When we think of fish bones, our minds conjure less-than-pretty images: From sinister spells to dumpster finds, fish bones have quite an unglamorous reputation, but one woman is flipping the stigma on its head. According to Alaska Dispatch News, Sitka, Alaska–based artist Cynthia Gibson made a dress out of 20,000 salmon bones — and the result is something pretty fantastic.
Gibson's fishy fashion creation has been four years in the making. She put the final touches on the look in December, just ahead of Sitka's Wearable Arts Fashion Show in February, where she showed off her work on the runway. The goal was to illustrate how art and fashion interact, and we think she performed... swimmingly.
Salmon is a revered species in Gibson's community of Sitka. She told Alaska Dispatch News, "I always wondered why no one was doing much with salmon vertebrae because they're everywhere and they're easy to bead. They already have a hole in the center of them from the spinal cord."
Salmon enter our lives in formidable and sometimes surprising ways. Alaskans’ devotion to these loyal fish feels familial, unwavering and strong. Just like salmon. Some face proudly into churning seas in pursuit of a commercial haul. Others force themselves awake at an ungodly hour, shuffling in their slippers to check on fragrant smokehouses. Gibson crafted an original dress from twenty thousand salmon bones. Some people call this devotion crazy. Alaskans call it love. Story for @aksalmonproject . Full story link in the profile or @aksalmonproject . Model is the lovely @queenmummsy . Dress by Cynthia Gibson
A post shared by Bethany Sonsini Goodrich (@bethanysgoodrich) on May 12, 2017 at 5:33pm PDT
The result is a knee-length dress crafted to look like a "giant salmon vertebrae," created entirely from fishbones, save for the seams. Even the high neck collar is an ode to high fashion. It's only gaining real viral traction now, with interest from museums and art organizations like The Salmon Project coming in waves.
Gibson's labor definitely didn't come without its challenges. According to Hello Giggles, she had to smooth over each individual vertebrae to ensure it wouldn't latch onto material. She let maggots and other sea creatures to clean the delicate bones of any residue. Threading each individual bone was no easy feat either, but what's most impressive are the Gatsby-inspired sleeves.
Talk about attention to detail!
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