The ‘Trash the Dress’ global fad
where newlywed brides are photographed in their dressing gowns in environments which are out of place and, usually, destroy the dress, has claimed its first victim.
Thirty-year-old Maria Pantazopoulos, a Canadian, drowned while being photographed in the Ouareau River near Dorwin Falls, north of Montreal. The bride, who had only been married in June, wanted to use the location to trash her wedding gown.
She was photographed, initially, on rocks with her gown trailing in the water and, later, swimming in the river. The photographer, Luis Pagakis, who was shooting the pictures recounts how at one point the bride, floating in the river, suddenly said “I can’t anymore, it’s too heavy”.
Quebec provincial police, who arrived to investigate Ms Pantazopoulos’ drowning, after the event, estimate that the wedding gown, fully wet must have weighed over 45kg. The weight would have acted like an anvil, dragging the bride down and weakening her as she struggled to stay afloat.
The photographer, realizing her plight, jumped in the water to assist her
but the combination of her struggles, the weight of the wet wedding gown and the swirling waters of the river were too much for him. He had to let her go or risk being dragged under himself. Ms Pantazoploulos was then swept into the Dorwin Falls. Her dead body was recovered four hours later, in a basin, about 30 metres away, by a diver.
Her family and groom who were on location but not present were devastated by the news and the senselessness of the event which is making international headlines
‘Trash the Dress’ is part of a fad which seeks to create a new form of art through the deconstruction of the wedding dress and its image. By creatively destroying the dress and being photographed in the process, brides hope to have some truly sensational set of images, or image, to hang on their walls and talk about with their friends.
Many see this as a 21st century philosophy which pokes fun at traditional concepts such as the highly stylised wedding gown photographs of the past. It also gives the opportunity to brides to use the unique occasion to express their individualism and inventiveness.
The fact that the fad has claimed a victim is unlikely to stop anyone from trying it. Hopefully, however, greater precautions will be taken in future photoshoots of this nature.