Walters Art Museum Gala
Like many of the guests at the Walters Art Museum’s Gala & Party, Janet Barnes, 27, was inspired to base her outfit on this year’s Modern Nouveau theme. Doing a headpiece was a no-brainer for the Belair-Parkside resident. She’d been making fascinators for other themed events over the last couple of years.
“I made a headpiece out of zip ties that was inspired by [famed London milliner] Philip Treacy. It was a big gold sun for a masquerade party at the [Sagamore] Pendry [Hotel]. Then there was a Halloween party at [Maryland Art Place] that had a boat theme. So I made a Victorian-themed headpiece that looked like something you’d see on a Victorian wig,” she explained.
However, this time, Barnes — now pursuing her second master’s degree at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing — decided to take her DIY creativity one step further … and use headpieces from the turn of the last century to inspire an entire gown.
“Feathers were used mostly in headpieces, as was a floral [motif ] and intricate jewelry. So I tried to capture the aspect of nature that seems to be infused in clothing at the time,” she said.
She found the stretchy shell for the gown online, as well as black rooster feathers, which she spray-painted gold, then attached them to the shell with industrial glue. As for a headpiece, this time, Barnes took a pass. “I wanted the dress to stand out by itself,” she said. HER ENSEMBLE: DIY gold feather gown. Nine West gold shoes and gold evening bag that both came from thrift stores.