Fashion Files November 2016

Posted: November 4th, 2016 | Columnists, Fashion Files, Featured | No Comments

By Diana Cavagnaro

Gaslight Gathering

Gaslight Gathering 6 was held at the Town & Country Resort Hotel on Oct. 7-9. The theme this year was “All the Steamy Things That Go Bump in the Night,” and this fun-filled convention included two fashion shows and a masquerade ball.

The first fashion show, “Screampunk!” was held at the outdoor stage on Saturday, and all the models came out wearing their creepy and darker side. Some of the popular topics in the late 1800s were ghosts, witches, mummies and mystical beasts and the participants took these trends to fashion their costumes.


Gaslight Gathering was based upon seasons; Kimberly Carlisle is the month of December (Photo by Diana Cavagnaro)

The mistress of ceremonies was Lady Mari aka Lady Shadow — San Diego’s only Steampunk Vampyre — who also gave a lecture during the convention on how to purchase and wear a corset.

The second fashion show and ice cream social was held on Sunday, in the Le Chanticleer Room of the resort’s Regency Tower. The models wore fashion reproductions from the Regency (1811-1837), Victorian (1837-1901) and Edwardian (1901-1914) eras. Inspired by Alphonse Mucha’s art deco drawings, the theme was “The Four Seasons” and all fashions were designed with a special season or month in mind. Cindy Pirelli was the mistress of ceremonies for this social gathering. Piselli and several of the other models belong to an equestrian group called the Victorian Roses, who will be riding in the next Rose Parade.

On Saturday night, the 198th anniversary of Victor Von Frankenstein’s Monster Ball was held in the Garden Salon and the San Diego High Society Jazz Band entertained the crowd. This is a family event with grandparents, parents and children all coming to enjoy the festivities.


Cindy Piselli was the emcee for a fashion show (Photo by Diana Cavagnaro)

Other special events of the weekend included panels, various authors and an autograph signing by New York Times best-selling author Gail Carriger. There were also classes, such as “Build Your Own Retractable Wings,” “Make a Victorian Neck Cuff,” or “How to Make Interactive Gadgets.” Additional events included teapot races and screenings of classic movies, such “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and “The Bride of Frankenstein.”

One of the highlights was the Grand Bazaar with vendors selling all the must-have items for your Steampunk costume.

This year, Gaslight partnered with Just In Time Foster Youth. The organization provides support to local San Diego foster youth that are in transition from foster care to independence as adults when they “age out” of the system. For more information, visit

If you missed this fun-filled weekend, stay tuned for next year’s convention at

Upcoming Events

Nov. 17 | Leonard Simpson’s 10 Best Dressed Awards Gala — the Prado Ballroom and Casa del Prado Theater in Balboa Park beginning at 5:30 p.m. The theme is En Pointe at the Prado and will benefit the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet. For tickets, visit

Dec. 11 | Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade — Sponsored by the San Diego Union Tribune and presented by VCA Market Street Animal Hospital, this is the chance for owners and their pets to don their favorite costumes and join this fun day, which includes a pet expo. Benefits San Diego Humane Society and the San Diego Police Foundation with the K9 Unit. Starts and ends at MLK Promenade Park. For more information, visit

—Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned couture milliner based in the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. Learn more about our hat designer, teacher and blogger at

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