My fascination with tiaras has its roots in my ballet training—seeing professional dancers onstage as Sugar Plum Fairy or Princess Aurora. Stage lights play with those glimmering stones and the jewels of the ballet always seemed much more imaginative and captivating than the tiaras I saw on real-life royals in newspapers and magazines. I gained inspiration from classical South Asian dance. The rich saris, beautiful tikas, and elaborate hair ornamentation encouraged me to start creating hair pieces myself, briefly dabbling in silk flower accessories.
Since then, I’ve found real creative satisfaction creating tiaras and headpieces, drawing inspiration from the ballet, but also from film and television, via the remarkable costumes in The Tudors ,the 2011 Turkish series Muhteşem Yüzyıl, Moulin Rouge!, Lord of the Rings, The Fall , Queen of the Dammed, the Star Wars prequels, and others, as well as the rich world of cosplay. Organic Armor, Miss G Designs, Michelle Fennema ,and Agnieszka Osipa Costumes are a few designers and artists I absolutely love. The costumes of National Ballet of Canada, Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Royal Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The American Ballet Theatre, and Australian Ballet have been highly inspirational as well.
The internet has been and still is an indispensable engine for both research and materials. Without these resources, I most certainly would not be making headpieces today. While I have an extensive library of books, images, and internet resources, I am constantly on the prowl for more. My research has drawn me to a unique amalgam of styles. I use a mixture of techniques to create my headpieces. And while I cannot pay tribute to any one particular instructor or artist, if I had to, I would credit my work to the great internet community.
About Dragon Gate Design
Dragon Gate Design, a registered limited liability corporation in the State of North Carolina, is owned and operated by the artist Jerri Lynn Reeves.
An instructor and performer of ballet and modern dance until 2000, Jerri works as an IT Manager and a Certified PCI Internal Security Assessor for a firm in Asheville, NC. She has made a variety of headpieces and fashion accessories for 25 years. She works on her tiara and headpiece designs during the evening and weekends
In Chinese mythology, the Dragon Gate was a legendary place of great transformation, symbolizing triumph after hard work and diligence. Success as a dancer is a matter of effort. They work hard for their moment on stage in the spotlight—and the tiara is often a potent symbol of that well-earned success.