Category Archives: fashion

ASHLEY-GIANNA HALLETT: CREATIVELY USING TECHNOLOGY IN THE FASHION WORLD

The way in which we conduct business, just as with our social lives’, has changed dramatically in the past decade. In fact, less than a decade. Cyber Monday is a term that everyone understands. While there are many examples of how technology can be cumbersome, the consumer experience is one which has become much less difficult. Online marketing and shopping was in its early stages in 2009 when Ashley-Gianna Hallett was working at Burberry in London during their entrée into the online world. As a lead force in Burberry’s approach to their website and virtual shopping, Hallett was an important part of enabling fans of this iconic British luxury fashion house with access to ready to wear items while still retaining the signature style for which it has become known. Much of the world approached online shopping with trepidation in these early days but Ashley dove in headfirst with a confidence that resonated with the company and the variety of professionals she worked with, resulting in the successful online shopping presence Burberry has to this day. As during her time with Elite Model Management London (as Talent Manager and Women’s Model Booker), Hallett has always proven that her forward thinking and love of fashion are a union which serves to make each half better.

It’s always a good idea to treat others well because you never know what the future will bring. Ashley has become a force in the London fashion world these days but just a decade ago she was still studying at university. She was just a girl from a big family in South East London who loved the Arts and Fashion. At twenty-one, while finishing up her studies, she began working as a temp Assistant in the showroom of Burberry HQ. She was quickly recognized and would soon join Burberry as a member of the Digital Commerce team. This was a fairly new venture at the time, one which differs greatly from means of the past. Comparing print media and ecommerce, Ashley relates, “E-commerce and print media are different. Print tends to be advertising/advertorial whereas e-commerce is the selling of individual products with detail shots to follow- the customer can directly purchase a product. E-commerce can fit into website advertising via a landing page. A landing page on a website is also like a small scale campaign that focuses on a feel, a look, a story, a collaboration of models wearing several looks from that particular collection. It all depends on the context of the image that is used and where it sits on the website. On most occasions, imagery used for print media will also be used for the site but would can also have a ‘clickable’ feature to purchase individual pieces. These shots would have the same feel although there would be a focal point on each product which is important for the customer. One of the problematic but exciting factors of this avenue is that the aim would be to shoot the collection reflecting the styling of the initial shoot (i.e. Runway show/Advertising campaign). The challenges we faced were reflecting the initial styling whilst also being able to show the customer the product for exactly what it is. An issue that is apparent with all commerce styling from my knowledge and experience of working with several other online brands.”

In creating an online Look book for Burberry, Ashley needed to understand the needs and perspectives of all involved parties from the company through to the production teams and eventually the consumers. This required laying out all aspects and logistics on a granular basis.

The needs and desires of all these groups required a massive amount of preparation, communication, and anticipation. Hallett would meet with the Marketing and Production Design teams to identify the entire collection, breaking down the product lists into Ready-To-Wear and accessories. The collections being shot would be coordinated with the desired models and their schedules. Ashley worked on successful projects/collections such as Prorsum Look Book (2012), ‘Burberry Nude (2011), ‘April Showers(2011), ‘Winter Storm (2010) during her time at Burberry. Coordinating and planning shoots with the studio teams (photographers, stylists, retouchers) while ensuring that the availability of the product, model, and creative teams were all in sync, necessitated that Hallett and her 6-member team were always on top of things and held the Burberry image as paramount. The online shopping presence which Ashley was so instrumental in facilitating during her time at Burberry is the standard of the industry in fashion these days, even though it came into being less than a decade ago. Hallett recalls, “So much has changed in such a short amount of time. When I began at Burberry within the Digital team, some of our processes for shooting were manual. It was a way of being meticulous with the many products housed in the showroom. It was an exciting time as we could develop our own ways of working influenced by the structure and needs of the business. I had a template which was working fine although, as time moved forward and the Digital aspect of the business was rapidly growing, it was only natural for us to refresh our ways of working. I think it was surprising to everyone in the industry how fast things moved. Working closely with styling teams to determine how to shoot from a creative vs e-commerce perspective, model choices for collections, styling guidelines, ensuring we had a faster turnaround of delivering the finished imagery to the website teams…all variables for the normal presentation of products had to evolve quickly. We were growing with the needs of the department and business. Speaking to all teams to ensure we were all aligned with how to produce a slick and seamless structure of shooting key products meant that communication was key and going with a gut decision was most often a necessity.” One of the results that Ashley was proudest of was her oversight of quality control during the re-shoot process. This is often one of the areas which can lead the process to a standstill. Over a two-year period, Ashley was able to minimize the re-shoots by forty percent. Currently considering the further evolution of her career in the Fashion industry, Ashley reveals, “To have a key role in the strategy and brainstorming of creative concepts, to develop an idea and turn a thought and vision into something real and substantial alongside a client, to have creative input into all aspects of a project from the strategy, idea, location, talent, stylist, photographer, budget, retouchers, contractors, set designs…that is a deeper involvement and a lofty goal but I’ve always believed in myself and believed that I could work with other talented and hard working professionals who are committed to greatness as well. Pursuing a career that is creative and in which I am surrounded by creatives, that’s the way I want to look back and see my life.”

