“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
Autumn is my favorite season of the year, in between the frenzied excitement of summer and the hibernation mindset of winter.
Although I’ve lived in New York for years, my day trip to Storm King Art Center was the first time I really experienced autumn in all its beautiful glory. Beforehand, the extent of my experience was seeing the leaves change color in Central Park. Autumn at Storm King however is on another level. It wasn’t until I witnessed the myriad of multi-colored trees on Storm King’s sprawling grounds that I realized how much I had been missing out on.
Located only an hour away from New York City in the Hudson Valley, Storm King is a unique sculpture garden featuring more than 100 contemporary sculptures spread across 500 acres of rolling hills, woodlands, and fields of wildflowers.
I’m lucky to live in New York City where there’s an active Burning Man community that strives to bring playa magic and vibes to the default world year round. While most NYC Burner events center around costume parties, the Storm King trip was a unique opportunity to connect with other Burners in a more natural setting. The entire trip couldn’t have been possible without the hard work of Andreas Michael and Cheni Yerushalmi, who organized 3 buses worth of NYC Burners to travel upstate to visit the sculpture gardens and picnic on the grounds.
“As I am sure you can tell by the fact that this event was kept private, you all have been invited because you are in some way, shape or form an amazing person. My intention is for you to share this magnificent place of beauty with those you love and connect with new amazing people.” – Andreas Michael
After a breakfast of mimosas and bagels on the bus ride up, everyone disembarked and broke up into smaller groups to begin the day’s adventures. The weather couldn’t have been anymore perfect. The sun shone in a nearly cloudless sky, and leaves in shades of brilliant crimson, gold, and green danced in the autumn breeze.
I was ecstatic to see that the new sequin cape I had just made coincidentally matched the fall trees perfectly. The fabric was a mosaic of colors that was hard to pin down. Purple, green, yellow, and red were all contained within the magical material that shifted colors depending on how the light hit.
Our crew walked further and came upon an intimate woodland setting where the falling leaves were illuminated by the soft golden light that filtered through the trees. Gilles, our genius creative director, took advantage of the magical light, and used a reflector to bounce the sunlight off the cape, highlighting the iridescent sequins.
“This is the hour of fallen leaves, their dust scattered over the earth, when they return to the depths of being and not being….until they are roots again” Pablo Nurunda
Walking around Storm King was a total naturegasm. One of the things I love about Burning Man, is walking around aimlessly, constantly being surprised by spectacular artwork. Similarly, at Storm King we walked around without any direction, and never ceased to be amazed by the natural beauty that appeared. The mindblowing art at Burning Man sets a high standard that’s hard to beat- I was more impressed with Storm King’s magnificent scenery than any of the contemporary sculptures which lacked LEDs and were not climbable or interactive. The grounds are so huge however, that I didn’t see most of the sculptures at Storm King in the few hours that we were there.
After the fairytale-like woods, we came across a scene that looked straight out of a Monet painting: a small lake bordered by golden trees that were reflected hazily in the lake’s calm waters. Another perfect backdrop for a photoshoot! We were on the way to lunch, so we quickly stopped to take a few photos of my friend Ann in the champagne sparkle cape.
We took a break from walking to meet up with our group and picnic by the Laughing Buddha statue. The delicious food was catered by my friend Noor who has a catering company called Noorishment that serves organic, local, vegan and gluten-free meals that promote clean eating.
Knowing that we were going to Storm King with a group of creative Burners who loved to dress-up, I had brought a bag full of sequin outfits I designed to shoot in a different setting. During lunch, several of our Burner crew donned the sparkly garments and prepared for a photoshoot collaboration with Kova by Sascha and photographer Mariya Viktorivna.
Sascha Hosey ingeniously uses 3D printed technology to design and print stunning headpieces for festivals and costume events. I had been seeing her designs around the NY Burner party scene for a while, and was excited to meet the designer and collaborate on a wearable art shoot.
After an afternoon basking in the sunshine, good food, and conversation, our group of models, designers, and photographers trekked to a creek suggested by Mariya for the last photoshoot session. It was amusing to watch the reactions of the normal tourists who stopped and stared as our sparkle crew walked around the grounds.
My gorgeous friend Myscha donned a Fringe & Epaulette sun goddess robe, which went perfectly with a Kova by Sascha crown and the brilliant fall foilage of Storm King.
The photoshoot took place by a bubbling creek tucked away in the woods. At this point, I was burnt out from walking around all day with bags of heavy sequin outfits, so Ann switched from model to light assistant to help Gilles and Mariya shoot the models. The late afternoon light that streamed through the trees was the perfect setting for our last photo session.
Sisters Noor and Huda posed as ethereal warrior nymphs wearing Fringe & Epaulette sequin capes and 3D printed mohawks by Kova by Sascha.
The buses were scheduled to leave shortly, so once the shoot with Noor and Huda was finished, we quickly packed up and rushed back to the park entrance to return to the city. I was reluctant to leave this spellbinding place! The Storm King sojourn with our Burner crew was such a delightful day trip away from the hustle of New York City. I’m grateful to have experienced it with so many beautiful and talented people! A huge thank you to Andreas and Cheni for organizing this lovely adventure <3. I can’t wait to return for more autumn magic next fall.
Fringe & Epaulette Featured Products
- Autumn Magic Cape
- Champagne Sparkle Cape
- Solar Sunrise Kimono
- Mermaid Sequin Cape
- Sun Goddess Robe (out of stock)
Kova by Sascha Featured Products
- Gilles Bonugli Kali (Creative Director)- www.gbk.photos
- Mariya Viktorivna
- Ann Thai
- Myscha Kamikazi
- Alena Ivanova
- Erika Mysti
- Frankie Hsu
- Noor Elashi