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Haute in Hill Country: Cutting-Edge Bridal Looks by Designer Casey Tanswell
Photos By Paige Newton
By L. K. on Aug 17, 2016 at 3:00 am in Modern and Simple/Minimalist
In a sign of the times, more and more brides of every persuasion are saying no the dress and yes to the pants, opting to stride confidently down the aisle in jumpsuits or pantsuits rather than float along in layers of frothy fabric. And while statement-making trousers have yet to trump tulle, they are gaining ground, with these nontraditional nuptial threads even embraced by some of the stars among us. (Take, for instance, Solange Knowles, who showed up at her ceremony in New Orleans rocking an ivory jumpsuit.)
Through today’s transfixing fashion shoot, photographer Paige Newton explores the beauty, versatility, and appeal of the refreshingly unconventional bridal pantsuit as imagined by Australian designer Casey Tanswell, whom she happened to meet while spending time in the Land Down Under with her Aussie-born husband. The two women connected artistically and have been collaborating on creative projects ever since.
Casey is known locally for her beautifully constructed contemporary pieces, which transform their wearers into dynamic works of art, and the garments on exhibit below exemplify her approachably avant-garde aesthetic. “I see so much of the same look for brides,” Paige says, referring to the tired parade of long gowns in lace and chiffon and taffeta. “I wanted to create something a bit outside the box—modern, clean-lined, and fashion-forward. Casey’s clothes fit the bill; we need more brides in pants and capes!”
Surprisingly, the series of leggy looks are showcased against the bucolic backdrop of Texas Hill Country. Although the locale might conjure up visions of shabby-chic frilliness, Prospect House proves that cosmopolitan charm can be found in this countrified setting, and that the bridal pantsuit can look just at home here as it would in the big city. Designed by Texan architect Max Levy, who creates minimalist yet dramatic modern spaces linked to nature through light, shadow, and wind, the gallery-like event venue offers a blank canvas upon which almost anything can be painted.
“We knew that the space and the clothing would speak for themselves, so we kept everything really minimal with hair and makeup,” Paige says. Hair guru Raven Camacho gave model Emma Hefti a trio of effortlessly chic hairstyles: a half-up topknot, slicked-back waves, and a twist-and-pin updo. Makeup artist Avery Allen went for a natural, lightly luminous look, with only the lip color standing out. She started with a pearlescent pink and then switched to a bold red hue for the second half of the shoot.
In designing the grounds of Prospect House, which lies about 25 miles west of Austin in Dripping Springs, Ten Eyck’s landscape architects complemented clean-lined hardscaping with native prairie grasses and Texas red oaks. “Prospect House was the perfect location for this shoot,” Paige says. “The clean lines, the enormity of the space itself, and the unique ceremonial arch—a permanent square-shaped structure that frames the landscape beyond—all enhanced our concept.”
“I asked Samantha Jensen, the artist behind Austin-based flower studio Bricolage, to create anything but a bouquet,” Paige says. “Her alternatives were beautifully surprising.” This statement cape clasp was fashioned out of scabiosa pods studded by a single scarlet bloom.
Ferns and foliage were suspended from the Breezeway’s whitewashed rafters.
A sculptural cape was paired with airy wide-legged pants featuring slightly wavy hems. “If I am struck by a fabric, I work within the characteristics of that fabric,” Casey says. “If it has stiffness or structure, I want to create something sculptural. If it has drape or sheen, I’m drawn to form something that flows and ripples under light.”
Bricolage accented a slouchy top with an elaborate shoulder corsage, fashioning a kind of floral epaulette out of peonies, garden roses, scabiosa pods, and foxglove tendrils. The rich red and fuchsia hues added beautiful contrast.
Sharing is Happiness
Photography > PAIGE NEWTON
Bridal Attire > Casey Tanswell
Art direction > Paige newton
Location > prospect house
Flowers > Bricolage Curated Florals
Hair > Raven Camacho
Makeup > Avery Allen
Model > Emma Hefti
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What's Being Said
Paige Newton, Aug 17, 2016 at 12:06 pm
WOW- WHAT AN AMAZING WRITE UP! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THE KIND WORDS ABOUT EVERYONE INVOLVED! THIS GOES ABOVE AND BEYOND YOUR TYPICAL FEATURE ON A WEDDING BLOG OR MAGAZINE. OUR TEAM IS SO THANKFUL! :)
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