The Phoenix Parade was a practically impromptu fashion show inspired by Kambriel and organized on LiveJournal by gothic designers, friends, and Portland, OR, locals. It was an alternative, grass-roots event that took place during, but not as part of, Convergence 13. You can read the whole history of the event, starting here on LJ.
Because this show was created in almost exactly one week, some of the creations displayed were pulled from unusual sources… my delicious burgundy wool suit by Original Sin Design is one such outfit. (Photo on the left from Andi.)
The jacket was actually a surprise gift Donna made for me and sent along with the other two gowns I commissioned from her for C13. She had hinted at having something special up her creative sleeves. “You’ll wear wool, right?” she asked me over IM. And she knew burgundy and black is one of my all-time favorite color combinations. She sent me links to various jacket patterns, “just wondering” what I thought of them. When I opened the big box o’ fabulousity with the Victorian gowns, on top was this amazing burgundy wool tailcoat trimmed in rich black lace! Wow! Fit like a dream and looked totally awesome. I pranced about the house and didn’t want to take it off.
This was a few days before the Phoenix Parade idea came about. Months earlier, Donna had decided not to get involved with the official C13 fashion shows, even though she has been featured in several Convergence shows in the past (dating back to the Absinthe Fashion Show I ran at C7). But when Kambriel dropped out of the official shows too and was reborn with the Phoenix, well, O’sin gladly jumped on board there. And Donna asked if I’d wear this jacket in the show, which of course I said “yes” to.
My first plan was to wear it with sleek black pants, tall black boots, and mini top hat for a gothic circus ringleader look. Sounds silly, but it was cool on me, especially with the whip! Then, the day before I left (and after I’d started to pack ;-), Donna IMed me and said she had designed a little something to go with the jacket. She is a hurricane, that’s for sure! So when I arrived in our room at Portland, there was hanging this gorgeous mermaid-style skirt with a black lace underlay in the ruffle. Another perfect fit, and it looked awesome with the jacket. I had tied some burgundy wired ribbon (leftover from my wedding aisle bows — they’ll never run out) around my mini top hat, and I wore that with a big dread fall for extra height.
The show itself was truly fabulous. I was stunned by the beauty and creativity of all the designers. I always love seeing Kambriel’s lush, detailed work, and she had different sets opening and closing the show. In between were designers with historically influenced clothes, steampunk fashions, revealing fetishy garb, and most every variety of gothic delight imaginable.
Original Sin showed a small, eclectic collection, and I was so glad to be walking in the show with three women I adore — Rachel wore the Dark Sprite burlesque outfit (since Donna hadn’t shown that anywhere yet), sans wings, and back to it’s original intent as a Victorian harlot look; Andi wore a deep red velvet Gothic Lolita-esque pirate ensemble that Donna had made for her to wear to the Whitby Gothic Festival earlier this year; and, of course, the designer herself, Donna, wore a stunning black Victorian bustle gown she’d made specifically for C13. Her other O’sin models showed off recent outfits ranging from Alice-in-Wonderland Lolita to pink hair-metal goth to sexy pirate girl. We all kicked major ass!
But what really blew me away was the turn-out. The venue was PACKED!!! The Someday Lounge, which had generously opened its doors to us free of charge, was filled to capacity of nearly 300 people, and I heard they had to turn folks away at the door. We’d only advertised by word of mouth online, mostly by LiveJournal and posting the flyer around on websites like Kambriel’s and also the band Faith and the Muse (friends of the designer) had mentioned the event on their website. And none of this had been announced more than a few days in advance. It was really a thrill to see such great support and appreciation from the gothic community!
I also wore this outfit later in the year at WesterCo 60, where I was a costume masquerade judge. The last two photos in the gallery above were taken by Jade Falcon of Wyldfire Studios.