Mandy Poche has gone viral for turning a plain white cocktail dress into a wearable painting, to match her own art in an opening for her latest collection.
Mandy Poche, who goes by Mandy Mae, is an impressionist painter in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. Her gallery, Mandy Mae Fine Art, where she offers children’s painting classes, commissions, and fine art originals, is right downtown.
Last month, on October 14, she posted a video to her gallery’s Facebook page. The caption read “When you need something cool to wear to your art release tomorrow night,” over a white cocktail dress on a mannequin, a brush painting a few first strokes of turquoise onto it. Then a smash-cut to the finished work, the dress now brilliant in vivid pinks and greens and blues in an abstract design, and finally the dress beside its inspiration, a wall-sized impressionist painting of flowers and color.
When she posted it, she joked to her family that the video would go viral, and it did. With over 9 million views, her impulse decision to paint a dress for herself has attracted worldwide attention to her, her art, and to Ponchatoula.
“It’s been nonstop. Messages in the middle of the night coming in from other countries that I didn’t expect,” Mandy Poche said.
In the three weeks since her video broke large, she’s made and sold four similar painted dresses, matching other paintings in her gallery. The original, she says, is not going to be for sale.
Poche hopes to ride on the popularity of her video to contribute to her community as she’s done before, selling art for various charities, mostly disaster relief. She hopes soon to work with other local women business owners to hold a charity event.
“Anything I can do to draw people here, I’m all for it,” Poche said.
When asked about a surge of videos with artists imitating her, she added that she’s pleased about it. “I connected with these people on a whole different level.”