The Steampunk Granny Does Her Thing at Dorian’s Parlor

Jane and Marie

I love Steampunk as much as I love zombies. What can I tell you; I’m not your average grandmother. This time around, I talked a few of my friends and my sister Jane, yes that Jane; the sister that I’ve been trying to give away since the day she was born, into joining me at Dorian’s big summer Steampunk bash of the year. Did we have fun? Find out after the jump.

The Clothing

Although my two friends, Marianne and Patti had their outfits already made or picked out to wear at Dorian’s Steampunk Event, Jane who is visiting from Napa California had no clue as to what she was getting into. I had a new outfit thanks to my fashion designer granddaughter, Allie Gilbert. Since Jane wasn’t ready to wear a tight revealing corset, I dressed her in my gypsy/pirate outfit sans the corset, pirate hat, and sword; never give Jane a sword. Jane was a bit hesitant about going, but I pulled rank; I’m the older sister and I’m good at nagging. Jane finally put on her makeup and accessories and off we went with my friends.

Yes, it was going to be a good night with all four of us heading to Philadelphia, but… only me knowing what to expect. The other girls were nervous, they know that I’m a bit bohemian and had no idea what I was getting them involved in. But, once we reached the Doubletree Hotel in the center of Philadelphia, my friends realized that they had left Kansas and entered a magical realm. It was a night of surprises. After checking in at the door, we had time before the start of the night’s activities for food, drinks and mingling with the other guests.


When dressing for Steampunk, you are in essence combining Victorian clothing with scientific, technological, futuristic, machines powered by steam, for example, Jessie wearing this petticoat made by Utopia Armoury. I really liked this outfit, but my sister wanted to know what happened to the rest of the dress. My good friend and artistic makeup artist, Triell Freschi, was wearing an outfit topped off by a wind up key. Jane kept trying to wind up Triell. I asked Triell if I could borrow the key. I know a few people who could use a good wind up to get their lazy butts moving in the morning.


There was also a fashion show put on by Nikki Cohen the owner and designer of May Faire Moon Corsets and Costumes. Here is one of her designs on the runway. I love the fashion shows the best and always get some great ideas for my outfits. I’ve mentioned Dorian’s Parlor and its creator, Gil Cnann, in an early post so I hope this helps set the imagery of how beautifully dressed some of the people attending the event were.

While waiting for the entertainment to start I bumped into a friend, Mano Divina, from The Divine Hand Ensemble. I heard this group play at the Laurel Hill Cemetery; it was the first time that I had heard funerary music and I was hooked. I told you; I’m not your average granny, and besides, you meet the nicest and most talented people (living or dead) at a cemetery. Well Mano Divina is presenting a music video called “Clockwork Universe: A Steampunk Symphony” in the near future and he asked Jane and I to pose for some of the still shots he was collecting for the video; very exciting. I’ll get to see the finished product in November at a big Steampunk Bash. I’ll keep you updated on location, date and time.


The Acts

Gil Cnaan always schedules enough diverse entertainment to keep everyone happy. There was a special presentation of Georges MeliesVoyage to the Moon with accompaniment by DJ Kiltboy. When Hugh Casey introduced the movie, all chatter ceased and everyone settled down to watch it. What a treat. If you have a moment, learn about the amazing Melies. There were jugglers, a classy striptease with a hula hoop; I kid you not. We were treated to several great musical groups: Psych Corporation, The Cog is Dead, Frenchy and the Punk (my favorite act), and This Way to Egress. My friends, Jane and I were up dancing most of the night.

Frenchy and the Punk
Frenchy and the Punk


Sometimes… you need to step out of the box that you’ve built around yourself and see what’s going on in the world. Three years ago, when my granddaughter, Allie, first asked me to go to Dorian’s with her, I could have said no; but I didn’t; I took the chance and went on an adventure, and I’m having the time of my life. My sister Jane, who is kind of straight-laced, and a conservative, had a ball. She wants to do this again, and might come back out in November for the next big Steampunk event, “The Gilded Festival” in Valley Forge, Pa. I’ve decided to keep my sister Jane and not sell her to the Fudgie Wudgie Ice Cream man after all.

Marianne, Jane, me, Patti
Marianne, Jane, me, Patti

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