SPWF 2016 – A Delightful Disaster

Anyone who has been following my Facebook would know that this was my first year as a vendor at Steampunk World’s Fair.  I was super excited to be there vending my wares in the midway – a parking-lot-turned-vending-space between the two hotels that house the Eastern Coast’s biggest Steampunk Festival.

I had a ton of hats made up and ready, all the ones pictured below in this Stack-O-Hats, and more!

Stack-O-Hats! by auralynne

And I also brought a smattering of the custom made clothing you see in my etsy shop – photo shoot samples, and a new line of ready-to-wear items that you’ll all see in the opening of my website store soon.

I arrived late Friday afternoon via rift in the space time continuom (AKA the strange route Google Maps took me when the Tappan Zee Bridge was closed), a bit later than I had hoped.  And I got a taste of Mother Nature and Murphy’s Law working in cahoots – which I hoped was the last for the weekend – drizzling rain, and a completely wet vending space/table/chairs.

But that’s what paper towels are for, right?  I did succeed in setting up my popup vending tent, did my best at drying things off inside it, and then proceeded to do my best at getting all the things I had brought inside the tent without drenching them…

I was mostly successful at setting things up by early Friday evening – and the fun started then.  I’m a work at home Mom – so most of my interaction either happens with young children, a computer screen, or a sewing machine.  So getting to vend my wares in person and actually talk to customers is a delight.

Things continued in that enjoyable fashion until Saturday afternoon – when Mother Nature came back, with a vengeance!  The wind picked up to crazy gusty levels, and I discovered that vending tents, even when weighted down, work very similar to the sails on a sailboat.  The strength of this wind was such that, it managed to even drag ME across the parking lot, shoes slipping on the asphalt as I attempted to hold on to my billowing tent!

Every vendor in the Midway had to tear down, or at least lower their tent, in order not to be completely blown away.  In the mess, about half of my hats and fascinators turned into parking lot tumbleweeds.  Another vendor jokingly made this statement – which pretty much sums things up: “Looks like someone forgot to close the circle when they made the sacrifice to the vendor gods…”

There was good, there was bad, and there was the ugly.  The ugly was the damage sustained by my tent – a bent frame, and the hats-turned-tumbleweeds that had bent and broken feathers.  The bad was Sunday’s weather forecast.  More wind.  Impossible to safely set back up outside with a bent tent frame.  But there was good too – I was struck by how awesome everyone was – customers, event staff, and better-prepared vendors alike jumped in to help both me and my sister (vending her jewelry next to me) when our tents did their sailboat-impression.  They ran after tumbleweed hats, and held down the fort long enough for me to scramble across the hotel parking lot to grab my car.

It was a disastrous experience, of course, but it was also amazing to see how supportive our steampunk community really is.

The next day the awesome vendor staff at the fair managed to find a spot inside a hotel hallway to squeeze some of the unfortunate Midway vendors.  Since a good portion of my stuff needed repairs, I chose to let the full-table slots go to other vendors, and I set things up at a corner of my sister’s table and around her stuff – a few of my fascinators that had miraculously survived with no damage.

And beyond that, I made it my mission to enjoy the rest of the fair!  I went klepto on a couple of my photo shoot sample outfits,  as “consolation prizes” – and enjoyed the attention and requests for pictures that I always get while wearing my fanciest designs.

A quick cellphone shot of consolation prize #1.  Isn't the Embassy terrarium gorgeous? :D
A quick cellphone shot of consolation prize #1. Isn’t the Embassy terrarium gorgeous? 😀

I’m looking forward to/hoping for next year – if there is room for me inside, I’ll be again vending.  I consider this to be a learning experience – humidity, wind, and feathers do NOT mix – apparently my designs are not conducive to outside vending!

To everyone who shopped and/or chatted with me at the Fair, it was great meeting you, and I hope to see you again next year!

Victorian Passion Photo Shoot

When I get an offer to bring my designs to a place that has actual crystal chandeliers – what do I say?

Why, I’ll be there, with bells on!

ball gowns by auralynne

As soon as I knew about the chandeliers, and the awesome level of fancy perfection to the location, I decided that gowns featuring my new slit skirts would be the perfect thing to bring.  I LOVE how they look in the photo above – lending a very modern hint of saucy seduction to an otherwise historical scene.

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The model in these photos is Stephanie Allison, and the gown is a design I’m calling “Victorian Passion.”

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And up next, my leather taffeta ballgown!  Because leather and taffeta are absolutely meant to be together.

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The gown is modeled by Lish Ventura, and can be made in a plethora of gorgeous taffeta colors.  It’s posted in my etsy shop here.

