Steampunk is a fantastical combination of history and futurism. Imagine someone from the nineteenth century describing what one hundred years in the future would look like to them with a good helping of fantasy. While steampunk is most often based on Victorian styles, you can branch out to include other regions of the world. Use design motifs from a historical period in your futuristic items.
Choose mechanical elements that make sense and look functional, such as jet packs, wings that move, mechanical limbs and spyglasses, rather than adding gears as an afterthought. Deconstruct costume items and use corsets and bustles on the outside.
Study the Skeletal Form
Reference the bone structure of bird wings to create a deconstructed mechanical wing. Create a skeleton of metal and wood, adding glass or metal feathers, or stretch fabric over it like a ship’s sail.
Draw a small butterfly-style wing made from metal and glass that catches the light. Bird-like wings can be constructed with joints to open and close. Wings might be attached to a pack containing the mechanisms that make them work.
Military-style double-breasted jackets and vests look appropriate for a steampunk costume, giving an air of authority to your character. Spats are Victorian shoe and boot covers that keep shoes free from mud. They cover the ankle and top of the shoe with buttons up the side. Experiment with drawing them knee- or thigh-high, or decorating them with trims.
Character Study 1
She wears a mechanical arm attached with a belt and a short waist cincher, which still allows for plenty of movement. Skirt lifters are used to draw up a long skirt and keep it out of the way. Under that, she wears knee-length bloomers.
Bloomers allowed for activities such as biking and were controversial in Victorian England, when women did not yet wear pants
Character Study 2
This character is dressed with utility in mind. The multiple pockets on her belt carry supplies for adventuring. Goggles protect her eyes in flight, and spats protect her boots and keep her legs warm. Bands around her arms keep her sleeves rolled up.
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