The Edwardian World’s Faire and Ball is a two-day annual event in San Francisco where costumers can express their creativity and admire the amazing creations of the performers and other attendees. It is a glittering extravaganza of surreal, colorful and impressive costumes that spring forth from the imaginations of multi-talented Bay Area residents who are known for their avant-garde styles and eclectic influences. This year, the event will be held on Jan. 18 and 19 at the Regency Ballroom.
According to Justin Katz, founder and executive producer of Paradox Media, the organizer for the Edwardian World’s Faire and Ball, “the original idea of ‘Edwardian’ was just that—Edward Gorey. We recognized the play on words and had fun with it from the get-go, we dressed up in top hats and tails, gloves and cravats, corsets and gowns, but not in any particularly historically accurate way.” However, he added that “over the years the costuming and fashion began to take on a life of its own, and the concept of ‘Edwardian’ as historic began to grow and even overshadow the roots of Gorey.”
To costume for the ball, one can either rent, put together a costume from one’s closet or buy or create an outfit. The aesthetic is dark but humorous, elegant and offbeat and is basically a mash-up of Victorian, Edwardian, Steampunk, Goth and Burning Man costuming. But Katz reveals that “you don’t have to be a certain way, dress a certain way, act a certain way. There’s a lot of latitude, and as long as you are putting in some effort, and finding a way to enjoy yourself, there is room for you at the Edwardian Ball.”
Friday night is the Edwardian World’s Faire, which has games, carnival rides, live music, circus and vaudeville acts and a showcase of steam-powered art and technology. Saturday night is the Edwardian Ball, which this year will feature a live performance of Gorey’s tale, “The Doubtful Guest,” with original music and choreography by Rosin Coven and the Vau de Vire Society. There will also be other musical performances and ballroom dancing.
Also, of interest to costumers is the Vendor Bazaar, a whole floor of clothes, hats, jewelry and other accessories. You can pick up something to embellish a current outfit or even put together a new one to wear to a future event including, of course, next year’s Edwardian World’s Faire and Ball.
Copyright 2013, Jean Martin.
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Other related articles:
Why the Edwardian? by Thad Gann and The Edwardian World’s Faire Just Gets Better and Better by Diane Rooney
The Edwardian World’s Faire by Jean Martin
Edwardian Ball 2011 by Christopher Erickson