This is something I wrote on our group page, just before Dieselpunk SA had our first picnic.
"With the picnic only days away, I thought I might say a few words about Dieselpunk costuming. I know that a lot of us came to know Dieselpunk through Steampunk, so I ask a favour.
Forget it all.While both being "punkified", if you will, versions of history, this is where the similarities end.
So, when thinking about a costume just remember; Dieselpunk is 1920's-1940's (some say early 50's too). This includes the aftermath of WWI, the entirety of WWII, the great depression, prohibition (in the US) and "the six o'clock swill" or alcohol curfew in Aust and NZ. It includes the age of the flapper, film noir, gangsters, working women, vaudeville, burlesque. Also, girls, think of jobs women were doing; Rosie the riveter, housewives, secretaries or glamorous actresses like Katharine Hepburn.
I guess the reason I am writing this is because when I was thinking about what costume to make, the first thing that came to mind was a nazi out of Indiana Jones. While that is a viable option, it isn't the only one.
I hope this was food for thought."
I'd really just love any notes or thoughts
Very interesting and well written.You gave really good explanation of what "Diesel" is and what inspires Dieselpunk.
A word of caution though. I would recommend never wearing a Nazi uniform. It's far too offensive to many people and it could give the false impression that you're a neo-Nazi. Plus, in some European nations I understand it's even illegal.
Great to know. We did have lots of people in uniforms, but maybe Nazi wasn't the best word to use.
The problem is they had such snazzy uniforms.
My question would probably more be about what you might term accessories. How to show the technological and scientific advancements of dieselpunk. When you see steampunks they have fancy monocles, big mechanical arms and such. What could you wear while dressed in 1940s wear, to give that same impression of being not just historical reenactment?
Well, for me, I wore a sundress in a style popular in 1948, however I cut it up and wore it with shorts. I guess for me, that is "punking" the outfit up to separate from historical reenactment. But in terms of accessories, it's difficult. I think one of the most dieselpunk of accessories is the gas mask, but some would say thats more postapocolyptic or atompunk... Who really knows? :P
Maybe medals? WWII era medals?
I was looking for something to show the science-fictional aspect of it. Other than a raygun by your side. Also I think wearing a gasmask down the street might well cause some panic.
True, but one might say that the Nazis prove that evil often hides itself within beauty.
The problem is they had such snazzy uniforms.
The Soviets would indicate otherwise.
I just thought I´d quote this from Albrech over on the Brassgoggles forum:
"During my time in England I did WW II reenactment as part of the RAMC.
During one big event (Fistycuffs?) our platoon set opposite a platoon of Waffen-SS at a table in the "have a break"-tent and of course we talked about this and that.
The guy opposite me noted my accent and asked where I was from, so I told him I was German but for obvious reasons could not reenact WAffen SS although the uniforms were far more cool.
To which he replied, he certainly would not mind because he was Jewish...
That silenced me for a minute or two..."
I'm not saying that the Nazis didn't know how to use fashion. My point was that the Nazis were indeed experts at using style, whether it was fashion or theatrical productions such as Nuremberg rallies, torchlight marches and rituals, to entice the masses into accepting their perverted philosophy of hate and mass murder. To me it's acceptable to wear a WWII German uniform in the context as being part of historical reenactment event. It's another thing altogether to wear one at a picnic or party.
Whenever we find ourselves thinking how cool their uniforms looked, which I'm not going to deny, we need to remember that the reality behind every SS uniform was this:
Well we should remember that everyone has their good and bad sides, instead of using simplistic terms like good and evil. However when dealing with Joe Public, you do want to be careful, Simplistic is what they do. Even if I would like to see the sight of a bunch of SS officers sitting around having a picnic together.
"What do you mean the sandwiches aren´t made with white bread!?!"
I would generally agree that people do have their good and bad traits. However, to have been an SS officer you had to be a true believer of Nazism. They weren't like the average person of German society during that time. Members of the SS were sworn to the every aspect of Nazism's perverted doctrine and willingly carried it out ruthlessly. They weren't drafted or forced to do what they did but did so of their own free will.
Nazism was an evil doctrine and the men and women that enforced it, which included members of the SS, were indeed evil. I have no problem publicly saying that.