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XIAO SUN: LEADING A MODEL LIFE

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Xiao Sun in an accomplished actress with numerous TV and Film credits to her name but she began her career achieving fame in Canada as a model. Miss Universe Canada was a springboard for her to work with Vogue Italia and Cosmo TV, which would eventually lead to acting roles in films such as Les 3 P’tits Cochons 2, Anna, Tidal Waves, and even work on X-Men: Days of Future Past,. Trained as a dancer in China, and the emigrating to Canada in 2009, Xiao has followed suit with Cameron Diaz, Milla Jovovich, Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Angelina Jolie, and so many other models turned actress. Proving that you can’t contain natural charisma and talent, Sun has crossed from print and runway into TV and silver screen at a swift pace. While excited about her current success as an actress, she looks back toward those early days, what she learned, and how to apply it to her current status.

It is difficult to imagine that just seven years ago, Xiao Sun was living in China with great aspirations inside her head and heart. In just those few years she has moved across the planet, began a highly successful global modeling career, and is now a celebrated actress. Iconic names like Vogue and Cosmo are part of her resume which now includes monikers like “leading actress.” To those of us on the outside, viewing her career, it all seems fast. Xiao will tell you that it is all a product of focus and hard work, but also notes that she had early indicators of inclinations. Sun states, “I was obsessed with clothes and style at very young age. I used to often dream about the clothes I would wear for different moments in my life. I love how creative you can get on a piece of cloth; you can transform a person into a totally different look, feeling and energy with different styles of clothes.”

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Xiao moved to Canada in 2009 with her parents and entered into Ms. Universe Canada where she placed in the Top 10 national finalist and won Best Model Award (Sun was the first Asian Canadian to ever win the Best Model Award). While she learned more about interacting with the press and public presentation, she especially enjoyed the interaction with youth (in the form of motivational speaking) and interacting with charities as an ambassador of Canada. Denis Martin Davila is the President of Beauties of Canada which runs the Miss Canada Universe organization and pageant. Speaking of Sun’s win for Best Model, Davila comments, “This achievement of Ms. Sun’s is no small feat, and truly signifies her extraordinary talents as one of Canada’s top models. To win such an award, let alone place so highly in the national pageant, is only a possible achievement for the most capable and experienced of models, and Ms. Sun proved her talent with this. Miss Universe Canada is the biggest national beauty pageant in Canada, and its only 60 contestants are selected from thousands of applications across Canada after rounds of regional competition each year. Ms. Sun shined among these thousands of other beautiful and talented models and proved her high stature in her field. To win such an award from the biggest pageant in Canada is one of the biggest national honors for a model in this country.”

Xiao was approached immediately following the competition to start her modeling career. The crowning achievement for any model on the planet is working with Vogue and Cosmo; something which Xiao achieved almost immediately. She recalls that being in Italy to work on Vogue Italia was the complete experience for her. She comments, “Vogue magazine is my favorite fashion magazine to read. I have visited Italy a few times, and loved each time. Needless to say, the street fashion, shops, and the food are amazing too!! I also love people dress up for different events, like they wear gowns to go to a concert. Makeup artist Paul Venoit’s simple but bold style was really inspiring. The first look Venoit created for me, was only foundation, with black rectangular eyebrows…super edgy, I never knew that I could rock that kind of look. I was shocked how amazing I looked like in the final pictures. It has brought my modelling career and the way I look at myself as a model into a new different level. Paul Venoit is a legendary beauty expert that I had heard a lot about before I worked with him. He has worked with many celebrities including Scarlett Johansson, Lady Gaga, etc. I was very excited to work with him on this project, he is very fun and relaxed. He can effortlessly create stunning fashionable looks for everyone with his magic brushes. He could easily crack a joke and make anyone laugh on set.  We had a great time working for Vogue Italia, and we’ve worked together numerous times after this project.”

