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Anatomy of Steampunk (Book) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Page Count: 224
 
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4.5/ 5


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Vivid photographs and fascinating stories give readers an inside look at the style that is steampunk.

Not so much?


Because it is arranged by types of steampunk style rather than the people it features, it tends to jump back and forth a bit.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Whether you’re an old hat at steampunk style, or a newcomer curious to see what it’s all about, Anatomy of Steampunk offers a comprehensive look at the world of steampunk. Featuring a variety of designers and characters that embody the style, it’s a truly fascinating book that will lend a hint of style to any coffee table.

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Posted December 16, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

The Fashion of Victorian Futurism

In recent years, the style that is steampunk has been steadily gaining traction in both the cosplay world and the world at large. The iconic goggles and pocket watch parts make for instant recognition of the style, but few outside its sphere of practice truly understand what steampunk is all about. Author Katherine Gleason sheds some light on the world of steampunk with her eye catching hardcover volume, Anatomy of Steampunk.

This is a book not just about steampunk as a style, but the designers, characters, and school of thought that make up the genre as a whole. Covering a variety of styles within steampunk, from “Fine and Formal” to “Adventure Wear” to “Street Style”, the book pays homage to the many variations that make up the style as a whole. This is done by highlighting the stories of the people that make up the steampunk scene. Gleason gives readers a peek inside the world of the designers, performers, and everyday people who are featured in the book. Details given range from how they found their way into steampunk, to the background stories of their own steampunk alter-egos. It makes for interesting reading that definitely lends both realism and appeal to steampunk as a whole.

For the uninitiated, steampunk is a term coined by science fiction and fantasy author K.W. Jeter. Originally described as “stories set in a steam-powered, science fiction-infused, Victorian London”, steampunk has since evolved into a style that encompasses a variety of cultures and aesthetics, all of them steeped in history and sci-fi. For those unfamiliar with steampunk as a whole, Anatomy of Steampunk does a great job of explaining the motivation and camaraderie that guides these well known characters within the community. It even offers tutorials on creating your own steampunk inspired looks, with ten different DIY projects interspersed throughout the pages that make creating your own spats or blasters an accessible task.

While the back stories and history contained within the book are both interesting and thought provoking, Anatomy of Steampunk is a book that is very focused on aesthetics (much like steampunk itself). As such, it focuses heavily on highlighting the costumes and favorite outfits as worn by both models, designers, and even well known personalities such as Felicia Day and Grant Imahara. Each and every page is filled with stunning photographs that seem to jump off the page with their vivid colors and unique features. In the spirit of steampunk, the book shies away from fashion norms, featuring a variety of characters of all ages, body types, and cultures. It’s a refreshing choice, and it definitely adds interest to the photographs.

Whether you’re an old hat at steampunk style, or a newcomer curious to see what it’s all about, Anatomy of Steampunk offers a comprehensive look at the world of steampunk. Featuring a variety of designers and characters that embody the style, it’s a truly fascinating book that will lend a hint of style to any coffee table.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)