On the Friday of the Asylum Steampunk Festival I met up with a couple of my local lolita ladies for tea and cake, then in the evening I went to Lady Elsie’s Fashion Gala. The fashion gala partly showcases artists and designers work but it also exists to inspire its attendees and show that Steampunk is more than brown, Victorian fashion and goggles.
The first collection was by Karen Grover and her aim was to showcase outfits that would inspire people to create their own. She used commercial patterns (some which she adapted slightly) and readily available fabrics, some of the dresses were even made from patterned quilt covers. Her collection had a slight Harry Potter influence, it was to do with the story of a young wizard set in a Steampunk world. There’s even a Steampunk quidditch player.
Magician and mentalist Dr Corvus Marconi then did a short set.
He was followed by Mother’s Ruin Millinery who make fantastic hats, fascinators and statement head wear. The collection had a Slavic/Russian influence using traditional designs but given a Steampunk twist. They believe that any colour can be used in Steampunk and so aimed to bring a colourful, playful and regal collection to the stage.
Harlots & Angels corsetry created some stunning and jawdroppingly beautiful designs for their collection. My favourite was the petal dress which had over 250 handmade petals. Just gorgeous! They produce their own patterns, some of which you can buy, which with a little imagination and creative thinking can be altered to produce something very different from the basic pattern. Their collection was all about showing how their basic patterns can be transformed to appear as very different items. So much talent!
Alice’s Night Circus them performed a few songs, she has such a beautiful and powerful voice and her dress was so sparkly! According to the programme Alice’s Night Circus is a curious journey down a magical rabbit hole, featuring a blend of apocalyptic fairytale steampop sung by Alice.
Check out her website here: www.alicesnightcircus.com
Next was Diamantequeen Designs who brought true statement pieces full of colour, sparkle and attitude. Just amazing! Description from the programme: An eclectric, vibrant, multi-cultural collection of new, re-cycled and up-cycled garments and headpieces. Using influences from India, Japan, nature, Punk Rock, the film Velvet Goldmine, 70’s Glam Rock/Bowie.
Blue Lady Couture brought beautiful well crafted historical pieces with Victorian, Fairytale and Steampunk influences. The millinery pieces were created by Ooh La La Boudoir. Collection description: A gothic world of enchantment and mystery lit by gas lamp and swathed in steam, period styling entwines with classic detailing to create a striking re-imagining of tales as old as time.
Second Coming brought a very unusual collection to the stage. The collection was titled “Show Some Restraint” and is inspired partly by the event name ‘Weekend at the Asylum’ (the event originally used a building that used to be a Victorian asylum) and methods of restraints used in Victorian Insane Asylums. Not to mention all Steampunks are a little crazy anyway.
Cirque and cabaret style aerial artist and burlesque performer Scarlet Butterfly then dazzled the audience with her amazing pole dance skills before the final collection of the evening took place. I couldn’t get any decent photos. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scarlet-Butterfly/376995592429247?fref=ts
The final collection featured characters from The Imaginarium which is a Dickens style, Steampunk themed story set to stunning Fine Art Photographic images. It sounds really intriguing, I can’t wait until it’s finished and the images are stunning. Find out more here: http://www.g-n-p.co.uk/