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And last, comes my personal favorite gown design for the day, modeled by Tricia Eva Lore.

gown by auralynne

I’m happy with how I managed to line these shots up to show as much pretty chandelier-age from the ballroom as possible, by using the reflections in the mirror.  Tricia’s gown is also available custom made to measure in either white/black (as pictured) and ivory/black, for those who prefer warm over cool colors.

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The location and the photoshoot were thanks to Eric Baird of Behind the Lens Photography Workshops.  There were quite a few photographers in attendance, and some amazing photos and a fun time were had by all!  While there, I was happy to catch some useful photography tips, and learn some great information about lighting setups, and posing, and such.

Photo Credits:

Model (green) Stephanie Allison, hair by Ky Elizabeth Maxim, MUA model

Model (burgundy) Lish Ventura, hair and MUA model

Model (white) Tricia Eva Lore, hair by me, MUA model

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Thanks to everyone involved for an amazing day!  😀

Winter photo shoot at Nathaniel Palmer House

These photos were taken at the Captain Nathaniel Palmer House in Stonington CT – and I’m in love with how they turned out!

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Originally I had three models lined up for this shoot – but then a snowstorm came in the night before, stranding my models in their driveways.  I talked it over with my sister, and given that two of the dresses would fit us, we decided to go ahead with the shoot, and take pictures of eachother!

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I’m wearing a brand new jacket design – a very fancy variation on my “Victorian Vixen” design.  I love how much the ivory lace trim changes it – giving it a more historical flair than my typical line.

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My sister is modeling my newest corset style, with a shrug and skirt set trimmed to match.

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The blue-green fabric is iridescent taffeta – which has two contrasting colors woven thru it so that it changes color in the light!  The color makes me think of ocean water and mermaid tails…

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Isn’t her hat cute?  This was my first try at making a flower out of taffeta – and I liked the twisty look of the fabric so much that I did the same on the band.

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The house was WAY too gorgeous not to take some artistic pics while I was there.

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If I ever decide to renew my wedding vows, this is where I’ll want to do it!  There’s a double room in front, elegantly appointed, but furniture and accents arranged to make the space large and roomy enough for an small gathering.  It would be amazing for an intimate historical-esque ceremony, and the rates are incredibly reasonable as well.

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And then of course, there’s the staircases, oh the beautiful and neverending staircases!

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Gothic Victorian Garden Photo Shoot

I’m excited to post these photos – I do believe they are my prettiest photos to date!  They were taken at Wickham park in Manchester CT.  I’m a bit obsessed with the location – although most of it isn’t antique, it is utterly gorgeous.  It’s hundreds of acres of park which seems to have been landscaped and accented for the express purpose of being as picturesque as possible!

First up, is my “Lady Adventuress” gown, modeled by  Maddy Wooding.

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The addition of leather accents and accessories lends a bit of steampunk flair to the look.  I could (and plan to) also make a two tone black/brown version of this gown – accented with brown instead of black leather – which would look even more steampunk!

And the hat – oooh the cuteness of the hat!  It’s a leather fedora that I shortened to make it look more like the late Victorian era hats that perch atop the head.  I can get them in black, red, or brown, and I absolutely plan to make them part of my regular line.

Hat by auralynne

This second gown is modeled by Jordan Goodrich.  It’s a new twist on my Vintage Diva design that I’m calling “Oriental Splendor.”  The fabric has dragons and phoenix’s woven into the pattern, and is oh so elegant.

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It’s hard to see it in this photo, but she’s leaning against a really cool looking statue of a Chinese temple dog!  There are two Asian themed gardens in Wickham park, with all sorts of gorgeous accents placed all around.

Her hat is one of my wool “topper” styles, which I figured out how to shape so that it comes to my signature pointed front.  Mmmmmm peacock feathers!…

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And here is my favorite picture of the day!  The sad thing is that I can no longer order the hat base needed to make this hat (I could do other colors but not ivory.)

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The model in these photos is Alexa DaFonte, and she is wearing a gown I’m calling “Lace and Allure.”

It’ll be available for a limited time in my store – while supplies last on the blouse since it’s a piece I ordered from a clothing wholesaler.

Lauren Anne Page did an utterly beautiful job on the makeup on these ladies.  Perfectly blended, and it stayed looking fresh and fantastic despite it being a hot sunny day.  She had some kind of magic solution in a spray bottle to “set” the makeup.  It was a breeze editing these photos!

This was a group photo shoot with Trisha May Photography, and she posted very many more gorgeous photos from the day on her blog here.

Christmas in January!

It’s probably a bit too late for Christmas-y pics?  Oh well, I forgot to post them in December when they were taken, so here goes!

gown by auralynne

My sister in law Megan is wearing a new-ish design – a high low purple cloak.  It was intended to be floor length on myself or my sister, so it’s awesomely long and trailing on her:

cloak by auralynne

These were taken outside the Westerly library, before the Christmas decorations came down.  It always makes me sad when the decorations have to go away, and it’s just plain old boring winter from there out.  If Christmas were in February, that would be perfect, because then when the decorations come down, at least winter is almost over!

