Leigh Ann Brown loves dresses, but not just any dresses – wedding dresses to be exact. She has more than 300.
“The older the better,” she said. “It is what it is and ultimately I didn’t set out to collect wedding dresses. I certainly hadn’t planned on having a show with them.
They weren’t all hers.
“Believe it or not, most of this collection was given to me over the years,” she said.
With her growing collection and experience in history, she exhibited the dresses and began to share the story of women through them.
“She’s the rarest of war brides,” she said, pointing to one of the dresses. Each dress has a story.
“Right at the end of the war he sent his parachute home and she was able to make a dress out of the parachute. I have four parachutes in my collection,” Brown said.
Its collection dates back to the 1800s.
“This is my Civil War ballgown,” she said, showing off part of the collection. “I use it in the show to talk about all the women who have come before us.”
Brown said the most rewarding part of sharing this story is the response she receives from viewers.
“Every time I do this show, 10 women come up to me and say, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t know it was going to be today, I just thought it was a fashion show. It’ was a history lesson and beyond a history lesson, you didn’t just tell the story of women, you didn’t just tell the story of this bride, you told my story “, she said.
Every weekend, she packs her van with her dress and takes them wherever the next show is.
“I like to travel along the east coast, mainly here in Florida of course.”
She shares the women’s story in a way she said many have probably never seen before.
You can follow Brown and his show by clicking Portrait of a bride, a scalable silhouette and see where you can see her live in action.