Lightning Struck



Lorien Haigh


(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Model and MUA: Geneva Borland

Outline the story …

This look was inspired by lightning struck trees, forest fires, and how nature returns from such disasters. Having lived in Oregon for nearly ten years, I knew I wanted to shoot in a space that had burned and was coming back, highlighting the resiliency of the region. I wanted the whole dress to look scorched, scarred, and glowing inside (while still supporting life around it) and beautiful at every moment, because I saw a similarity in trauma recovery in my gorgeous friend and model.

My second goal was to do my small part to combat the garment industry's wide scale pollution by stash busting and using second hand clothing for fabrics. Several trips to the nearby thrift stores involved hunting for natural textures and colors that could be repurposed into this fantasy.

Outline the construction…

I built a corset base from leftovers in my stash, a hoop skirt from pop-up hamper steel and materials collected over the years. The tree is made from deconstructed garments and fabrics from more than one friend's collection, draped and stitched by hand directly on the understructure, along with a small string of fairy lights to glow intermittently as the coals in the heart of my tree. I dismantled curtains, a sweater, a dress, blouses, a skirt, a pair of pants, all for the texture and colors. One curtain got dyed, and burned along the cut edges to keep from fraying. I played with an airbrush for the first time, adding depth and dimension to the dress.

We had to do a long distance fitting, last minute alterations, and a quick after-my-contract-ends, before-your-classes-start time frame; so I built most of this in a month, flew across country, (checking the bag with hoop steel and wiring in it was nerve wracking!) and did a photo shoot over a weekend in August. We had location issues, an oddly non-flamey fire season, and a spouse breaking an arm while we were three hours away, but found a couple wonderful spots to take photos over two days, with about a hundred more shots I can't share here.




  1. Avatar Steffi Wee on May 9, 2023 at 12:59 pm

    The colours work so well together! And the photos are just so ethereal ❤️

  2. Constance MacKenzie Constance MacKenzie on May 19, 2023 at 4:56 pm

    Love the inclusion the lights within the gown and these of stash fabric. And the photograths really are very atmospheric

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