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Natalie Dean (producer/writer of the award-winning Entertainment Tonight Canada as well as director/producer of Cosmopolitan TV’s Oh, So Cosmo) saw Sun on Ms. Universe Canada and recalls, “I cast Ms. Sun on the heels of her winning the prestigious Best Model award from Miss Universe Canada and placing as a top 10 finalist in the nationwide competition, which is truly an accomplishment that only a very gifted and uniquely beautiful model can achieve. The Oh, So Cosmo production was very well received and achieved great ratings, reviews, and buzz. Ms. Sun’s modeling was highly effective and truly leading and critical to the production itself, and I am glad to have cast her.” This began Sun’s transition into being a personality on TV and would peak her interest in acting. Although she loved the talented professionals she worked with and the creative approach to style in her modeling career, there were certain aspects that did not suit her temperaments. Sun confirms, “What bothers me about modelling is that a lot of it is about your look, what you were born with…unlike acting. That’s not something that you can work on. The length of your legs, your body proportion, your face shape…these aren’t things that you can improve upon. Obviously everyone who is a model is very beautiful and has a nice body, but nobody is perfect. People have different tastes and preferences.  As models, we get judged by on our look first. and the idea of that stressed me out.

The progression of Xiao’s career path seems to be that each is more successful than the previous choice; dancer to model, model to television personality and actress, and now film actress. Being a part of the X-Men franchise and Les 3 P’tits Cochons 2 (one of this summer’s most popular films in Canada) bears the fruit of this driven actress’s hard work and desire to continually improve on her talents.

 

Spanish Photographer and Videographer Captures Wedding Memories that last a Lifetime

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Wedding photography from Padilla-Rigau is brought to breathtaking life by Cristina Tomas Rovira.

 

Cristina Tomás Rovira knows she’s done her job when goosebumps are part of the end result. She is a photographer and videographer who specializes in photographing and filming wedding videos for Padilla-Rigau, a celebrated photography company headquartered in Barcelona.

“You are witnessing a very special day and you need to make your clients feel like Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant,” said Rovira, an outstanding photographer who is also recognized for her work in music and fashion. “I always want them to have chills while watching the video. If the couple says they’ve got goosebumps while watching it and they love it, that’s all that matters and I feel proud and happy.”

Rovira oversees all of Padilla-Rigau’s filmmaking and has served in the role since 2010, when the company was formed by Bernat Padilla and Anna Rigau.

“This is the 6th year that we’ve been shooting weddings,” Rigau said. “We’ve evolved and we’ve created the Padilla-Rigau style. Lately, a lot of the couples that hire us tell us that they knew that they would hire us before they were even engaged. That is amazing — they love how our videos and our photos connect. Cristina’s work connects with the people, and given we work with emotions here, she knows how to make people happy.”

Padilla-Rigau’s videos range from three and half to four and a half minutes long and highlight all the intimate happenings at weddings, from the preparation moments just before the ceremony all the way to the bride and groom’s exit following the reception.

It’s a day-long shooting process that captures memories made for life.

Rovira, who has also collaborated with famed music photographer Joseph Llanes (Rolling Stone, Billboard, Spin and many more), said, “By the end of the day, all the guests and the couple are so used to us being there that they give us the best reactions. We are like four more friends who brought a camera and are capturing everything nonstop.”

The videos unfold as short romantic films shot in HD and set to music. They evolve from season to season and are altogether emotion-stirring, beautifully crafted, stylized and artistic.

The required ability of a photographer and videographer in the case of weddings extends beyond technical camera aptitude. There’s a need to develop rapport, to blend into the environment naturally and to shoot with delicate sensitivity. Rovira’s talent resonates deeply in this regard and lends itself to exceptional photography and filmmaking.

