PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas March 2023

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 85 of 115

I n a scene from Ashley Bush's 2019 documentary The Queen's New Clothes, a decades-old newsreel clip captures a fresh- faced debutante as she makes a deep curtsy, her white gown billowing around her. A man in formal attire solemnly places a glittering crown on her head and presents the new queen with a golden scepter. She stands, turns, and smiles … The Texas Rose Festival has officially opened. "Boring," quips Winn Morton as the camera cuts back to him. "It didn't have any kick to it," he says of the Rose Festival's crowning ceremony, a Tyler tradition that dates to 1933. "We made it more Broadway … more of a show." And what a show it was. Morton took over as the Rose Festival's coronation designer in 1982, spending the next 37 years transforming the annual coming- of-age ceremony into a glamorous spectacle of costumes and sets worthy of a Las Vegas revue. For the queen and her court of some 50 other debutantes, M o r t o n d e s i g n e d fantastical gowns and headdresses festooned with thousands of hand-sewn sequins, feathers, pearls, and other embellishments. The gowns, which cost tens of thousands o f d o l l a r s , t o o k i n s p i r a t i o n f r o m the unexpected — a Fabergé egg, monarch butterfly, feathered Family antiques and collections from Winn Morton's travels, including sculptures of elephants, his favorite circus animal. Right: Morton's longtime colleague Bob Cook upholstered the parlor walls in the 1980s in yellow toile fabric, similar to the original wallpaper. The fireplace's hand-painted tile is original. 84

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - PaperCity Dallas March 2023