On Saturday night I dipped my Victorian lace-up booted toe into the waters of steampunk at White Mischief’s Third Birthday Party. Steampunk is a fantasy genre that imagines a world in which we’d gone down the steam-powered route instead of electricity during the industrial revolution.
The dress code was described as “neo-Victorianâ€¦ scientists, explorers, and exhibitionists.” This still didn’t give us many clues as to what we should wear, although a friend assured us goggles were key. We couldn’t find any of those in the charity shops of Clapham, but it didn’t matter because as soon as we entered Scala, it was clear that steampunk attire covers a lot more.
We saw top hats, moustaches, military attire, pipes, corsets and admittedly, goggles and tweed. Dress-up isn’t compulsory at White Mischief, but you’d feel pretty silly if you turned up in jeans and a t-shirt. Steampunks take dressing up seriously and I was hugely impressed by the amazing costumes.
The best thing about White Mischief was the atmosphere and the variety of entertainment. Despite the effort that had gone into people’s costumes, everyone seemed relaxed and friendly.
Unlike many club nights, you don’t just turn up and spend the next few hours on the dance floor, there are lots of other distractions. From Victorian curiosities such as a flea circus, to a steampunk fair where you could buy jewellery, comics and more steampunk-inspired souvenirs.
White Mischief didn’t feel like a club, it was more like interactive theatre. We loved the entertainment, including the fantastic Oompah Brass band (singing along to oompah Bohemian Rhapsody was a real highlight); Voltini the electrocuting scientist (conducting electricity through some unmentionable body parts); burlesque from Beau Burlington (who managed to shed enough clothing weight to take off in an air balloon); and a chainsaw-juggling pirate!
So I’m a convert, I will definitely go to White Mischief’s next party, I’m already planning my outfitâ€¦