Warsaw Mercedes Benz Fashion Weekend

© L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

Last weekend I was invited by fashion designer Jessica Conzen to the fashion weekend in Warsaw. This was a new opportunity to see a new city, meet new people and share another adventure with Jessica, I’m really thankful with her for this opportunity, thanks again Jessica Conzen!!!

Warsaw was a city that intrigued me a lot, I’ve never been before in eastern Europe countries, so I had the idea in my mind of a city with this old Soviet Union look and ambience. All due to the old pictures I had in my mind from that era, to be more descriptive: a lugubrious, dark ,cold, colorless visual memories were the ones that seized my mind with the name of Warsaw.

Warsaw Mercedes Benz Fashion Weekend

© L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

Fortunately life is full of surprises, those big ones that everybody love to have and even more when I had my head full of mistaken visual ideas about Warsaw. What happened was that I discovered a hidden treasure in Poland… Warsaw is the most beautiful, colorful, welcoming and luminous city I’ve ever seen in Europe. I was completely astonished with the friendliness of the people, it’s a city that seems to be painted with a magical colorbox, with a delicious offer of typical restaurants and the cherry in the pie is the beautiful women that appear in front of your eyes everywhere!!!.  So if you haven’t been in Warsaw and were not planing to go, I strongly advice you to included in your next trip.

In the other hand the fashion weekend was very interesting, there were many different designers from Poland and easter Europe countries like Eva GrygoChatty,  L.Rousseau Urban CoutureRina CossackDawid TomaszewskiŁukasz Jemioł and some other international ones like Natalia Rivera, Custo Barcelona and Leyre Valiente. It was the first time Mercedes Benz organized a fashion in weekend in Warsaw and the experience was very interesting to see what’s going on in this side of Europe.

© L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

© L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

This time the experience with Jessica Conzen was intense, we were busy since 6:30 am the day of the show, she was all the time concentrated in preparing the show with the most professional polish assistant she could ever had: Monika Pod and me going around all the event capturing what attracted my attention. At the end, I just have to say that as always Jessica Conzen´s show was marvelous, I really had fun working in this backstage merged with so many different designers in an small space.

I tryed to cover the event in a different way, being in backstage and also in the catwalk, trying to show what was going on from my point of view, trying to show more about the whole story of what goes on in one day of a fashion weekend. I was really blessed to have such a great light the day of the show: there were these huge 5 meters long windows that allowed a waterfall of light to come in and touch everything to make it more interesting, so here are the pictures and I hope you enjoy them!



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!!!


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JESSICA CONZEN BACKSTAGE – Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Madrid 2015

Pashioncase is about showcasing passion stories around photography, fashion photography and fashion, so the first story to showcase must be one full of those characteristics and that´s why the case of Jessica Conzen is the best to start with. Her life story is full of interesting overtones that she accomplished to translate into her collections which attracted my attention immediately from the first time I saw her work.

A half German, half Peruvian young fashion designer, who studied in ESDI en Mallorca and right after finishing the school she creates her own high fashion brand. Some time after decides to go Paris to study a Master at the Instituto Marangoni where she gets in contact with the Parisian fashion environment and works for houses like Stella McCartney, Maison Martin Margiela and H&M.

Her last collection Stylagalmaic was just launched last week at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Madrid and when you take a look at it, you understand how she managed to put her intercultural life experience on every thread of her work where the original peruvian wool and leather are mixed to create pieces inspired by the architect Zaha Hadid. It’s the encounter between the traditional of her peruvian roots with the sophistication of the german style and the geometrics of the architectural influences…. a mix that I just love.

She breaths passion for her brand on every one of her pores, so much that when you talk with her you feel on her eyes that strong internal energy that drives her to develop all her concepts, dreams, ideas and visions into her work.

When she honored me by proposing to do the backstage for her collection at the MBFWM I immediately said yes!  not only just because I loved her collection but mostly because I love to work with people who has been brave enough to follow their passion in a world where that´s not the usual trend and for sure she’s one of those examples… I’m sure this is just the beginning of a successful career of a new fashion star.

Jessica Conzen STALYGALMAIC AW 15/16 Backstage

So here is the backstage from Jessica Conzen new collection Stylagalmaic launched at MBFWM last week, I hope you enjoy it!!!

Jessica Conzen STALYGALMAIC AW 15/16 Backstage




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