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Author Topic: Boho: Steampunk Trojan Horse ?  (Read 2753 times)
chicar
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« on: June 10, 2014, 12:21:22 pm »

I always found than the latest fashion trend had a 1960/Old America side. And you ?

Off course, this probably  just a illustration of the return in fashion principle.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 12:25:13 pm by chicar » Logged

The word pagan came from paganus , who mean peasant . Its was a way to significate than christianism was the religion of the elite and paganism the one of the savage worker class.

''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
Extract of the Dreamflesh article ''Path of The Sacred Clown''
Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2014, 04:09:42 pm »

Is Boho a latest fashion trend then? I'm really not up on this stuff, but I didn't think it'd ever gone away. Particularly with summer fashion anyway (mind you I do know a few hippies)  Cheesy

Still yes, as a style it's definitely got very old roots.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 06:49:13 pm by Argus Fairbrass » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2014, 05:31:13 pm »

Holly hobby  was a subversive influence in the 70s


from eerie dolls




 to malign  female wiles



holly style pole dancing
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2014, 10:26:54 pm »

You seem to have a very wide definition of the term steampunk.
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Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2014, 02:08:52 am »

Well he's hardly the only one, thank God.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

You may even recognise the gent on the right. It all makes perfect sense to me, like I said I believe the term "Bohemian" actually originates from the C19th and is a take on the French word for Gypsy. Obviously folks still draw from that time period. But even so, as well as conventions, hasn't Steampunk style also developed through the festival circuit? places like Burning Man etc. I've never been there but I'd expect to encounter a certain level of erm...Bohemia, if I went hehe.

In truth if people stop spreading the net for influences the whole thing stagnates. To paraphrase, an artist is someone who joins the seemingly unjoinable (can't remember who said that).

Still I for one am thankful we still have a few artists around here.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 05:45:14 am by Argus Fairbrass » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2014, 11:18:13 am »

Is Boho a latest fashion trend then? I'm really not up on this stuff, but I didn't think it'd ever gone away. Particularly with summer fashion anyway (mind you I do know a few hippies)  Cheesy

Still yes, as a style it's definitely got very old routes.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)


I'm not sure that it's the latest style.  Some people say it peaked in 2005, but I never saw enough of it other than in Austin Powers  Cheesy.  If true and it was a bona fide current, then it melded with the 1970's retro which dominated that whole decade and took inspiration from the late 1990s Electronica music scene (via Deep House).  

As far as having a wild west flavour to it, I guess that is just Americana folklore which was very much part of the fabric of culture in the 60's and 70's. Wild West and related themes were always popular in America's TV during the mid-late 1970s too. I'm not sure that the "Little House on the Prarie" style counts as Boho Chick, though...

« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 11:25:12 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2014, 02:47:59 pm »

Sure, as far as I can tell Bohemian is one of those annoying catch all umbrella terms, used to describe a style that incorporates "exotic" "ethnic" (and yet more annoying catch all and frankly rather racist terms) influences. Which is of course why the Victorians jumped all over it, as anything that wasn't properly buttoned down was of course "exotic" or "artistic" (a term also used rather patronisingly by some). And yes then it got a big resurgence in Western culture in the 60's. I guess characters such as those portrayed by Kate Beckinsale in Van Helsing, or Noomi Rapace in Sherlock Holmes 2, could also be described as having a "Bohemian" style.

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Being a simple man I ultimately have a simple take on it.

It's darned hot keep it up.  Wink
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 06:42:55 pm by Argus Fairbrass » Logged
Clym Angus
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2014, 04:36:05 pm »

Still I for one am thankful we still have a few artists around here.

If this is the meaning of art; it can be as artistic as it likes as much as it wants. I won't be complaining. I may loose my monocle, however.
I'm a sucker for a bit of chainmaille.
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Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2014, 06:37:29 pm »

How about a nice sword to go with that?



Posted purely to demonstrate that not all C19th/early20th Bohemians were ladies, and that Sir Reginald Pikedevant is in fact a time traveller.  Cheesy
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chicar
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2014, 10:44:18 pm »

You seem to have a very wide definition of the term steampunk.

