When I met Laura Grier at WPPI this year, she showcased her latest editorial fashion shoot with a behind the scenes video. It isn't everyday you get a backstage look at the work and creativity that goes into this type of photo-shoot. Not only are the photos incredible, but the designs and creations showcased on the models are one of a kind. Truly an inspiring piece.
In December, Laura Grier with Beautiful Day Photography photographed this amazing fashion editorial in the Arizona desert. The theme was "Wearable Art". At first, the photo-shoot was geared towards weddings, but as more and more amazing vendors signed on, it became a couture fashion shoot. They had an amazing floral designer, Bess Wyrick based in New York, that did one of kind floral crowns, dress designers that did everything from making gowns out of found objects to baking them, and hair and make-up artists that produced works of art. The models threw pigment as a nod to Jackson Pollock and even hiked 3 hours into the wilderness to get the final footage that involved 30 yards of hot pink tulle. This entire photo-shoot was about creating one of a kind art and about showing the experience of working on an art piece such as this. Because the photo-shoot was about the experience, their team filmed a trailer/behind-the-scenes video as it couldn't’ be summed up in 2-dimensional print.
Since Laura is a wedding photographer, she has numerous connections to vendors and artists in the wedding industry. She was inspired to create a shoot that showcased each of their individual talents. Since their work and talent does not belong in a typical wedding magazine or on a traditional bride she came up with the idea of “wearable art”. Laura chose a barren desert landscape in Arizona for this project. The inspiration was a simple background to be a blank canvas. Each vendor was chosen and had their own looks represented in the photo-shoot. They had their own creative freedom to create a piece or look. Laura photographed their pieces in her signature poppy and over saturated style.
This photoshoot was shot in the Utah/Arizona wilderness. A portion of their footage was at a permit only location called“The Wave”. They rented a van to carry the dress and props and drove 8 hours from LA. The crew hiked three hours in the snow and 30 degree weather to reach their final destination.
Information about the vendors and artists who dreamed and created this shoot:
Hand-made dresses made of found objects or re-purposed materials by Evey
Evey is an innovative fashion designer in Los Angeles, who is not afraid to break rules or push boundaries. She employs an arsenal of tools, techniques and non-traditional materials to create ethical, sustainable clothing that turns both heads and minds. Evey describes her one-of-a-kind aesthetic as “wearable art,” which captures her innate ability to make anything beautiful and leave a lasting impression without leaving a mark on our environment. Evey has been approved by PETA and the Humane Society as a Vegan Designer.
“If you can dream it, I can create it,” says Evey. “Every woman has her own fairy-tale vision of the perfect dress. My job is to make it real.”
Ceramic corsets baked and hand sculpted in clay and then fired in a kiln by Nichole Moan
Nicole was born in Irving, Texas into a family of artists and interior designers. She began working with clay in junior high, over time her tile work became more elaborate and experimental, and those instincts led her to branch out with her designs. She first entertained the idea of shifting her abilities from tile to include clothing when she wanted to develop a corset that fit more comfortably than the traditional designs that utilized wires or boning. She decided to use "Spring Wedding" and "English Lace" for this project when she heard that the shoot was going to be in the desert because she wanted a look to counterpoint the barren sands. Something with a flare of elegance yet sassy.
"I think of myself as a very quirky person but I like to give each piece it's own personality and let it speak for itself."
Dresses inspired by fire or ashes by Michelle Herbert
Michelle Hébert is a luxury brand that intertwines art with design to create ethereal evening wear. Hébert's designs are highly regarded for their aesthetic appeal, and the designer herself for her passion within this craft. On the surface designs by Michelle Hébert are seen as elegant, flattering, and romantic, but when one delves deeper they notice finer details in the creation of each piece. Each piece being the product of meticulous attention to quality, imaginative concepts, and in simpler terms a different kind of beauty.
"I was honored to be apart of this shoot through the contribution of a few of my fine-art gown designs. To work alongside the many talents involved was truly wonderful. The pieces chosen for the shoot were either personal designs, or pieces I created in collaboration with other artists such as the red fire dress which I designed for a shoot with fine-art photographer Alex Stoddard. I always love working creatively with new imaginative innovators so being apart of this project was right up my ally!" -Michelle
Creating hair sculpture pieces by Krystal Kaos (Anything For Beauty)
Krystal X Kaos is a celebrity hairdresser in the Orange County area and has been doing hair for 13 years. She has styled celebrities Steve O, Dave Navarro, and Taylor Scout Compton. Her work has been published in countless magazines. She has worked with some amazing photographers, wardrobe stylist, and makeup artist. She likes to push the limits and think out of the box when it comes to traditional ways of doing things.
