Photography by Greg Autry*
At the historical Regency Ballroom in San Francisco California, The 18th Annual Edwardian Ball was held January 27, along with The Edwardian World’s Faire January 26, presented by PARADOX Media and Vau de Vire Society.
Upcoming, for the 9th year, Los Angeles will host the second incarnation of The Edwardian Ball for 2018. February 9th and 10th, at The Globe Theatre, in the Historic Broadway Theater District of Los Angeles, the Globe theater is the oldest operational theater in Los Angeles and an amazing venue for The Edwardian Ball.
Previously in San Francisco, the World’s Faire of Jan 26 and The Edwardian Ball Saturday night Jan 27 were decadent and elaborate, hailing backs to that small little club in San Francisco where the seed was planted eighteen year ago.
This year in San Francisco I wanted to focus of the Fashion and the Art at the Edwardian Ball. One premium resource for all costuming needs in San Francisco, is Five and Diamond owned by Haley Lynn. Five & Diamond is woman owned and operated and is proud to be a socially conscious small business. It is a unique one of a kind boutique specializing in `Future Forward Fashion’ in San Francisco’s Mission district. Five & Diamond presented a new Cape at the Vendor’s bizarre, and had a showcase of ready-made piece to create costumes from head to toe. Custom pieces are always available, made to order, at the store.
Haley Lynn is always looking for things for her store that are well made and she enjoys mixing styling genres to create something that isn’t boring. “People shouldn’t be limited to the labels put on them, they should feel comfortable to combine styles as they see fit. I find that most people mix up their styling to fit their taste, their mood, and their bodies. The Ball is for people who love to dress up, which is our favorite game on earth.”
My images herein present a testament to the sparkling, creative, inventiveness of all those who attend. Mercy Daae is a San Francisco designer who always brings her couture costumes and scintillating treats. This year, with art model Christina Linskey , wearing one of Mercy’s signature gowns. Christina is one of the premier art models in the Bay Area whom I’ve had the pleasure of drawing, and also is the owner of Little Boxes Theater in San Francisco.
Art was a big part of the focus this year, and Layil Umbralux elaborated on the art process for me; “Curating the Edwardian Ball is an exercise in world building. Following a different theme every year, the art collection works to combine historical and fantastical elements to curate an original experience for the participants. We pull from local and regional talent, bringing in visual artists who paint, draw and assemble diverse found objects and curios into compositions that titillate the senses and delight the eye. More than just decor, these works serve as the backdrops to our many performance based offerings, and provide context for unique experiences as patrons interface with the narratives provided. We are constantly hunting for fresh content in the visual arts, pulling from our diverse community and its many skills, utilizing techniques as old as history itself, and looking to the future for what’s to come. Every year’s collection is a new endeavor, as we welcome a stable of regular talent and newfound collaboration to create as an integral part of this seminal San Francisco tradition.”
The Globe Theatre will open to The Edwardian Ball on February 9th and 10th in another elegant and whimsical celebration of art, live music, riveting theatre, fashion, literature, ballroom dancing, DJs, circus, and the beloved creations of the late author and illustrator Edward Gorey. Set in a romanticized, gilded and gentile Neo-Victorian and Edwardian-era, a gothic and steampunk-tinged distant past intertwines with an elegantly imagined future. The 2018 season is proud to announce the featured Goreystory of the season; The Raging Tide, or, The Black Doll’s Imbroglio: — Gorey’s one-of-a-kind tale that many modern fellows might call a “choose your own adventure”!
The Globe Theatre offers a restyled VIP experience, and two luxurious Queen’s Box Balconies, along with an expanded menu of delicious bites from Edwards kitchen. This year the Producers have added one night (The World’s Faire), but alas, the capacity for each night has been reduced. I suggest getting your tickets now before it’s too late.
This multi-night, multi-city, multi-media extravaganza has grown over the past eighteen years into an internationally recognized festival of the arts, now presenting a uniquely wonderful Edwardian World with the blessing of The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust.
If you need a Hotel in LA better book now. Try The Freehand Hotel, and just mention The Edwardian Ball when you call for reservations. I have not stayed there, so let me know if you do. Also, there are plenty of hotels in all price ranges in downtown Los Angeles. The Edwardian Ball, whether it be in San Francisco, Los Angeles, or New Orleans, is one of the very best Balls I’ve attended and you have my personal HIGH recommendation that this will be something you should get powdered and poofed for !
*All Images Copyright 2018 Greg Autry, All Rights Reserved.