“I like people, I like emotions and I like to capture those emotions,” she said. “I treat every wedding as it was my own or one of my friends or family members, and I think to myself what I would want to see as a bride, as a friend and as a family member. After so many years shooting weddings, you kind of film instinctively.”

Rigau notices the same sentiment featured in Rovira’s work and said, “She’s been doing this for a long time now and she is great with emotion and her way to capture those emotions is beautiful. I think she sees weddings through her lenses, thinking she is filming a romance comedy movie. And it’s amazing. The other day, we were talking about how the four of us can sense when is going to be a high five, or a kiss, or a hug before it happens. She knows that she is filming one of the most important days of someone’s lives, and she treats that day the same way the bride and groom do.”

It’s a team-oriented approach that’s propelled Padilla-Rigau to the pinnacle of wedding photography.

“What makes Padilla-Rigau special and step out from the rest is that we are a team of two photographers and two videographers,” said Rovira, adding that Ferran Clotet rounds out the team. “We work together and synchronize. Like playing any kind of sport, sometimes you throw the ball without looking — you know your team is going to catch it because you’ve know each other really well. That’s our thing.”

The strategy and collaboration has certainly been working. While wedding season traditionally ran from mid April to September, Rovira noted how the schedule has expanded to a nearly year-round basis. Padilla-Rigau has booked more than 65 weddings in the last two seasons, Rovira said.

With a bevy wedding photographers shoring up the industry, Padilla-Rigau has risen to such outstanding heights in large part due to its dynamic video productions spearheaded by Rovira. It was a creative decision to trim down and succinctly portray the essence of weddings in a way that would bode well for sharing on social media.

“We were one of the first companies in Barcelona to do these highlight reel videos,” Rovira said. “When we started, Facebook was only like four years old and in Spain it got really popular around 2007. We decided to focus on that. People wanted to share their life and fast. So we wanted to step out of the old fashioned wedding videos that lasted forever and that families were forced to watch.”

An important component inserted in the videos during editing and post-production is the accompanying music selections that help set the tone and ambiance. A few clients may request specific songs, but most entrust Padilla-Rigau for musical selections.

“I think they like to be surprised by it and I love music, so finding the perfect song for the perfect moment is what makes me love my job even more,” said Rovira.

And the most rewarding part?

“It feels awesome to hear back from the couples who tell me that they felt all kinds of feelings watching the video and they felt like they were living again that day. I’ve cried reading most of their emails or feedback,” said Rovira. “When you hear from them and what they say is good, you feel such relief and happiness. As in any other job or in your personal life, you feel over the moon when you make someone else happy.”

Padilla-Rigau also shoots for events and fashion. In these areas, Rovira has photographed for a Friday’s Project branded campaign, for Shana Shops and for the Oysho free yoga Barcelona, Barcelona Night Out, Hard Rock Cafe Barcelona and luxury hotel events, among others.

“In fashion, we’ve noticed that our clients love Cristina’s work because she listens to them,” Rigau said. “She makes their ideas and thoughts real. She puts the same effort as she does at weddings to show emotions, even in fashion. She wants to make the people feel something while watching the video. She is fast, and a lot of times, she makes a great video when at first hand it could seem impossible.”

For more on Padilla-Rigau, visit: www.padilla-rigau.com

Watch their wedding videos on Vimeo:

https://vimeo.com/padillarigau

For the latest and greatest from Cristina Tomás Rovira, visit: www.cristinatomas.com

From the Pages of Magazines to his Most Recent Film “Il Sonnambulo” Rob McLoughlin Continues to Turn Heads

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Actor Rob McLoughlin featured in an ad for Spoke Pants

 

For English model-turned-actor Rob McLoughlin, the ability to embody a character comes genuinely and naturally. With a scope of work ranging from commercials to live theatre to feature films, this London based performer is grabbing the attention of industry leaders worldwide with his captivating charm and organic believability. Enthralled by the opportunity to get into the heads of characters both real and made up, McLoughlin has delivered memorable and unparallelled performances over the last six years that are enough to impress even  the toughest of critics.

McLoughlin’s roles have been as diverse as they have been challenging. He has played everything from the nerdy, hyperfocused computer technician in BBC’s Micro Men to a cheeky and daring journalist in the award winning feature film Il Sonnambulo and a hostage-taking, weapon-wielding gangster in Sam Walker‘s black-and-white noir film, Suspect 13.