I admit the term ''historical sci-fi trojan horse'' would have been more apropriate.
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2014, 11:29:56 pm »


OK so Hollie Hobbie probably wasn't steampunk  [ or chic]

- but she could have been

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holly_Hobbie





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Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2014, 11:37:36 pm »

I think it was more the Bohemian aspect that was being queried. I always found Hollie Hobbie a bit patchwork quilty Little House On The Prarie...y? which is perfectly Steampunk adaptable yes. But it has that wholesome home grown Americana thing going on, which I've never associated with Bohemian or indeed Boho personally. Perhaps the definitions have changed slightly I'm unsure.

I do want to underline, when I say Bohemian, I'm not referring to the historical Kingdom of Bohemia, which is now essentially the Czech Republic. It was (from what I gather) a word adopted by certain classes of predominately white westerners to describe a fashion style they essentially considered esoteric. What if any connection it had to Bohemia I actually really don't know, but can only assume as we're talking central Europe, that it was indeed to do with the Gypsies (or rather the artistic portrayals of the Gypsies) and their inimitable stylee.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 12:23:14 am by Argus Fairbrass » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2014, 11:14:56 am »

I think that Holly Hobbie's character is definitely more "American Pioneer" which technically makes it part (or at least a companion) of the "Wild West" mythology.  I'm not sure that it's confined to the Gilded Age (1870-1900), because the Westward expansion (which has everything to do with pioneers settling new lands) actually started much earlier and accelerated after the Annexation of Texas and the formerly Mexican territory in the 1840s.

But. let's not forget that "Little House on the Prarie" was actually a historical account about settlers in what is now the "Midwest"* of the US, as remembered by Laura Ingalls (who wrote books for children in the 1930s).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Ingalls_Wilder

Charles and Caroline Ingalls, (undated)

Laura E. Ingalls-Wilder, 1894


The character uses American symbols, combining the pinafore and "bucket" bonnet dresses as worn by the migrant children of the era, and the quintessential "quilted pattern," which dates back to British colonial days in America; basically a practice among the pioneers where old clothing  was recycled by cutting up and saving good pieces, and then re-stitching them into patterns to make new pieces.  American clothing differed from what you would see elsewhere in Europe, because the clothing needed to be practical and stand up to the elements, including harsh winters and hot summers in the middle of nowhere, and yet the fashion was a variation of European clothing.

A Laura Ingalls reproduction costume:
https://img1.etsystatic.com/005/0/5257877/il_570xN.383365805_88ay.jpg
A Holly Hobbie Costume
http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk281/meilikaziska_bucket/Costume3/HollyHobby_4.jpg
A Pinafore dress
https://img0.etsystatic.com/000/1/6130367/il_570xN.222252112.jpg
More period dresses (note the children are barefoot):
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/255086766365130134/
https://img0.etsystatic.com/000/0/5728597/il_fullxfull.258969650.jpg

You get the idea.  How much of this washed into Hippie fashion in the 60's, and how much of it is legitimately Bohemian in the 19th. C. sense of the word it's hard to tell, but Americans are also known for being very conservative in the sense of maintaining traditions.  And certainly a lot of American immigrants were Eastern European, so getting people from Bohemia-proper was definitely the norm in some areas like Texas in the 1880's onwards (mostly German and Czech immigrants in Central Texas).  The fashions of late 19th.C. Americans were European, alright, but they were not British, nor were they wearing the French couture of the time.  These were immigrants, and while it's wrong to say that they all were poor and destitute (that is very false idea, as you needed  a certain amount of money just to cross the pond), they did go through hardship in the first generations in America.  Emigration did not always mean immediate success.  The Central and Eastern European clothing would certainly smack of being "Bohemian" in the eyes of a Western European at the time, and over time it would adapt to weather and be recycled.

Notes:

Wiki: Quilt
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

*Midwest
Quote
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 11:28:21 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Hurricane Annie
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2014, 11:49:22 am »

 These photo from the archives   lend a whole nother level of questions  regarding the  ab/use of the term  "Bohemian Chic"

Bohemians  in their true element








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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2014, 12:02:00 pm »

I think that Holly Hobbie's character is definitely more "American Pioneer" which technically makes it part (or at least a companion) of the "Wild West" mythology.  I'm not sure that it's confined to the Gilded Age (1870-1900), because the Westward expansion (which has everything to do with pioneers settling new lands) actually started much earlier and accelerated after the Annexation of Texas and the formerly Mexican territory in the 1840s.

