Even his clothing — an unlikely fusion of current and neo-Edwardian
pieces (polo shirt, gentleman’s waistcoat, paisley bow tie), not unlike
those he plans to sell this summer at his own Manhattan haberdashery –
is an expression of his keenly romantic worldview.
It is also
the vision of steampunk, a subculture that is the aesthetic expression
of a time-traveling fantasy world, one that embraces music, film,
design and now fashion, all inspired by the extravagantly inventive age
of dirigibles and steam locomotives, brass diving bells and jar-shaped
protosubmarines. First appearing in the late 1980s and early ’90s,
steampunk has picked up momentum in recent months, making a transition
from what used to be mainly a literary taste to a Web-propagated way of
To some, “steampunk” is a catchall term, a concept in
search of a visual identity. “To me, it’s essentially the intersection
of technology and romance,” said Jake von Slatt, a designer in Boston
and the proprietor of the Steampunk Workshop (steampunkworkshop.com), where he exhibits such curiosities as a computer furnished with a brass-frame monitor and vintage typewriter keys.