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Chi-Fi at Palmer House – Bertha would be proud!

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When Bertha and Potter Palmer created the fantastic hotel (originally. the 1st Palmer House was built as a wedding present for Bertha), little did they know it would become a haven for Chicago’s very own Chi-Fi (an all fandom convention)!  Bertha Palmer, a socially advanced and forward thinking woman born in the 1800’s would have been proudly supportive!!!

Bertha was the first to bring Renoir and Monet to the Midwest from Paris and Potter created the store that eventually became Marshall Fields.  Both were strong supporters of Chicago’s Columbian World Exposition of 1893 where all Nations brought their finest cultural and ethnic costumes to show the world, and many folks watched Hoochy Koochy belly dancing at the Fair’s Midway Plaisance.

So many wonderful things happened at Chi-Fi con this year – making it officially set in stone – CF3 will be of epic proportions in 2016!  Chi-Fi team, congrats on your sweet CF2 success!!!

If you want more specifics, check at:!.html   There are tons of great blogs, articles, pics to share and even a Stormtrooper Talk Time youtube spot with Gigi Edgley of Farscape, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge, etc…!  NICE!  You can find it here –

Great photographers (Ronald Ladao and Brian Schultz to name a few) roamed the ornately decorated historic halls, interesting panels were held, parties were ‘con’cocted and new friends made.  Many famous bloggers showed,  Time Crash Band performed flawlessly along with belly/gypsy dancing, and such talented performance artists presented their art, a burlesque show with The Naughty Little Cabaret, numerous guest cosplayers, 501st Star Wars folks and the infamous We Are Cosplay group with their fantastic costumes and cosplayers!  Of course this was just the tip of the iceberg in regards to never-ending things to see, booths to visit and talks/panels to attend during the convention.  Cudos to the Palmer House!   Cosplayers – this is absolutely the most beautiful hotel for photos in the midwest – incredibly gorgeous!!!

Cosplay was present in many genres; steampunk was present in the Milwaukee Steampunk Society, represented by founder, Bridget Sharon; the Chicago Steampunk Society represented by founder Sam Perkins-Harbin;  Melinda Mitchell joined in the steampunk fun – she founded the Geneva Steam Convention; and We Are Cosplay members gathered in their best cosplay and Chicago’s Star Wars 501st trooped in their stellar inter galactic uniforms – amazing!

Chi-Fi staff, great costumes and wonderful ‘all fandom’ peeps from Chicagoland made this convention a winner-winner!  Good things to come next year and thanks to the Palmer House for being so wonderful to the hard working staff of Chi-Fi and to the cosplayers who were on the 6th and 7th floors.  A cross play Clint Eastwood costume didn’t get a batted eye from anyone on staff –  but the lobby had some Starbucks sipping costumers look, giggle, smile and nod approval of the black Harley Davidson leather chaps walking past.    Yes… the cowboy hat was tipped back at them in thanks!

Cosplayers, if you’re in the area next year around this time – definitely a good convention to attend.  Luv the cosey size and familiar camaraderie of this Chicago hometown ‘all fandom’ celebration!  You will not be able to find such a historically unique hotel in Chicago to take pictures at, especially if you are into steampunk – just perfect!!!   Go Chi-Fi!!  Cosplay Corner flips two thumbs up to Chi-Fi staff, We Are Cosplay, Palmer House and those incredible photographers we know and love – thank you for the memories!!!

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Fantastic We Are Cosplay viewpoint of the con floor Photo courtesy of Ronald Ladao
Photo courtesy of Ronald Ladao
Photo courtesy of Ronald Ladao
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Some of the We Are Cosplay crew!
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Caught him off guard!  Photographers duel – ugh!!!  Hate losing!
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Gamers Gaming, photo courtesy of Ronald Ladao
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This guy was having fun with this, had to snap a pic…
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Star Wars is always awesome!
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Melinda Mitchell – founder of Geneva Steam Convention, showed off her bustle! LUV IT!!!!
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Panel audience eagerly awaits the Midwest Ladies in Cosplay panel discussion with We Are Cosplay co-founder Angelique Starr Rickhoff  moderating, assisted by Co-founder Nyq Bonaventura – getting ready to record!
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We Are Cosplay’s Midwest Men in Cosplay panel moderated by Paul Heid, Co-founder of We Are Cosplay
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Gamers gonna game!
The beauty within the Palmer House is breathtaking to say the least!
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I love this guy! He has a talking reindeer and a snowman as a friend, he is AWESOME!
Fun cosplay, photo courtesy of Brian Schultz
Dapper and debonair! Photo courtesy of Brian Schultz
Great Tardis interpretation! Photo courtesy of Brian Schultz
Hmmm… Mad scientist contemplating Whovian issues or Toby Markham, cosplayer extraordinaire at the Palmer House? This incredible photo courtesy of Ronald Ladao
Adore this cosplay photo – just want to know – did she find Scooby at the Palmer House yet? LUV IT!!!! Photo courtesy of Ronald Ladao
Great photo of Palmer House and cosplayer – reminds me of Breakfast at TIffanys – photo courtesy of Ronald Ladao

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Comments (4)

Rudy Hernandez

Great article! As a cosplayer its nice to see ‘Cosplay Enthusiasts’ depicted as people who just want to have fun, and not kooky obsessives who cant tell reality from fantasy. I look forward to more articles from Jen Greely and I loved the pics, too! Keep up the great work!

Thanks! Can’t wait until next year’s Chi-Fi!!!

WOW! I agree Chi-Fi was an absolute blast! What a great success and so much more than I ever imagined! The cosplayers were fantastic, and I really enjoyed the cosplay contest – They had everything from little kids in costume to professional costumers with hand-sewn, 100+ hour costumes. The hotel was supportive and the programming was engaging, the concerts were so much fun (Especially Time Crash, the whovian progressive rock band local to Chicago) and the parties were epic! Never before have I partied with steampunkers and pirates in the same room! Looking forward to next year and all the surprises in store!

We had a great time at Chi-Fi this year (like last). We did our review in podcast form

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