Clockwise from top right: Roberto Cavalli Fall ’08, Ralph Lauren Fall ’08, Hermes Spring ’09, John Galliano Spring ’09, Ralph Lauren Spring ’09
So the main image that stuck out in my mind from the Steampunk-inspired runway looks I’ve been seeing is the Roberto Cavalli number in the upper right. It’s a little costume-y, but that doesn’t mean I would turn down that hat if it were offered to me. Actually, I’m pretty dead set on getting a top hat in the near future. Looking forward to Spring 09 and even pre-Fall 09, I saw more Steampunk influences, but it’s evolving. Let’s not forget that Steampunk takes influences from the “wild west” and military garb as well. That’s what I love about the Hermes and John Galliano collections for Spring. Hermes takes the old west route, while John Galliano conjures exaggerated, cartoon-like Napoleonic references (namely the hats) and dresses that seem to teeter upon the edge of Victorian dresses and undergarments. Oh and I can’t forget Ralph Lauren, who goes the explorer route (as he often does), but this Spring seems…more historic, more reminiscent of pioneers, I guess. Anyhoo, that’s my in-depth analysis for today. Maybe for this week, cuz I probably just blacked out.
Personally, I don’t realy like how mainstream designers have approached Steampunk. They should leave it to the DIYers and crafters that put alot more work and seem to have better overall craftsmanship than what I see on the runway. Steampunk (emphasis on punk) is like the gothic and punk fashions. Alot is lost in translation visually and what I see on runways seems like a cheap imitation. The good Steampunk stuff is more ornate and detailed. This..is kind of thrown together. So when I see it in the paper , it makes me sad.
You know, it’s interesting to hear an opinion from someone who’s actually familiar with the Steampunk movement (I’ve only recently become aware of it). Based on what I’ve seen on actual Steampunk websites, it does appear very different from what’s going down the runway, but such is often the case with many of the places designers draw their inspiration from – it’s not the real thing, per se, but their interpretation. Then again, this was my interpretation, somewhat guided by fashion reviews, and perhaps this is where things get lost in translation.