Louisiana Artist’s Hand-Painted Dress Matching Her Work Goes Viral

PONCHATOULA, La. — Louisiana artist Mandy Poche needed something to wear for her exhibit opening the next day. Instead of heading to the store at the last minute, she turned to her creative talents and painted a white off-the-shoulder cocktail dress to match one of her artwork. The result caused a stir on the Internet.

Poche lives in Ponchatoula, a town of about 8,000 in southeast Louisiana, known for its annual Strawberry Festival, antique stores, and the live alligator he keeps as a mascot. He is now noted for a work of art that people around the world have connected with – the Pocket dress.

When she painted the dress and made a video of it, she joked with her family that it would be a hit. “Just watch, it will go viral,” said Poche, owner of Mandi Mae Fine Art.

The video, titled “When You Need Something Cool to Wear for Your Art Outing Tomorrow Night”, shows her doing an initial turquoise brushstroke on the dress and ends with the brightly colored finished garment at next to a painting of similar colors.

In the three weeks since it was posted on Facebook, the video has been viewed nearly 9 million times, generating astonishing interest in her work from across the United States and as far away as Australia.

“It was non-stop. Messages in the middle of the night from other countries that I didn’t expect,” she said.

PHOTOS: Artist’s hand-painted dress to match her work goes viral

Poche, originally from Luling, Louisiana, is a self-taught artist who creates abstract impressionist works with a southern flair. Her gallery is filled with variety, and so is the dress.

She said she has since made and sold four similar garments, but will likely never part with the original.

Now Poche is trying to capitalize on the interest generated by the dress to contribute to her community. She plans to work with local women business owners to organize a charity event soon.

“Anything I can do to get people here, I’m all for it,” Poche said.

She added that she was happy to have inspired other people, including other artists: “I connected with these people on a whole new level.”

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