Laura Wilson is a photographer whose work has appeared in numerous publications over the past 20 years. She and her late husband, Robert, are the parents of three sons, Andrew, Owen and Luke Wilson.
Laura Wilson has such a beautiful energy. I love visiting with her in the showroom because she looks at the clothing like the pieces of art they are. She loves to see the dresses that take up to a year to make. They are true masterpieces.
Tall and elegant in every move, photographer Laura Wilson flips through the proofs for her current book project, “Writers,” a book featuring portraits of prestigious and award-winning writers like the late Gabriel García Márquez and Seamus Heaney, in her light-filled studio in Dallas. With each stunning photograph, there will be an accompanying interview about where the writers live and work and what influences them. Wilson, the mother to actors Owen, Luke, and Andrew Wilson, grew up taking photos in southern Massachusetts, and became fascinated with the photo essays that ran in Life magazine in the 1950s and with the captivating work of World War II photographers like Robert Capa and Robert Frank.
It wasn’t until her mid-30s when she started pursuing photography as a career and she started working for the legendary Richard Avedon for six years. Over her 40 plus year career, she has completed five photography books on everything from six-man football to an iconic Texas cattleman to Avedon himself for Avedon at Work: In the American West.
Cristina loves when Laura comes for a visit to the Dallas showroom where she admires the way the photographer pairs one of her Mi Golondrina skirts with soft white Petit Bateau tees for an effortlessly chic ensemble that looks made just for her (click here to shop similar skirts). The two became fast friends, as Cristina is a long-time fan of Laura’s photography (her books Hutterites of Montana and That Day are coffee table staples for Cristina).
“Laura Wilson has such a beautiful energy. I love visiting with her in the showroom because she looks at the clothing like the pieces of art they are. She loves to see the dresses that take up to a year to make. They are true masterpieces,” Cristina says. “She wears everything with so much style and elegance. It just feels special to be in her presence.”
This is the first interview in our new monthly series Mujeres where we will sit down with the women who inspire Cristina, with their style, talent, quick wit, and gusto.
Who has been the most influential woman in your life?
My sister. She was highly intelligent, very sophisticated, and she had the greatest taste. She lived in Africa, Paris, Beirut, and London where she lived for most of her adult life.
What’s a big moment that helped define the woman you are today?
Marrying my husband Bob when I was 23. He set the course of my life. We moved to Texas together where we raised three boys and fell in love with this place.
Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length
You have lived in Dallas for 55 years now. What do you love about it?
I love the people here, their energy and their spirit.
What is a favorite quotation of yours?
I have many, but here are two of my favorites: “Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length,” by Robert Frost. And: “It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion, it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who, in the midst of the world, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
What are your favorite cities?
I love Paris, I love London, and I love New York.
What destinations are on your dream travel list?
I’d like to go to Scotland, New Zealand, and Japan.
What are the three things you never travel without?
I never travel without my camera.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being with the people I love.
What was the last great book you read?
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
Which talent would you most like to have?
To be able to sing, or at least to be able to carry a tune.
How do you get out of a creative rut?
Travel or spending time with an interesting friend…or with one of stimulating family members.
Speaking of friends, what do you value most in them?
Intelligence and humor.
What are some current sources of inspiration?
There is so much to see and do in the world. There isn’t a lot of time, no matter what age you are, there just isn’t enough time to see it all, so I try to accomplish as much as possible.
How do you style your Mi Golondrina?
I wear my Mi Golondrina pieces everywhere. I love the beauty and color of all the pieces I have bought and that they are born from a traditional art form. They are works of art.