Shooting stars and cosmic creations lit the R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center stage during the coronation of Rose Queen Emily Kaye Evans.
The queen and members of her court personified the 84th Texas Rose Festival's "Celestial Wonders" theme, gracing the stage in a variety of elaborate costumes and gowns on Friday.
Duchess of the Texas Rose Festival, Caroline McGinley Bertram, shimmered in a green and purple, jewel-encrusted gown inspired by the Milky Way.
Other costumes and gowns that were crowd favorites during the matinee performance of the coronation included those inspired by the harvest moon, Mars, Jupiter, the Pavo constellation, the moon and more.
Stefanie Smith, of Lindale, was a lady-in-waiting in the festival in 1991 and said she enjoyed watching this year's coronation with her daughter. She said some of her favorite costumes in the festival featured wings - such as an ensemble inspired by the Phoenix.
"I thought this year's coronation was beautiful," she said. "The gowns were spectacular as always."
Michele Bosworth, of Lindale, and Candice Christian, of Tyler, both said it was their first time attending the coronation.
"The dresses and the elegance were just fabulous," Ms. Bosworth said, adding that she loved how the theme was interpreted through the costumes and how smoothly the program ran.
Ms. Christian said she also enjoyed the program and that attending the event has made her more curious about the history of the festival.
"It made me so curious to know about the Texas Rose Festival," she said. "I'm intrigued now."
THE QUEEN'S ENSEMBLE
Upon entering the stage, Miss Evans received a standing ovation from the crowd. Raymond Cozby III, president of the 2017 Texas Rose Festival, then crowned her as queen of this year's festival.
Costume designer Winn Morton envisioned Miss Evans as the sun, weaving bright colors of red, orange, gold and blue into the gown and train, according to a description of the ensemble in the coronation program.
A sketch of the gown was presented to Miss Evans and her family in February. The reaction was emotional, because of how accurately it captured Miss Evans' vision. To her, the "Celestial Wonders" theme represents God's glorious creation.
Winn incorporated this idea by including a jeweled cross on her train, as well as a banner with the first verse of Psalm 19 on the front of her dress which says, "The heavens declare the glory of God."
Morton visited import fabric houses in New York to find choice new brocades,embroidered satins, gold laces and more-all in the colors of the sun.
The train was created in San Antonio in the workroom of Clara Chumney. Over a period of five months, Ms. Chumney, along with a team of eight seamstresses used over 200,000 stones and jewels and 75,000 gold beads to hand sew Winn Morton's design onto 50 yards of satin and lace.
The top of the train has a large golden sun that spreads down creating a fiery border that looks out into the blue of the heavens with jeweled planets and stars. The train is 16 feet long and 6 feet wide.
For three months, John Ahrens constructed Miss Evans' gown at his atelier, Customworks of Dallas. Ahrens and his four seamstresses used red, blue and gold brocade fabrics that are covered in embroidered jewels, stones, sequins and beads.
Using Morton's design, the crown and scepter were created by Tom Newbury and Tom Sanden in the specialty workroom, Art and Commerce, in Dallas. The crown in composed of 14-karat gold and is solidly jeweled with gold beads, colored jewels, and dangling Swarovski crystals that look like shooting stars and reflect the light of the sun.
The scepter, made of the same elements, is topped with a large sun-shaped star holding a dangling Swarovskicrystal in the center.