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WATCH: Steampunk Should Be Fashion's (Alternate) Future

05/12/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Originally published on Youthradio.org, the premier source for youth generated news throughout the globe.

By: Austin De Rubira

As another season of Fashion Weeks came to a close this week in Paris, I was once again disappointed by the industry's vision of haute couture. I, for one, am not looking forward to a future populated by raccoon-eyed waifs bedecked in frilly pantsuits.

Luckily, there's an alternate vision, one that's been getting more and more attention recently. It's called Steampunk, and it's a mash-up of the best of the old and the new. In this alternate future, you might see, for instance, a mustachioed man sporting a Victorian-inspired trench coat and top hat, with a laser gun tucked into his belt. Women might feel comfortable wearing Edwardian-era burlesque outfits and a pilot's cap and goggles (a la Amelia Earhart), as they ride around town on a steam-powered scooter.

For a primer on the Steampunk fashion movement and lifestyle, and how its aesthetic has already inspired music, literature and movies, check out this audio slideshow I produced after attending last year's Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif.

WATCH:

The Milan of the Steampunk fashion world has got to be the San Francisco Bay Area, home of an unusually high concentration of techies and do-it-yourselfers. This weekend in the East Bay town of Emeryville, steampunks will hold their own mini Fashion Week, called the Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition. The crew from the Neverwas Haul, a Victorian house on wheels featured in the slideshow, is expected to attend. Also on the program is a costume competition, in which judges will award "Evil Geniuses" and "Time Travelers" for their incorporation of vintage clothing and working wearable gadgetry.

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