While he currently works predominantly in film, McLoughlin’s roots began in the live theatre, where he worked for eight years at the Royal Opera House in London, where in addition to acting, he brought his stunt and combat skills to the stage.

“I’ve worked with world renowned director David McVicar many times,” McLoughlin recalls of his time at the theatre. “One of the things I worked with him on was Le Nozze Di Figaro, or, ‘The Marriage of Figaro,’ which won several awards. We actually devised an opening scene during the overture which has never been done in the two hundred years of its production, so there’s a little bit of history there.”

With talent extending from the stage and onto both television and film screens across the globe, McLoughlin demonstrates his versatility and depth of skill wonderfully in Il Sonnambulo. Having already won “Best Horror Film” at Vancouver Web Fest and both “Best Cinematography” and “Best Director” at Seattle Web Fest, Il Sonnambulo is sure to win even more awards in 2016 as it is slated to travel to Buenos Aires Film Fest, Toronto Film Fest, New Media Film Fest and Montreal Web Fest where it has been chosen as an Official Selection. You can get a taste of the film through the trailer below:

 

 

The film, whose Italian title translates to “The Sleepwalker,” is gaining momentum in the film festival circuit for its macabrely gripping storyline. The feature tells the tale of photographer Atticus Hurst, a distraught though numb father of a missing girl, as he teams up with reporter and all around badass Roberto Aurelio to chase the scent of Il Sonnambulo, an ominously threatening boogeyman-like murderer who has been taunting Atticus over the past twenty years.

Proving that nothing is out of his wheelhouse, McLoughlin breathes life into the complex and peculiar character of the reporter superbly and naturally.  Before the shoot, McLoughlin sat down with director Doug Rath to develop more of a backstory for his character. While the backstory would never be directly mentioned in the film, the work that goes into character development bleeds through into every scene of the film and is instrumental to the overall success of the project. In fact, it is in large part due to McLoughlin’s dedication to the project that it is being seriously considered by many networks in the United States to further develop into a series.

 

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Still shot of Rob McLoughlin as Roberto in “Il Sonnambulo”

 

Able to pull from his own experiences, McLoughlin relates to his character, comparing Roberto’s dichotomy to that of an actor feigning confidence. “Roberto thinks that Atticus is completely mad, that this is all some spooky crap that Atticus has made up after too many absinthes. However, it’s all too enticing and could get him back on track professionally. I mean, who knows that feeling better than an actor right? Pretty much everything we do is a shot in the dark.”

It is this very confidence, willingness to take risks, and belief in the art that has gotten McLoughlin to where he is today. Never type-cast, McLoughlin proves his range and flexibility as he tackles role after role, some serious, some funny, and everything in between. For instance, he played a hostage-taking, bar-robbing, roughed-up gangster in Suspect13 and, while he says it’s “fun to play the bad guy,” his talents don’t end there. McLoughlin makes for a genuine and believable hopeless romantic in the six-part Mark’s and Spencer Valentine’s Day commercials.

“I can scrub up ok,” McLoughlin says with a smile. “I can don a suit or scruff up quite easily for a role. My normal style is jeans and a t-shirt. I’m witty, I’m intelligent; I was given a good brain and I like to use it. I’m relaxed. Maybe too much sometimes but I’m also professional. I do my job to the best of my abilities every time.”

Stopping at literally nothing to live out his dream, McLoughlin can be seen in a recent Audi commercial, strapped to a car travelling at 80mph down an airport runway in a hundred degree heat, reading a newspaper. “That was so much fun,” McLoughlin admitted, “I wanted to do it all week.”

With a passion met only by his charisma, talent, and motivation to succeed, Rob McLoughlin is an actor whose portrayals will not soon be forgotten.  The ability to take viewers on an emotional journey while maintaining their credibility and telling a story is truly the mark of a good actor, and McLoughlin demonstrates this with modesty and enthusiasm every single time.

 

Wardrobe Stylist Kirsten Reader Works on TIME’s Famous Cover

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TIME Magazine is perhaps one of the most universally recognized magazines around the world. Steve Jobs, Princess Diana, Obama, Einstein, and JFK are just a few famous and world changing faces that have graced the covers of this prestigious publication. But with each every famous cover, there is a team behind it. 

