Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dream Land

I probably should have posted about this while it was still going on, but I ran out of time!  Anyways, from June 11-22, I had a gallery show in USF's Centre Gallery.  It focused on my photography of women in dream-like environments.  
If you didn't already know, I'm a vintage fiend not because I'm always wearing it (although I sometimes do),but because I love using it as styling for photo-shoots.  This started because it was more economical.  Going into the local thrift store and picking up dresses is WAY cheaper than going to the mall and buying clothes for shoots.  However, it's not just cheaper, its also much more interesting.  I love vintage/thrifting because it is so much more unique than other clothing, and because I can find something extravagant that I would otherwise not be able to afford.  
Clothing from other eras have an innate dreaminess to much of them, because of their unfamiliarity in styles to those my age.  I never lived through the 70s. So, when I find a dress from the 70s, I'm often astounded at it.  I can't imagine many people actually wearing something like it now.  We have 70s inspired clothing come back into fashion all the time, but it doesn't look like authentic 70s clothing does.  Why?  I have no idea.  I just know that half of the things I find look like nothing I could ever dream of finding in the local mall.  Maybe it has something to do with craftsmanship or maybe I'm just romanticizing the past, but each garment has a uniqueness that contributes to my photography and inspires it.

So, with no further ado, here's the front wall display of my gallery show.  It showed off the vintage clothing that I used in the photographs on the back two walls.  

 Pretty spiffy, right?  I had so many people tell me that they loved this feature of my show.  Clothing means a lot to me, because I'm so inspired by fashion photography and vintage fashion for my work.  I'm not looking to create a representation of what these pieces of clothing looked like in their respective eras though!  To me that would be too conventional.  I'm trying to create a "feeling" in my photography, an air of romanticism and dreaminess.

Here's some individual shots of the dresses used and one of the photographs they were used in:
80s Lawrence Kazar beaded dress;  Model: Emily Doyle
I bought this one at Goodwill for $3 and change, I actually have a similar one in a different color scheme!  How can one resist sequins and beads for less than $4?
late 70s Union-made lace girl's dress;  Model: Lucy
This sweet little lace dress has a red/white/blue union tag in it, but seems too early to be 80s or 90s, so I'm thinking its a 70s one.  It was purchased for $.50 at a yard sale!  The headpiece (not shown in the display) was a handmade flower crown with some craft-store purchased flowers that have a velvet and felt like feel.
70s "Themes" aqua dress;  Model: Chelsea Perez
This one was purchased at a Hospice Thrift store for under $4, I believe.  I'm thinking it was probably a bridesmaid dress at one time?  It's got a heavy duty zipper in it that looks to be metal.
Vintage slip and handmade flower crown; Model: Shoshannah Kadinger
I'm not sure on the dating of this one, to be honest it's probably 90s or possibly even later by judging the tag.  I don't have it with me, or I'd mention the brand name!  In any case, it was thrifted at a little church thrift store for around $3-4.  The flower crown is handmade.
Vintage 50s? sheer gown and 40s/50s feathered hat; Model: Ali Pruitt
This was my first ever Etsy purchase from a closing shop, around $20 shipped!  While it seems slightly pricey, it's also from one of my favorite shoots, so it was totally worth it! The ad description mentioned it being from somewhere around in the 50s probably hand sewn.  I agree with this assessment, just feeling the fabric it has an older feel.  And the clincher?  It's got a cigarette hole in the shoulder! That might not be the end-all argument for it, but it certainly makes me think of a glam lady lounging around in this (covered in diamonds of course!) with a cigarette holder.  The hat was purchased in an antique store sidewalk sale for $15.  It's stunning in person and in immaculate condition with glossy black feathers. It's even got the Hatters and Millinery Union tag inside.

So, that's just a sample of how I tie my vintage finds into my real life! 

If you're interested to see more of my photography, you can check out my Facebook page here: or my portfolio page here:!

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