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Monday, May 16, 2011

The Editorial really pulled my strings





I started getting nose bleeds, waking up in the middle of the night to jot down an idea on paper, therefore I kept a pen and pad on the nightstand to keep me from having to turn on that computer. Wait, I just lied! My computer went to bed with me every night, and I would fall asleep while getting lost in translation of conveying my thoughts into text. My social life once again became a thing of the past and all I ever talked about with anyone, was this editorial shoot we were working on. Friends would remind me that my voice mailbox was full, and only then would I scan to see who left a message. And if the name wasn't associated with this shoot, the call generally went unanswered for a long period. After all of these were Wai-Ching gowns. Hand crafted, and every detail hand sewn. There would be no mistakes on this project I reminded myself. However, when the eleventh hour struck, there would still be more changes that would require some war room changes. We titled this editorial shoot "Pull my strings". It was the day before the shoot, and I had just gotten the worst news I could have possibly gotten. My lead model had double booked and had another commitment. The makeup artist had to cancel, but then she reworked her family schedule just so she could be there for us, and that meant a huge bit of gratitude to me and I immediately informed Em that we were good for makeup again. He just happened to swing by the studio and said we needed to take a break and get something to eat. While sitting at the dinner table in our favorite restuarant The Happy Teriyaki #4, my nose began to bleed again. After about 10 mintues in the men's room, I finally got it under control and returned just as my food had arrived. I told Emerson the news and as always, he in his cool, calm, way said "We just need to slow down and rethink this". I was losing my mind. This would be all over with by this time tomorrow night and we had a duty to get this right the first time because of the deadline. Again, as calm as ever Emerson told me to eat and let's head back to the studio. Before the night would end, we had rewritten the storyline for the editorial, replanned the storyboard and tweeked how it would play out. I spent that entire night laying wide awake in my bed staring at the ceiling. The day seemed to creep and then without warning slammed into the hour of execution. And do you think it was smooth sailing from there on? You bet your last dollar it wasn't. Luckily enough for us, the venue owners where we were shooting had the kindest of hearts and for that I am eternally greatful because they really made this evening worry free.... well almost. Down to one model from three, and she had not arrived. Suddenly my phone rang it was our featured model. She was lost, but not so lost that I couldn't jump in my car and find her. Reeling her in, it was game time. And I saw the people around me being the very best they could be. No one argued, got angry, got pissed because the night got really long since we had 8 dresses to shoot and only one model to fill all of them. The clock struck 1 a.m. and we were finally finished. So so much had been learned and experienced between the hours from start to finish. I knew that I had some sure winner shots on my digital card in my camera, and as Emerson and I unloaded the last of the gear back at the studio, we shook hands and congratulated one another on a job well done. The next few days we committed to photo editing, and the day after we submitted our photos, we dedicated to thanking each and every person in a way that showed how much we apprecaited their contribution. What we had just done did not realy strike me until I was sitting in the coffee shop next door to Chrissy Wai-Ching's studio enjoying a hot cup of coffee, watching the rain fall, while waiting on her to return so that I could present her with the gift Emerson and I wanted to give her. The 5 most important elements of this project that really stood out to me during this controlled chaos was 1. Katie, our model. She had worked a long day, driven all the way to Tacoma from Seattle, endured all the stresses we must have put on her, never complained, worked till the wee hour of the morning, and then driven all the way back to Seattle. 2. My keygrip guy Kevin, whom I knew started work at 4:00 a.m., so when I saw him virtually passing out between wardrobe changes, I had to beg him to go home and assured him we could handle it from here. 3. Ashley & Kristen, the hairstylist were so gung ho from the very beginning. And they never once faltered and kept such a huge positive attitude throughout. 4. Tara, our MUA. I will never forget hearing her say she had to back out because of her family commitments for that evening, then resurging and rearranging her family schedule just so she could be there for us. That's character. 5. Mary & Tom, the venue owners. You have no idea what this couple had been through just days before, and where I should have been reassuring them, they were reassuring me with the warmest hospitality you will ever know on this planet. Shooting editorials are nothing short of a lot of work, and a lot of commitment, and I loved every painstaking moment of it, and now look forward to taking a much needed vacation to think a few strategies out. But the good news is that I am not taking my laptop with me, no cell phone, nothing that will connect me to anyone or thing in the U.S. When I get on that plane and fly out of the country I am going to officially be on a little work and a lot of vacation.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tacoma Fashion quickly becomes a standard and proves it is more than just a show