Kaos created her own destination wedding hair and make up company called Anything for Beauty. She believes in that name through her craft and in her vision. She is in love with the av-ant guard side of hair styling. This type of style is her nitch. She created hair pieces, such as two blond hair buns and a brown hair disc that can be seen in the wearable art shoot where the two models are throwing colored pigments. This part for her was a very strong part of the shoot and she felt needed a strong accent of hair to go along with the theme. She also styled three wigs from lolita wigs one blonde, red and black. She felt like these wigs gave the wearable art pieces exactly the right striking looks needed. In conclusion, all these hairstyles ended up bringing together a fluid work of art as a whole.
Make-up and colors/lashes based on each look by Tara Dowburd
Tara Dowburd been a Professional Celebrity Make-up Artist for over 16 years and is the Owner of Make-Up Therapy, a company she founded almost a decade ago. Make-up Therapy consists of a personally hand selected “Glam Squad,” otherwise known as the "Beauty Team,” that has grown to boast the best Hairstylists and Make-up Artists in Los Angeles for on location bookings within all of California and the US. Her and her team's work has been flaunted down countless red carpets and wedding aisles, graced the pages of dozens of magazines and blogs, and has garnered an extremely loyal clientele over the past sixteen years in the industry. Dowburd's mission is to make sure every client feels pampered and relaxed, while looking and feeling fabulous! While working with some of my celebrity clientele, such as: Ana Ortiz, Ervin “Magic” Johnson, Fergie, Kaley Couco, Kristen Bell, Mayim Bialik and Trent and Mariqueen Reznor, she has learned everyone just wants to look the best version of themselves, and that is her goal.
"For the Wearable Art photo-shoot, we had 9 very different looks that we styled and put together. I begin my creative process by looking at the entire vision, including the outfit, accessories, and location. I then wrote down a few adjectives that come to mind, which inspired me with make-up ideas for each look. While also taking the model’s coloring and features into consideration, the make-up concept is formed. The individual photographs are meant to make a statement while telling a story, and hopefully the following words will give insight to my creative process as to why each look was created." - Tara Dowburd
Floral crowns made with found plants in the environment as well as orchids and flowers, hand wired and created on site by Bess Wyrick (Celadon and Celery)
Celadon and Celery is an NYC and Los Angeles Event and Floral Design Company. They cater to the needs of New York City, Santa Monica, all of Los Angeles and Orange County, with a specialty in the art of floral and event concepts. They know that their clients are among the most stylish and design savvy in the world and are the most appreciative of their attention to quality and detail. Their floral and event designers combine shapes, materials, textures and innovative aesthetics to create unforgettable occasions. They offer full-scale event design, floral stylists and planning. Their unique and modern style of design is a vehicle to showcase beauty in hotels, resorts, or private residences.
"Each venue has its own personality, and our first step is always pinpointing the unique intricacies of each location. The creativity and collaboration that goes into the production of events of every scale excites us. We put care into coordinating everything including vendors, venues, design aesthetics, details and all other aspects that are needed to make your event perfect. Whether it is East coast, West coast or abroad, when styling photo shoots or locations, the architectural details provide inspiration. We combine items native to the property with props from our creative craft dealers to complement your personalities and any venue. Our vision is to recreate the space with truly authentic pieces, pushing beyond flowers, fabrics and decor to construct elaborate presentations that are reflective and representative of the time, occasion and season." -Bess Wyrick
Creating a behind the scenes video documenting the process of the shoot by Sarah Natasha Horowitz
Horowitz comes from an artistic, affluent family, and her affinity for photography began when her father first gave her his Nikon when she was only nine years old. In high school she began to learn the technical side of her passion, which she then accelerated even further by attending Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy after graduating. After studying abroad, Sarah returned to Southern California to spend the next four years at the prestigious Claremont Colleges, where Sarah earned a B.F.A. in Fine Art Photography and Photojournalism. With the adaptation of the Canon SLR cameras to include HD Video, Sarah has expanded her still photography into the video medium through filming behind-the-scenes destination shoots for Beautiful Day Photography all over the world.