Recently I collaborated with the ever creative Brittany Watson Jepsen of The House That Lars Built, and fabulous photographer Chaunté Vaughn, on an editorial featured in Milk Magazine. Milk is a children's fashion magazine and a source of endless inspiration for me, so I'm enormously proud to have my designs featured there. Like all good collaborations the shoot was a team effort, but for my part I created 4 dresses, each inspired by a beautiful bird and brought to life using various textiles and fabric-manipulating techniques.
I was very excited to come on board to work with Brittany and Chaunté, and so inspired by the concept they'd developed-- sort of high fashion, bird-inspired, lush and colorful. The only catch was that the project timeline was short! Like, I had one week to order fabric and supplies and make all these dresses a reality. But I thrive under pressure, and so I jumped in.
They took a huge leap of faith getting me involved because we had never worked together before, and they really didn't know what I'd show up with on the day of the shoot! But they had enough faith in my taste and ability to ask anyway. I am so glad they did.
The thing about these dresses is that they aren't the kind of thing I've had the occasion to make in the past, but they are exactly the kind of thing I get excited about making-- dream about making. So I hoped if I could pull off the ideas in my head, the results would not be disappointing.
I get really excited about using textiles in interesting ways. I wanted the dresses to have colors that were rich and complex, with layers of subtle variation. I wanted exaggerated volume that still looked light and effortless. I wanted textures that felt substantial and intriguing, that would demonstrate bird-like qualities without being too literal. And I wanted them to all balance with, and play off each other.
I had experimented a lot in the past with dying and painting on fabric, and had some supplies on hand that would lend themselves well to realizing the vision for these dresses. So I gathered those and then I ordered another 20 yards of silks and cottons, and crossed my fingers!
Creating these dresses was quite an intimate process. From yards and yards of hand-painted silk in just the shade I'd imagined, to rows of hand-dyed ruffles thoughtfully tacked into place, to hundreds of tiny fabric flowers individually painted in multiple shades and carefully formed, every detail of these dresses was considered. I put my heart into them, and I am proud of the way they turned out.
We shot at this amazing tree-house in Provo. I've been dreaming of my own tree-house since I was a little girl (seriously-- I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to them) so this location was pure magic for me.
I brought a tent to the photoshoot, because I am a ridiculous human. But if being a mother has taught me anything, it's that anticipating and preparing for every possible scenario for disaster means that maybe you might avoid like half of them. We were actually supposed to shoot the previous day but it was raining buckets and water on any of these fabrics would have been disaster--they would have melted. I wasn't taking any chances. (In fact they did go ahead and photograph the Parrot indoors the day before but I wasn't there, which is why I have no behind the scenes photos of gorgeous Blythe)
Brittany and her team did such an amazing job styling this photo shoot. Her vision, and attention to detail really blows my mind. Everything she did, from carefully choosing models whose skin and hair tones would be perfectly complimented by the clothes, to the placement of objects, to the balance of light and color and form, is just beyond. She's really good at what she does.
Chaunté is obviously a master of her craft as well. I mean, clearly these photos she took are gorgeous. Stunning. But Chuanté and Brittany really worked together to bring about the entire vision for this project. Chaunté even created inspiration sketches for the dresses I made, which I 'll be sharing in a separate post that will give a little more info on my process for creating each dress.
It was such an honor to be a part of this project and get to work with everyone who was involved. I'm so happy to be able to finally share it with you. I hope you enjoy it!
Here is a little video Chaunté put together:
Go HERE for the Editorial in Milk (click EN in the upper left corner to translate to English)
"Little Birds" Credits
Photographer- Chaunté Vaughn
Producer/Stylist- The House That Lars Built
Clothing Design/Construction- Danielle Wilson
Beauty- Shannon Laidlaw
Peacock Model- Sydney Burnham
Flamingo Model- Swayzie King
Parrot Model- Blythe Snowden
Swan Model- Isabelle Aaron
Location- QP Collections Provo, UT