The Highline, Chelsea | 18.37 pm

“The dress was made by Epperson. He doesn’t have a store, but he sells his dresses at the Brooklyn Flea. He was on season 6 of Project Runway. Really cool guy.”

The fact that reality television competitions can’t guarantee success for it’s vocational winners (or even most talented participants) is common knowledge by now–10 years later–and yet, never ceases to be troubling when I think about it. I suppose in lieu of sustainable exposure, getting one’s name and work out into the public conscious for even a brief moment is an opportunity that most will consider worth it. Possibly. But I’ve seen way too many fashion designers cross my telly only to never hear from them again. In Epperson’s case, I didn’t see any of season 6, so yesterday was the first time I’d heard his name. The funny thing is, I wouldn’t even have heard it if I hadn’t been compelled to ask her who designed the dress, after I had shot this candid. I’m mentioning this because it’s something I never do; I mean, I ask what people are wearing after I stop them for a posed photo (…and I mean only then if I’m REALLY intrigued), but when I shoot candids like this, me and my unknowing subject never speak. But look at this dress, the movement of it, and the way it flows with a hold at the bottom hem–this dress compelled me to step out of my lane just to ask who made it! We need a better system of identifying talent and putting them in a place where they can thrive, especially in fashion where creativity and innovation are what drive the industry forward to places it has never been before.