Are We Running Out of Steam?

Scrolling through my  Facebook feed the other day I suddenly stopped.  Clockwork Couture is closing it’s store – at this time their online store will remain open.  For those that do not not know Clockwork Couture is a steampunk shop in Burbank, California.  From their website they are “a fashion house that sits on the edge of time.  Traveling through eras and continents, we bring back styles and infuse it with our well- traveled influences.”  They carry a variety of Steampunk items and have been active in the Steampunk culture since opening.  The sudden announcement that they are closing comes as a shock.

More surprising for me is the reason given for the closing.  According to their Facebook post Steampunk is losing steam.  Their post states “The time has come to say goodbye to our wee steampunk shoppe.  Major search engines have reported a 40% drop in usage of the term (steampunk) and we ourselves have seen sales take a similar turn.  We love all the steampunk family we have made, but we must say adieu to the Victoriana we love.”

So what do I make of this?  Is Steampunk running out of steam?  I remember first hearing about Steampunk many years ago. The definition I was told was easy Steampower was never replaced.  All technology was run by Steam.  Since Steam power was mainly found in the Victorian age.  Victorian age dress became the dominate part of Steampunk fashion.

I have always loved Victorian styles so of course I loved the Steampunk style.  It also made it easier for me to start finding Victorian styled items for deco.  There have been many times during the last few year where it has been said that steampunk is just a phase that it would not last.  Could this now becoming true?  Could we be seeing the end?

No.  I do not believe we are seeing the end, but we may be finally seeing a settling.  Before Steampunk was so widely know there was a small core group that started it.  Somewhere out there are the original Steampunkers.  The ones that were steam before steam was uhmm “cool”.  And they are not going anywhere, nor are the many other Steampunkers that joined them.

Steampunk took the Cosplay world by storm, then transferred into the regular world.  Fashion Week has had several Steampunk inspired fashions, Steampunk has shown up on TV on shows like “Castle”.  Steampunk went beyond  cosplay into the real world.  That is the end I see.  Steampunk is returning to it’s core.  This may cause some people to fear the end, but it’s not the end, just a change.

Over the years Cosplay trends have come and not gone but changed.  Right now new fads  seem to be taking the floor.  Can anyone tell me how many Elsa’s they have seen lately, or Attack on Titan characters?  What about Avengers?   And before you say that I’m talking about Cosplay, just think of how many Comic Character Tee shirts are now being worn by people who have never read a comic book.

Steampunk may no longer be the newest hottest trend in the real world but among the people that really understand it or love the genre. It will never lose steam.

One comment

  1. I wonder if part of the reason that an expensive shop like Clockwork Couture could be closing is that there are so very many DIY fashion folks and makers out there to choose from now. With the rise of conventions (over 50 in the US alone) people can buy products directly from individual makers instead of shopping online or going to a permanent shop. With less overhead, individuals can sell their products for less, and especially people who are “just doing it as a hobby” drive the prices down because they aren’t trying to make a living at it.

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