Sheri Autry Couture

Flight of Fancy

Sheri AutryComment

Inspired by Victoria’s Secret’s angel wings,

I knew that I had to create my own special version of wings, too. The idea is purely whimsical, of course, but whimsy is an important part of my creative vision and process. Besides being fun, allowing whimsy to have full expression often lifts me “out of the box,” with sometimes surprising results. I knew that the notion of wings belongs in the “special fantasy” category, and I had fun imagining how my version would look. I tucked the idea away on my inspirational “back burner.”

Then on a New York City shopping trip scouting for unique treasures, I found a piece of pale gold, beautifully beaded silk. And there before my eyes was the outline of my perfect wings emerging from the intricate design! I wanted my wings to make a statement – big, fun, and unique – and I saw all of that in the fabric. 

Photo Credit: Cesar Chavez Photography

But inspiration is far from a finished design, and I had my work cut out for me to transform that delicate fabric into functional and beautiful wings. The process revealed itself, step by step. The beaded silk pattern perfectly formed the inside of my 4-1/2 foot tall wings. From there, I added a thick interfacing and flexible, light-weight wiring to add the body and shape the wings required. Then I turned my attention to the outside. I needed feathers, lots and lots of feathers! I hand stitched more than 150 beautiful ostrich feathers onto each wing, essentially making them reversible. The final step was fashioning adjustable straps to make them easy and comfortable to wear.

Now my wings appear in wedding fashion photography spreads, and they are a favorite of photographers, stylists, and models. Who can resist being an angel with such beautiful wings? I keep them in a prominent place in my studio because they make me smile and remind me of just how much of my creative energy arrives unbidden and quite simply on a flight of fancy!