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!

Firma BlogSelf Iphonetrait

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!!!

Firma Blog

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A Polygamous Photo Love: The Eiffel Tower and me.


The first time I came to Paris as a tourist in 2011 I felt in love with the Eiffel Tower and I know this is something that happens to almost everybody that comes to this city, but in my case I have made a magical relation between the both of us and I’m going to tell you why.

Eiffel Tower by LACuellar

© L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

I remember our first encounter was like those flirting moments in a bar while you’re watching a girl you like in the middle of the crowd, following her with your eyes while she moves in the middle of the people, at the same time you start also moving towards her to approach and start a conversation, you notice that she’s also looking at you, that you have made a strong eye contact while both are moving like dancing a bolero.  The crowd is thick, there are seconds when you lose her from you sight and you feel confused but then she appears again in the middle of crowd, each time closer to you and finally comes that moment when you stand in front of her and say hi and a burst of adrenaline runs strongly from your brain to the point of your thumb.

Eiffel Tower by LACuellar

© L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

Exactly like that was my first time with the Eiffel tower, I started a walk in the middle of Paris (with no gps, I was using a normal map), looking for her and since this city blocks are not regular rectangles, while I had her in my sight in one corner, I was losing her in the next one, like in the middle of the crowd of the club, I had moments of joy and confusion while approaching her,  until I finally arrived in front of her after taking a corner in an unexpected place and I felt that burst of adrenaline in my body and our photo love story began.

Many artist have had to do with the Eiffel tower, just to mention some: Marc Chagall with his painting “Paris vu par la fenêtre”, Jean Cocteau with his Musical theatre “Mariés de la Tour Eiffel” or Elliott Erwitt with his famous picture “Eiffel tower 100th anniversary” and I could keep mentioning hundreds, plus the thousands of pictures she gets from people everyday. I know I’m just another one of her lovers, another passion story out of the millions she has had during her 126 years of existence but in my mind she has been there just for me.

Eifferl Tower by LACuellar

© L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

I have this polygamous relation with her and I say polygamous because as I said before, she is also in love relations with millions of other lovers from all around the world, but I don’t care, for me our relation has been a private one.  I have seen her through my lens, that means through my personal way to see and that also means through my heart, which is unique and she has been always there to pose only for me whenever I want, no matters the hour, date or temperature, she’s always available for me to give her best angle.

LACuellar and the Eiffel Tower

© L.A. Cuellar, All Rights Reserved.

I’m a fashion photographer but above all, I’m a visual addict who likes to capture images that produce on me a feeling that moves my soul from its normal state and that feeling is exactly what I have had with each picture I have from the Eiffel Tower. Each one of them has that special input (the light, the colors, the people, the moment, the angle, etc) that has touch my heart, stroke my soul and move my eye to take it, because as a photographer I understand what is the meaning of capturing for ever a moment of live that will never come back after the second you freeze it forever in you camera.

So here are some of the pictures of our polygamous photo love during these 2 years and half relation while living in Paris… enjoy!

Playing with the people…

By the Seine…    

Just the top of her…

Night flirting…

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Liza Sotnikova for Pashioncase


Pashioncase will showcase different young characters from the fashion world and one of them are the models with the idea to show them close to their passions. That’s why instead of doing what we always do: putting the model as the canvas to paint a story created by the photographer, here the canvas is painted by the real passion and style of the model.

All the photography or video stories in Pashioncase are based in one of the passions the models have and the styling is the kind they love for themselves in real life and one very important thing: There is NO make upNO hair styling and of course NO skin retouch…in Pashioncase we want to showcase real models, with real stories showcasing their own passions and styles.

Our first Model Pashion story (Photography and Video) is about Liza Sotnikova from IMG Models Paris , an 18 years old Russian beauty. She is the kind of person that makes you feel this strong energy to conquer the world, she loves modeling and see it as a medium to open new doors that can take her to new opportunities because as she says: “I´m a model but I don’t want to be just walking in a catwalk”.

Her style is dark and gothic as the famous “Dark Russian Cocktail” made out of vodka and coffee liquor invented by Gustave Tops while he was working in the Metropol  Hotel in Brussels. She prefers everything black and is completely in love with this color because “It helps me to open myself to everybody” she says, which gives her an aura of mystery that makes you wonder which colors will come out of her soul.  If she has to choose a fashion designer, she would definitively go for Alexander Wang who uses black color the way that she likes.

One of her passions is the music and the underground partying, where she can use her dark style to move to the rhythm of alternative rock, hard rock and specially on these days techno which is the one she likes the most.  She is listening to music every minute of her life and of course headphones are her everyday companion.

When I asked her what would she do if money wouldn’t be needed to do anything, she immediately answer that would go right away to Africa or Thailand, where she can find the sun, the warm weather and where she can interact with a lot of animals.

About Paris, she said she likes the city but would prefer a city where the sun is out most of the days because “Paris is always rainy, cloudy and moody”,  so the perfect situation would be to bring the weather from Phuket to the city of lights!!! Maybe her black color style helps her to absorb all the energies from the shy sun we have in Paris to charge her with all that energy she irradiate through her eyes.

The story was styled by Margaux Doiteau with a mix of  Kenzo, Jean Paul GaultierNikeEresYaninaAlice+OlivaPinko and underground clothes to get the dark style mood that Liza loves, so here is the result:

Styling  by Margaux Doiteau – Photography by LACuellar

Directed/Shot  by Coban B. – Written/Edited by LACuellar – Styled  by Margaux Doiteau – Edited by Mystic Colors – Music XDB

Hope you enjoy this post and if you know or you are a model with an interesting profile and personality with a clear passion that could be interested in being featured in Pashioncase, just send me an email with the information and I’ll get back to you.

Finally a big thanks to IMG Models Paris,  Coban B. ,  Margaux Doiteau  and Mystic Colors for the collaboration with Pashioncase to make Liza´s story come true!

Cheers!!!

Firma Blog

Self portrait

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

 

BEFORE THE SHOW

AFTER THE SHOW

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Self portrait