Ecologique Fashion | creative directing
Ecologique Fashion is a sustainable fashion PR and events consultancy based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Myrrhia AW13

At the beginning of the year/end of last, I began working with Myrrhia on planning a beautiful lookbook and fashion campaign for her lovely AW13 collection. Inspired by the dynamic energy that exists within all of us, Myrrhia’s AW13 embraces a duality of radiating patterns in smooth hourglass shapes in addition to chunky, textured organic merino knits in rich moody solids – both mimicking the dynamic human energy that exists within all of us. With a plentiful collection of 20+ pieces including sweater dresses, hi waist skirts (fav!), pullovers, cardigans, and knit accessories like infinity scarfs, hats and neck cowls, not to mention the …15 some colors they all came in… we had our work cut out for us!

Having established such an awesome team of creatives in Myrrhia’s last photoshoot for Spring 2013, I called upon some familiar faces (as well as new) to bring their talents to the table [of Myrrhia’s vintage studio in Oakland] once again. We had the infamous, practically famous (as she doubles as an actress in LA) fashion photographer Emily Sandifer, the beauty guru Rita Lonberger of ItsHighFashion, the fashion-editor-in-training Phoebe Gillan (my awesome and uber fashionable intern), the awesome hair salon I go to –The Plum Organic, a beautiful model courtesy of LOOK Model Agency, and me!

As art director of the entire operation, I started by thinking of different ways of communicating Myrrhia’s muse for the collection- dynamic human energy. I went through dozens of websites searching photos and meanings, came across countless scientific articles and chakra images, and finally found a theme…well almost. With all the vibrant colors and patterns, I knew I wanted to work with something bold as a compliment. I put together a style sheet cutting out some of the looks from the linesheet I also developed for the collection and pinning them with exaggeratedly big and smoothed hair styles, as well as accessories I felt would best accentuate [without over-powering] the garments.

sample of my styling sheet

As my brain widgets continues to crank, I got hooked on a word closely related to energy and self actualization- “expression”. In dissecting e x p r e s s i o n, I was reminded of the very first things I did as a young person when I wanted to express myself – draw (did you think I’d say scream?). While I was also here in my head stuck on the aesthetic possibilities of “draw”, my mind pictured myself drawing in school as this young person.. on a chalkboard. When I thought once again about a chalkboard and how a Fall/Winter collection commences around academic orientation time, I had my confirmation. A chalkboard would also enable us a bold background that would not only bring attention to the details of the garment, but allow us a customizable aesthetic.

I contacted Myrrhia with the idea and we decided we could make our own chalkboard. So, t’was a trip to the hardware store, two ladies (Myrrhia and I) who hadn’t painted in a while rolling our rollers in an effort of covering that wall evenly with two coats of chalkboard paint… and viola! we had our back drop.

On the day of the photoshoot it wasn’t a surpirse that we all worked very well and swiftly to capture every piece of Myrrhia’s collection. Our model gallantly stuck it out for the day (even after she had worked all night the day prior). Despite a few sleepy set-backs, she had some killer moves AND was able to draw the Myrrhia Logo after a few practice tries (proof here!).

Video Lookbooks and Gritty Goodness

Amidst an over saturation of fashionable information available to us on the interwebs, we’ve seen a recent trend in more and more video campaigns, films, and shorts integrating fashion lines in a way like never before. In addition, while the conveniences of online shopping allow us to curl up in a cozy blanket and buy something on our iPad -or even mobile device- sometimes we don’t have enough confidence to buy unless we see the garment in action. This is where video lookbooks come in! –A chance to catalog your collection to the masses visually in an artistic and interactive way that connects with the viewer. Video Lookbooks also come in handy to send to the press or online zines as they are often looking for highly interesting visual media to feature.

With the purchase of my Cannon 7D (great investment) I’ve had the privilege to take my art directing to a new level- where I am taking the footage which (although still learning technicalities) allows me more immediate creative expression as well as proper representation of my client’s brand’s personality.

Recently, Scott Ian McFarland’s beautiful collection called for a video lookbook that would take his luxe brand and show consumers how it could be worn. As the lookbook itself utilized the entirety of his collection -without any other designers accessories- I found that we could also represent the line in a way that would “casual-ize chic” it, if you may, for the luxury man or woman’s wardrobe… so I styled things a little bit differently 😉

We filmed the video in two days as we were not able to coordinate a day for both models to come… so we shot the female model (Laura) on a Thursday and the male model (Dario) that Friday. I was happy with the models posing and the fact that the light in the vintage warehouse we borrowed (from designer Myrrhia) gave the film a gritty, dark feel. I was also stoked to find out that if you take Massive Attack’s “Babel”, and twist the pitch, the singer sounds delightfully like Thom Yorke!

Fall 2012 Fashion Film

Fall has arrived! A time to shed our summer skins by letting go of things in our life that we no longer need. Myrrhia Fine Knitwear’s Fall 2012 collection embodies this notion as each one-of-a-kind garment represents the discovery of the unique energy within all of us. To reach self-actualization one must find their path and, like the fallen leaves of the season, release those things that might be holding them back from embracing their true purpose and self.

To properly introduce Myrrhia’s collection, I helped her put together a Fall Lookbook Film that would help engage consumers and give them a first hand look at these beautiful soft, stretchy 100% organic Merino knits!

With the help of an amazing hair/make-up duo, an awesome stylist, someone’s totally helpful and driven boyfriend, a local newcomer model from SCOUT and me and Myrrhia’s clothing we were able to pull it off.

Photos courtesy of Brad Graham:

Linesheets and Lookbooks ..oh my?