Canadian fashion director and wardrobe stylist Kirsten Readers knows this, as she styled TIME’s July 2013 cover “How Can Service Save Us” for the magazine’s annual national service issue.

“I don’t think anyone would turn down an opportunity to work with a publication like TIME magazine. They are iconic and recognized around the world,” said Reader. “For me it was such an honor and an accomplishment I will always be proud of.

The TIME article featured military veterans to talk about what happens to them post service. 

“I had to source authentic United States Military fatigues that would have been worn during the current war in Afghanistan,” described Reader. “We had to ensure that we honored the veterans who were participating in the current crises, as that was the focus of the article.”

Although the TIME magazine editorial crew is located in New York City, the shoot took place at the Westside Studios in Toronto, and therefore Reader worked with a very small team.

“The photographer Andrew B Myers and I made sure we got the overall vision TIME had requested taken care of,” said Reader. “Working with Andrew and TIME was a dream come true. Everyone was an absolute pleasure and yet another job I felt lucky to be a part of.” 

Reader had her work cut out for her. Having the shoot in Toronto created some unexpected challenges. 

“Ensuring to source the correct military service fatigues here in Toronto was a bit of a challenge, but one I truly relished succeeding at,” she said.

And succeed she did. Reader’s styling caught the attention of many high profile people in the entertainment industry, and allowed her to increase her connections.

 “She achieved a cover profiling models as veterans in a respectful light dressed in authentic current military wardrobe,” said filmmaker and television producer Jonas Bell Pasht. “This level of respect for real veterans while still working on achieving a dynamic cover is why Kristen is so often sought after for these central and critical projects. She is not only capable of delivering the message but also helping to ensure it is done in the most memorable and respectful way.”

 “For any stylist to be selected to work on the cover of such a widely distributed and entrusted publication within the journalism world is a massive accomplishment as a stylist that cannot be undervalued or understated,” said Odessa Paloma Parker, the fashion editor of The Globe and Mail, one of Canada’s largest circulating newspapers. 

 Reader remembers the shoot as one of the quickest she ever participated on.

 “The shoot itself was a half day with a day of preparation prior to ensure we had lots to work with to do the veterans justice,” described Reader.

 The cover is something Reader can, and always will be, proud of.

 “This was an amazing project to be a part of,” said Reader. “TIME is an iconic publication and never one I thought I would have the chance to style for, as it is a news publication so it was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Q & A With Seasoned Stylist Patricia Lagmay

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Styled by: Patricia Lagmay. Photo by: Ian Lanterman.

 

Currently based out of Vancouver, Canada, Patricia Lagmay is a fashion stylist known for styling leading fashion editorials and esteemed lookbooks and campaigns. Her work with brands spans professional labels such as Priory, Samsung, Wings + Horns, and Aritzia, and her editorial spreads have been published by Hearst Media.

Lagmay spent time both abroad in Canada and locally in Los Angeles, where she was initially drawn to pursue a career in styling. Once just a place of work for Lagmay at the age of nineteen, the renowned stylist was represented by THEY Representation by the time she was twenty-one, and remained with the agency until 2012, when she began working exclusively with Aritzia.

While at Aritzia, she refined her talents and made a significant impact on the brand’s growth and development , with her role becoming more senior as time progressed. Lagmay contributed her innate skills to the retailer until 2015 as a lead stylist on their seasonal lookbooks, campaigns, and eCommerce catalogue. Most recently, for the past year and a half, she’s worked with the clothing line Priory, styling and art directing their Fall ’15, Spring ’16 and Fall ’16 collections.

Throughout her profession and on many occasions, she has established herself as an invaluable asset to the fashion industry. We recently had the chance to sit down with Lagmay and discuss a few of her crowning career highlights, which we’ve outlined in our exclusive, one-on-one interview below.

Where are you from originally?

I was born in the Philippines and lived there until I was 10. My family moved to LA and lived there for six years, and then relocated to Vancouver, where I’ve now lived for the past 11 years.

What inspired you to purse a career in styling?

This is going to sound like a cliché, but I don’t think I had a choice. I’ve been drawn to it since even before I realized it was a career.

 What types of platforms does your work span?

My work spans print and digital. I work on editorial stories for varying publications, alongside styling campaigns, lookbooks, and eCommerce for established and emerging brands.

