what does it mean/take to be a steampunk. I suggest you get 10 people in a room to discuss this topic and they will come up with 12+ possible definitions.
The one icon I have when it comes to steampunk is the ツェッペリン. The glorious Zeppelin. But that marvel of technology this pearl of engineering is but an icon. To be a steampunk is more than just dreams of piloting a Zeppelin or the Nautilus and dressing up neo-Victorian style.
Here I think lies a trap similar to the one the goth scene is afflicted with. You get people thinking it’s all about dress, dresscode and a dress-up arms race, it is not.
When I look at myself in the mirror wearing more or less full gear:
- Smoking Shirt with cufflinks
- Pocket Watch
- pressed trousers or breeches
I don’t say to myself: Hey, I look so steampunk, I say to myself, Hey, that’s the stuff I like to wear (and by Jove do I look good in it).
As soon as you wear something because you think it’s steampunk (or goth or whatever) rather than because you LIKE to wear it, something is wrong. So don’t do it. You feel better about it, believe me.
Besides: Above mentioned attire can be quite expensive if you don’t want it to look cheap.
The most defining quality as far as I’m concerned is: Gentlemanly demeanor combined with a touch of eccentricity of charactr. Both underline your style quite nicely and behaving like a gentleman sets an example for others.
What else? You should be aquainted with literature, not just the stempunk literature which defined the genre, with names like Verne and Wells but with literature in general. You do not need a degree or much formal education, just an appreciation of literature and the arts in general. Be refined, not crude! And for all the intrepid explorers and skypirates out there: Be dashing and daring but don’t be a brute.
I endeavour to be a Renaissance Man, but this is my style. To me steampunk ist all of this and more, I shall return to this subject on a later date, now it’s time to prepare dinner, Asian style, in case you wonder.