Steampunk Going Mainstream?

Illustration for article titled Steampunk Going Mainstream?

Here, in our niche technological world, we'd already considered steampunk as a mainstream phenomenon. But according to the NY Times, it could be the next major trend for, you know, normal people.

Quaint to some eyes, or outright bizarre, steampunk fashion is compelling all the same. It is that rarity, a phenomenon with the potential to capture a wider audience, offering a genteel and disciplined alternative to both the slack look of hip-hop and the menacing spirit of goth.


As soon as we see the cast of The Hills applying lipstick via a 20lb brass doohickey while wearing heavy leather gloves to stave off burns, we'll know steampunk has reached its potential as a cultural phenomenon. Meanwhile, a vintage train conductor will rise from his grave to vomit. [NYTimes]

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@t3knomanser: Do you realise that steampunk only exists as a niche. The negatives I gave were the reasons it will never be mainstream.

All the steampunk stuff I've seen has been custom made or "one off". It would need to be mass produced for it to become mainstream.

Steampunk is purely aesthetic design. All other aspects of the design is very poor - which is why it will never catch on.

I can't see anyone (except a steampunk fetishist) willing to pay a lot of extra cash for something just because it has some unnecessary bits of metal stuck to it or it has a "brass effect" paint finish.

Steampunked products are more like unique works of art with a tech theme which why @t3knomanser: describe it as "paleo-futurist critique of modern industrialized society" - an arty farty description if ever I've heard one. They are not practical or realistically priced products that would appeal to the mainstream.

I reckon steampunk has peaked. Reading previous comments show that it has already split to produce dieselpunk and I agree with @frigg: that it's the beginning of the end.