Hydrangea Strangea (aka Brandon Harrison) strutted into the hearts of many Portlanders through Critical Mascara’s visual buffet of fashion and dance. One such fan: photographer Christopher Dibble. Says Dibble, a frequent Portland Monthly contributor who shot our 2017 fall fashion editorial: “I’ve always been inspired by vogue dancing, so I was so thrilled to find out there was a ball scene happening in Portland. I knew Brandon made dramatic headdresses for performances, so I had asked him to create a few pieces we could photograph.”
Dibble shot each headpiece as a still life to appreciate the piece on its own, as well as photographing Brandon wearing them in two separate visions. How did Harrison bring these foam and craft scrap pieces to life? “I was inspired by a local performance artist named Justin Walling who uses white unconventional materials frequently to create avant-garde shapes and designs,” says Harrison on the starting vision. “The large white headpiece was made specifically for one of Walling’s competitions, called Drama Queen, and I added my love for intricate shapes and designs.”
With their ethereal snowflake features, the pieces are a perfect match for the world of editorial photography, but the foam makes them surprisingly resilient. “I love performing in my pieces, therefore I typically make them study enough to dance in,” Harrison says. See what creation Hydrangea Strangea wears on stage—plus some of the most creative fashion in town—at the monthly #PDXBall that Harrison hosts at downtown's NYX nightclub. October’s theme? "Witch Bitch," with categories for virgin vogue, best dressed (!), and hand performance.
10 p.m. Thu, Oct 12, NYX, $10