A couple of weeks ago, while shopping in one of my usual haunts, I came across a vintage Jessica McClintock Gunne Sax dress. Not, not a new one, or even a 1980's version, but one of "those" Gunne Sax '70s dresses. One of the beautifully made dresses from the early to mid 1970's. There are earlier designs out there, but, this one is a pretty early find, especially for the East Coast. Also, it is in fabulous condition, and, a very wearable vintage size 13 which makes it about a contemporary size 6-8. Being all cream with lace it would make someone a terrific Renaissance Style Bohemian Wedding Dress. With all of these factors combined, I decided I needed to set up a really special photo shoot for this dress.
There are a number of Etsy sellers who regularly do the whole "walking-through-the-fields-with-windswept-hair-and-great-backlighting" thing on a regular basis. Most of those people sell higher end items more consistently and live in a climate that supports such things. I live in a major New England city where the weather changes on a dime, and, there is not exactly a wheat field in my backyard. Also, I rarely ask more than $50 for items in my shop so although I take my photos seriously, major modeling photo shoots become somewhat cost-prohibitive. This dress, though was unique. I made the decision that if it fit I would have some fun and go for it. Here are the results:
The dress, as stated, likely dates to the early to mid-1970's. I was surprised, too, at the quality. The entire lace overlay is all cotton, not synthetic. It is fully lined and very well constructed. This dress would make a fantastic wedding dress for someone who is into the earthy/hippie/bohemian look, or, a Renaissance theme.
I decided that the perfect vintage uber-hipster accessory for this photo shoot would be my vintage lace-up leather boots. The texture is a perfect contrast, and, they are perfect for trekking all over the place to take photos! Also, found for 50 cents at a church sale about 15 years ago perfectly in my size, these are one of my all-time favorite vintage pieces!
Dad was totally game to not only drive me around everywhere, but, to shoot all the photos! What a great job he did, and, between you and me, I think he's got the "photo bug" again!
Luckily, my parents live in a lovely Massachusetts seaside town that's got it all; oceanfront, grassy fields, stone walls, historic water towers and pumpkin patches - so we were at no loss for locations!
Here are the finalists. What I'd like you to do is help me to pick the shot to use as the "first" shot. This is the "money" shot; the one that will get noticed, get put into treasuries, get selected for blogs and, most of all, seen by the person who will ultimately decide to purchase this gorgeous dress for themselves! Take a look, have fun, POKE fun (that's sort of the point!) and help me pick out the ultimate Etsy photo for this dress!
...and if you think we need to move in closer, here are some cropped options:
Crop Option 1
Crop Option 2
Crop Option 3
Crop Option 4
Crop Option 5
Crop Option 6
Of course the primary goal of this project was for me to have a lot of fun; that was achieved! Second to that, is for my readers to have some fun. (Let's presume we can tick this one off as well). Next, let's not forget that the point is to show that if someone wants to use this dress as a wedding dress, it looks and photographs great! If dad and I tooling around in boots and a Honda Accord can make it look like this, imagine what you and a professional photographer can do! Finally, one side benefit I had not realized until I put all the photos together; if Celine Dion or Van Morrison ever wish to record an album with me, I already have the photos for the project!