Steampunk Out That Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding is coming up and I couldn’t be more oblivious or uninterested. HOWEVER, before you Englophiles out there scream “rubbish!” and toss a hot cup of Earl Gray in my face, I want to express that if the wedding had a steampunk theme I would be all over it. This sexy and cerebral aesthetic can be seen in the costuming of the relatively recent Sherlock Holmes movie (and I secretly wished The King’s Speech would have taken creative license with it). So, imaginarily consulted as the royal wedding planner, I present to you my picks to refashion that boring ceremony into something truly DRAMATIC and COOL. Westminster Abbey wouldn’t know what hit it.
 
 

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Hello? London Calling.
  
According to our friend, Wikipedia, Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. Specifically, steampunk involves an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century and often Victorian era Britain—that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy. Works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have envisioned them; in other words, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, art, etc. This technology may include such fictional machines as those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne or real technologies like the computer but developed earlier in an alternate history.

I love the look so much that I created a drawing last year inspired by this style.

The Springheeled Piper (2010) by Sarah McNabb

 Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for the royal couple and hope they have a long and happy marriage, but being an American overwhelmed with the amount of unnecessary attention and power that ridiculous celebutants here get, I’m not about to export my attention to Britain unless they do something utterly different and noteworthy…something UNstuffy – like hire Brit punk UFC fighter Dan Hardy to be the bouncer, or have David Gilmour or The Clash sing at the reception. This is a wedding for the history books and if I were in charge of it, I’d want it to STAND OUT.

God save the Queen, pip-pip cheerio, Bob’s your uncle, etc.

Additional Interesting Steampunk Sites:
The Steampunk Workshop
The Steampunk Home

Clockwork Couture

Image Credits:
Ring
Dress
Shoes
Hair accessory
Necklace
Groom’s vest
Cuff Links
Cake

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A Momentary Lapse of Reason

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge Pink Floyd fan. I have a black and white photo of the band, circa 1970, hanging by my computer at work, with a young David Gilmour (swoon) in the forefront. My very first CD was “The Division Bell” (1994) which I realize is  late in the band’s collection, but aside from the music, I loved the cover art.

Storm Thorgerson had the best job in the world. He was artistic adviser and graphic designer of Pink Floyd’s album covers. He has an online gallery that can be viewed at http://www.stormthorgerson.com/. In the course of reading his book “Mind Over Matter 4: The Images of Pink Floyd” one cover in particular, the 1987 album “A Momentary Lapse of Reason”, caught my attention, because of the story behind it but also because of Storm’s intense ability to pull together a vision with such scope in real life. That is a dedication to one’s art…FOR art. If I could ask Storm one question, it would be – in 2011 would you have set this up in real life again to photograph or rely more on computer graphics to create the vision?

A Momentary Lapse of Reason

According to Storm Thorgerson, “The idea for the beds comes from two sources. The first was a lyric line from ‘Yet Another Movie’ which read “A vision of an empty bed”. David [Gilmour] had drawn a picture for this which I liked, but not madly so I rearranged the words to become “a vision of empty beds” and that’s it. A long line of beds stretching across the landscape as far as the eye could see. Real beds in a real place. So many that the viewer might ask how it was done or what it might mean. The second source was a lonely rower, or sculler, rowing himself down a cracked, dry river bed. This was a reworking, I realise, of the swimmer in the dunes for WYWH. The beds then became arranged in a gentle curve stretching away from the camera, like a river, as in ‘river bed’!… The same rower, Langley Iddens, occupied a fast moving bed for the concert film for ‘On The Run’ from Dark Side, a hospital bed like the one from the cover. It all connects somehow and somewhere. But where to get all these beds and where to put them?…I wanted Victorian wrought iron, hospital type beds for dreamers, or mad people, or even ill people. Beds to dream in or beds to recover in. Lance Williams, location manager and all around good egg, somehow laid his hands on 700 beds and accompanying sheets, blankets and pillows, plus two articulated trucks and we took the whole lot down to Saunton Sands in North Devon and began to put them on the beach – one by one.”

He goes on to say that the weather didn’t cooperate at the beach and that after it started to rain they had to pick it all up and come back two weeks later. Additionally, the dogs in the photo were brought in with their trainer and the microlite in the sky had to be arranged along with rower, Langley Iddens, looking at himself in the mirror. A second shot of this scene was taken as the tide came in and if I’m not mistaken, this second photo was on the inside of the cover. The visuals that accompanied CDs were fun to look at. The art that accompanies MP3s online just isn’t…the same.

A truly haunting and beautiful photo created organically and orchestrated to fit the vision of the theme. The tight creative direction it must have taken to emulate the exact curve of the line of beds must have been time-consuming. The process is an art in itself and one that can come to really be appreciated knowing the lengths that a whole crew went to to set up this unforgettable shot.