• Mae

The Taiga: Margaret and William

“My True Love Went Riding out in White and Green and Gray”


"Lovers Eyes" Models: Skyy Ramos and Lena Vani

Margaret and William are the archetypal star-crossed lovers of tragic fairy tales and love stories which repeat themselves throughout the ages. Colin Meloy, in an interview about the Hazards of Love album, said that he thought of Margaret and William as traditional names he’d heard before in hundreds of folk songs.


For the stars of my story, I wanted to create elements of clothing that would tie them together visually. Because the photos are not literally describing the story the same way that a film or comic strip would, I use what I can control:colors, models/actors, and costumes to give the story a sense of time passing. I also wanted to make sure I worked with these characters throughout all of the New England seasons.



As I get deeper and deeper into the Taiga, I become more aware of the seasons passing, all of the beauty of nature that appears and disappears within a few days. Some days I will notice a particularly beautiful, bright flower patch, or collection of brambles and feel helpless to be caught in such a beautiful spot with no costumes, no characters, no camera. I worked a lot this winter on creating things that would be ready when spring arrived, and have been busy shooting in all of my free time now that the flowers are blooming!

Before I start sharing those images I want to rewind a few months to Margaret and William in winter.

My sister gave me a beautiful tarot deck for Christmas illustrated by Will Worthington, which I thought was absolutely captivating. When she gave it to me, she said “this reminds me of your photos”


One in particular, the card called “The Forest Lovers”, excited me because it was the essence of the tranquility and balance I wanted to evoke in my photo of Margaret and William.

The white jacket I created for Margaret was the first piece I made for this project last summer: it is a tailored jacket and the feathers are all hand-cut on the backto tie in the bird imagery that goes with her character.


The Margaret Jacket top, before the skirt was added

Margaret and William's vests in process, lots and lots of pins! Note the feathered trims.

I added some feathers to the William costume as well to establish a connection between them.. I ended up making them both a few different looks, a floor-length vest/robe piece for William, a tailored jacket more like Margaret’s white one that will be for the springtime, and for Margaret a short darker vest to match his winter robe.


I've been working with dried flowers to create headdresses for the Taiga Characters


I worked with Lena Vani, my stunning Margaret, and Skyy Ramos as W