A Breathtaking New Look at Celtic Dance Costuming Through the Lense of Fantasy Photography
When Rosemary Cooper was just starting her career as a competitive Irish dancer, she wanted a dress that didn’t look like anyone else’s. This was the inspiration her mother, Linda Perry Cooper, needed to make Irish dance dresses that drew from an impressive knowledge of opera and ballet design. The mother and daughter team wanted to take the popular concept of elaborate story dresses that told myths in the form of applique and embroidery and deconstruct it. They took the influences of the Celtic and Gaelic worlds and re-forged the bond between traditional design elements, conceptual designs and more stylized Celtic ideas.
The result has been captured and elevated through stunning photography set in the lands of their ancestors in the British Isles as well as dancers’ own dreamscapes. To accomplish this, the Coopers collaborated with the leading light in fantasy photography worldwide, Bella Kotak. The result is Dressing the Celtic Soul, the photography book every dance lover, Celtic dreamer and fantasy fanatacist needs on their coffee table.
“We were deeply inspired by design elements and concepts ranging from our own ancestral lineage and historic cultures all the way through fandoms and emerging fashion trends. We have created a new genre of Irish dance dress that respects the past while pushing the boundaries of convention,” Rosemary Cooper says. “We also looked to the traditional craft and “maker” cultures – we love to transform raw materials and push the potential of fabrics and threads.”
Everyone from Celtic dreamers, fantasy cosplayers, Ren Faire enthusiasts to dancers and photographers will draw inspiration from this gorgeous resource.