SALEM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — It's a fashionista scene over at the Old Town Hall in Salem, as a local art studio gives residents the chance to take part in a self portrait experience known as the "Order and Ostentation."
According to Grace & Diggs, the hosting art studio that specializes in re-purposing items, booked photo shoots come with a whole wardrobe of spirited costumes and two unique backdrops to choose from. Participants bring their own camera and can use the studios' lighting equipment and set pieces to their hearts desire— all to capture the most "ostentatious" look.
"It's dress-up for grownups, [we're] creating these environments for people to come in and just explore. [We have] ring lights with selfie clips, we've got selfie sticks, and then if they want help I'm here to help pose them and tell them what to do and art direct their shots," said Grace & Diggs Owner Linda Mullen.
Those looking to self model can book a session with Grace & Diggs through November 1, with tickets priced depending on group size.
Order & Ostentation is inspired by the unconventional life of Elizabeth Derby West, born in 1762 in Salem, someone who Mullens says challenged the social order with her actions and clothing choices. West was known for her legal fight to retain her inheritance during divorce proceedings, something that was considered scandalous at the time. Looking to recreate that sense of defiance, the photoshoots, from the creator of Miss Havisham’s Parlour, provide the opportunity to stage a style rebellion.
WBZ's Brooke McCarthy took part of the selfie experience, sending it back to the eighteenth century by donning a royal purple shawl and petaled headpiece.
"You can just slip on [the costumes] that's not fitted, that accommodates all sizes and shapes. I create these environments for people to come walk through and they can pick anything up and touch stuff. The bright, crazy colors represent the feistiness and fieriness of people who would stand their ground," Mullen said.
In terms of arrival to the Old Town Hall, the studio reminds residents that parking in Salem is sparse, a sentiment shared by the the City of Salem itself.
WBZ's Brooke McCarthy (@BrookeWBZ) reports.