Kitty Lindsay
June 17, 2017 12:38 pm
Instagram / www.instagram.com

An Alaskan woman is making waves for designing a deep sea-inspired dress made almost entirely of salmon bones. Designed by artist Cynthia Gibson, the long, sleeveless slip dress featuring strings of 20,000 bead-like salmon bones stunned audiences in her hometown of Sitka, Alaska, walking the runway in the seaside community’s annual Wearable Arts Fashion Show fundraiser.

The one-of-a-kind creation, inspired by a stroll along the town’s sandy shoreline, took four years to pull together, as Gibson collected schools of salmon skeletons washed up on the beach, and even lured local fishmongers Sitka Sound Seafoods into donating their king salmon carcasses to fabricate her fresh, fashion-forward look.

Gibson’s eye-catching couture combines her love of the natural world and her passion for art, fashioning a vintage 1920s-style frock dripping in pearl-like “beading” made from piles of fish bones she sorted, sanded, cleaned, and bleached herself.

And while the gorgeous salmon gown may be swimming in glamour, the creative process behind the dress’s construction was anything but.

From wrangling maggots and sea scavengers to lick the delicate bones clean, to grinding smooth any bone burrs that would catch on clothing, to painstakingly threading each individual vertebrae so that every bead fell perfect to form, Gibson may not have been fishing for compliments, but her work has netted a whole boatload.

“I always wondered why no one was doing much with salmon vertebrae because they’re everywhere and they’re easy to bead,” Gibson told Alaska Dispatch News. “I’m excited people are as happy with it as I am…I love to see how nature and art mix.”

All we can say is…we’re hooked!

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