Dragon Gate Design, a registered limited liability corporation in the State of North Carolina, is owned and operated by the artist Jerri Lynn Reeves. She instructed and performed professionally ballet and modern dance until changing her career to information technology in 2000. Currently, she is the 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.
My fascination with tiaras has its roots in my ballet training—seeing professional dancers onstage in their tutus and tiaras as Sugar Plum Fairy or Princess Aurora. Stage light has a way with those glimmering stones and the designs found onstage always seemed more creative and interesting than the tiaras I saw in newspapers and magazines of royals. Though ballet princesses and royal tiaras were my first design influences, I found a renewed sense of creativity from South Asian Indian hair ornamentation. Their beautiful saris, tikas, and classical dance history became a major influence. I started making and wearing hair ornamentation for the first time. Briefly, I dabbled in silk flower hair accessories; although, I didn’t find it creatively satisfying. After watching the Showtime 2007 series The Tudors followed by the 2011 Turkish series Muhteşem Yüzyıl, I gravitated to tiaras and headpieces.
I spent a lot of time watching film and television that featured remarkable costumes. A few of the most inspiring costuming I found are the 2001 film Moulin Rouge!, 2001-2003 film series Lord of the Rings, the 2006 film The Fall , the 2003 film Queen of the Dammed, and the three-part prequel to Star Wars. Research on these films led me to the information rich world of cosplay. I found numerous blogs on how others recreated the works from these films. In 2009, I even attempted my first cosplay, Nina Sayers from the movie Black Swan. Organic Armor, Miss G Designs, Michelle Fennema and Agnieszka Osipa Costumes are a few designers and artists with which I am absolutely in love. Costumes worn by the National Ballet of Canada, Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Royal Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The American Ballet Theatre, and Australian Ballet have also been very inspirational.
The internet has been and still is indispensable. Not only have I spent thousand of hours on tiara, costuming, and headpiece internet research; I have spent thousand of hours sourcing 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. The research I have done has created a unique amalgam of styles to which I find myself drawn. Thus I use a mixture of techniques when creating my headpieces. I cannot pay tribute to any particular instructor or artist, but if I had to I would credit my work to the great internet community.