Saturday, October 20, 2012


Sometimes, I take for granted the things that are "in my backyard", festivals and events that I have grown up with in my hometown. Tyler, Texas is known as the "Rose Capital of the World" and the annual Rose Festival is something I have seen my whole life.

I couldn't ignore going this year though, with the theme being "Indochine-Year of the Dragon"! The weather was perfect for the Queen's tea, so I and about a zillion other people fought the traffic and crowds to attend.

It was so worth the effort. Pagodas and dragons abounded along with red lanterns and lovely bouquets of roses in the colors of the court.

The Queen and her attendants (seven attendants, nineteen ladies-in-waiting and twenty-three duchesses and their escorts)dress in resplendent costumes that illustrate each year's theme. Mandarin collars, coral and dragons were interpreted through textiles and embellishments in the court's gowns.

The detail was amazing. Layers and layers of silks, beaded voiles and fur told the story of Marco Polo's travels from Turkey to India, southeast Asia, Japan and finally, China.

The tea is held in the Tyler Rose Gardens throughout the grounds and inside the museum itself. An Asian backdrop with the floral arrangements was the main photo op spot as the girls took turns standing  for photos.

The details are what always attract me. Nothing is half way done. The gloves, necklaces and shoes were all perfectly coordinated to each costume.
The line for the Queen was almost an hour long, so here is a back shot of the train and her inner court!

I did shoot this cute boy, one of her attendants, still smiling for the camera after sitting there for three hours! 
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