Friday, May 9, 2014

A Martian Holiday

This really wasn't so alien for me, but it was a first to mark down in the costume adventure blog that this has become.  Conventions I've done.  Clogging convention (tap dance & Irish step dance mixed together to country & western music), hand made lace makers conventions, Worship & Teaching conventions for church, etc.  I've attended a few Steampunk events in the past 3 years and have fallen more in love with Victorian fashion than the Steampunk sci-fi personas.  I am, however, enamored with the immense variety in the sub-culture of Steamy fashion.  But, this is after all, a Steampunk AND Victoriana convention, so I'm squarely covered.

Gaslight Gathering 2014.  Held at the Town & Country Hotel in San Diego, CA.  Which is where I live, so it's the biggest annual meetup in my area.  Which makes it so much easier to enjoy it's time traveling awesomeness.

Like I've said before, this was a first for me.  My first year attending, my first year with the San Diego Costume Guild and the first year of seriously pursuing a side business designing and making costumes & clothing.  As a result, this was the event that I felt would really be my debut.  I wanted it to be special and to do something that would stand out.  To stand out at an event for the biggest Steampunk fans & aficionados around; what would one create or do that is unique?  That hasn't been done already or that is done so well that it is regarded as professional?

There is always that spark of inspiration.  Sometimes it comes shortly after the need is realized and sometimes it takes until the pressure is on for the ideas to start rolling in.  This project was inspired shortly after musing about my options and defining my style preferences.  Because you do have to ask yourself, what is my style?  What will I actually be comfortable wearing?  There are so many wonderful costumes that I've seen, that I could never wear, because I am not bold enough and it doesn't really fit my personality or my wearable colors. That's another aspect that one always has to consider.  "I really would love to create a Disney's Belle from Beauty & The Beast as a Victorian gown."  But in reality, I look sickly in lemon yellow.  I'm too white for some whites and to wholesome to wear some reds & certain styles.  All of these things, one must consider before donning a costume out "On Holiday".

Which brings us to the actual holiday.  The debut of myself, my business & my creative abilities manifested itself in a traveling seafarer's gown & accoutrements.  We weren't able to stay at the hotel or attend for more than one day, but the holiday was a blissful adventure, however short it may have been.  The day itself was wonderful.  Our friends, that we were to meet, already having checked in the day before, lent us their room mid-morning. This allowed us to don our dress clothes with care, instead of squishing ourselves in the coach and arriving a wrinkled exhausted mess. 

Then it was time for our debut.  My pet, Frederick Firetail, landed neatly on my shoulder and settled in for the day's adventure. I grabbed our suitcase and stepped into the time machine.  It was time to get this adventure under way.

 Our first item on the day's agenda was to go to the photo studio of Tobias Eastman.  We had heard that his eye for detail and talents for capturing the moment were unparalleled in any known universe.  His reputation is well evidenced in the photos he captured of us that morning.

Then off to attend classes & explore the resort.  Joyce & I were able to enjoy the Commercial Pattern to Custom Garment class, by Stitch Trickery, together while the guys and the rest of our group went off to other demonstrations or classes.  Many new tips & tricks have been absorbed and I'm sure will be aha'd as future garments are created; "Oh, that's what she was talking about."  These new ideas, tips & tricks will come in handy I'm sure, as I design/create garments by finding a pattern that will work for the base.

John went off to the How to Create Your Steampunk Persona class with much success in creating the history for his Persona. After this we met up with everyone for lunch at Charlie's.  Lovely food & wonderful company.

Our lunch was followed by a leisurely stroll around, making our way to enjoy the market.  The vendors & their wares were out for all to enjoy.  I enjoyed the slow pace from booth to booth, talking with the vendors and other attendees admiring Frederick.  He was such a ham for the cameras flashing all around.  It's not often that one can befriend such a creature.

Photos taken by
Derick Tortorella

We returned, after another demonstration and some more time exploring the vendors, to the hotel room to freshen up for cocktails followed by dinner with friends.

We were enjoying each others company so much that we missed the Junk to Steampunk competition and the Tea Dueling.

I heard that the Junk Competition, Tea Dueling & Gentleman's Fashion Show were wonderful affairs and I will be sure to enjoy my next Gaslight Gathering as a full weekend event so that I can fit more fun into my experience.   Until then, a big thanks to everyone that made GG possible.  There are so many details & a mountain of work to make every part of an event like this a wonderful experience.  A most heartfelt thanks to Jerry Abuan for the beautiful studio photos.  A shout out to all those that posted public images from their unique views of the event that I've used here.  Please enjoy my favorites from the day, displayed here below.  Some of these are my friends, some are new friends, and the rest are those I thought looked too good not to share.

My gratitude to Cindy Paselli & Sarah Pierce, who both have been instrumental in sparking my love & desire for design and for time travel.

Charlie's Angels

I'm so proud to share that Ellen is showcasing her new Regency & the cap she made to my tutorial posted earlier in the year.  She told me about the difference in the way she made her pleated ruffle brim & seeing it here just makes me smile at how perfect her choice was.  It accents her natural form and her hat & hair.  Thank you Ellen for sharing with me. :)

A special thanks to my neighbor and friend Peter Johnson, who helped me bring concept into reality with Fredrick Firetail, my pet mechanical damselfly.  He wouldn't be so perfect if not for Peter's metalwork expertise and patience to let me stay as hands on as possible.  Fredrick perched beautifully and looked amazing.  My hats off to you sir. :)

The link above is for the image (above right) by Travis Louie. This was the inspiration for Fredrick and I feel he turned out better than I even imagined.  Now to make his eyes light up and to make playback tracks.  I'll let you know how it goes.  :)

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