The Flying Dress in Santorini
When someone in my female digital nomad group posted photos of herself in a red flowing dress that popped against the blue sea and white buildings in Santorini, Greece and my friend Nicole commented by asking, “Who was the photographer? I’m interested in doing that too,” I thought, “Really?!”
Then I began to giggle. It was the perfectly fabulous absurd activity for our Santorini trip. Nicole and I have been friends since high school. She visited me almost every one of the 25 years I lived in LA. My LA friends became her friends. We’ve gotten up to some really ridiculous things. We threw a formal prom party at Mansfield, we went on the Price is Right, we’ve stayed up all night playing blackjack in Vegas. We strive for absurd and ridiculous. We’ve actually nicknamed ourselves, “The Boo and Shorty Show.”
The Flying Dress would make a fabulous episode of The Boo and Shorty Show.
On the day of the shoot, The Flying Dress photography company picked us up at our hotel in Fira and took us to the village of Imerovigli. There, we met the photographer, Nadia and her assistant, Evelina.
“The orange dress, right?” Nadia asked.
“Yes,” Nicole said.
Evelina pulled an orange gown with a train the length of two churches from a rack.
Nicole took off her dress and Evelina held the dress over Nicole’s head as Nicole wriggled into it.
“It’s heavy,” Nicole said.
“Yesssss.” Nadia smiled and nodded.
Evelina adjusted the straps on the dress. Up close, it was not particularly pretty or well made, but we’d seen incredibly glamorous pictures of other women in these dresses, so we just went with it.
Once Nicole was shrouded in the bright orange gown, I grabbed her purse, Nicole hoisted up the gigantic train, and the four of us walked out of the building along the walkway that connects Imerovigli to Fira. (If you go to Santorini, walk that path around sunset. It is out of this world beautiful.) Near one of those amazing blue domes that immediately scream “Greece,” Nadia instructed Nicole.
“Now Neeecole, turn your shoulders toward me, head up, chin down, left hand on right leg.”
Nicole tried to turn in 17 directions at once.
“Beauuuuuuutiful. Evelina, I’m ready,” Nadia said.
Evelina held the 20 foot train as far as it would stretch down the walkway and lifted it once… twice… three times, as if it were an engine gaining steam… and then POOF! The dress flew in the air like a fabulous fiery flag.
Nadia snapped pictures. So did I.
When we stopped, two couples shuffled past us while staring at Nicole.
“Gorgeous!” The woman said. The man looked annoyed he’d waited so long for the flying dress to fly so he could get wherever he was going.
“Ok, Neeecole! Now we go to another spot,” Nadia said. I picked up Nicole’s purse, Nicole hoisted up the 500-pound dress and Evelina and Nadia led us down another long walkway.
The dark blue sea and lighter blue sky framed the glowing white walkways and buildings.
Santorini was stunning.
So was Nicole.
Nadia stopped in front of six foot high wall. A flat white rooftop sat on top of it.
“Neeecole, I would like to shoot pictures of you up here.” Nadia pointed at the wall.
“How is she supposed to get up there?” I asked.
“She climb!” Nadia said.
Nicole is an avid tennis player. She does power plate. The woman is small and incredibly mighty. I could never climb up there, but I was pretty sure she could – even in a 500-pound dress.
And before I could figure out the best way to do it, Nicole had wrapped all twenty feet of train around one arm and was hoisting herself up on top of the wall – barefoot.
I really wished I had photographed that part, but I was too busy praying she didn’t fall.
And then this happened.
A crowd stopped on the walkway so as not to block the shot.
“She’s going to take flight!” One man said.
“You look siiiiiick!” A young girl yelled to Nicole.
“Thank you!” Nicole replied.
“I can’t stop looking. You are so beautiful!” Another woman said.
It was a total spectacle. I took a zillion photos and then finally had the brilliant idea to shoot in slow motion the moment Evelina released the train.
Perfection. If I do say so myself.
Many thanks to The Flying Dress. Please stay tuned for the next episode of The Boo and Shorty Show!