This past weekend the Florida Renaissance Festival hosted its second annual Time Traveler themed weekend which drew an accomplished group of costume enthusiasts of all ages and time disciplines. As mentioned in a recent article, Steampunk was the overarching idea but all time travelers were welcome to visit the festival’s 16th Century themed atmosphere. As both the daily parade and the afternoon costume contest showcased the Miami / South Florida area has a talented and fully engaged group of Steampunkers, Cosplayers and related groups of Sci-Fi geek-chic trendsetters. Among the festival goers it was possible to spot Whovians – followers of TV franchise Dr. Who – including several Doctors and a Dalek and a Tardis or two. There were Borgs and Star Trek crew, plus, Anime characters, historic musicians, Back to the Futurists, Star Wars characters and many other media inspired costumed visitors. And, of course, there was a sizable representation of the many styles of Steampunk that are currently, what fashion experts like to call, trending.
Hannah Rothstein writer @MODCLOTH in her ebook, The Insider's Guide to Steampunk Fashion, synthesizes the top steampunk “aficionados” work to derive a set of four basic Steampunk genres of fashion and labels them the “aesthete, the inventor, the adventure seeker and the eclectic.” Each of these styles found ample representation at the festival. In fact, at Sunday’s contest, each of these styles was represented in the finalists and winners of that day’s Steampunk section of the contest. For the Sunday, costume contest’s media category - those costumes inspired by science fiction oriented television, film, books, manga and graphic novels - the winner was a clever, Boba Fett, inspired by a recurring character in the Star Wars series of films.
It was particularly striking to see the wide diversity of ages and talents represented in the steampunk, costume community, whereas most of the costume contestants in the media categories were teenagers and young adults, the Steampunk characters ranged across an even spectrum of ages and included individuals and families dressing as coordinated groups with fully developed Steampunk adventure backstories. The sheer escapist fun of this genre, both for costume and gadget creation, and for role playing adventure, are helping to take this movement national and will keep it a vibrant costume driven movement, hopefully far into the future as new styles emerge and new generations grow up with great memories of family Steampunk adventures.
Upcoming Costume Theme Weekends.
March 8 and 9, 2014 – Game of Thrones Inspired Weekend with Fight Demonstrations / Battle for Supremacy of the Houses of Westeros.
March 15 and 16, 2014 – Celtic Weekend with the Men in Kilts Contest