But. let's not forget that "Little House on the Prarie" was actually a historical account about settlers in what is now the "Midwest"* of the US, as remembered by Laura Ingalls (who wrote books for children in the 1930s).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Ingalls_Wilder

Charles and Caroline Ingalls, (undated)

Laura E. Ingalls-Wilder, 1894



*Midwest
Quote
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin



 that is a  spooky little picture of Caroline and Charles Ingalls.  I am assuming the undated photo may be on or shortly after their marriage in  1860. Caroline has her arm and hand obscuring her stomach  area. This  was a tactic commonly used in photograph sittings to  hide a pregnancy. It was considered  extremely indelicate for a woman to show herself to be "with child"  in public
« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 12:04:02 pm by Hurricane Annie » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2014, 12:33:33 pm »



When trying to disentangle bohemian from steampunk, one inevitably slams headlong into the nitty problem of Romanticism. Arguably a backlash against industrialisation. The point could be argued quite convincingly.
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« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2014, 12:39:23 pm »

I think Americana and bohemian has never been out of fashion.
Denim in all shapes and colours have always been around. Cowboy/girl look has held it's ground also throughout the decades. I have not seen a decade without any kind of cowboyboots for male or female.
Even plaid shirts kept fashionable by all kinds of people. Rappers/gangsters use the colours to show their gang. Guns 'n Roses frontman Axel Rose wore plaid shirts, Nirvana and other grunge groups wore plaid.
Female singers have re-discovered Burlesque.
When you think about it, the world of fashion is the most Steampunk world of all. Everything is being rehashed with minor alterations. Vintage has always been around, it's romantic. Brings back memories of a less hasty world.
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Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2014, 04:48:45 pm »

This is all from memory so forgive any details I'm hazy on. I've read some fascinating accounts of when the railway lines were finally completed into areas such as Mexico. It must have been quite something to see, when the first travellers on those trains arrived, in many cases never having encountered the Spanish/Mexican styles of dress before. If it was in use at that point, I could well imagine the term "Bohemian" going through some of their heads.

I suspect Clym is right, in that, to the minds of the folks for whom it was a concept, Boho was inspired by a certain romanticism of styles, that artists (particularly of that period) often presented.

I haven't read any take on Boho particularly on the multicultural Steampunk Blog. But I'm guessing the lady who writes for it, would say something along the lines of this is yet another classic example of C19th prejudice and cultural appropriation. And yes once again I wouldn't disagree, these attitudes were no doubt very much ingrained. It's never illegitimate to point that out just so people are aware, as this is the true history of Boho chic.

Funnily enough, even at the time it took off as a style, it had it's critics that felt it was a bit pretentious and forced. But even in one C19th example I read, the chap gave away another form of prejudice of his own, or certainly at least a level of misunderstanding. What he basically said (again I'm paraphrasing) was the reason gypsy girls were sexy, was because they didn't care about their outfits and just sort of threw everything together. Whereas of course the rather proper ladies who were going Boho in the Victorian era, still came across as extremely stiff and calculated about it. The definition of Bohemian expanded beyond it's Gypsy inspired roots to include the Pre Raphaelite styles and all sorts of things.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

When I was very young, I was lucky enough to spend some of my time growing up in the South of France. One the areas I used to visit was home to bona fide Romani Gypsies (last I heard they are still there).

I never saw a gypsy girl my whole life that didn't care about her appearance. I mean if you're working or whatever, sure it's not a fashion show and you may end up a tad dishevelled (but remember a lot of well to do Victorian ladies didn't work which was part of the irony). But there is a very definite difference between being viewed as romanticised and carefree, and actually not caring. They care all right, it's just a different style that is in itself an eclectic collection from their original homelands, combined with other styles they've adopted over the centuries, because y'know, travellers travel!

So of course it seemed highly "exotic" to some. No doubt hazy visions of wild sizzling Carmen style gypsy girls dancing around camp fires, would have conjured up a great sense of almost decadent freedom to many a buttoned down Victorian mind.

Ooh, it's suddenly got a little warm in here hehe.

But yes it's a nonsense essentially, Boho as a concept, is just south east of Liliput and right next door to Oz for all it's basis in fact. But the images and romanticism it evokes even now, are an interesting window into the attitudes of a very old world.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 06:21:58 pm by Argus Fairbrass » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2014, 10:21:11 pm »

I think it was more the Bohemian aspect that was being queried. I always found Hollie Hobbie a bit patchwork quilty Little House On The Prarie...y? which is perfectly Steampunk adaptable yes. But it has that wholesome home grown Americana thing going on, which I've never associated with Bohemian or indeed Boho personally. Perhaps the definitions have changed slightly I'm unsure.

