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Last week we were given the opportunity to share the results of a fantastic collaboration between Urban Threads and KMKostumes. The product was an amazing Steampunk-inspired dress that got me thinking about how much Steampunk and Victorian-era style has influenced fashion over the last few years, and vice-versa. Not only that, but tons of our talented BurdaStyle members have uploaded amazing creations inspired by both romantic Victorian style and the Steampunk aesthetic (which draws a good amount of it’s influence from the former).

Much of the late Alexander McQueen’s work was visibly influenced by Victorian fashion – whether it was as overt as the use of corsetry or more subtly woven into the construction and details. No matter where his designs went in terms of pattern, silhouette or mood, there always seemed to be at least a few elements within each collection tying back to the romantic opulence of Victorian-era style.

Two looks from the Pre-Fall ’09 collection.

From left: looks from Spring ’08, Pre-Fall ’09 and Spring ’09

Menswear straight out of a Dickens novel: Fall ’09.

These shoes from his Plato’s Atlantis collection echo the aesthetic of Steampunk style with their mixture of mechanics and fashion.



Speaking of mechanics and fashion…Jean-Paul Gaultier created these amazing couture gowns complete with metalwork accents for his Spring 2010 show. Sci-fi with just a touch of ethnic inspiration, these two could easily fit in with the costuming Gaultier did for The 5th Element.



Ann Demuelemeester’s dark, masculine pieces are made just a touch more feminine with the addition of a billowy silhouette and a strap-laden corset. Demeulemeester is known for her gothic, romantic aesthetic that offers a deconstructed, avant garde take on Victorian style pieces like waistcoats and jackets.



Other designers have taken elements from the two styles – such as military embellishments, Edwardian jackets, elaborate brocade fabrics and lace details.

From left: Balmain Spring ’10, Gary Graham Spring ’10 and Vivienne Westwood Red Label Fall ’10.


Some of my favorite elements to tie into your modern wardrobe…

Clockwise from top left: corset top by Vivienne Westwood, ruffle front blouse by Ralph Lauren, cuff by Mawi, riding jacket from ModCloth, booties by Irregular Choice.

A few Victorian and Steampunk inspired fashions created by BurdaStyle members:

From top left: Steampunk by positivespace, Steampunk Ensemble by paranoire and Steampunk Calypso by jebbeansrgood.


Neville’s Victorian Ensemble and Victorian Tea Party Dress by grafiketgrafok.


From left: Madam Steam by cmcraig41, Victorian Dress by paranoire and Night at the Opera Gown by alasse.


From left: Neo-Cabaret Skirt by Anda Purina, Renaissance Waist Cincher by Margaret Daniero and Steampunk Collar by grafiketgrafok.

Don’t forget you have until Sunday, October 23rd at midnight (EST) to upload your Halloween project to be a part of our 2011 BERNINA Halloween Costume Competition! Voting starts the week of October 24 and runs through October 30th so stay tuned to for all the info!


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    Nov 22, 2011, 01.50 PMby VibrationPlate

    Incredible patterns, some different styles… You can tell the models workout, probably on a vibration training machine

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    Nov 9, 2011, 12.57 AMby alexa30m

    This was a very educational and fun article for me to read. I have really enjoyed this information so much. This was great. Thanks so much. Meerwasser Aquaristik

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    Nov 7, 2011, 10.09 PMby Andrea Delesdernier

    Thank you for the this entry. Love it!

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    Oct 28, 2011, 02.47 PMby WagDoll

    Wow some amazing creations here! I’m inspired to include a bustle and lace wherever I can! x

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    Oct 27, 2011, 04.33 AMby chelmick

    is that an abacus on the collor…luv all the details

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    Oct 26, 2011, 07.27 AMby selenegracia

    Also, I love Steampunk! Great article, very inspiring

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    Oct 25, 2011, 11.33 PMby Terri Lehman-Carrow

    Lovin’ it! Great articles and selection!

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    Oct 25, 2011, 11.31 PMby hhoneybee


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    Oct 24, 2011, 12.42 PMby ichigogirl

    Great article, you nailed almost all of my favourite designers!

    May I add Haider Akermann to the steam punk-lot? A great deconstructivist with loads of shape to his garments. Love it.

    And Victorian (and 1930’s)…

    1 Reply
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      Oct 24, 2011, 03.10 PMby themisslinds

      I never really though of putting Haider in this category but now that you mention it I can totally see it. He is one of my absolute favorites.

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    Oct 24, 2011, 10.24 AMby fashionfreek

    O wow! I love the pieces. R.i.p AMc he was great. I will be trying my hand in few creations. I am upgrading my wardrobe. Thanks for this great article.:-)

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    Oct 24, 2011, 06.37 AMby rochelle49

    I love the Victorian fashions. I haven’t found much I like with the Steampunk accessories or slant of the patterns. Does Burda have a costume pattern collection?

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    Oct 24, 2011, 04.09 AMby Justine of Sew Country Chick

    Yes I do think Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier did steam punk like looks in the 80’s . I believe it’s a resurrection of the New Romantic look. Interesting how fashion often looks back during economic hard times…I’d love to make something like that but don’t think I’d have any occasion to wear it!

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    Oct 24, 2011, 03.46 AMby Melanie Wahjudi

    Wow… I think this article just resurrected my soul. Thank you.

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    Oct 23, 2011, 03.15 PMby heidilea

    I love Steampunk—both the fantasy creations and the applied real-life styles~!

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    Oct 22, 2011, 11.24 PMby smallone

    Love that you have Vivien Westward but wasn’t she actually a precursor …took quite a while for everyone else to catch up :)

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    Oct 22, 2011, 08.44 PMby Rikki Cade Battle

    this article is so inspiring, my next college project is on victorian fashion, i cant wate to get started.

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    Oct 22, 2011, 07.12 PMby priscillared

    I love steampunk! Thanks for this nice article :-)

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    Oct 22, 2011, 07.40 AMby caribbelle

    Be still my beating heart. Oh how I love all things steam punk especially the McQueen shoes, they came in a pink ballet version and I almost collapsed at how fabulous they were. There’s something so romantic about it that I love.

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    Oct 22, 2011, 07.34 AMby rhinestic

    Oh yes! I love steampunk!

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    Oct 22, 2011, 05.26 AMby kandrs

    These looks are gorgeous. I would love to see more steampunk / Victorian era influenced pieces on And maybe some info on how to do boning. Also some patterns for unmentionables, especially those worn with Victorian era dresses.

    3 Replies
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      Oct 22, 2011, 05.44 AMby jebbeansrgood

      You can bet your bustle I’ll be adding some more looks here soon!

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      Oct 22, 2011, 05.05 PMby alasse

      I’m still planning to add my bustle pattern soon, just have to dig it up from my stash of patterns… In the meantime, in my instructions for my victorian corset I do deal with how to work in the boning…

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      Aug 17, 2012, 10.11 PMby Bill Chambers

      I think for your best bet, if you can make your own pattern then add what you want, or what he likes in color or style, remember: to keep a man well fed, keep his food hot and his women. or keep him chasing you around the house, oh so hot!

    • This is a question
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