Forgive the cheesy blog title. It was genuinely the first thing that came to mind after a week full of photo editing, page layout, and creative direction for Myrrhia’s Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 collections.

First off, I must say how incredibly grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with ethical brands that give a f*ck about what they create. I am also grateful to be able to reach a feeling of self actualization (thanks Myrrhia!!) working for them – being able to do what I love!

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed working on these projects.

I was also stoked to be able to work with the photos from our “Warrior Goddess” photoshoot (seen in the entry prior to this one) – beautifully taken by the talented Emily Sandifer. They worked out perfect!

 

 

 

 

 

Oakland Warrior Goddess

Recently, I had the privilege of working with Oakland-based designer Myrrhia of Myrrhia Fine Knitwear on a Spring 2013 lookbook project.

Myrrhia Fine Knitwear is womenswear that “skirts a line between the stylishly casual and the soberly formal for the active woman”.  The Spring 2013 collection utilizes naturally colored cotton from Northern California as well as other sustainable fibers. Myrrhia constructs each piece on a Stoll sweater machine that she trained in Germany on and just recently acquired. The new machine allows her to create one piece in 30 minutes as opposed to two days thus creating a potential micro-industry for other knitwear designers in the Nor Cal region. Her designs are soft in texture and feminine in shape, with intriguing patterns and vivid colors. To capture the essence of Myrrhia’s Spring collection, which was made up of soft lace knits, structured skirts of various lengths, mesh tops, cardigans, and shapely tunics, we decided on a theme that would embody both a beautiful, intelligent and empowered woman, but also the nature and universe that she attains energy from. We went for a little something like this:

“ A woman crossing space and time who has found herself in a strange and obscure place somewhat familiar, but only in her dreams; In a post apolocolyptic world where elements of tribal, nomadic roots meet artificial, futuristic creations of the most recent species. It is here that she finds her true sense of being – an intergalactic warrior goddess evoking elements of the past and future. She is adorned in regal metal elements mimicking the ancient accessories of the gods. Finding her place in the universe, she explores the battle within.

I also found inspired from doing research of the Goddess Oya– “goddess of change, transition, and chaos” — a warrior spirit who is loved and feared.

In order to accomplish this beautiful shoot, I brought together some fantastic, strong women who were up for the challenge: a beautiful model, Nikia, who had been one of the pioneers a la pose back in the 90′s with a blog called model liberation; an amazing photographer from Los Angeles, Emily Sandifer, with years of experience in fashion photography; the lovely Rita on paint who has a new make-up and styling blog that’s about to launch; me, Andrea Krystine, creative director who specializes in ethical fashion branding …and of course the talented visionary, Myrrhia Resneck, who designed all these awesome pieces we were working with!

After the concept was concrete, I called up Rita (our make-up artist) for a little shopping in San Francisco’s Union Square.  We met for lunch at a little cafe, outside amongst the concrete jungle, and went over some make-up looks– making a list of colors and textures that we wanted out of the accessories to accommodate the styling.  After a full day of trying not to indulge in buying something for ourselves (so many pretty summer colors!!) we were successful in purchasing four pairs of shoes and accessories in regal gold with tribal inspirations.

Although we wanted to keep things simple with the beauty of the model’s naturally short hair, I thought it would be cool to have a headpiece for some of the shots– something that would evoke the “goddess” feel of our warrior in her “gentler” side.  We made a final stop for some flowers.  I took them home and along with a wire hanger, and only a couple attempts, constructed a botanical headpiece that worked out perfect (phew!).

When the day finally arrived, Rita, myself, and photographer Emily hauled all our professional goodies in rolling bags to the BART (Bay Area Rapid Trasit).  The shoot was in Oakland, so we all met up at the Embarcadero and embarked under the bay via train.

Once we were in Oakland, we walked from 19th street, with coats in hand (it was much colder in SF) and rolled on over to 25th street where Myrrhia was awaiting us.  She was buzzing around like a busy bee shipping samples and working on her computer while we began prepping up our work area.

a few sketches to keep us organized

After the collection hung and accessorized, sketches scattered about, and make-up carefully strategized, we ended up moving the studios white wall several times in order to find just the right light (we wanted to take advantage of the beautiful natural light that comes through the sky lights of Myrrhia’s studio). Being all petite ladies it took a little effort, but the willpower of a few strong women made that wall move and move quickly into its proper place right in time for our model’s arrival. The lovely Nikia had flown in from LA the day prior for a vacation. We were lucky to have caught her and we all had so much to chat about.

After a little discussion on the agreed make-up looks, Rita took over with the make-up and I ran to the clothing rack to prep the first outfit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When look no. 1 was established, we were off to shooting! (AND, we had to go swiftly because we had 17 some items to shoot and only 4 hours to work with!)

We all worked so well together that I think the only challenge throughout the whole shoot was just getting the headpiece initially pinned to Nikia’s hair! …And not disturbing our neighbors with our bad-ass Fela Kuti Pandora mix.

NOW on to makeup look no. 2! This time we were getting rid of nice warrior chick and going for a little more rage!  Rita used two metallic colors of cream shadow around Nikia’s eyes and made them smokey — almost like war-paint.
She also added a little purplish-pink lip page.  Oh, and of course this headpiece was so awesome! (It’s actually one of the necklaces Rita and I had found on our styling trip, but hey.. it worked perfectly! Kinda reminded me of The Neverending Story). The rug in the studio (not originally planned) ended up working great with the gold accents and the whole vibe of the shoot.

After all pieces were captured, all of us happy, goofy, and a bit delirious ladies were extremely stoked about what we had created… together.