Long time no post, sorry about that.
As I mentioned a while ago I’d been super busy crafting and planning for my visit to the Asylum Steampunk Festival. The Asylum, held in the city of Lincoln, is the biggest Steampunk festival in the UK, perhaps even in Europe. It was the 7th one this year and is still attracting more and more people.
Although Steampunk doesn’t directly fall under the Kawaii fashion category it does embrace all the elements that I love about Japanese Street Fashions and has lots of similarities and overlaps, especially with lolita. It’s very creative, flamboyant, empowering, fun and very inspiring. It’s also very contagious, Steampunks and non-Steampunks alike tend to become infected with Asylumitus – characterised by aching feet (from all the walking and not always wearing practical shoes), sore face (from smiling) and the tendency to say “next year I’m…”.
There are no words that can really sum up the experience and atmosphere of attending, you really do have to go and see it for yourself. The golden rule of the Asylum is ‘Be Splendid’ this basically means be nice and respectful to each other – no-one should be made to feel unwelcome. What this rule creates is a community where you can be as expressive or creative as you want and embrace inspiration from pretty much any source you want. Although Steampunk is heavily routed in Victorian history and fashion with sci-fi futuristic elements there are more and more people adding fantasy and fairy tales in to the mix as well. I’ve also seen a lot of Steampunk superheroes, people drawing inspiration from games, film, TV other cultures it really is limitless and even better no-one is there to judge or state ‘That’s not Steampunk’.
Unfortunately in lolita and some of the other Japanese street fashions there is a rule book that generally you are expected to follow and often a lot of judgement is passed on those believed to have got things wrong or who have decided to bend some rules. Steampunk lets you play with ideas and do whatever you want – it’s so wonderful from an artistic perspective to have that freedom. It’s this, seeing how wonderfully talented, inventive, eccentric and kooky people are and the incredibly warm and welcoming atmosphere that makes the event so special to me. So many people greet you with a hello or good morning, smile and compliment you on your outfits, it’s a wonderful community to be part of.
If you ever get the chance to go then please do. Even if you can’t attend the event properly just go and soak up some of the atmosphere, I swear a lot of you will be back the following year to take part.