Ever wanted to cosplay a steampunk character? Here are some of the best costumes and outfits that you can take inspiration from, all sourced from some great steampunk movies in recent history:
Van Helsing might have been critically-panned when it was released in 2004, but boy did that movie look good.
It is a modern retelling of the story of Abraham Van Helsing, a character made famous as the protagonist in Bram Stoker's Dracula. In the film, Van Helsing was given a brand new background story. Instead of the highly capable man of medicine that he originally was in the novel, Van Helsing is now a legendary monster hunter, exchanging his character's usual silver crucifix and wreath of garlic blossoms for revolvers and a crossbow.
At first glance, this new Van Helsing looks extremely badass. He comes dressed with a cowboy hat, a long brown overcoat with embossed leather and buckle accents, a leather vest over a turtleneck top, and tailored brown pants. Of course, with his trademark repeater crossbow in his hand.
The name of this anime movie is a dead giveaway. Following the success of his 1988 hit film Akira (the first Japanese-made animated movie that opened up the doors for anime appreciation in the West), screenwriter and director Katsuhiro Otomo finally debuted Steamboy in 2004 (after ten years of production!). This is basically his love letter to the steampunk genre, with the world of the film set in an alternate history version of 19th century England.
As a young headstrong inventor, main protagonist James Ray Steam's iconic costume is a clear reflection of his talents and interests. He wears a red old-timey aviator's body suit, aviator's cap and goggles, and leather gloves. Just the perfect outfit when he's flying around on his steam-powered machines.
It's campy and doesn't make sense most of the time, but if you're looking for a film with rib-aching comedy and over-the-top steampunk, then the 1999 Will Smith starrer Wild Wild West is your best bet. Bizarre steam inventions, weird mechanical technology, and other steam-powered curiosities- it's got everything you wanted in steampunk film and more.
The two leads (Will Smith and Kevin Kline) look dapper enough in their roles as US Army Captain James West and Marshal Gordon respectively, but it's Dr. Arliss Loveless (Kenneth Branagh) who steals the show. Despite having no legs, Loveless wears a dapper's black gentleman's suit and a top hat. The highlight of his outfit is his wheelchair, which transports him everywhere speedily enough because of its steam-powered engine.
The premise behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is epic. Abraham Lincoln (yes, the 16th President of the United States- well-known for his abolishment of slavery), is given a whole new background story. Slavers are vampires who use slaves for feeding, and Mr. Lincoln is out to get them.
Along with his new role as vampire hunter extraordinaire who spent years training his chops at killing the undead, Lincoln is appropriately dressed for the job. With his black waistcoat, trousers, boots, and trademark top hat in tow, he is ready to chop these fanged baddies into oblivion.
It's sad that Treasure Planet was eclipsed by other more popular Disney films, which is a shame, since it is a gem in its own right. Like the book, it follows the story of Jim Hawkins, and his quest to find himself, and of course, treasure, in the process. It is set in this dystopian futuristic sci-fi/steampunk world, with airships as a main mode of transport.
The most interesting character in this movie would be the main antagonist John Silver. He wears a weathered brown overcoat, pirate's striped pantaloons and hat. And just to add to the steampunkishness of it all, he also has a mechanical arm and a peg leg made out of metal.
There have been numerous Sherlock Holmes adaptations over the years, but the 2009 film was a standout because it incorporated steampunk elements into the story. This is not London as it was in the 19th century- this is a London filled to the brim with strange industrial machinery, bizarre contraptions, and fashions that wouldn't be out of place in a steampunk convention.
Robert Downey as Sherlock wears a black waist coat with embroidery, a vest with floral accents, and pinstriped trousers. He also wears a bowler hat along with his usual outfit.
The 2009 animated film 9 is very aesthetically interesting. It is steampunk with post apocalyptic and horror undertones, and it features some of the most emotionally-deep yet adorable-looking characters that you'll ever see in film.
The eponymous protagonist 9 is a Stitchpunk- sentient ragdolls that have a life of their own. 9- who seems to be made out of burlap sack- has a huge zipper on his front, that he can open and close at will. Like all other Stitchpunks he also wear goggles. If you ever find yourself wanting to cosplay a steampunk character, 9 would make for one epic costume.