Who wears the crowns ?
Fashion tells us a story about the person wearing it, but for the beholder, a crown or headdress can elevate both the fashion and the wearer to an exalted or even mythic level. In modern times, we don’t see as much of this overt symbolism around us, yet we still refer to leaders as “heads” of state. The double meaning of this term still resonates and connects us with the older tradition of crowning our leaders and deities to bestowing them with esteem and reverence above our own.
In this shoot, our team explored the transformation within a photo shoot that crowns can make to our interpretation of the image of the fashion and the model. While the wearing of the crown symbolically elevates the mundane, it also personifies the ineffable. The mythic imagery of the crown complemented the design and ultimately inspired the styling for our shoot, but as symbol do, took on a life of its own. As we progressed and began to review the photos that we captured, we all began to look beneath the images to see the symbols they evoked and the story that spoke to us. This became for us a visual tale of winter through personifying some of its familiar aspects.
Our white tree gown with the crystal-draped twig crown was intended to represent the serenity of winter as embodied in the image of one of the Dryades, spirits of the forest in Greek mythology.
Seated with eyes downcast forlornly in her gown of branches and crown of red winter berries and frost-covered twigs is Demeter, mourning the passage of her daughter into Hades’ realm, and through her melancholy, causes the coming of winter.
Standing inscrutably behind her mask of shadows and sheathed in black lace is Nyx, primordial goddess of the night in her ascendance as darkness begins to encroach on the winter months.
Seated on her throne and holding her crown with an expression reflecting both reluctance and resolution is Persephone, daughter of Demeter, wife of Hades, and queen of the underworld during the winter while the earth sleeps and awaits her return.
Standing in her snowflake crown and her diaphanous snow dress is Chione, the goddess of snow and daughter of Boreas, god of the cold north wind of winter.
Crouching in her crown of stars and ethereal white dress is Hemera, goddess of the day, smiling in the knowledge that, just as the winter and darkness are preordained by the heavens, so is her ascendancy once again.
This editorial would not have been possible without the collaboration and partnership of a team of talented and creative artists. Gregory Rodriguez performed miracles as our hair stylist, and Damien Vasquez, a frequent creative partner for us, delivered the dramatic makeup that we envisioned. Holly Cue provided us access to her studio and excellent guidance as our photo stylist. Our wonderful model, Jessica Lucido, breathed life into the ideas we brought to this shoot. Magan Ashleigh Brown provided patient and enthusiastic attention to detail as our fashion stylist. Finally, none of this would have been possible without the creative energy of the fashion designer for this shoot, Faith McGary-Sepcic, my Muse and love.
Photographer & Designers: Richard E Sepcic & Faith McGary-Sepcic, Couture Poetry, LLC
Post Processing: Salleh Sparrow Photography
Model: Jessica Lucido
Photo Stylist: Holly Cue, Ikonik Commercial Group
Hair Stylist: Gregory Rodriguez
Make-Up Stylist: Damien Vasquez
Wardrobe Stylist; Magan Ashleigh Brown
Crowns: Faerie Crowns by CG, Posh Fairytale Couture, Ikea