The Steampunk Empire

The Crossroads of the Aether

OK, I'm just going to say it. I'm tired of donning the same old wench look at the SoCal Ren Faire year after year. For the past couple years, I've done the tribal belly dance thing instead (there is Traders Market after all...) But now I have this great Victorian dress that just doesn't get enough use. So I don't care what the queen might think, I'll be wearing it on opening weekend. 

I was just wondering if there are any other RenFairers here (yes, I'm pretty sure "RenFairers" is a word) who are planning to go rogue, too ... <insert mischievous grin> 

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A group from the Empire went to the MD Ren Festival this year in SP garb.  The weekend I went, I just went as a modern pleb...but then, it was the first faire that I'd actually made it to, and I saw all different eras and styles represented. I say go for it!

I do every year.

Oh, and lots of people complement me. On fellow said "If I had a hat I'd tip it to you!"

My older daughter is a Rennie. I blame myself - we started bringing her to the NYRF while she was still in a stroller. Tiny princess dress, fairy wings; well, it all just snowballed from there.

I have not worn my wizard robe to Faire in more than seven years. About five years ago I dressed as Twoflower and only one person got it. Poe's law I guess. If you parody something (such as a clueless and overly enthusiastic tourist) too well then people cannot tell the parody from the real thing. I had fun anyway.

Anyway, it has only been three years since I developed a Steampunk "costume" for events. I normally just wear rather tweedy, old-fashioned clothes. The Dr's time machine has gone off course and deposited him at a few Rennaissance faires since then. "We were traveling to the upper Mesozoic to study dinosaurs and the thiothimoline spontaneously desublimated. We need to stay chrono-static until the resonance chambers clear. No savvy? Sorry - we were using a clever device to bring ourselves to antediluvian times to view dragons, when it broke. That better?"

No one has had anything negative to say.

(Faire is an odd place. I have explained that the walls between dimensions seem thin at Faire, which is why the townspeople see Fae, Time Travellers, Klingons, and Mundanes wandering through the village streets on Faire days.)

I find that unless the Faire has a specific Steampunk weekend (Many are beginning to) that is is VERY disrespectful to show up in non-period or non-civilian dress. Star Trek nerds, Stormtroopers, video game characters, Stargate personnel, Steampunk, Vampires, Ninjas, just NO!

Think about it, say you are a professional actor and somehow actually land a role on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company acting along side David Tennant and Patrick Stewart in "The Scottish Play". You've put tons of effort into the part and you go out on stage for your cue... and 20 audience members are dressed as Klingons being loud and obnoxious.  Same thing goes for faires. They put weeks and months of effort into entertaining you, that to show up and try to "steal the show" is highly disrespectful.

Rudeness is never called for, being disruptive is unacceptable whether you are wearing goggles or a beer-branded tee-shirt.

HOWEVER, a RennFaire is an interactive event, not a staged performance (although there are staged performances at a RennFaire). If the management wishes me to sit quietly whist they perform their antics, then don't talk to me or the other patrons.

Otherwise, I shall dress as I please, speak with whatever performer or patron who wants to speak with me, and enjoy myself.

Excellent point, Liam --

And I know the work that goes into putting on the faire. I worked a season at our local one awhile back and endured the weeks of workshops and costume approvals and whatnot that every faire player must go through to get their faire card. Still, I've been noticing all sorts of strange non-Elizabethan costumes lately (Xena lookalikes, fairies of all sorts, vampires, and such) and no one seems disrupted by them. To me, it seemed unlikely a Victorian costume would do any harm. I guess for me, the Ren Faire has become more of a celebration of anachronism and fantasy than a true slice of Renaissance life.

Perhaps the better answer though, is to encourage more local, SP-type events. I wish there were more like-minded folks in my area (Orange County, CA) who felt the same. I'm not a bad event planner (if you consider book-signings and belly dance showcases...) and if anyone is interested, I'd be happy to collaborate on something...

I get what you mean, however:

Should we say the same to people coming to a steampunk convention in Raver stuff?

Sorry to break this to you, but there were no real fairies during the renaissance, or anytime.

Isn't it better to dress up vampire then nothing?

It isn't a historical reenactment. From what I've seen at our fair, they get a LOT of stuff wrong already.

I actually saw VENDORS people that worked there, in steampunk stuff. They weren't even selling steampunk things.

Shoot, I saw a vendor (at a food booth) wearing a Hogwarts robe (Gryffindor, no less) at the MD ren faire when I went.  If THAT doesn't break the illusion, nothing will.  Besides, if there were such a thing as vampires, are we saying now that they didn't exist during the Renaissance?  I think Anne Rice's characters would have a thing to say about that. *grin* 


Okay, I seem to have been getting a little off course, but I what I really wanted to say is that I don't see anything disrespectful about wearing a nice period outfit from a period outside the Renaissance.  I don't think said outfits are going to be any more disruptive than anything a mundane would be wearing, aside from perhaps prompting people to stop you on the path and ask about your garb. 

*Shouts "MACBETH!" and runs away cackling like a mad man.*

I know SASI (on here and on facebook) went on a specific "time travelers" weekend to MD Ren Fair. I went this past fall with coworkers in modern day clothing.


I think we all agree in the time traveling paradox,and love living in it at the Ren Fair. I personally do not like the historically inaccuracy of the Ren Faires ::shrugs:: so I will gladly wear 19th Cent. clothing but not quasi medieval. I know my pet peeve makes no sense but thats just me.  :) I have a personal rule of I do no dress any earlier than Civil War and any later than the 1950's...haha.

i am this year.. i have spent the winter putting together what i think is an awesome victorian steampunk costume and i plan to steampunk the fair this year. my charectore is a time travler after



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