Cloud Orchid Magazine dazzles with two volume Steampunk feature Created by wilhelminaframe on 2/4/2013 10:50:27 PM
After making an auspicious debut in January, Chicago-based alternative high fashion magazine Cloud Orchid delivered an impressive, two volume Steampunk special online and in print on February 1st.
After making an auspicious debut in January, Chicago-based alternative high fashion magazine Cloud Orchid delivered an impressive, two volume Steampunk special electronically and in print on February 1st.
Cloud Orchid is driven by co-editors Bryan Thompson, of Graffiti Photographic, and Little Alice, a retired model and working makeup artist. The magazine has a very strong regional focus on Chicago and the Greater Midwest. The majority of coverage in the Steampunk specials is from the event TeslaCon, which took place in December 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin. Also featured are editorials by international photographer Nina Pak, Anchor Photo and RedRum Collaboration.
The editors of Cloud Orchid originally planned just one volume for the Steampunk special but came back from TeslaCon with so many images and features that they decided to publish two distinct specials with completely different content. Volume One, is what I would call the designer issue. The main focus is the TeslaCon fashion show and profiles on many of the designers, including cover star Anthony Canney of House of Canney. Volume Two features the TeslaCon costume contest. Spread across both issues are articles including interviews with Lord Bobbins, founder of TeslaCon and performers The Gin Rebellion and Veronique Chevalier. The content of each volume is completely unique so a completist would need to purchase both volumes.
Having attended TeslaCon in 2012, Cloud Orchid did an admirable job both covering the official fashion of the event and also giving an overall impression of TeslaCon. The exclusive photography, done by Bryan Thompson and Che Correa, is lovely. The winners and favorites from the costume contest and all the looks from the fashion show were shot separately, off the runway, to give readers a close up look at the art and craft that was on display. Cloud Orchid also captured a plethora of action shots at TeslaCon, some of which can be seen be seen in the article about the TeslaCon balls and also on the Cloud Orchid facebook page.
Cloud Orchid also recognized that a significant percentage of the creativity and craft in Steampunk fashion, and perhaps, it could be argued, in alternative fashion generally, does not come from people who are either formally trained or currently defining themselves as designers. The editorial by Anchor Photo features Geo, modeling creations by her mother, Amy Alderson, a talented seamstress and high school English teacher. The majority of Volume 2 covers the TeslaCon costume contest, with much of the fashion represented by those who are not designers by trade. This zing of unexpected respect for the "non-professional" particularly endeared me to Cloud Orchid.
Cloud Orchid publishes on a quarterly basis. The next regular issue will be for released April 1st. Additionally, special issues including one devoted to Lolita fashion are planned for later this year. Cloud Orchid is available in single issues or by yearly subscription at the Cloud Orchid website or via magcloud.com. Print issues also include a electronic version of the issue.
A full list of the articles and features for each volume of the Steampunk specials can be found here.
All images courtesy of Cloud Orchid.
Editrix de Mode and Part Time Lion Tamer, Wilhelmina Frame travels the globe in pursuit of adventure and style. When not in the circus ring with Rajah, her tiger and the rest of her “Kitten Kabal” (seven lions, three cheetahs and a rather droll panther), Ms. Frame can be seen at the most fabulous parties, in the latest fashions, sparkling with wit in conversation. Ms. Frame is the founder and Tiffin Master of The American Tea Duelling Society. Ms. Frame's alter-ego, Gretchen Jacobsen, is a freelance producer, award-winning costumer, prolific crafter and frequent convention panelist. She sings quite well also. Visit the home of The American Tea Duelling Society on Facebook, follow Ms. Frame on Pinterest or @ptliontamer on Twitter.