Tag Archives: photography

Secular & Religious: Christmas Images Around the World

Not steampunk at all, but definitely an interesting take on our globalizing world. Christmas, treated as a secular and a religious holiday, has impacted cultures both Western and non-Western in a myriad of ways. The Boston Globe recently posted a photo set of how Christmas is celebrated worldwide; here are some notable images below.

Christian pilgrims pray in the Church of the Nativity, the site revered as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, on Christmas Eve December 24, 2010. (REUTERS/Darren Whiteside)

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#88 Pakistani Fashion Designer Ali Fateh’s “Steampunk Elegance” Collection

When steampunk hits Pakistan’s fashion scene, what does it look like?

Well, designer Ali Fateh gives us an idea.  He recently came out with his handbag collection “Steampunk Elegance.” Fateh, a prominent designer known for his luxury handbags, premiered this collection back in July. The handbags boast elegant lines, bejeweled designs, and metal motifs.

Image courtesy of Maram & Aabroo. Click for more info

Fateh received his degree in fashion from the International Fine Arts College in Maimi, Florida, and then lived and worked in New York as a designer for several years. In 2002, he decided to return to Pakistan. There, he spotted a rising trend in luxury items, especially handbags, and turned his design skills to creating a distinctive line of goods featuring sleek designs and vibrant colors. As his international reputaion grew, his work has been featured on runways for Paris Couture Week, 2007, Bridal Asia, Delhi, Hong Kong, New York , Fall/Winter 09 Bahrain Fashion Week, Fall/Winter 09 Dubai Fashion Fiesta, and Islamabad Fashion Week 2011.

Image courtesy of Maram & Aabroo. Click for more info.

What remains equally gorgeous to his handbags is the photoshoot created around them, featuring talented work from accomplished women in their respective industries: photographers Maram & Aabroo and actress Aamina Sheikh.
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#80 Shadi Ghadirian & Muslim Women “Time Travelers”

If nineteenth-century Iranian women discovered time travel, where would they go? What would they bring back?

Photographer Shadi Ghadirian did not have these questions in mind, persay, but she is interested in how the Western world perceives Iranian woman like herself. In her photography series “Qajar,” she brings out the cognitive dissonance that someone unfamiliar with Iran may experience, as well as comments about the position of women in society today.

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Convention Extravaganza: Steampunk World’s Fair II

Jake von Slatt's Roadster, featured at the Fair. Image courtesy of Michael Salerno.

Steampunk World’s Fair– the self-proclaimed “largest steampunk festival in the US” had a huge turnout last year and raised expectations for many steampunks for repeat success. Over the course of the year, shifts in management and staff structure sprouted rumors of uncertainty about the success of the con, but this year’s Fair still held a strong and diverse showing of panels, workshops, and entertainments. Previous year’s favorites, including musicians Professor Elemental, Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band, Psyche Corporation, Eli August, This Way to Egress, and Frenchy and the Punk returned, with the addition of several other newcomers such as Murder by Death, Copal, Ego Likeness, and Left Outlet.  Events expanded to include book launch parties for Tee Morris and Pip Ballentine’s The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, Leanna Renee Hieber’s The Perilous Prophecy of the Goddess and the Guard, and Emilie P. Bush’s The Gospel According to Verdu at the Library of Lost Literature, an academic track, a Tweed Ride, a Dandy Stroll, a charity fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Queen Victoria’s Birthday Party. Other notable programming ranged from workshops on bartitsu and kimono-wearing to pro-union rallies and surviving the apocalypse.

Along with my own con report, which is featured on Tor.com, below is just a sampling of experiences offered by our guest reporters, including Daniel Holzman-Tweed, Austin Sirkin, Lucretia Dearfour, Sean Proper, Matt Deblass and Ekaterina Sedia. Fashion designer Kathryn Paterwic of Redfield Designs also presents her runway collection from the “Across the Universe” fashion show told in her narrated photo essay. Photography from Jessica Lilley, Babette Daniels, Michael Salerno, Monique Poirier, Philip Ng, and myself are also included.

