Lonely Planet Writer

This traveller wears stunning dresses in exotic locations

Russian blogger and photographer Nina Okhotina has produced a striking series of photographs called My Dress Stories, taken at iconic landmarks around the world. In each picture, Nina is seen in an epic, handmade flowing gown; its colours inspired by her beautiful surroundings.

Nina dancing at the Taj Mahal
Nina poses in front of India’s iconic Taj Mahal. Photo courtesy of Nina Okhotina

Nina tells Lonely Planet how the project came about. “Aside from photography, my other main hobby is dancing. A couple of years ago, preparing for a contest, I came up with idea of a big red flowy skirt for my dance.

I imagined how beautiful it would look on stage, moving and spinning during my performance. I found a shop where I could buy 12 metres of a fabric, and made the dress myself. After the contest, I took a few shots behind the scenes – I loved them so much, I brought the skirt with me on a trip to Venice. There, I combined it with a blouse and gondolier straw hat – that’s how ‘My Dress Stories’ began.”

San Marco Square, Venezia, Italy
San Marco Square, where My Dress Stories began. Photo courtesy of Nina Okhotina

Nina then set about visiting various locations around the world, allowing the places to dictate the type of dress she’d make. “I’m always inspired by a country, city, landscape or building,” she explains.

“I then try to find or create an outfit to match the background or symbolise something connected with the landscape. Mostly, I make the dresses myself, because it’s hard to find something so specific that I have in my mind’s eye.”

Another 'My Dress Story' in Kazakhstan
Nina at Charyn Canyon in Kazakhstan. Photo courtesy of Nina Okhotina

The shoot has brought Nina all around the world, and she’s captured stunning photos in India, Georgia, Turkey and Italy. My favourite locations were definitely San Marco Square in Venice, and Roys Peak during sunset in New Zealand.

That was as beautiful as it was hard to get to; a three-hour intense hike with 1000m high elevation, and a backpack with dresses! Pictures of other places inspire me so much that I dream of arranging photoshoots there. I’d love to see Morocco’s fantastic combination of architecture, culture, traditions and nature, and the amazing mountains views in Canada and Norway.”

Nina dancing in front of Moscow State University
The beautiful outline of Moscow State University. Photo by Nina Okhotina