Does your approach to styling differ from one platform to the next?

Print has a longer lead-time whereas digital is more or less immediate. This dictates what season the clothes I choose have to come from so that when the story hits, the clothes are available.

 Who are some of the top clients you’ve worked with?

I worked with Aritzia extensively for the last three years. I’ve also worked with Priory, Wings + Horns, Sitka, and Samsung, among others.

 In your opinion, what are some of the most important characteristics a stylist can possess?

You really have to love it. The decisions you make as you style won’t make any sense otherwise, since a lot of it is instinctual. You also have to be extremely organized. There are a lot of moving parts to a shoot and it takes a healthy dose of OCD to get everything done.

 How do you try to incorporate those qualities into your own styling?

I make sure to listen to my instincts. There can be a lot of cooks in the kitchen at times, and paired with the number of trends that arise every season, it’s easy to get caught up in styling to please the whole team. But as the stylist on set, you’ve been hired for your taste and opinion, so it’s important to know when to stick to your guns. As for being organized, I’m definitely a bit OCD so that part comes naturally!

Your journey with THEY Representation is a fascinating one. What was your first role with them?

I started out as an intern when I was 19 and eventually became the Head Booker and Marketing Manager, handling all bookings for the artists, dealing with production, and managing the agency’s brand. After a couple of years I was ready to move on from my role. Since I’d already been styling my own shoots, THEY’s owner and agent suggested that I jump over to the artist side instead and become a represented stylist on their roster.

 What about your time working with Aritzia? You were a stylist there for over three years. What were your main roles? Did your roles change as time went on?

The areas of the business that I worked on more or less remained the same, but my involvement with each of them progressed as the years went on. I worked on the brand’s seasonal lookbooks and campaigns, alongside styling (and often art directing) their extensive eCommerce catalogue.

 With Priory, how do your roles as a stylist and as an art director differ from one another? Similarly, how do they complement one another?

Technically speaking, a stylist is someone who deals primarily with the clothing—choosing which pieces to use, putting the looks together, and ensuring they look good on the model. An art director is someone who deals with all the creative facets of a shoot—from the photography, to the styling, to the hair and makeup, to the casting, all the way down to the posing. I find it difficult to not have an opinion on all of those different areas since each of them greatly impacts the final images. I can bring the best clothes in, but if what I have doesn’t work with what the hair stylist has chosen, or vice versa, it really doesn’t matter. In that sense, styling and art directing are very intertwined.

 Tell us a little bit about the Samsung commercial you worked on. Who did you collaborate with? What brands were incorporated into the shoot?

Samsung was looking to change their creative tonality and this commercial was their first step in that direction. We had an amazing international crew—the director and producers had flown in from Copenhagen, the clients from Seoul, the talent from the U.S. and Europe. My goal, along with everyone else’s, was to bring a sense of authenticity to the characters. To do this, I pulled from a variety of sources—from vintage stores to more contemporary brands such as Reigning Champ.

 What has been your most challenging project thus far, and how did successfully completing it help you grow as a stylist?

Each project’s been challenging in it’s own way so it’s hard to choose. Some have been a challenge from a creative perspective, some from a budget perspective. They’ve all worked out regardless, so I try to keep that in mind whenever I’m faced with another hiccup.

 What is one thing that people on the outside of the fashion industry would never suspect about being a stylist?

There are just as many unglamorous parts to the job as there are glamorous ones, if not more. From taping shoes, to dealing with customs, to trying anything to get a stain off of a garment – the list goes on.

 Why is having a stylist so important?

When it comes to shooting a brand’s lookbook or campaign, a stylist brings an important level of objectivity to the set. That outsider’s perspective combined with the designer’s vision is what brings the collection to life. A stylist also knows how to make the clothes look their best for the camera—which requires more trickery than you’d think.

Can you elaborate on a favorite project or two that you’ve worked on?

My favorite part is the mix of it all so I definitely can’t choose just one. Working on varying projects is what keeps the next one as interesting as the last.

 From where do you draw your inspiration?

It can come from anywhere—runway, the old lady walking down the street, a recent film, old editorials.

 What are your personal hobbies and interests outside of styling?

Eating. Good meals with good friends and I am a happy camper.

How would you describe your own sense of style and fashion when it comes to your own wardrobe?

