This past year I had a student in one of my photography workshops named Fuchsia Lin. The first class I ask students to bring in samples of their work, and Fuchsia brought in samples of the fashion designs that she creates. She designs costumes for Portland Center Stage and Oregon Ballet Theater, as well as her own designs, which you can see on her website.
My interest was piqued, and we started talking about the possibility of working together to showcase her work with some professional photography. I liked her designs, and she liked my fine art and editorial photography. She ended up hiring me to create some conceptual images of her work, and I was excited about the opportunity to do so.
Fuchsia put together a great team of stylist, art director, and makeup artist, and combined we approached the shoot with anticipation. Our model, the lovely Grace Shibley, is a dancer for Oregon Ballet Theater. Her name, Grace, describes both the way she moves and the way she works, and it was a real delight to photograph her.
Fuchsia describes herself and her work on her website as follows:
Fuchsia Lin is an artist who creates fashion, sculpture, costumes and installations. Over the past ten years she has experienced living in three very different cities, New York, Paris and Portland, experiences which have had a unique influence on each piece. Fuchsia’s work has evolved from superhero-esque protective coverings, such as capes and tribal inspired coats, to ethereal, delicate dresses. She has created installations of fantastical environments where her costumes are designed as components of the whole work. These garments are time and process intensive works, which can take months to produce, and during this time they usually take on their own personalities. Inspired by the European couturiers and her training as a costumer, Fuchsia uses traditional and theatrical techniques in creating her garments. Her love of color and textures lead her to create time intensive work, such as delicately cut fringe and hand-cut leather resembling lace. Fuchsia’s work is meant to be worn by performers or the courageous fashionista. She has chosen as her models, ballerina, Grace Shibley and dancer/choreographer, Nikima Jagudajev to embody the spirit of her work.
The designs in this set are all winged-animal-inspired: peacocks, hummingbirds, butterflies. With some location scouting and planning, we ended up photographing at the beautiful Rhododendron Gardens in Portland. In spite of the record-breaking mosquito population and the heat, we spent the day creating some lovely images, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Keep an eye out for upcoming shows of these images, as Fuchsia coordinates various events for them!
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