I do want to underline, when I say Bohemian, I'm not referring to the historical Kingdom of Bohemia, which is now essentially the Czech Republic. It was (from what I gather) a word adopted by certain classes of predominately white westerners to describe a fashion style they essentially considered esoteric. What if any connection it had to Bohemia I actually really don't know, but can only assume as we're talking central Europe, that it was indeed to do with the Gypsies (or rather the artistic portrayals of the Gypsies) and their inimitable stylee.

Ironically the author/ illustrator of Holly Hobbie was of Bohemian descent.  The characters in her art were based around life in  the early pre WW1  1900s .

yes  Bohemianism  like pre Raphaelite  and Gothic , are merely themes and ideas formed around a label stolen for its romantic connotations  rather than any real pure meaning.
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« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2014, 02:58:09 am »

I think it was more the Bohemian aspect that was being queried. I always found Hollie Hobbie a bit patchwork quilty Little House On The Prarie...y? which is perfectly Steampunk adaptable yes. But it has that wholesome home grown Americana thing going on, which I've never associated with Bohemian or indeed Boho personally. Perhaps the definitions have changed slightly I'm unsure.

I do want to underline, when I say Bohemian, I'm not referring to the historical Kingdom of Bohemia, which is now essentially the Czech Republic. It was (from what I gather) a word adopted by certain classes of predominately white westerners to describe a fashion style they essentially considered esoteric. What if any connection it had to Bohemia I actually really don't know, but can only assume as we're talking central Europe, that it was indeed to do with the Gypsies (or rather the artistic portrayals of the Gypsies) and their inimitable stylee.


Ironically the author/ illustrator of Holly Hobbie was of Bohemian descent.  The characters in her art were based around life in  the early pre WW1  1900s .

yes  Bohemianism  like pre Raphaelite  and Gothic , are merely themes and ideas formed around a label stolen for its romantic connotations  rather than any real pure meaning.

Czech origins are hard to avoid in rural America.  Here's an interesting account of the various waves of migration into the US (prior and after independence from the UK).
http://www.czechsinamerica.wz.cz/DPW/3-Diploma%20Work.htm

It helps to place the origin of societies in context.  While the US is a young nation having declared independence in 1776, it's society had its beginnings since the early 1600s, and the Spanish American societies since the early 1500s.  Such that there were waves of Czech migrants from Moravia and Bohemia coming in during those early days (even with the Spanish explorers in the 1500s!!), and later in larger numbers in the 1700s.  Then 19th. C waves and  20th. C. waves followed.


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« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2014, 10:29:44 am »

Ironically the author/ illustrator of Holly Hobbie was of Bohemian descent.  The characters in her art were based around life in  the early pre WW1  1900s .

yes  Bohemianism  like pre Raphaelite  and Gothic , are merely themes and ideas formed around a label stolen for its romantic connotations  rather than any real pure meaning.

The Victorians were an odd bunch, technology was in effect re-writing how things were done. Old money was mixing with new money from a generation of industrialists. Class systems were being breached by builders not land owners. Old established orders although not over turned were certainly looking a touch shaky. So, with belching smoke and smog it's not surprising that people started looking round for something "real".

It is a patchwork quilt of ideas the Victorian age. Which is one of the things that makes it so examinable as a resource.
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Argus Fairbrass
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« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2014, 01:46:40 pm »

Whoa! I knew the name was old, but I didn't realise it was quite this old.

http://www.localhistories.org/czech.html

https://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Boii.html

Still reading all that, the mashup of Boho Chic does actually make a lot more sense.
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« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2014, 06:09:18 pm »

That's just the name of the area though. According to a czech, the style you might call bohemian is known as bobo there.
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« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2014, 10:08:18 am »



Bohemian gypsy influences through the twentieth century were boosted by Diaghilev's Ballet Russes style,( and the artistic, more oriental fashions of the twenties) and later by Yves St Laurent's re-interpretation of it in the seventies.  It is Steampunk in the sense that fiction of the Victorian and Edwardian era always had a passionate, exotic creature in it somewhere; one delightful later example is Karamaneh, the Egyptian girl of mesmerizing loveliness in the Fu Manchu books.

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