Steampunk fashion - Victorian corset and dress

My latest fixation (and you know how I get obsessed with things) is Steampunk – especially since it’s a kindred spirit to Miss Gothic Lolita. Both are neo-Victorian aesthetics, although Steampunk has Western origins and is mainly inspired by a genre of science fiction. These novels usually take place in a futuristic 19th century England, in which steam-powered inventions that would have been impossible at the time are found to exist. Think computers and time machines, clumsily built from valves, clockwork, and bulging brass pipes set to explode any second.

The image above shows that Steampunk fashion has much in common with Gothic Lolita, minus the polish and kawaii (cuteness) of the Japanese style. A Steampunk outfit “tends to synthesize punk, goth and rivet styles as filtered through the Victorian era.” A lady might wear a tattered corset and bustle skirt in drab colors, such as black, olive green, or dark pinstripes. Hair tends to be swept up in two knobs or a messy up-do, as if she had just emerged from an explosion.

Male steampunk fashion: cravat, brass goggles, Victorian slacks and vest

Men often channel the Gentleman Inventor of Jules Verne’s tales. Like Japan’s Kodonas, they wear vests, waistcoats, slacks, top hats, cravats, and carry a pocketwatch. A Sky Pirate outfit incorporates a sash and leather aviator cap.

For both sexes, big stompy boots with buckles are a must. And we mustn’t forget the Steampunk signature: round brass goggles, usually worn on the forehead.

Steamboy's Scarlett O'Hara in Sweet Lolita dresses
Steampunk and Lolita fashion come together in Katsuhiro Otomo’s animated film, Steamboy. The story centers on Ray, born to a family of inventors in an alt-19th century England. A package from his grandfather arrives, containing a Steam Ball that he must protect at all costs… and that’s where the fun begins. Poor Ray has to fend off attacks by fabulously cumbersome machines: an automotive, a giant zeppelin with a mechanical claw, “steam troopers” wielding guns, barely-steerable gliders…

Ray befriends a not-so-sweet Lolita named Scarlett O’Hara. The 14-year-old heiress looks like an innocent doll in fluffy pink and white dresses, which resemble Metamorphose and Baby’s. But boy, is she ever a pain! Scarlett whines and complains and abuses her little Chihuahua. Happily, she matures by the stunning end scene, and the credits show that she later becomes an aviator. (If only Paris Hilton would do the same…)

Steamboy is a visual wonder, with a superb electric-tinted soundtrack by Steve Jablonsky. And isn’t the parallel evolution of Steampunk and Gothic Lolita fascinating? Just take the excellent Steampunk blog Brass Goggles… the format and layout is nearly identical to La Carmina’s!



  1. Usher 3 Sunglasses
    Posted April 30, 2009 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Are they wearing a goggles or a sunglasses?

  2. Usher 3 Sunglasses
    Posted April 30, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Are they wearing a goggles or a sunglasses?

  3. lacarmina
    Posted April 30, 2009 at 8:20 am | Permalink


  4. max191
    Posted October 4, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

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