This story is from Texas Monthly’s archives. We have left it as it was originally published, without updating, to maintain a clear historical record. Read more here about our archive digitization project.

Dallas photographer Geof Kern traveled three thousand miles across Texas, inviting ordinary people to model extraordinary clothes—those usually found only on the runways of the most exclusive designers in the world. If some of his models were suspicious at first, most were happy to oblige. The auto mechanic in Port Arthur, the Dallas mother on her way to buy groceries, the retired fisherman in Port Aransas—all taught Kern a lesson he hadn’t anticipated: Even without the help of makeup artists and hairdressers, a different kind of beauty shines through.

Styling By Paula Elins; Clothing Courtesy of The Gazebo, House Of Feith, Stanley Korshak, Tie-Coon Trading Company (Dallas), Tootsies (Houston).