It all started with a question to a customer, “Would you be interested in doing a trade?” She said yes and brought home the Mona Dress. A few days later, I headed up to Marney Pike’s house in the southwest hills to cash in on my end of the trade - a beautiful painting by her. What I found was an amazing painter, a beautifully refined art collection, an exquisite view of Portland, and inspiration for my Fall 2015 collection.
Marney had painted for years, but hadn't IN years. While living in Chicago, she was represented by a gallery, but recent history has not found her behind the easel. As evident not only by her own pieces, but by the amount and quality of art that she surrounds herself with, she is creative through and through. While touring her home, I noticed a gorgeous bowl of several orchids, next to which was a flat of taller orchids. Marney had planned to trade out the shorter for the taller to create a more dramatic look. With such an amazing eye and command of stroke, I longed to see her painting again. I imagined her sitting in front of that bowl of orchids, brush in hand and warming back up with large gesture drawings. I then imagined her beginning to fill in the cityscape behind those orchids as she dove head first into her creativity again. As she moved through her process, I thought of her abandoning the soft flowing lines of the flowers entirely for the hard edges, highlights, and shadows created by the city below.
From this daydream sprung the “Marney Dress” - the signature piece of my Fall 2015 Collection entitled: Creative Evolution. The idea to photograph the collection at her house was met by enthusiasm. I then called on my favorite photographer, Mark Muzzy, to help capture the process, and our new favorite Garnish model (and now Garnish Gal), Ashley Gripkoven to model. I knew Ashley had the exact amount of grace I was looking for, but what I was not aware of was the fact that she is an amazing artist, too - and was floored when she jumped into character and started producing gorgeous charcoal drawings in front of the camera.
Many generous people lent their hands to make it come together. The team at the Mac counter at Nordstrom started us off with makeup, followed by stylists from Hair M/W, meeting us on location to round out the look with amazing hair. Many thanks to all the time put in by everyone.
It was a wonderful day, full of surprises! One "what a small world" moment came when we showed up at Marney’s house... Ashley and Marney realized that they took dance classes together. Furthermore, they realized that Marney’s husband was Ashley’s childhood dentist, and Marney’s son was Ashley’s daughter’s dentist! From there we knew the shoot had a lucky streak - and the results were better than expected.
I would like to extend a huge thank you to the following people:
Marney Pike for graciously opening her home to us.
Cassie Stewart, Rafael Marquez, and Anja Jauregui at the Mac counter of Nordstrom for their help with make up.
Krista Hilton and Michelle Bernard from Hair M/W for amazing hair.
Mark Muzzy for performing his magic behind the lens.
And Ashley Gripkoven for stepping right into character.