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3.1 Dieselpunk Fashion

Paddock CoatDieselpunk fashion blends the styles commonly found during the diesel era with contemporary styles to create a fusion of both. The “punk” nature of the subculture comes from expressing a more complete presence in public akin to the fashion styles popular during the diesel era such as waistcoats, covered arms, hosiery, styles of shoes, and head wear to name a few. Military and paramilitary also counts, especially related to genre icons. Dieselpunk emphasizes the inclusion of such accouterments to render one’s look “complete,” in defiance of modern custom.

The now defunct blog Gearing Up was one of the first web sites dedicated to dieselpunk fashion. Despite its domain name (dieselpunk.net) it promoted mostly steampunk costumes and accessories but also helped to define the style and to point out the difference between Diesel and Steam.

With the advent of Dieselpunk Forum fashion quickly became a subject of a vivid discussion. “Show off your duds” thread, started by Jonny B. Goode on Nov. 4, 2009, remains the most popular with DP community. Other threads followed, the most recent appeared on Nov. 24, 2011. Vintage and modern styling is widely exposed in articles and albums published on the network. A real breakthrough was the presentation of Diesel Collection created by Kamila Gawrońska-Kasperska, a Polish designer, in conjunction with Dieselpunks creator Tome Wilson. Inspiration drawn from the films Metropolis and Sky Captain.

"Dieselpunk fashion"

Dieselpunk fashion by Kamila Gawrońska-Kasperska. Photography by: Tomek Sluspki (www.tomekslupski.com)

Generally, dieselpunk fashion is not (and never was) restricted to formal dress or military uniform. It includes a broad range of styles, from 1930s colonial to 1940s bomber jackets, from posh zoot suits to humble working-class overalls. Sometimes a light touch of style, like a vintage wristwatch, a pair of Art Deco earrings or an old-fashioned petrol lighter, is sufficient for a fashion-conscious dieselpunk.

Volume 1, issue 2, of the peer-reviewed journal “Fashion, Style and Popular Culture” published a review of the fashion presented in the movie The Great Gatsby (2013). Pages 300 – 301 described dieselpunk and explained why the movie is a dieselpunk production.

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