“Oh! I Love What You’re Wearing!” by Dyllis Braithwaite

Dyllis in her summer house.

Dyllis in her summer house.

“Oh! I love what you’re wearing!”

I knew of Dyllis Braithwaite from her Barrington store “Finn’s Fabrics.” She always intimidated me because my love of fashion and sewing paled in comparison to hers, but throughout the years I purchased the most beautiful fabrics in her store from which to sew many things, including the bridesmaid dresses for my wedding.

It’s 28 years later now, Dyllis is 87, and she asked me to be one of the photographers for her new book, “Oh, I Love What You’re Wearing!” The book features dresses that Dyllis has designed and produced over the years. Inspired by the thought that someone would write a book at the age of 87 and remembering my bridesmaid dresses, I said yes.

That yes has led a year long project which in turn has led to a relationship more important to me than fabrics or photographs. Spending time with Dyllis means learning about sewing, kale, her long relationship with her husband, and her artwork; all things that come with life lessons attached. She calls the gazebo in her back yard “my summer house” and she calls herself “an icon,” which, of course, she is.

I’m not the only photographer on the project. Included are Maxine Cress and Bob Lee. Working with them has, as always, been an honor.

You can meet Dyllis and the photographers at a special book signing at the Barrington Library on Sunday, April 19 at 2:00.  Dyllis will have on hand a selection of her fashions.

Here is a video where you can see the passion of this extraordinary woman, followed by some of the photographs that we created in her garden and mine.

Oh, and, by the way, I’m changing the name of my back porch to “my summer house.”