The Marital Union of History and Couture: Béte Noire Hosts Photoshoot at Wings Over the Rockies

Photography by Katie Puc Photography

Nestled amidst the historic aviation relics of Wings Over the Rockies, a unique fusion of fashion and history took center stage as local bridal designer and Spring Denver Fashion Week designer, Alicia Rau of Bête Noire, unveiled her gothic bridal looks.

READ: Denver Fashion Week Debuts Bridal Show

Against the backdrop of vintage aircraft and aerospace artifacts, the marriage of past and present with WOTR and Bête Noireunfolded in a mesmerizing photo shoot that captivated both fashion aficionados and history enthusiasts alike.

WOTR, a Denver landmark steeped in aviation heritage, provided the perfect tableau for Rau’s avant-garde designs to soar.

With its sprawling exhibit halls and meticulously preserved aircraft, the museum offers a journey through time, from the early days of flight to the space age. As models gracefully navigated the museum’s corridors, each Bête Noire garment became a narrative thread, weaving together the storied past of aviation with the cutting-edge aesthetics of contemporary fashion.

Rau is renowned for her bold and unique bridal wear, the opportunity to showcase her creations amidst such a rich historical backdrop was nothing short of exhilarating.

“Every dress featured in our WOTR shoot held a special place in my heart,” Rau said. “The Beau Deuil gown was my first wedding gown design and the other gowns were each bestsellers in their respective collections.”

This collaboration was the ultimate connection for history buffs and fashion fanatics alike — Rau’s son included.

“My son is a major plane enthusiast,” she said. “The day I found out our shoot location he was wearing a Wings Over the Rockies hat that he purchased at a prior visit. It was very special to him Bête Noire was able to shoot there.”

WOTR in Denver is a captivating testament to the rich aviation history of the Rocky Mountain region. Established in 1994, the museum is housed in the historic Hangar 1 of the former Lowry Air Force Base. It showcases an impressive collection of aircraft and space-related artifacts, including a B-52 Stratofortress bomber and a full-scale replica of the Wright Brothers’ Flyer.

Many new visitors might not know that the museum’s location played a vital role in training military pilots during World War II and later served as a hub for aerospace research and development. Exploring WOTR offers a unique opportunity to delve into the past and future of flight in an immersive and educational setting.

Wings Over the Rockies Chief Marketing Officer, Karen Slye and team believe that it’s a unique space that not only provides the Denver community with displays of iconic aircraft, space vehicles, artifacts, simulators and more, but it’s also a great backdrop for events from large to small.

The museum boasts more than 100,000 square feet of aviation and space history. The second location, Exploration of Flight is at one of the busiest general aviation airports in the nation — Centennial Airport. It offers an immersive, educational experience for those fascinated by flight.

“We are kicking off new summer showcases and exhibits and invite the public to come and visit both locations this summer,” Slye said. 

Collaborating with Bête Noir on this photoshoot aligned perfectly with the WOTR values.

“This collaboration was a great alignment in that we are a diverse community organization dedicated to unlocking our visitors’ dreams of flight through exhibitions, events and educational programming — this gave us the opportunity to show off our iconic aircrafts through fashion,” Slye said. 

This photoshoot leverages the Wings Over the Rockies exhibit to encourage more visitors to come to the museum and check out the various exhibits. 

“Our goal is to educate the Denver community about our museum’s offerings and we are always looking for different audiences to engage with and share the stories of aviation and flight,” she said. “Additionally, we are thrilled to help share our space to help highlight fashion and design in this unique way.”

The synergy between WOTR and Bete Noire transcended mere aesthetics; it represented a convergence of two disparate worlds, each with its own dedicated following.

The museum emphasizes education and preservation while also appealing to history buffs and aviation enthusiasts. Bete Noire’s avant-garde designs have garnered a fervent following within the fashion community.

By bringing these two audiences together, the photoshoot served as a bridge between past and present, tradition and innovation.

As cameras clicked and models strutted amidst the museum’s exhibits, the juxtaposition of couture fashion against the backdrop of aerospace history created a visual spectacle unlike any other.

From billowing ball gowns juxtaposed against the sleek contours of fighter jets to intricately embroidered veils set against the backdrop of space exploration artifacts, each image captured the essence of WOTR and Béte Noire’s vision: a marriage of disparate elements into a harmonious whole.

In an age where boundaries between disciplines are increasingly blurred, Wings Over the Rockies and Béte Noire photo shoot stands as a testament to the transformative power of art and innovation. By daring to defy convention and embrace the unexpected, both the museum and the fashion designer have left an indelible mark on Denver’s cultural landscape, proving that when history and couture converge, the results are nothing short of spectacular.

WOTR is open to different collaborations with organizations across the Denver community. For any inquiries, please connect with WOTR at (303)-360-5360.

Photoshoot Credits:

Photographers: Katie Puc Photography and Sunni Graham

Designer: Alicia Rau of Bête Noir

Makeup: Megan Urmann and Kyle Hammilton

Hair: Darrel Dewitt

Models: @bayleemadisonmakeup, @lilithvonbat, @uhhhliciaaa23, @yashii.u, @sauceystassi

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