As a creative movement, retro-futurism is a fusion between retro style elements of the pre-1960s and futuristic technology...but a futuristic technology as imagined by the past. By extracting the technological predictions of a past era and putting them together with a hip modern sensibility, retro-futurism conjures a kind of futuristic nostalgia.
"Where Yesterday's Tomorrow is Still the Future"~Retrofuture Today

 It's all a bit confusing but one there's really two overlapping trends involved here - retro-futurism and futuristic-retro. What's the difference? Well, one takes technological visions of the past and depicts them with a contemporary perspective....kind of like what the present might have been and the future might be if we'd stuck stylistically with a pre-1960s style. The second trend uses futuristic technology and overlays it with stylistic elements of the past or vice-versa (as in steampunk, which marries futuristic technology and the Victorian era) As wikipedia puts it, it's the future as seen from the past and the past as seen from the future.

One common link between trends is a kind of conscious discomfort with the present and a desire to infuse a nostalgic element into what seems like an all-consuming technology, which is sometimes threatening, yet wondrous and with which we have a love-hate, tension-filled relationship. It's certainly one way to keep retro-love connected with the present and even the future.

For some illustrations of retro-futuristic art, teleport over to top design mag.