The creative team over at Couture by Tess Bridal boutique in Tennessee, USA, recently partnered with the STAAR Theatre at Antoinette Hall in a campaign to raise awareness about the restoration of the historical opera house while shining a light on amazing Ukrainian bridal fashion producers and designs.
Keep scrolling to read more about this incredible partnership that brought high-end bridal fashion to the stage, and make sure to click here for the full gallery of photos!
The STAAR Theatre at Antoinette Hall is situated in a town square on the margins of Nashville in Pulaski, Tennessee. It is the oldest surviving opera house in Tennessee and one of the oldest in the United States. The theatre has hosted many fine traveling entertainers, local productions and other events over the years.
After a massive fire destroyed most of the town of Pulaski in the 1800's, a local man named Mr. Angenol Cox announced that he would be constructing a grand hall on the east side of the square replacing a large portion of the burned area. Named after Mr. Cox’s wife, Antoinette Hall opened on Christmas Day in 1868.
In this photo shoot campaign, the Couture by Tess Bridal team, was inspired by the hall’s very own phantom, a ghostly female form often seen floating over the stage. The photo series depicts a phantom couple in love along with a few of their shadowy friends posing as masquerade ball attendees, all modeled by actual actors of STAAR Theatre, including: Jenn Schiavonne-Whorton, Dan Whorton, Grace Coleman, Laura Cox, Krista Grover, Kerusso Pooley, and Andy Sisk.
"During the planning process of this photo shoot production, Ukraine was devastated by the invasion of their beloved country. I felt in my heart that the right thing to do was show support for their country and use several beautiful Ukrainian wedding dress designs in the photoshoot,” said Tess Mann, owner of Couture by Tess Bridal.
“Ukrainian-based manufacturer, Armonia, produces trademarked designs with an air of glamour and femininity. This translated well against the historical building’s environment. Several dresses from Ida Torez of Pollardi Fashion Group were also worn exuding a sense of passion and desire, a staple of this photo series.”
The first day of the photo shoot encompassed beautiful footage in the basement with the huge timbers, arched doorways and old stones that were perfect for replicating the original scenes from Phantom of the Opera in the underground canals of the Paris Opera House.
The second day was shot upstairs in the grand hall of the opera house where there were so many beautiful areas, from the dilapidated antique piano to the Victorian wallpaper falling from the old slat walls. We can only say the results are magical, hauntingly romantic, and truly captivating.
When an opera house built in 1868 has sat in disrepair for a century and a half, restoration is no easy task. Executive director of the opera house, Tammy Pierchoski, has announced the architectural project is estimated at $12-15 million dollars in order to restore Antoinette Hall to its historic beauty and regain its function as a performing arts center.
Having a soft spot for historical architecture and the arts community, Tess Mann with Couture by Tess Bridal has committed to donate $100 from every purchase of her Couture by Tess trademark label, and 5% of her boutique’s sales from selected bridal gowns sold, including Randy Fenoli Bridal and Robert Bullock Bride. The donation period begins January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2024.