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#55 International Influences: The Rise of Fashion Designer Guo Pei

Steampunk fashion is seen as modern interpretation of fantastical ideas based on history. This trend of multicultural influence and inspiration seen in steampunk fashion is also reflective in fashion trends today. The rise of Chinese designer Guo Pei is one example of this; she has been well-known in Chinese fashion circles for many years, but her recent collections created buzz throughout the runways of the world, in particular her 1002nd Arabian Night collection.

Her work represents an inspirational blend–not only derived from the famous Arabian tales, but also influences from classical Chinese fairy tales and classics from the West as well. In these designs, delicate blue and white designs reminiscent of Ming vases mingle with rich, plumed imagery of birds and Persian motifs and decadent Rocco and baroque styles. Combined with Pei’s striking geometric vision, her couture collection is a blend of classic fantasy and modern avant-garde.

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#49 Reporting from TeslaCon!

Image courtesy of TeslaCon

One of the difficult things about writing con reports for Beyond Victoriana is that I’ve always missed something. Whether it be a panel, a cosplay, or The Biggest Story from the con, I know that since I’m only one person, I can’t be everywhere at once to record it for the blog. Not to mention all of those great con events in the community that go on that I can’t attend. So for future conventions, Beyond Victoriana will be extending its con coverage to include features from on-staff and on the ground.

TeslaCon is the first event we’re trying out with this new format, and justly so. What makes this con stand out from previous ones is its mission as steampunk’s first “immersive convention.” Organized by Eric Larson (Lord Hastings R. Bobbins) as an elaborate role-playing convention, TeslaCon featured not only the usual panels, vending, fashion show and other events, but was built around a central murder mystery storyline and run by a crew of dedicated actors on staff.

Panelist Austin Sirkin talks about his impressions of the con, staff member Wendy Zdrodowski unravels TeslaCon’s murder mystery run by Steampunk Chicago, and Captain Anthony LaGrange of The Airship Archon gives an attendee report. Photo coverage is also provided by Jessica Coen and Shannon Sofian, featured in the articles and after the jump.

So even if you were stuck at home like me, you can still get a taste of the TeslaCon experience, thanks for the dedication of our reporters and photographers.

Interested in sharing your TeslaCon experience? Feel free to share & link your reports and pictures  in the comments!

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#26 At the Steampunk World’s Fair

The SPWF program newspaper. Photo by knightmare6. Click for source.

A moment of history has come and gone: the first-ever Steampunk World’s Fair in Piscataway, New Jersey–the largest steampunk event on the East Coast and very likely the largest one in North America.  According to staff estimates, approximately 3,700 people attended over the course of three days, coming from across the United States, Canada, England, France, and Italy. It was a pleasure to participate in this event, and it was only a shame that there wasn’t several clones of me running around so that I could attend every single event (though people may have gotten the impression with the various outfits I wore!)

You probably can hear a hundred and one different experiences from people attending. Like when Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band led 200 people in a parade through the hotel and into the parking lot for an impromptu party on Saturday night. Or the Queen of Steam contest featuring the youngest cross-dresser you’ll ever see. Or the crazy jumping spider contraption at the Mad Science Fair, or the Gear Guitar, or the Tesla Coil demonstration and Jake Von Slatt’s bus tours.

And for all three days, I’ve scoping out steampunk’s less British side and looking around with fen of color spectacles on. Below are some of the highlights from the side of steam for the more cross-culturally inclined.

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Beyond Victoriana Special Edition Odds & Ends #4

I’m preparing for some big events in May (like co-hosting two panels at the Steampunk World’s Fair. Will you be coming? It’s bound to be INTELLECTUALLY STIMULATING and IMMENSELY ENTERTAINING.) Thus, the next post will be delayed. But never fear, I have some nifty reads that have been building up in my inbox for you to check out after the cut.

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Beyond Victoriana Special Edition: Odds & Ends #3

I’ll be at ICON in Long Island this weekend and so I’ll be leaving a few tidbits for you to munch on while I’m out (by the way, my con schedule is easily traceable).

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#19: Lalla Essaydi Speaking Through the Exotic

“In my art, I wish to present myself through multiple lenses—as artist, as Moroccan, as Saudi, as traditionalist, as Liberal, as Muslim. In short, I invite the viewer to resist stereotypes.” Lalla Essaydi (source)

Lalla Essaydi is not a steampunk, but her latest photography series is, in essence, what multicultural steampunk can be: a framework in which representations of the past can be questioned by the present.

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