Mylene Rocher for Pashioncase


Mylene Rocher for Pashioncase. © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

This time we have a model with her family roots from the french Island of Reunion, a piece of the real paradise in the middle of the Indian ocean. Our imagination will immediately take us to think about waves, mountains, nature,  movement, music, colors, dancing, lots of dancing and of course the good vibes of the people that live on this kind of areas which are not touched by the poisoning rush of the big modern cities.

Model: Mylene Rocher. Fashion Stylist: Sophie Ostrowski

Mylene Rocher for Pashioncase. © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

Mylene is a good summary of all these things I mentioned before and specially because of her passion for music and dance which I tried to capture for this post. She´s been writing songs since a while ago and she already has 20 already written ready to be recorded ones she gets the opportunity. Actually, the music for the video we did: ¨The king of my jungle¨ is the first original song that she recorded in London in partnership with her boyfriend, I loved it since the first minute I heard it and of course it had to be the song for the video.

For our shoot, I tried to show all the musical and dancing energy of Mylene in the middle of the city where of course there are no paradisiacal spots but I replaced them for the colorful psychedelic spaces filled with street art that we can find around. All that mixed with the hippie-rock style that she likes which our fashion stylist Sophie Ostrowski translated for this shoot in 4 different outfits with brands like Aika AlemiA.W.A.K.E.H&M, AdidasEachxOtherZara and The Kooples.

Model: Mylene Rocher. Fashion Stylist: Sophie Ostrowski

Finally I asked Mylene what would she do if money wasn´t an issue to do what ever she wants and she answered me right away: ¨I will help children and old people in difficulties around the world”, a phrase that speaks about the human kind that the paradise can bring.
So here is the result of our dancing-musical shoot with Mylene from Woman Management Paris, I hope you enjoy it and turn up the volume of your laptops or smarthphones while you`re watching the video.

Styling: Sophie Ostrowski – Photography by LACuellar

Styling: Sophie Ostrowski – Photography by LACuellar

Cheers!
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Fashion Designer Claudia Paz for Pashioncase


Claudia Paz Designs - © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

Claudia Paz Designs – © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

The first time I met Claudia was in a cafe called Zaza by Rue de Rivoli, a nice chic parisian place at Le Marais the fashion neighborhood of Paris.  I ordered a beer while I was waiting for her and couple minutes later the Bolivian designer arrived with her latin american look strongly influenced for the Parisian style. She´s been living in Paris the last 10 years and you can tell by the way she dresses and the french expressions that escape out of her conversation from time to time.

I contacted Claudia because I was interested to know her passion story and how she has developed a brand where the main texture is the very Bolivian fabric of Alpaca, all in the middle of Paris a city that is know for glamour and sophistication.  So during that first meeting, we arranged a day of shooting at her workshop near the Arc the Triumph to get to know closer her story.

Claudia Paz by LACuellar - © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

Claudia Paz by LACuellar – © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

The day of the shooting, I arrived to her Atelier, we did the shoot and we talked a lot; while she was smoking one of those long, slim, girly Vogue cigarettes this is what she told me about her life, her dreams, her brand and history:

Claudia started in fashion for passion after her parents gave her a sewing machine when she was only 12 years old, at that age she “started to make clothes, without know how to do it, just by following her instinct” as she said. At the same time she was drawing a lot and the first clothes she made were for her parents, her sister and after for the people that was around her. When she was 17 she started doing some catwalks with her clothes in Bolivia in a really empiric way.

From those beginnings she always had clear on her mind that she wanted to come to Paris and develop herself as a fashion designer, so she started studying french and thanks to the help of a teacher she applied to one of the most important fashion schools of the world called ESMOD. To get in the school, she had to compete agains other candidates, she presented her application and got accepted, immediately opening the door for her dream to live in the city of lights and develop as a fashion designer.

Claudia Paz by LACuellar - © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

Claudia Paz by LACuellar – © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

She graduated with honors from the ESMOD and started to work with big brands as Givenchy and Tara Jarmon and some other small ones. All these different works gave her the necessary experience to know how the fashion world works and how to develop a fashion brand. Back on those days, working for these important brands, she met for the first time the Alpaca and right away she felt a strong connection with the fabric since it comes from the roots of her country of origine.