/end rant/

XD

This is my favorite cloak picture.  I love how bright the purple satin on the inside is!

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The folks at the library were AWESOME.  Megan told us we should check out the inside – that it was a gorgeous Victorian era building.  We poked our heads in, and the library staff were like OMG you look so awesome/why are you dressed up/ you match the building perfectly!

Their excitement made me brave enough to ask if they minded if we snapped a few pictures.  We did match the building perfectly.  🙂

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The sad part is EVERY picture blurred out horribly.  Apparently I have a lot to learn about indoor photography.  But these I was at least able to edit to death to make them presentable.

The library had some awesome holiday themed  book sculptures there, and we snapped a couple pics of Megan with them, just for kicks.

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Those did turn out quite clear.  I think the lights saved them.

Many thanks to the friendly folks at the Westerly library for letting us borrow their gorgeous building for a few!

Photo credits:

Model, purple gown: Megan Gavin
Model, green gown: auralynne
Model, red gown: Andrea Daunis of Vixen’s Delight
Gowns and hats by auralynne, Jewelry by Vixen’s Delight

"Dark Winter" Holiday gown

gown by auralynne

I thought I’d take a second to share a few pics of my holiday gown.  It’s a long sleeved version of “Victorian Vixen” with a matching capelet for a bit of extra warmth.

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I’m still wearing lace but notice the lack of see-thru-ness?  It’s the best quick and dirty trick to make my line of very lacey clothing carry over into winter times.  Sweater leggings, a black maxi skirt from my street clothes, and then the lace skirt over the top.

capelet and gown by auralynne

And the capelet – OH the capelet!  Have you ever felt minky faux fur before?  It’s the stuff that faux fur baby blankets are made from – uber soft and thick.  The issue with using it in clothing, is it usually only comes in boring pastels.  I was elated to find it in black, and a bunch of beautiful jewel tones, from one of my fabric wholesalers.

capelet by auralynne

And yes, the ENTIRE inside of the capelet is made from this softy-soft fur.  Which means technically, it’s reversible.  Me personally, I cannot allow my shoulders to part with the softness.  But in a pinch, it would give you a fur capelet on the reverse side.  I do have plans to make capelets with fur on both sides to solve this issue.

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“Dark Winter” Gothic Victorian Gown by auralynne, and modeled by the same

Pics by her long suffering husband (baby do you mind doing a quick photo shoot this afternoon – Quick, I promise, quick!)

A cold day at Avery (Part 2)

As promised, here’s the second half of the pictures from the cold and windy day.  The following photo is my absolute favorite of the day:

Steampunk Costume by auralynne

The best part – the look on my face was an accident – I intended to have my eyes open and staring off into the distance, but I blinked!

I had originally intended to wear a different gown that day, but fate (and my very disorganized brain) was against me.  I’m working on new winter looks and had a brand new velvet underskirt and shrug that match a velvet corset – that I had misplaced.  After spending about half an hour searching, I gave up and looked for something different to wear.

(Incidentally, much later, I found it – WITH THE KITCHEN TOWELS. Absent minded much?)

I didn’t have anything else BRAND new that I wouldn’t be freezing my patooties off wearing.  I did have this cloak:

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So I thought ok – what do I have that will match this cloak and at least has sleeves of some sort??

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The shrug in these pics looks like a new design, but it isn’t!  If you wear a “La Rose Gothique” shrug underneath a “Belladonna” shrug that’s what it looks like!

The skirt is also two skirts layered, as in most of my designs.  I like having a WARDROBE rather than a few costumes – and having foundation pieces that can be worn with anything makes that possible.

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You may recognize this look – it’s practically identical to my “Imperial Belladonna” steampunk costume.  I’ve had several requests to sell that costume with an underskirt instead of leggings, and people always ask “will the belladonna skirt look alright with the lace underskirt?”

So I figured if I couldn’t find the parts for what I intended to wear that day, at least I’d get pictures of something practical.

The hat is a safety pin special – meaning I took a couple things I had and pinned them together for the look.

Steampunk Costume by auralynne

It’s a “Dark Delight Lolita Tilt Hat” with a pair of cheap-0 steampunk goggles (the ones you see attempting to overtake ebay searches at the moment) pinned to it!  Although I should note, if I wear this for real, I will either make a pair of smaller goggles, or get a pair of real vintage welding goggles, which also tend to be smaller.  I had to toss any picture where I was staring head on at the camera, because holy crap huge goggles on a delicate hat.

