I had the chance to visit with Houston Community College (HCC) fashion collection curator Dana Blue as she takes us through the fashion department’s latest show Steampunk Chronicles: The Elizabeth S. Brown Fashion Collection. In a six-minute recorded interview complete with images, she shares the history of the underground steampunk revolution, how it’s worn, how HCC garnered the collection from friend and historical fashion collector Elizabeth S. Brown, and a few examples of the pieces in the collection. The perfect meld of fashion and history! Watch the video.
One of the things that you may have noticed in our posts about what to wear to certain destinations here on WeareverTheWeather.com is that we like to talk a little (or a lot) about where a certain style culture has derived. What’s its history, influences, and how do you wear it? Last week, I got a chance to delve a little more deeply into an intriguing but feast-for-the-eyes underground fashion movement called steampunk.
The first time I heard about steampunk, I couldn’t help but imagine lots of black, metal, and stripes – the usual punk/goth look. But one visit to Houston Community College’s fashion school exhibit Steampunk Chronicles: The Elizabeth S. Brown Fashion Collection showed me otherwise in a quick second!
According to the exhibit, “steampunk is a fashion revolution that started underground…It is the fusion of old and new, the obsolete and the cutting edge. It is a proper Victorian demeanor paired with punk rock rebellion, beautiful and unusual, refined and rough all at once.” Think retro-futuristic movies featuring anachronistic technology like Back to the Future III, Van Helsing, or The Golden Compass.
Housed in a modern, newly acquired building on Fannin in Midtown Houston, the HCC fashion exhibit “is a journey through time in a fashion machine.” Love it! That pretty much sums up the exhibit in just a few words. Here are my top favorite things about this exhibit.
- The exciting mix of Victorian fabrics and structure with pops of bright punk colors, elaborate jewelry, and mechanical details.
- The evolution of fashion from one century to the next. In so many pieces, I could see the collections of major designers over the years and even some of my favorite pieces in my own closet.
- The inspiration! The team behind this exhibit did a fabulous job of mixing textures, colors, and pieces to create outfits that made me want to experiment when I got home.
- The enthusiasm and passion from the exhibit’s team that shines throughout the collection – from the layout to the displays (check out the found metal sculptures that act as mannequin stands and HCC Professor Alex Chapman’s incredible wall to ceiling canvases) to the overall ambience of the space.
- The fact that an appreciation for fashion and its contribution culturally is being showcased to the Houston community.
Of course, this is just a taste of what the entire exhibit has to offer, so grab a bunch of friends and make a visit over to 3601 Fannin St on the second floor (just ask the fashionable Sunshine at the reception desk where to go), Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more info you can visit their website or call them at 713-718-6152.
More Historical Fashion at HCC
The view the Historical Fashion Collection at Houston Community College consisting of approximately 1200 items including garments, shoes, hats, bags, and other apparel accessories please click here.