After 4 years of working for other brands, she decided to start her own brand “Claudia Paz” working with the alpaca as its main fabric, using the Bolivian vision but with the influence of the Parisian experience, as she says “I started working with Bolivia showing that Alpaca comes from there, but in a different approach, not in the typic ethnic way that you can see everywhere”

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The concept that she’s been developing with her brand is to create clothing for woman, made 100% with alpaca, with a high quality, exclusiveness and with the Parisian style but with the goal of having them in an accesible price for the market, which was her most important challenge because as we all know the Alpaca is a very expensive fabric. In the other hand, she wanted to work directly with the ethnic craftsmen communities who live in the Bolivian plateau who have worked with Alpaca for centuries; her idea was to learn a lot from them and at the same time teach them a lot of parisian techniques she already knew.

Model: Ashley Revollo from Woman Model Management

Now days, all of her clothes are made in those communities, helping them to have a new income and at the same time showing in Paris the know-how of Bolivian culture. Her objective is to continue establishing her brand in Paris, she also has already been selling in Japan and Switzerland and she’s very interested also in the markets of Australia, USA and China.

I asked her to tell me what was inspiring her for her next collections, and she told me that she has been lately really influenced by Cactus, since this is a plant that you can find all around the Bolivian plateau and also its green color reassembles the color of that magnificent land…she really loves green color and the savage and rustic idea that the cactus incarnates.

Finally I want to say that for the designers, I’m interested to show through my photography my vision of the environment where they work, their collections, portrayed them with something related to them and also to merge them with his/her inspirations.

For this photoshoot we worked in collaboration with Ashley Revollo from Woman Model Management Paris, an amazing half Cuban half Colombian model that lives in Miami but was in Paris for work during couple of weeks.

Obviously, as I always said, the spirit of Pashioncase is to have Natural Pictures, so there is No Make Up, No Hair Dressing and of course No Skin Retouch. 

Thanks a lot again to Claudia, to Ashley and to Woman Management Paris to collaborate with me for this story!!!

Cheers!

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Nicolas Hau for Pashioncase


Nicolas Hau for Pashioncase

Nicolas Hau for Pashioncase – © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

For my first male model story in Pashioncase, I was looking for a really special person, somebody with an amusing passion and with an interesting personality. So, there I was inside an office of Bananas Models in Paris, a place with a nice light, everything in white colors, a computer in the desk, a beautiful continuous light, a background and 3 chairs; everything inside a typical parisian building from the 19th century. I was waiting for the models of the casting that Guillaume (the friendly, working and kind booker) had prepared for me.

Nicolas Hau for Pashioncase

Nicolas appeared with his crazy light yellow hair which reminds me one of those powerful Japanese Saiyans from Dragon Ball Z , his soft voice, relaxed way of being and enthusiasm for his artistic projects. We started talking about him, about Pashioncase and very quickly I found out he was an artist who wants to generate shocking reactions on the public through his art  as he told me during our chat.

This french model, 23 years old, who’s studying graphic design whose passion is to paint and specially to do sexual illustrations, most of them are orgies, some of them are literal and some others are more abstract forcing the viewer to make an effort to see deeply inside to find out the sexual party that lives in them. He also does nudes of people most of them painted in a white background with a black pencil and also press edition and visual identity pieces. You can see his work on his website http://nicolashau.com/

Nicolas Hau for Pashioncase

Nicolas Hau for Pashioncase – © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

In the other hand he will also start studying theater at nights, to become an actor, although he has already done his first role in the film “Like Cattle Towards Glow” by Dennis Cooper & Zac Farley where Nicolas will play the main character of one of the four stories the movie will have appearing totally nude during some of the scenes.

When I asked him what would he do if money wasn’t an issue and he could do whatever he wanted in life, his answer was: “I would want to have the power to see through the walls to check the private life of people in every building of the city, to be like a little mouse that can sneak under the doors of the houses, I’m a very curious person” an unexpected answer, with some dyes of innocent voyeurism  that exemplifies the creative mind that lies inside Nicolas.

Nicolas Hau for Pashioncase

Nicolas Hau for Pashioncase – © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

After having all this information about his passions, I immediately  had the idea of creating a visual story where Nicolas  would live inside of his own artistic world and more specifically inside of his illustrations. I called the story “Searching for Inspiration” where you will see the illustrations of Nicolas surrounding him all the time and at the end himself living inside of them.

About his fashion style he likes the classic typical french style but with a crazy or funny touch which my partner stylist for this shoot Sophie Ostrowski brought to life for the story by using brands like EachxOtherNo Ka’OiÊtre CecileHarmonyZara, Ralph LaurenIsabel Marant and Obey New York.

