Though 18th century corsets are not in her normal repertoire, designer Justina A. Prince has always had a love for fantasy couture that combines seemingly incongruous elements. While creating the Outlander dress for this issue of Faerie Magazine, she was also finishing her debut line, “The Bird and the Fish,” which she was readying to present at New York Fashion Week. Each dress represents either a bird or a fish, “two different species that seem to be in opposition and come together to live in harmony,” she says.
Which is not too different from the way she sees Jamie and Claire: “They’re from two different worlds that overlap each other in time. They’re so different yet bound to each other, and they too show how different species can share an environment symbiotically.” It’s no surprise, then, that Outlander is one of her biggest inspirations. “All the silhouettes are indicative of different eras,” she says, “so that you travel through time as you experience the line.” What does she love most about the books? “Diana Gabaldon has the ability to not only transport you to another time but make you feel you can relate to that time— and that it’s relating to you.”
Another heavy influence is the natural world. Prince sees each gown as representing a goddess—one who’s in touch with nature, a “steward of the environment, of the water and air.” The line “reminds us that we’re the goddesses and gods and it’s our job to protect other living things.” To that end, she realizes how important materialistic sustainability is to the fashion industry and tries to use materials that “improve the environment rather than destroy it.” “I’m so inspired by what other sustainable designers are doing right now,” she says, “and want to incorporate some of their best practices into my work. All my underlinings will be seeded, for example, so that when they’re thrown away and no longer usable, they’ll grow into something else.”
The shots here, all by traveling photographer Cassandra Panek, were taken at another historic Baltimore landmark: the Howard P. Rawlings Conservatory, established in 1888 and modeled on London’s Kew Gardens. What began as a Palm House and Orchid Room now includes three greenhouses and two display pavilions, too—all perfect for a photo shoot spanning worlds and time.
Creative Director/Gown Designer: Justina A. Prince
Photography: Cassandra Panek
Models: Mary Clark, Katlyn Keneally, Adrianna Morgan, Sarah Shellhorn, Elizabeth Walker Hair: D’vora Stal
MUA: Athena Golden Wardrobe Assistant: Sam Stephenson
Custom shoes: Katlyn Keneally Jewelry, crowns, and wands: Mystic Myne