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Beyond Victoriana #17.5: Steampunk and Victorientalism Assessed

The past week has been a flurry of conversation about the use and meaning of "Victorientalism". As part of this discussion, I wanted to highlight the various opinions expressed over this issue.

Read here.

Beyond Victoriana #18: Transcultural Tradition of the Vietnamese Ao Dai

(aka "How I Steampunk")

Conversations about cross-cultural  fashion in steampunk have been commonly assessed from the perspective of a Western, Eurocentric viewer (i.e. taking something and making it  "steampunk" is equated with Westernizing an non-Western garment). This viewpoint of fashion is focused on one-way consumption akin to an imperial culture appropriating from a colonized one: the viewpoint that has been prominent during the Age of Empire. Cultural exchange has many viewpoints, however, and fashion, being one of the most immediate forms  of public display and consumption, is open to an array of influences that do not have to be connected to a limited, one-way Orientalist  dynamic.

An example of this dynamic is the history behind the ao  dai.

Read here.

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