I was first approached about this fashion show months ago during its early planning stage. It sounded complicated, it sounded like a lot of work, it sounded like the Seahawks winning the Superbowl might be somewhat easier. Trust me when I say this, winning the bowl would have been less complicated from the ground work of this show. You see, this wasn't just going to be one of those typical shows you can find on any given night in Seattle. These ladies were not playing around. More intricate than the plans that took Osama Bin Laden out of the game is what was in stored. And by sheer coincident, it would be happening on one of the biggest nights for Seattle's Fashion Week. What Chelsia, Elizabeth, Julia, and Tina (names strategically placed in alphabetical order) had planned out would seem virtually impossible to pull off. I mean considering the logistics of venue location, catering, sponsoring and the ugly C word; cost, would either have them standing in bankruptcy court or quickly promoted to 4 star generals. Well, I must say, these ladies earned their stars on this night. I will speculate that there may have been a little bullying and throwing some weight around, but let's face it, "Donald Trump didn't get to where he is in the real estate world without utilizing these very tactics", and besides, the world of fashion is no place for the weak hearted anyway. "Feelings are bound to get hurt so be tough skinned". Sparing you all of the boardroom conversation and fast-forwarding to event night, the stage was set. The models looked more than divined and seasoned for the show. The wardrobe consisted of four different genres of fashion. Which is one of the reasons I stated that this was going to be tough, because each genre had a very strong and pronounced personality that weren't about to bow down to the other. Chelsia Design is a signature all its own for the confident woman who didn't need the flash and flair of the couture world to hit its mark. Chelsia designs simply allowed you to be you as an individual for whatever it is you do. Elizabeth's Anew Thyme target audience is expecting mothers. Stylish, gently worn maternity clothing and hand crafted baby items made being pregnant, comfortable on the woman and the wallet. Julia's A Little Touch of Magick (ALTOM) screams dark, gothic, chic, and outspoken. Her audience is all over the map from highschool rebel to the sophisticated and elegant "say what's on your mind" mature. Her collection has no age limit or limit of any kind for that matter. Last but not least is Tina's London Couture Vintage. Top fashion at its finest hour. from the blast from the past in vintage high fashion, to the latest chic in juicy couture fashion seen today. Elegant and classy, and nothing less of dripping and draping of fabulous fashions from places we can only dream of one day visiting. London Couture. Sequined glamour, and little black evening dresses served up daily.
The Show
The show's emcee was none other than the popularly known Taylor London Couture. Trust me, describing Taylor's accomplishment is a blog all itself, and I look forward to covering an event that will involve Miss Taylor London Couture so that I can elaborate on these accomplishments, but for now we are going to stick to the show. Fantastic hosting, gift bags and red carpet greeted the guest at the entrance, gorgeous birds on a wire hanging out in gigantic cages, and catered food with select wines, awaited the guest. The D.J. was spinning the hits, the crowd was ecstatic, and the it was show time. There were dancers strutting their peacock feathers and belly dancers winding, twisting and snaking their way across the entertainment portion of the show. Followed or proceeded by raffles of fabulously expensive giveaways. If you don't have one of those chic iPads yet because of your budget, this was the night to spend a few bucks and win one. This show lived up to the hype and excitement of what fashion show networking is all about. No one left disappointed and their were bids and offers for the clothing right off the models back before they cleared the runway. Yes indeed. I called this night "the greatest show on earth".
The models
What I wont' do is attempt to name each and every model in this show out of fear of leaving someone out or misspelling a name. What I will do is say that the models earned their keep and did a super great job of keeping the crowd aroused in excitement, and beautifully displaying the garments while entertaining the pool of photographers eagerly awaiting that signature pose that would give him/her bragging rights. And you know what. I think I got each of them. Kudos to each and every model that graced the catwalk that night. And for the record: "The baby bump in the photo is not real.
The Photographers
This is my favorite part. By now each of you know how much I love photography. I would give up my first born for a lens cap. Now that is true love LOL. It always feels good to be entrenched with familiar faces and newcomers attempting to step up their game in fashion photography. With all the hustle and bustle, photography etiquette is at its finest hour in the photographer's pit. That is not to say that nobody got in anyone's way; it's just to say that no fight broke out in the pit. And me, I'm still Bluestilling 101. Chopping it up with the old timers and the newcomers. Always willing to listen to a new idea and share a thought. Oh yeah, and snap photos for my clients.