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Monday, February 6, 2012

Annual Bay Area Edwardian Ball Remains a Favorite among Steampunk Cosplayers

This year’s 12th annual Edwardian Ball in California was a huge success. In the San Francisco Bay area, now known as the birthplace of so many modern technologies, the ball has come to be known as a welcomed change of page for Steampunk and cosplay fans.


This year’s the ball was held on January 21st and was themed the Iron Tonic, after a Gorey poetry collection about a melancholy hotel for ill and elderly guests. The ball was the culmination of a weekend long series of events that began with a burlesque show at the DNA Lounge.


As the ball is a slightly idealized throw-back to the era in which King Edward VII ruled, to stay in theme, the women who attended the ball wore corsets, long skirts, hats with feathers, while men wore waistcoats, cravats, fancy vests, and top hats, a fun period staple piece. The Edwardian era was one where the use of electricity was brand new, as was the automobile. Art Nouveau was all the rage when it came to the art and architectural styling of the times.


Many of the annual ball attendees are high tech professionals by day, some even executives and strategy directors for hot Silicon Valley companies. By night and on special occasions, however, these ball goers are huge fans of cosplay. According to some, the love of steampunk style even goes beyond costume and cosplay as many like to try to incorporate a bit of Edwardian fashion into their everyday lifestyle.


This amazing party dates back to 1999 when Justin Katz, the bass player in Rosin Coven, pulled together a few hundred friends and fans into a nightclub for readings of Gorey’s work. The bay area is actually home to many other fantasy events including Burning Man and has become quite the cosplay destination.

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