I’m sure Nicolas will grow big inside the artistic world if he keeps that emotion and desire to express through art what he feels and thinks about the topics he is interested; he already has the talent, the aura, the creativity and the vision of a real artist, so the only thing that remains is to work hard to reach his dreams.

Wishing him the best of luck for his career as an artist model, here is the fashion story of Nicolas Hau:  “Searching for Inspiration”

Styling: Sophie Ostrowski – Photography by LACuellar

Directed/Written/Shot  by LACuellar – Styling/Designer:  Sophie Ostrowski – Edited by Mystic Colors – Music Amentia

Remember I’m interested on shooting the person living inside the models by showing one important part of their lives: their passion, all with a natural way (no make up, no hairdressing, no skin retouch). So if you are or you know any model with an interesting passion, personality and look, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Cheers!

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I Dont Want to Shoot Models.


STYLAGALMAIC

Tribal Invader by © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

 

The first fashion magazine Les Mondes was published in Paris in January 1901, in those beginnings the name of the model did not appear in the credits of the pictures because it was not important as it is stated in the book Fashion Body Cult:  “The work of professional mannequins and photo models was not considered a respectable career and this females had rather seedy reputations right up until between the two world wars.”

For my first fashion shoot, a friend lend me his small apartment by Place de la Republique, the day was gray and cold, I woke up early in the morning to have all my equipment ready, grabbed the metro and arrived one hour before the shoot to set everything. I remember how nervous I was because I didn´t have any idea of how to do a fashion shoot and I had to work with the make up artist and the model pretending to have done this type of work many times before.

Addiction

Killer Love by © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

The make up artist arrived, a friendly french-asian girl, with amazing light brown eyes, we talked about the script and got ready for the model. At this moment, I had in my mind more questions to solve than answers to give to my team for this shoot. The model arrived on time, she lived in a village outside of Paris, a beautiful, tender and soft girl; we started to do the make up, talked about the script and one hour after we started shooting. Everything went well and smooth, we finish the shoot, both (model and makeup artist) said Bye to me and I was again alone in my friend´s apartment happy with the result of the shoot, but most important, with one thing clear in my mind: what I wanted to do was fashion photography from there onwards.

I had this same ritual during the next fashion shoots: the team arrived, the model arrived, the make up & hair were done, we  talked about the script, we shoot, we finish, everybody leaves and I was alone again.  That´s how it is normally goes in every fashion shoot, of course there is chat, exchange of experiences, work and different vibes like any other job…. but I had always the feeling that something was missing, something was not making sense for me at the end of each of those shoots, even though when the result as a team was great because we got the pictures we were looking for, there was always a feeling of emptiness in some part of my soul.

The work of a model is really tough, it´s not just being beautiful and posing in front a camera to get the pictures or the video, it involves a strong knowledge of the body from the top of the head to the little toe, they have to build their bodies with long hours of exercise, take care of what they eat, be ready to work no matter how they´re feeling that day, spend long hours going to castings, waiting and running from one place to the other and spend long ours working in the shooting. At the end everybody is interested on using the model as a canvas to paint the story that the they want.

STYLAGALMAIC

Tribal Invader by © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

Today I feel that models are becoming like when the first fashion magazine Les Mondes appeared, objects: a beautiful, well prepared, expensive object;  you can see it even more in the catwalks where they don´t show any emotion and even some brands don´t even want people to know who they are by covering their faces with beautiful masks or any other object to make their audiences concentrate in the clothes. As I said before, the goal of that object called model is to be the best canvas, with the exact texture, measurements, colors and quality that the client wants to paint, but who cares about the person that lives inside that physically beautiful canvas? I´m very sure at the end nobody cares about it, the business just use them to reach their goals…….until that moment when they becomes famous and the canvas gets a name and a history that makes everybody to be interested about its life story. Now I know this is exactly what I felt was missing after every fashion shoot: Besides shooting the model, also shooting the person,  that was that thing which disturbs me deep inside. So I thought, how am I going to shoot the person and not just the model? my answer was: to shoot them playing a story about something they really love to do: their passion.