Steampunk Costume by auralynne

And my jewelry – don’t you love the jewelry? – is from Vixen’s Delight, as always.  The set is called “Fallen” and this is a perfect example of how well her jewelry lasts.  This is from Andrea’s personal collection, and it seems to be the piece most often grabbed since it’s a blend of all things gothy and steampunk that we love.  Usually one of us is wearing something that would like a touch of “gothic angel” so it’s been worn many many times.  It’s still silver and has lasted thru many shows, which is what happens when you use all steel rings and pins, and cast metal pretty parts.

And last but not least, how about a completely goofy pic?

Being Silly

If you recall from my last post, Andrea was wearing an all white bridal outfit.  She had brought this bouquet for a prop, and since it looked totally goofy with my look, we snapped a pic just for fun.

~Credits~

Gown designer and model: auralynne
Jewelry artist, Photography: Andrea Daunis of Vixen’s Delight
Hat: Mad Rose Hattery

A cold day at Avery (Part 1)

Yesterday was photo day – and we had one takeaway point for the day:  The shoreline is very cold in November.

The weather man was a big fat liar – because it was supposed to be in the 60’s!  Instead it was 55 and very windy (our fault, for choosing a mansion by the coast for our shoot.)  But luckily one of my brand new items to debut in this photo shoot was this cloak.

White Bridal Gown by auralynne

I love the look of a long flowing medieval cloak, it’s just so elegant and beautiful.

White Bridal Gown by auralynne

But I also love Victorian style capelets, I mean… BOW!

White Bridal Gown by auralynne

What’s not to love about that level of cuteness?  I came up with this design to try and combine the two.  I make a ton of high-low skirts, so I thought, I bet I could develop a high low cloak pattern!  I’m super pleased with the result.

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It was very difficult to choose a favorite from this shoot – because so many of them were so good!  But here’s one of my favorites:

White Bridal Gown by auralynne

These next pictures show off the gown she was wearing.  It’s a design very similar to Victorian Vixen – but in white, and I crafted a bustle skirt in satin to match.

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The below photo I kept zoomed out because of the pretty setting, and I love how her pose makes it look like she’s dancing.  Photos were taken at UCONN’s Avery Point campus.  There’s a gorgeous mansion out there – and no one seems to mind two weirdly dressed girls coming to the grounds to snap photos of eachother!

White Bridal Gown by auralynne

~Credits~

Photography, gown design: auralynne
Jewelry artist, model: Andrea Daunis of Vixen’s Delight
Hat: Mad Rose Hattery

Autumn at the Park

Dunno if I’ve said this before, but I. ABSOLUTELY. LOVE. what I do for a living. Each time photoshoot day rolls around, I’m reminded of this fact. As I’ve mentioned before, our photo taking method is pretty ghetto – we dress to the nines in my designs, go someplace pretty, and play pass the camera!

Gowns by auralynne

These pics are from a late October shoot.  I wanted to take advantage of both our Indian summer, and the fall colors, and get some good shots of a few new looks.  Following are a few of my favorites:

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Jewelry: Vixen’s Delight
Hat: Mad Rose Hattery

We discovered pink and orange don’t mix very well – but luckily there was still plenty of green to pose Andrea  against.  The fiery tones of the fall leaves were perfect for Miranda’s olive green gown, however:

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Jewelry: Vixen’s Delight
Hat: Mad Rose Hattery

Miranda and Andrea were both wearing a new jacket designed to complement my “Vintage Diva” bustle skirt.  I’d tried pairing the jacket from my “Gothic Temptation” gown with the bustle skirt, and it didn’t work very well – poofy bows on the sides of the hips made the jacket poof weirdly.  I re-cut the jacket pattern to be pointed in front with a fishtail back design, and the new design works perfectly with the skirt’s flirty bows.

In the following pictures I’m wearing an existing design in a new color.  It’s been my Masquerade ball gown this season (turns out there are a ton of fun dress-up and cosplay events in my area).  I wore it first at Rufflecon, and planned to also wear it at the Witches Masquerade Ball later that month.  Then the night before the ball, a picture popped into my head of the cutest little witch hat.  Next thought was “Can I make it?” closely followed by “Can I make it in only a few hours??”  Turned out the answer to both questions was an emphatic “yes!”  I plan to offer hats like that in my shop eventually – after perfecting my process so that the completed hat is more firm, less squishy.  I’ll continue to have most of my designs accompanied by the creations of Mad Rose Hattery – but sewn hats is something she doesn’t plan to offer – and occasionally the perfect matching hat for a gown is a hat sewn from the gown fabric.

Witches Masquerade Ball Gown by auralynne Witches Masquerade Ball Gown by auralynne Witches Masquerade Ball Gown by auralynne Witches Masquerade Ball Gown by auralynne Witches Masquerade Ball Gown by auralynne Witches Masquerade Ball Gown by auralynne

Great pics, and a great time!  Yay for pretty public locations and yay for warm fall days.