A growing number of youthful romantics, disenchanted with the coldness of contemporary culture, are turning back the clock to a quasi-Victorian age in a movement known as Steampunk, the New York Times reports. Followers of the trend, which one designer calls “the intersection of technology and romance,” celebrate a bygone sense of wonder by dressing in waistcoats and corsets and collecting gramophones and diving bells.
“There seems to be this perfect storm of interest in steampunk right now,” the designer notes. Steampunks don’t reject modern technology—they assimilate it. One guru rebuilt a computer with typewriter keys; another keeps his iPhone in a brass case. “I’m so sick of baggy pants hanging off your bottom,” he says. “This is more refined. It goes back to a time when people had some dignity.”