I started to contact model agencies and arranging castings, where I could have time to really meet the person that lies inside of the model.  What I found was the confirmation of what I was thinking: Nobody cares about the person that lies inside the model. How did I find it out? well, during the castings I started to talk with them about their life, passions, stories, goals, dreams, etc and since the first model to the last one I interviewed last week, all of them told me it was the first time instead of posing or walking or showing a portfolio, somebody was interested  about their lives as persons.

Addiction

Killer Love by © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

I´m filmily convinced that for Pashioncase I don´t want to shoot models, I want to shoot Persons with real stories from their lives, playing their own life story based in the passion they have. I want to meet the person (or at least a small part of it), I want to give them the space to show to the world an intimate piece of their soul and I want to interpret that intimate part they share with me through my eyes.

To finish: I know a professional model should be able to get the result that the client wants without thinking if her style, life or passions go with the brand or designer concept and I´m not pretending to criticize or change the way it works, I know and I understand it is the way it is,  but I think brands and designers should care a lot more about the person inside the model and not just to see them as one more piece of the marketing strategy.

I know I can be naive, but I imagine that getting to know the person who lives inside the models, knowing their passions, their fashion style or their way of seeing life and matching the right person (model) with the values of the brand, for sure will give a 100 times better results or at least more human than the work done with a model who does not identifies with the brand, at the end the models are persons who (as everybody else) give life to fashion, as Marc Jacobs said: “Clothes mean nothing, until someone lives on them.”

Cheers!!!

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PASHIONCASE (Passion – Fashion – Showcase)


 

Eiffel movement

Eiffel Movement – © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

It´s 2015 and it has been already 2 years and a half that I started a completely new journey in my life, a 180 degrees change from the traditional office life of a commercial manager to the adventure of becoming a photographer. It was a change from the natural environment of my country Colombia to the cosmopolitan jungle of Paris, from the comfortable use of my language spanish to the struggle of mastering the french, from the warm company of my friends and family to the sweetness of loneliness and new friends, from having all my life resolved to starting a new one with everything unsolved.

Making a change this big at 35 years old when you have your life already “settle” from the traditional point of view of modern society, I mean: good job, good salary, nice flat, nice car, amazing vacations and a lovely girl friend, could seem a case of a mental disease, but in reality what it means is precisely the opposite, a case of mental good health and you wonder why? and the answer it’s easy: because you should be crazy to decide what to do with your life putting first your economical security rather than what you are really passionate about…. and yes! I think that looking at money as a goal and not as a consequence, which is one of our society standards are making us go crazy.

No matter the cost you’ll have for you and your family the most important thing is to earn enough money to be able to buy your “happiness”, no matter if that means loosing all you money at the end paying for the shattered health you’ll have living a life where every minute you give to your job it’s a minute you lose to do something that you really love and I think you seriously should be crazy to make a decision like that for the rest of your life.

What we exchange for the salary that we receive at the end is Time, time of our lives, time that you’ll never get back because it’s already gone and there is no way to get back, so why are you making such a bad deal with your time? exchanging something so precious that nobody will be able to give it back to you again for something like money that for sure you can earn by doing something that will bring joy to every minute of you life?

Sunset in Popayan

Sunset in Popayán – © L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

Well, one day after 3 years of reading, thinking, watching videos, movies, talking to people and most important: learning how to listen to my inner voice, I had the chance to watch the video of the speech of Steve Jobs at the University of Stanford and among many of the interesting things he talks about there was one phrase that came to me and stroke me directly in my heart: “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” ….and then I decided to quit my “normal” life and make a good deal by dedicating my life to my passion: photography and more specific fashion photography.

Today I’m opening this blog to showcase passion, fashion and photography stories , that’s why the name is a mix of those 3 words: Pass – shion – case (Passion + Fashion + Showcase. Here you’ll find stories of people from the fashion or photography industry that has decided to follow their passion or that want to talk about something they’ re passionate about and who has decided to live a life followed by what they really love to do every minute, without paying attention to what the standards of our society pray. Of course, you’ll also find the stories about my journey that are related to passion, photography and fashion photography.

Pictures by Colette L Photographie.

So, if you are or you know any young talent with an interesting passion story around photography, fashion photography or fashion and you’ll like to be showcased here, just send me an email to contact@lacuellar.com with a summary of the story and If it suits the purpose of the blog, I’ll be really glad showcase it here.

I Hope you enjoy the blog and that it can inspire you to keep following your passion or if you’re still doubting about it, I hope It’ll encourage you to make the big jump and make the decision to do what you really love. Cheers!!!

Self portrait

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