The Gown

Storytelling – fanciful storytelling –
can only be told through fashion photography.
It’s the perfect way to play with fantasy and dreams.
~  Tim Walker

Security kept a close eye on me during a recent visit to the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.  L.G., my partner and sightseeing companion, had long finished viewing the presented works in the gallery room;  I however, was crawling around the floor.

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The Gown, a 3-D beaded sculpture, by bead artist Jan Huling, is a real-life Cinderella spectacle in full-scale proportion down to the detail of a protective, overseeing royal mouse — complete with crown.  Huling’s beaded mandala tapestry blurs the lines between fine art, folk art, master textile and home style craft while blending together fantasy, dream, and real life.  It’s stunning and commands attention, or in my case, demands to be photographed.  The inspired gown is a genuine family heirloom — a wedding dress, which Huling herself, her mother and two aunts each wore.   Huling created a 3-D printed replica of the original dress to apply the beaded mosaic design.

It’s difficult to distract yourself from its grand vibrancy.  As a photographer, I particularly enjoyed the spontaneity of capturing the essence of its editorial elegance by sheer happenstance.   Thanks for your patience, L.G.