One of my closest friends, Mazel, is pursuing her endeavors and passion - jewelry making by trekking to her native home Pelau - a small island east of the Phillipines. YES, she can make jewelry here however in Los Angeles, a city full of hustle and bustle - a city so obnoxious - it’s hard to focus on your pride-st joys. The past few months, I have also contemplated on moving to Vietnam, my native background, with many opportunities drawn across the table - a move that I WON’T make due to the lack of family and well FEAR. Mazel, fortunately does have family there so she won’t be alone. I’m glad because I tend to worry like a scolding mother I can be. I’m super excited for her even though I’ll miss her so much.
It all started with some photo shoots… shoots that Mazel STYLED me BEFORE I turned into a stylist… when I tried out a thing called modeling. She was the BEST stylist I’ve ever worked with… I learned all my essentials from her. Her eye for layering and matching unexpected colors and fabrics together were impeccable.
What amazed me most was that all the pieces she dressed me in were through vintage and thrifted shopping… which resparked my addiction to cheap thrills. Growing up in a small Texas town, there were no Nordstrom’s or Macy’s… Our biggest store was JcPenney’s (WAY before all the designer collaborations and Sephora saved the corporation). Sometimes you get lost in the glamorous, Hollywod inspired lifestyle and realize that the best pieces aren’t mass produced but had a prolong history and story. Mazel brought me back to my morals. She grounded my small town tastes and always preached about being humble and putting money towards things that matter.
Do you know that saying that your friends reflect your personality? I truly believe that, and if I can have any ounce of what Mazel has; I’m truly blessed and grateful. I love, LOVE, love thrifting together and it will be one of many fondest memories with her. We don’t own a single piece of designer brands (even though it’ll be nice to own a piece Chanel one day) unless it’s gifted or found at some random thrift store that didn’t know was a designer piece. At our ages, the “roaring” 20s, I believe that we shouldn’t let ourselves be submerged into luxury pieces. We’ll get over it the next day. PUH-LEEEEASE… don’t say that you’ll pass it down to your kin because by the time you realize how much you invested in the piece, it’ll be all wear and tear and you’ll be in your 70s. If you do buy something ridiculously expensive… take GREAT care of it.
Ironically, somehow I found my love of fashion and styling and Mazel left styling to focus on her passion: jewelry designing. Introduced by a mutual makeup artist friend, Mazel worked for another jewelry designer, Tebazile. There she learned the basic business principles of jewelry designing - from wholesale, mass production, negotiations, tradeshows, retailers etc. She also styled me for a few of their campaigns.
Mazel also gave me her rolling rack when she decided to stop styling; my first one. I still use it to this day on my shoots. I’m a sentimentalist… Mazel did stay within the styling circle by helping, assisting and ultimately becoming my partner in crime during the crucial beginning stages of my styling career:
And to our many journeys, excursions together that I’ll never forget:
We had watch the Valentino: The Last Emperor documentary together when it came out on limited release… a few weeks later, I was asked to style a shoot that allowed me to pull Valentino for the first time as a stylist. Mazel came with me to pull… and of course, we had to try the dresses on, haha.
I’m not the greatest with words, but I’m so happy and sad for Mazel to leave, and I can only wish her the bestest and a safe journey to Pelau. I know she will have to come back to visit… at least for my wedding one day. I love you Mazel!!!!! no homo. All I can say is, LMNOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)
I was extremely happy to have styled Hok from Quest Crew, So You Think You Can Dance, etc. for the MTV VMAs a few days ago. He’s the choreographer behind LMFAO’s Billboard hit, Party Rock and was nominated at the VMAs for Best Choreography. Even though he didn’t win, it is a HUGE honor and achievement to be nominated against Britney Spears, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga!
Much thanks to Joyrich Clothing, Ninh, Study shoes, and Samsara for providing me the wardrobe for Hok to rock it out on the red carpet.
Love Ryanimay’s hair. One of the rare guys that can werk it.
Mayzani + Hok - watch for the jewelry collaboration coming soon!
Feng - sweetest soul.
Before stepping out: H&M scarf turned turban, Forever21 romper, LNA cardigan
My girls: Jacqueline aka Style-Enthusiast and Julianne
My sisters: do we look alike? =]
Momma and her granddaughter, my niece: Fiona.
My Love Culture campaign out in stores now! Love their ginormous marketing!
My Austrailian cousins - yes, they have the cute accents too!
I’m so excited to show you guys a project that I worked a few weeks ago. Dance crew champions, Quest Crew was asked by Disney to promote a new toy, Dance Star Mickey - a robotic stuffed Mickey toy that plays music and well… dance.
Watch the video, and you’ll see why this toy is going to be a huge hit for kids this holiday season! Directed by the fabulous Joseph Greco, we shot this commercial in one day in Glendale, CA.
And of course again and again to my amazing assistant, Mazel Higa!
There’s a story… of a lovely
lady… dance crew & toothbrushes?
Many thanks to 80sPurple.com for providing some of the threads and accessories (toothbrushes are Oral B from Target). Also to of course, Mazel Higa for assisting me at this fun shoot!
I really want to thank Andi Terada, Ryanimay Conferido, Hokuto Konishi, Lydia Paek, Brian Hirano, Aris Paracuelles, Ryan Feng, Steve Terada, and Victor Kim. You guys are always fun to work with and hope to work together again soon.
Quest Crew on So You Think You Can Dance Season 7 Finale. After working with this multi-talented group for Skinnie Magazine back in April, the crew enlisted me for their promotional photo shoot for 2011 (pics to come soon) and their performance for So You Think You Can Dance, the finale. Millions of people tuned in to see Lauren win the 7th season, and also catch Quest Crew’s new routine steampunk in which you seen previous posts of inspiration and research I’ve done before. Now you know why!
Special thanks to PUMA for sponsoring shoes and pants (shout out video coming soon),
Prep Couture for the custom-made leather jackets and vests,
Civil Society for tops and belts,
Tom Banwell for the amazing steampunk masks and top hat - Kudos to Feng for being able to dance with the top hat AND respirator - not an easy thing to do.
and One October for the leather cuffs and accessories.
And of course, I couldn’t have done it without my entrusted and talented friend, Mazel Higa… I really think you should go back to styling babe, you’re too good at it. You keep ME on MY toes.
Lastly, thanks to Quest Crew’s manager, Andi Terada - I don’t know how you can manage all those boys and now gal and Erich Chen for taking the behind the scenes photos.
Snippets from today.
Day Two with Quest Crew.
Special thanks to my best
helper & best friend, Mazel Higa!
Thanks to William Rast for providing some of today’s threads.
Many thank you’s to Quest Crew’s manager, Andi Terada!
- Sabre sunglasses & Movado BOLD watches
- New Balance, Jump & Greedy Genius kicks
- Mayzani accessories & Energy Muse necklaces
- <3 silly-ness - <3 Quest Crew
- Quest Crew (America’s Best Dance Crew Season 3 Winners)
- For Skinnie Magazine March 2010 Issue
- Styling: Yours Truly
- Labels Used: Civil Society, Osiris, Jump Shoes, Quay Sunglasses, Deuce Brand watches, Ubiquity, Jansport, Zoo York, King Baby, Akademiks, Mark Ecko