The inspiration for this shoot came about organically. Along with Lillian and Yinsey, I have a passion for introducing and celebrating diversity in the enchanted space. In our magical lands, there are no borders, no discrimination, and no labels. In such a space, two characters can come together in a celebration of culture, heritage, and beauty.

Yinsey and I wanted to retell Aesop’s tale of the peacock and the crane. In the original story, the peacock lauded its own beauty in front of a crane. In the eyes of the peacock, it has no equal. However, the crane’s response was “You may have beauty, but I have the wings that allow me to fly wherever I choose!” The moral is “Fine feathers don’t make fine birds.”

What if we could change things up? What if they appreciated each other for their individuality? We wanted to celebrate differences through this tale by giving these two characters a chance at growth and reconciliation and, most of all, friendship. With peacock feathers in my hair and cranes on Yinsey’s hanfu, this ancient tale could also provide a medium for our connection as creatives. In our version, these unique creatures begin to see that they both are magical and special in their own ways: the peacock’s shades of stunning emerald and blue and the crane’s ability to dance in the clouds.

Follow Bella Kotak on Instagram @bellakotak.

“A Peacock, puffed up with vanity, met a Crane one day, and to impress him spread his gorgeous tail in the Sun.
“Look,” he said. “What have you to compare with this? I am dressed in all the glory of the rainbow, while your feathers are gray as dust!”
The Crane spread his broad wings and flew up toward the sun. “Follow me if you can,” he said. But the Peacock stood where he was among the birds of the barnyard, while the Crane soared in freedom far up into the blue sky.”

Feature Image:
Models: Bella Kotak & Yinsey Wang @tornandpolished
Hair: Annette Gray @nettgray
Makeup: Bella Kotak
Bella Headpiece: Carbickova Crowns @carbickovacrowns
Bella Lengha: Variety Silk House London
Bella Jewellery: Kyle’s Collection
Yinsey Headpiece: Mr Mortimer’s Wife @mrmortimerswife
Retouching: Solstice Retouch @solsticeretouch
Assistance: Annette Gray & Annie Kotak

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