It’s raining cats & dogs in Leiden, one of the oldest dutch cities, outside of Amsterdam. Hardly anybody sets a foot outside and the plushy local theater is deserted. Yet there is vibrant activity in the main hall. Assistants shuffle lights and cables, tons of hair spray dust vaporizes on beautiful models dancing in a iridescent backlight, the swift hand of a make up artist blushing its last stroke on alabaster cheeks.
In the middle of all professional bustle, designer of the hour Esther Dorhout Mees, is focused to the max. Softly she speaks, when the flashlight goes off: “Long fingers, Alice”, “Chin a little bit down”, “Beautiful, hold that”.
We are backstage at “Theatre Decay” the editorial shoot of Esther's latest brilliant work, and I am in Cinderella paradise. Eight gorgeous gowns -a thousand hours of couture work- make there way from dressing room onto the stage, elegantly directed by the designer. There is something very fragile about all this, petit bodies leaning against thick velvet curtains, almost drowning in fluffy polstered chairs. This is were the inspiration for the whole collection has its origin and with today’s work, the journey of an idea will also end.
In an unobserved moment I sneak a pair of heels outside on the theater stairs. After a fairytale photo-shooting like this, it wouldn't surprise me if that prince will stop by, find them (and me) and we can live happily ever after.
Today’s shoes are Dorhout Mees
For more fairytale dresses and full collections check dorhout-mees.com