I definitely have a uniform. Lots of nude, black, and navy, and not a whole lot of anything else.

What brands do you aspire to one day work with?

The Row, Celine, and Protagonist.

 What brand or client is up next on your agenda that you’ll be styling?

I don’t like to count my eggs before they hatch, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Model in Focus: Axel Swan

Axel Swan
Axel Swan shot by Szilveszter Makó

In the world of modeling, having a certain look and being able to pull off many is crucial, and after seeing the photos and ad campaigns featuring British Italian male model Axel Swan, it is easy to see that the international heartthrob has that special something that turns heads.

Standing at 6’3” with glossy chin-length hair, a skinny frame and tattoos on his arms and legs, at first glance you might assume Axel is the typical bad boy, but in reality he is a fun loving, laid back guy who loves to play bass guitar, skateboard and create art using graphic design.

Like Cindy Crawford and many of the world’s most iconic models, Axel was originally ‘discovered’ at a mall at the ripe age of 15, but he didn’t take the fashion world seriously until several years later when, at the age of 21, he exchanged numbers with a booking agent he met at a bar. Finally ready to dote his natural beauty and gift for becoming various characters in front of the camera upon the modeling industry, Axel went on to sign with Barcelona’s Uniko Models and Two Management in the U.S., two of the world’s leading modeling agencies.  

The decision was certainly a wise one for the model, as he has since been tapped to work with some of the biggest and best photographers and most fashion-forward designers working in the industry today. 

“Modeling is a great way to get to know great and talented creative people, and it gives you the possibility to see places and travel more,” says Axel.  

Axel was featured as the main model in an ad campaign for renowned Japanese designer Junya Watanbe and iconic Spanish luxury brand Loewe where he modelled their rich collaborative collection of fine leathers and crisp denims; and boy did he do it with style!

The editorial was included in GQ Italia, in addition to being featured on the magazine’s website alongside the fashion video.The video shows close ups of Axel and the other models swaying, and slowly moving around in their gear, all while a clock ticks in the background, as if to imply that their apparel is “the bomb.”

You can check out the video below:

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/73335431″>Loewe x Junya Watanabe</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/magmhi”>magmhi.com</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Axel was also the driving force in a series of editorials entitled “Lucha Libre” where he sports the brilliant fashions of famed designer Barbara Sanchez Kane for Fucking Young magazine. The gifted model goes all out by wearing a variety of colorful fabrics and conveying emotions, while genuinely capturing the true spirit of the “Lucha Libre” traditions.

In astonishing contrast to the bright colors and looks he sported for the Sanchez Kane editorial, Axel went to the dark and melancholic side in a series of editorials entitled “Shiele Reloaded” for Papercut Magazine.

The focus of the fantastic high-art series, Axel perfectly resembled the characters from various turn of the century paintings by famed Austrian expressionist painter Egon Shiele; and what’s more, as he sports an array of styles from contemporary brands such as Myths and Munn, he manages to brilliantly blend the old and the new.

“I’d always been really shy and introverted growing up and I thought the industry was the right place where to force myself to show others my personality as well as getting to know talented individuals. I managed to improve my personality kicking away most of my shyness,” admits Axel.

His statement has proven to be undeniably true as his repertoire of work to date, which includes modelling hair products for Urban Tribe, premium handbags for Italian brand Catherinelle, colorful swim trunks for Evin Beachwear, and footwear for prominent Italian brand Cult shoes, reveal Axel as a cool, calm and confident hunk that we cannot help but be captivated by.

Although breaking out of his shell appears to have come rather effortlessly for the 23 year old model judging by his photos, nothing in the industry can put a model’s confidence to the test quite like strutting down the catwalk. And Axel has definitely not shied away from that aspect of the industry either. Walking for leading designers at the renowned Barcelona Fashion Week where he sported creations for esteemed fashion designer Krizia Robustella’s “Black & Gold Kings” show, Axel showed audiences and buyers alike that he is one model that not only knows how to nail the mark, but one that leaves us wanting more.

Whether it be a print ad or a runway show, Axel Swan is sure to please even the harshest of critics. The sought after and diversely talented model has a lot of campaigns set for release this year, but one that will unquestionably introduce him to those who aren’t familiar with his work yet is the upcoming campaign he shot for Coca-Cola, which is slated to hit billboards across international markets very soon.