Fashion show fundraiser featuring the dresses of New York wedding gown designer Bokwey Burnley photographed by Hillary Moore

Hillary Moore Photography had the pleasure of combining two of our passions – bridal photography and giving back to the community – on a recent visit to Colorado.

We photographed a beautiful fashion show of restored wedding gowns at a fundraising event called Restoring the Beauty of Community. This event was sponsored by Restore Innocence, a charity that mentors and restores young women coming out of human trafficking.

The wedding dress designer, Bokwey Burnley, is a New York based fashion designer and social activist. Her stunning designs, along with an enchanting venue – Glen Eyrie Castle in Colorado Springs – combined to create many breathtaking photos.

The castle was remarkable, but perhaps even more noteworthy was the designer, Bokwey, who is from Cameroon, Africa, and began her fashion career as a teenager sewing on her mother’s forbidden sewing machine. She started by making dresses for herself and then for her friends. Bokwey decided to attend law school to please her parents, who saw her dressmaking as only a hobby, but then in her final year left law school to pursue her passion at the Paris Academy School of Fashion in London.

Her career took a hiatus when Bokwey and her husband Victor, a pharmacist, moved to America and Bokwey stayed home with their five children while Victor studied to become recertified. They struggled to make ends meet at first, but Bokwey did not let that discourage her. “The good thing about America is that you get the opportunity to prove yourself again” (Sunday Observer, Dunkirk, NY). Her dream of finding success in fashion is now coming to fruition. She is also a chaplain with an appointment to the United Nations, at large so she can take her ministry as well as her designs all over the world.

Beauty from ashes is a theme dear to Bokwey’s heart and thus it was very natural for her to be involved in this event. We were honored to be a part of it and we hope you will enjoy viewing the photos as much as we enjoyed taking them.

For more information about Restore Innocence please visit their website at Event coordination provided by Nublu Events. For more information about Nublu Events contact


Photos of the restored wedding gowns by Bokwey Burnley

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