My partner, Gilles Bonugli, and I were married in August 2018 during Burning Man, which had been a big part of our relationship.
Gilles is a visual artist and photographer from France. I am a fashion designer from Jamaica who grew up in New York. We met at a Burner party in NYC in 2015, and I was immediately enamored with Gilles’ Burning Man photographs, which perfectly captured the vast magnificence of Black Rock City.
We decided to trade services in the Burning Man spirit: I’d make Gilles’ Burning Man costume ideas, and he’d photograph them for my apparel brand, Fringe & Epaulette. That was the start of our creative partnership. Since then, we’ve worked together on various projects, including the design of our wedding attire.
This year’s Burning Man theme was “I, Robot,” and our wedding attire was inspired by this futuristic motif. After many hours of creating and revising to produce a composition that wouldn’t fall apart when worn, Gilles came up with elaborate vector drawings to be laser cut on cream suede and cream satin for our wedding dresses. When the laser cutting was completed, I made the pattern pieces and put them on top of the fiber optic fabric to have a futuristic aesthetic that combined light and shadows. Kirill Shevyakov, a multimedia artist, connected the material to the lighting and the power source.
Following a large dust storm, we were married in front of the FoldHaus art collective’s stunning color-changing RadiaLumia sculpture. When Gilles and I exchanged rings in our wedding venue and activated the fiber optic lighting in our clothes, the software developers coordinated the LEDs on the installation to turn on. Jasna Boudard of Travel Weddings documented our interplanetary Burning Man wedding, which included the work of many different Burning Man artists. Gilles and I had so much fun creating our wedding costumes that we’re planning to produce a bridal collection that mixes elegance with cutting-edge technology next year and continue our research into laser cutting.
More info: fandecouture.com
While admiring the beautiful shadows cast by our Hybycozo lamp one night, I had the notion of replicating the effect using laser cutting and fiber optic fabric.
A Merkabah (a crystalline energy field made up of sacred geometries that harmonize the mind, body, and heart), angel wings, tribal motifs, a dove signifying freedom, and our initials are included in this vector design.
After many hours of developing and reworking, Gilles came up with these vector designs to achieve a composition that wouldn’t fall apart when worn. They were then laser cut onto cream suede for his hood and cream satin for my outfit.
Final-Laser Cut Hood
The bodice of a Wedding Dress with Laser Cuts
3D Printed Wedding Rings Design
Gilles also created our wedding bands, which Shapeways then 3D printed. Our initials, the serotonin molecule to signify everlasting happiness, the Fibonacci sequence, and the beginning of the Flower of Life: the first circle denoted the first being, the second circle represented two entities, and the third circle marked the creation of the first two circles.
We didn’t finish our wedding outfits before leaving for Burning Man, so we had to complete them in our RV on the way there.
To complete their dresses on the day of the ceremony, because I did not finish sewing before leaving for Burning Man, the bridesmaids had to finish theirs the day before.
Preparing and baking a wedding cake for 50 guests at Black Rock City Bakery the day before the wedding
One of the most memorable aspects of my wedding day was working at the bakery. Although it was surreal to be preparing a massive cake in the middle of nowhere, it was actually relatively peaceful to mix all of the ingredients together and decorate the cake. Those volunteers at the Black Rock City Bakery, who worked tirelessly throughout the day to create delectable French pastries for the residents of Black Rock City, had my utmost admiration and admiration
Empress of the Intergalactic Federation
Ipek Design created custom face chains for us with our initials on them.
Bridesmaids from the galaxy far, far away
Finalizing my wedding dress while traveling to the ceremony.
Making use of Palo Santo to purify bad energies
Friends accompanying the bride and groom on their way to the wedding
Carl the Chameleon, our wedding chariot with flames, was a hit with the guests.
The groomsmen wore cosmic druid robes from my 2018 collection, which was a hit with the guests.
Dan Schaub Designs created these fantastic masks for us to wear while we descended the art car in incognito.
In addition to our laser-cut clothing, the futuristic masks were a fantastic match.
Our interplanetary gods and goddesses served as the inspiration for our playa wedding.
The Universe Is a Long Way Away
I’m sporting a modular crown by Object and Dawn and an Ipek Design face necklace.
We married before the Foldhaus art collective’s color-changing RadiaLumia sculpture, which changed colors as the sun went down
The LEDs in the RadiaLumia were scheduled to turn on at the exact moment Gilles and I exchanged rings and turned on the fiber optic lighting in our garments, thanks to the efforts of the software programmers.
RadiaLumia is hosting a wedding reception
In his fiber-optic hood, Gilles is pouring champagne to guests.
Detail of the Color Changing Fiber Optic Hood
Fibre Optic Wedding Dress with Changing Colors
Hug Monster, also known as Rich, and his partner Rockit Rocketgirl, dressed in costumes created by Rockit
It’s cake time on the Playa.