[All Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique dresses photographed by Holly Andres]
Let’s end the week with a dreamy little trip, shall we? These wistful, sun-washed photos are the product of an amazing superstar collaboration between Portland creative heavies Liz Gross, owner of Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique, and photographer Holly Andres. Andres describes this Maypole Brides shoot on her site as a “conceptual fashion shoot depicting young brides preparing for the Maypole ceremony. The Maypole Dance originated as an ancient pagan fertility ceremony associated with the end of winter and the rebirth of the land. The pole itself is suggestive of the phallus.” Beautiful and sexy—not a bad combination.
As someone who once lived in Portland, Oregon (and who still misses it dearly), I can’t help but continue to follow Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique from afar. It is, perhaps, one of the most amazing things to happen…ever. Don’t believe me? Check out the boutique’s perfectly curated selection of vintage wedding and party dresses, which Gross shares through frequent photo updates on the Xtabay Facebook page. Then take a little looksy at Xtabay’s bridal salon, which is outfitted with all sorts of girly, vintage fineries. Gross, Xtabay’s proprietress and estate sale shopper extraordinaire, has such amazing taste and covetable vintage hunting talent. When it comes to her collab with Andres, I can’t imagine that anyone could do these envy-inducing vintage frocks as much justice. Don’t you just wish you could wander into these photos?
I first found out about Andres while watching Oregon Public Broadcasting on a lazy Sunday afternoon. (Yes, I’m all about public broadcasting and I’m that big of a nerd). And I just fell—hard—for her unique perspective. There is something at once melancholy, beautiful and dark about her photos. My first taste of her work, the Sparrow Lane exhibition, took my breath away on that rainy Portland afternoon. (In Sparrow Lane, Andres presents a serious of “loss of innocence photos” inspired by Nancy Drew books. You can check out the whole series here and thank me later.)
I can’t imagine two women whose tremendous talent is better matched than that of Andres and Gross. And those vintage wedding dresses? Well, they’re worth a trip to the Northwest—trust me. If you’re not willing to make the trek, you can check out dresses at the Xtabay Etsy shop. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a distraction worthy of an entire afternoon, check out Andres’ portfolio on her site.