Saturday, 26 June 2010
Preview: Asian-influenced Steampunk
It is, admittedly, a silly word, but coming from a culture where the word for "rice" is synonymous with "food", it amuses me.
The Designer and I have been sitting on these designs for a while. The buckle cheongsam has been sitting in the wardrobe for the better part of three months and we haven't had the time to present it to the internet. The genre of Asian Steampunk hasn't exactly been particularly fecund which makes the whole endeavour rather more intimidating. Off the top of my head, I could only really name James Ng (who is, incidentally, amazing) as working actively in the West. Granted, there are various bits of Asian origin that could qualify, such as the flying machines in On His Majesty's Secret Service (though a truly terrible film) and the power armour in A Chinese Tall Story, but there is very limited interest in it around these parts, especially in output that isn't in anime. The extent of "Victorientalism" in costume seems mostly limited to wearing a corset over a cheongsam or a kimono.
invent gunpowder) as much as just playing around with shapes and concepts. This is more an oriental character being a bit lost (or not lost) in a classic steampunk setting.
I felt a little guilty including the opium pipe in the shoot. At that point we were just throwing as many stereotypes of the Oriental genre into photo as possible.
That said, at least I'm not wielding a katana.
These photos were taken by St Giles Church, in Durham. Mostly just for the nice stone wall background rather than anything more interesting than that.
What are your initial impressions?
More photos from this shoot and discussion about individual costumes in the next few days.