Photo by Chika Okazumi
The Wind, the Gown and the Ball.
I spent a very windy Sunday at the Melrose Trading Post this summer. So windy in fact, that my neighbor to the left packed up and went home within a couple of hours, leaving me to ponder how to wrangle my garments and mannequins in the wind. Especially some of the ballgowns I bought with me that day that wanted to fly. It was a bit of a drama but even so, I felt that something exciting would happen that day.
Soon, a lovely young woman named Marisa arrived at my booth with a specific purpose in mind. She was looking for a special gown to wear to a ball in St Tropez and one of my gowns caught her eye. Invited by the prince, she would be leaving in just a few days and was bored with the gowns she already owned. She is an international award winning opera singer, I learned, and is also in the process of expanding her talents into a new classical crossover genre. Not only would she be attending the ball, she would be performing.
So maybe it was the drama of the wind, the luck of the missing neighbor, or serendipity that helped to reveal my dark purple hemp/silk, bustled bustier ballgown tucked away at the back of my booth. The gown, which I had named “Violet” is a bit edgy/gothic with black lace and velvet trim, and it is definitely non-traditional and non-boring. More like a pop opera gown in a royal color fit for a ball! Slipping into it, it was a near perfect fit. A little alteration and she’d be on her way.
I was intrigued by the pop/opera idea, and since I had heard one of her songs, (which I loved) I proposed the idea of collaborating with me and some of my favorite artists on a styled photoshoot to establish and showcase her new crossover direction after her return. She promised to send photos and keep in touch.
The gown was a hit and the ball delivered an unexpected outcome. She met a handsome man and fell in love!
She returned to the US, we collaborated on our photoshoot, and she booked a one way ticket to Europe where she is performing and traveling the world with the man she met at the ball…A true fairytale.
Here she is in the Violet gown.
Working with one of my favorite photographers, Chika Okazumi and makeup and hair wizard Eugene Conde, we created some beautiful images for Marisa Johnson’s new pop/opera sound.
See all the photos below:
All items can be found on the special occasion shop pages.
See the music video of her new single “Your Time”. Click here.