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So, what does steampunk mean to a member of the trade?

Joe Berry runs an online interiors company which he set up a few years ago when he bought his own flat and wanted a space that was an extension of his personality.

That space is in Surbiton in south-west London, a place more commonly linked with sitcom The Good Life and suburban worries than steampunk (although it does boast a classic Art Deco railway station).

Berry says: “We source evocative and provocative pieces that transcend genres, ages and styles and predominately sell from our stunning showhouse in Surbiton where we also live, so we truly buy what we would live with, because we do.

“Steampunk for me evokes concepts of ingenuity and creativity, and ultimately harks back to a time of industrial revelation and revolution.

“In 2017 I see it in the upcycling and industrial pieces that are available on the market, from Dugdill lamps with their lovely cogs and movements to large factory bases given a new lease of life as tables and even to the skulls often customised by artists.

“I love balancing light and dark and pitching them against each other. Steampunk sits on the darker side of life, represented in my stock with pieces such as an ethically sourced bronze-coloured peacock, the likes of which I have not seen on the open market.”

Berry adds that a good way to create a steampunk style in an interior would be to collect industrial pieces, vintage cameras or vintage timepieces, “as it’s all about movements, gears and ultimately steam”.

You can throw in lots of natural history references including botanical specimens, as well as microscopes, fossilised beetles, scientific instruments, battered old leather books and cabinets of curiosities. Costume is also a vital part of steampunk fashion.

Once described as “just a bunch of clockwork stuff on a top hat” (on website dailydot.com), it is in fact anything inspired by Victoriana.

Popular themes include goggles, top hats, corsets, allover lace, parasols, lace-up boots and modified armour, occasionally all worn at once and bought at antique fairs and markets to create the now classic steampunk look.


Steampunk festivals where vintage stalls do a brisk business to create the look

● The largest and longest running steampunk festival is held annually in the grounds of Lincoln Castle, where 2000 people dress up in anything from neo-Victorian costume to goggle-wearing guys in undertaker black. This year’s three-day steampunkfest runs from Friday to Monday, August 25-28.


● Gentility is a word that is sometimes associated with steampunk and is a description that sits rather well with the East Sussex town of Eastbourne, which hosts an annual steampunk festival that is set to hit the seafront on Saturday and Sunday, September 9-10.



This fine fellow right is US-based Montague Jacques Fromage, so known, who was the master of ceremonies for the Whitby steampunk events this year.

Whitby Steampunk Weekend is held twice a year in February and July in the Yorkshire seaside town which spawned Bram Stoker’s Dracula and all the Gothic Victorian spin-offs (and the now-famous Whitby Goth event).