Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

The Top 10 post (http://www.dieselpunks.org/forum/topics/dieselpunk-top-ten?xg_sourc...) got me thinking of a similar topic: the elements of DP design.

My wife is more into Steampunk (which I also enjoy), and the elements of Steampunk seem pretty set: leather, wood, brass fittings, muted colors, gears (LOTS of gears), etc. What would you say are the corresponding elements for Dieselpunk? A few pics I've seen use chrome and leather, but are there others? Do certain colors scream Dieselpunk more than others?

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Hmmm...good question.  My first reaction on color would be brown or khaki.  Indiana Jones and his jacket and fedora.  The brown and tan military gear of the era.

Trivia note, Dr. Jones jacket was actually black but had so much ground in dirt it appears brown.  

As far as other elements, well Art Deco/Streamline Moderne for sure would be one.  In fashion there's the fedora, homburg and other hats of the times.  Also the classic trench coat. 

I like to think that Chrome and Black are part of the color scheme when it comes to Dieselpunk. Maybe it is just my personal affinity for black and white movies, but that is what I like to think.

The Art Moderne/streamline look is a standout for me.  Anything with "speed lines" on it, especially in chrome.  At a glance you know it didn't come from before or after the period.

Rounded corners!

Brown is also okay for Dieselpunk. However, I prefer a black outfit, sometimes combined with grey and white items. My suitcases and satchels are brown leather. Instead of steampunk-typical brass, steel or chrome might look better for Dieselpunk. What I would avoid in Dieselpunk, is wearing too many or too bright colors. Adding a single color may look good, maybe a tie or scarf, but really colorful outfits as they became popular in the 1950s do not look like Dieselpunk for me.

More important than color, when changing the outfit from steampunk to Dieselpunk, replace the gears by fashion items. The fedora is for Dieselpunk what the googles are for steampunk.

It's funny, I was curious about the colors because (of course), most of the imagery we have from that period is black and white, but from what I've read here and elsewhere, it looks like the colors used were actually muted, just like the black and white imagery suggests! Overall, Dieselpunk seems to be much simpler in style than Steampunk, but I guess that makes sense as fashion got simpler. Of course, Dieselpunk also has that subcategory of the military vibe, but little in that appeals to me. Well, Blackhawk was pretty cool looking, but I much prefer the pulp hero/hard-boiled PI/rogue with a heart of gold vibe.

Fun fact, throughout the war years of the dieselpunk era, chroming was needed for the war, so most stuff at home was nickel plated, instead.

Anyhoo, I mostly use black, red, and white for my dieselpunk colors, although as others have mentioned, I love to splash in some brown leather for contrast. Indiana Jones, the Rocketeer, and the first Captain America movie all use browns to good effect in the costuming. Even in the art deco autos and motorcycles of the time, a shiny black and chrome motorcycle really pops if the seat and grips contrast in a honey brown leather.

When comparing Dieselpunk to Steampunk, keep in mind that Steampunk is much more given over to fantasy and whimsy.  Every Steampunk cosplay I have seen has women wearing corsets on the outside, showing large amounts of bare flesh and looking roughly like cheap French harlots, which would have been a travesty within the period they are trying to emulate.  Dieselpunk is much more realistic in its costume style.

As for colors, don't forget contrast.  Silver pin stripping on a deep black suit is sharp.  Pearl gray lapels on dark grey coat.  My favorite is gun metal in contrast with a walnut stock or handle.

I completely agree. Steampunk outfits are mostly worn as kind of fantasy cosplay at specific events. Steampunk is very event-oriented. There are a lot of meetings, fairs, etc. Dieselpunk is rather a lifestyle trying to integrate elements of the Diesel era (music, design, fashion) into modern lifestyle. That's why, there are not so many Dieselpunk events compared with Steampunk. 

To be fair, I HAVE seen female Dieselpunk cosplay based on (I assume) pin-up photos, Vargas paintings, or nose-cone artworks, so there ARE some DP gals who like to play up the sexuality, as well. (For the record, ladies, if it makes you feel good, wear it!) But, yeah, Steampunk does seem a bit more fantasy-based. But I tend to describe Steampunk as the future based on the vision of Jules Verne and fantastic versions of Nikola Tesla. DP doesn't really have those kinds of personalities and seems more focussed on the work of Hammett, Chandler, and the pulps.

Stephen Vossler said:

When comparing Dieselpunk to Steampunk, keep in mind that Steampunk is much more given over to fantasy and whimsy.  Every Steampunk cosplay I have seen has women wearing corsets on the outside, showing large amounts of bare flesh and looking roughly like cheap French harlots, which would have been a travesty within the period they are trying to emulate. 

In Germany, there is one of the world's biggest annual goth events held in spring in the city of Leipzig (just picture-google for WGT). For a number of years, there is also a lot of Steampunk folks taking part in this events. You will also see a few DP people wearing outfits you cannot really wear in everyday life on the street, e.g., some 1940s style military fantasy outfits. I usually visit the city during this event to enjoy the inspiring atmosphere in the streets, but I do not visit the specific event locations. All the music they play there is no DP, just Dark Wave and similar stuff.

Brian JP Craig said:

To be fair, I HAVE seen female Dieselpunk cosplay based on (I assume) pin-up photos, Vargas paintings, or nose-cone artworks, so there ARE some DP gals who like to play up the sexuality, as well. te. 

Oh, and remember Sucker Punch, which visually melded sexuality and Dieselpunk and for a while had a fair number of cosplayers. Just a shame that film had practically no plot to speak of...

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