampunk needs historical accuracy and our inability to execute Steampunk in the way she imagined it means we are all failures. Our version of historical inaccuracy is, ironically, entirely inaccurate in her mind.

Fortunately, Steampunks aren’t ones to need approval from anyone to dress as we wish. Each of Ms. D’Andrea’s Overdone Fashion Points are all popular aspects of Steampunk fashion. Saying too many Steampunks wear top hats is like saying too many punk rockers sport mohawks. It shows an apparent ignorance of the subculture and its aesthetics.

Ms. D’Andrea’s snobbery is far more unfashionable than anything anyone could have worn at WWWC.

Wild Wild West Con

It’s been a while since I covered an upcoming convention, and the topic of tonight’s post is that, but much, much more. Wild Wild West Con is part convention, part festival taking place form March 4-6 at Old Tucson Studios.

For one weekend, Old Tucson Studios will be transformed into the town of Rusted Gear, providing an immersive experience for convention attendees by breaking free of the standard, modern hotel based convention.

There will be all sorts of entertainment for convention attendees, including

“music concerts, a dinner theater, a tea party with a published author, a charity fashion show, a freak show art show, a mercantile pavilion, a street parade, street performers, a high noon dual competition, a fast draw competition, a gaming parlor, live action stunt shows, cabaret saloon shows, ghost tours, a masquerade ball, a mad scientist lab, costume contests, courtroom discussion panels, how to workshops and much more.”

Tickets to the convention can be purchased on the convention website. To book a room in the convention’s hotel, Hotel Tucson City Center Conference Suite Resort, call 1 (520) 622-3000 or 1 (888) 784-8324 and mention the convention’s group code #1989 during your reservation.

This is looking like it will be an impressive event, so do consider making the trip out to Arizona.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Film

Earlier I introduced you all to what might be the quintessential Steampunk graphic novel, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, by Alan Moore. Allow me to take the opportunity once again to encourage you to pick up a copy of the graphic novel at your first opportunity.

The graphic novel was adapted into a motion picture in 2003 under the same name. While the film is really nothing like its source material, it is at the very least entertaining on a more basic explosions and action level. Here’s the trailer:

What is important about this film is that for many it put a face on the Neo-Victorian and Steampunk movement. This film did an incredible amount to promote not only the concept of Steampunk, but also an interest in classic Victorian literature. I must admit that I love Naseeruddin Shah’s portrayal of Captain Nemo.

As far as trailblazing Steampunk films are concerned, I would argue that it was a better representation than Wild Wild West with Will Smith that came out in 1999.  I, however, have never been that much into Western inspired Steampunk, and I thought the movie was a bit corny when I last saw it. Here’s the trailer for Wild Wild West.

The gadgets in the film are admittedly impressive, but unfortunately it’s not enough to salvage the film in my book. Still, I can see how the Steampunks who prefer a American West, rather than a European Victorian slant, would enjoy Wild Wild West.

Still, if you ask me, I’d recommend The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It does a better job giving a nod to Steampunk’s roots in Victorian Science Fiction and the trailblazing authors like Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Mary Shelly,  and Mark Twain who are now the founding minds behind our modern Steampunk.