Steampunk inspiration and resources

Steampunk “Under the Gunn”

I was only 8 years old when reality TV got its kickstart in the form of MTV’s The Real World in 1992. Since then the genre has given us a variety of ways to put people in a cage and observe their movements, whether they be conniving their way to love or rising above the competition to claim fabulous prizes. I will admit that I followed the love lives of plastic people like Bret Michaels and Tila Tequila with the rest of the sheep (I comforted myself by imagining I was doing an exercise in Anthropology), but for me the reality shows that have always been the best and continue to surprise me are the fashion competitions.

I’ve already shown you what Steampunk treasures guilty pleasure America’s Next Top Model had to offer, and last night Project Runway: Under the Gunn stepped up to the plate with the prompt to create “avant garde looks in the Steampunk aesthetic.” The designers were given $300 to spend on fabric and 30 minutes to dig through gadgets, clocks and other hardware to give their looks some mechanical flair. While a couple designers did struggle with the concept, I was really impressed overall with the extent of their knowledge and clever interpretations.

Click on any photo to open a larger slideshow.

During the show, Lifetime.com invited viewers to “play along” by voting on different questions throughout the episode. The first poll asked if viewers liked Steampunk, and I was delighted to see 76% of people said that they did. Lifetime has the whole episode available here, as well as a great set of photos of each garment with zoom capabilities here.

More photos from Episode 7.

Did you know that Steampunk has found its way onto Project Runway before? Here is a collection from

Michelle Lesniak Franklin, Seaon 11 winner

Michelle Lesniak Franklin, Seaon 11 winner

Michelle Lesniak Franklin, Seaon 11 winner, in the workshop with Tim Gunn

Michelle Lesniak Franklin, Seaon 11 winner, in the workshop with Tim Gunn

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