Last Saturday, my boyfriend escorted me to District VII Detroit, host to Victorian Opulence, a night of art, performance, and Victorian/steampunk/goth garb (among others). The tickets were quite reasonable at only $10 in advance, and it gave me an excuse to wear my black and silver corset and vintage black lace skirt. (Sad that such occasions are so rare.)
Seconds after entering, we spotted two friends in splendid steampunk refinery, and after catching up, the four of us toured the room, admiring much of the art. Not the art I typically see at gallery openings, I was quite pleased with what I found. One artist seemed to delight in pairing the classic female nude with robotic parts, rendering poses that were disturbing while still being almost elegant.
Scattered throughout the beautifully decorated and set-up room were what I will call photo-ops. Near the door was a set of wings, which my friends and I posed in front of to make it look as if we were wearing the wings. Not far off was a chair, almost throne-like in a simple sort of way, which we all also took turns posing with and snapping pictures.
The DJ played all right music that I would expect from a decent club, but very, very few people were dancing, unfortunately. We apparently missed a fashion show of ceramic corsets, though the models were walking through the crowd so we still got to see the pieces in action, as it were. (They very much reminded me of samurai armor.)
We did, however, catch the performance by Satori Circus, a performance artist who has performed around the country, but is currently based in Detroit. It was... confusing. As one friend put it when the performance ended, "Can someone please explain to me what it is we just watched?" If I had to delve into it, which I will do, I would say that it was a man sitting at a desk trying to think of something to draw or write, but having no inspiration. Meanwhile his muse, or inspiration, was sneaking up on him in the form of a woman who kept removing articles of clothing to make herself more visible in hopes of attracting his attention, none of which worked. Hey, it's performance art. You make of it what you want in most cases, and this is what worked for me.
Libations were provided by the Detroit Tea Company, which I had never heard of before. I don't know which tea they were offering, but it was brewed to perfection! My boyfriend and I debated whether it was an earl grey (he insisted it was not; I was less certain) or a pekoe. Any which way, we firmly decided we needed to investigate this place, which is easier said than done as their website has a lovely picture on it, but as far as I can tell is blank beyond that. (Which is why I linked to their Facebook page above.)
All-in-all, an enjoyable evening, and I do hope that they continue to host these events every few months as I was told is their intention. So if you are in the Detroit area, and are interested in steampunk or neo-Victorian garb, keep an eye out for future events.