If one is an astute observer of history, particularly historical costume (which I confess to being), one notices that the key statement made by Victorian fashions is a complete rejection that any part of the body below the neckline exists. Coverage is key, and although fashions are fitted, they are rarely close fitted. The legendary Prince Albert piercing, for example, was said to exist solely to keep a man from spoiling the lines of his pants. Women’s fashions, in particular, seemed to deny the existence of the leg. To show one’s ankles was scandalous; American merchants on the Santa Fe Trail were shocked to find ankle length skirts on Mexican women, skirts that rose up to the calf while dancing. The horror, the horror. With that in mind, I always find it interesting that today’s steampunk fashions so clearly display the women’s legs. We celebrate both the buttoned up Victorian fashions and a fetish approach to lingerie with seemingly no contradiction- quite a feat.