DMA Dresses and NOT by Jenny Lai...

Back in high school, I attended the Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts. So many of the students there were gifted beyond belief, and I loved being immersed in an environment where everyone was supported in pursuing a career in their chosen focus, be it music, dance, theatre, visual art, or creative writing. One art major in particular at WHS, Jenny Lai, had always caught my attention for her work in texture and the layering of geometric lines and shapes. She also was a talented musician as well, so of course I thought she was extra cool.

Fast-forward to roughly a decade later. Now, I am a full-time musician with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, simultaneously fulfilling my DMA performance dissertation on about three centuries worth of polyphonic solo violin repertoire, and Jenny runs her own fashion label called NOT in New York, an extraordinary line that "creates clothing as performance for everyday and on stage." I have had my eyes on NOT for a few years now, because I could tell that the layers and shapes that comprise these beautifully striking outfits would be the perfect compliment to a performance.

When my solo dissertation finally took shape, it hit me–I could wear NOT outfits for each of my three dissertation recitals, and they would match the themes of layered lines, sweeping movement, and unexpected detail that are prominent in the music itself! Jenny helped me decide on three custom NOT dresses that will forever be thought of fondly as my "DMA Dresses", and my other half Geoff Robertson did a most stunning photoshoot to capture them for your viewing pleasure. So, voilà! I hope you enjoy the visual project below that is the culmination of great fashion and photography, and definitely don't forget to check out NOT by Jenny Lai online!