No, that’s not a costume from an avant garde production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s the handiwork of environmental artist Nicole Dextras. The title is Camellia Countess. It’s composed of: camellia flowers, lilac flowers, yucca leaves, laurel leaves, willow branches, and thorns. The thorns are how the piece is held together. No thread here!
Dextras makes her wearable art from the plants she finds in her own garden, as well as donations from others. She then photographs the pieces, some on models, some not, and then leaves them in the great outdoors to return to the soil.
Inspired by her mother’s dress shop where she played as a child and a big pile of leaves she found one day and turned into a jacket, I’m in love with Dextras’ work. It’s constructed with both skill and imagination, and its very impermanence appeals to me somehow.
But I must admit I would love to put on this fabulous dress made of yucca and dance in it. Not bad for some plants a neighbor didn’t want in her yard, is it?