STACY LOMMAN : NEW YORK - Luxury Apparel

STACY LOMMAN : NEW YORK  -  Luxury Apparel


The Final Countdown!

Just one more day before the Kickstarter fundraiser closes for my Spring 2013 photo shoot.  Don't miss out on a chance to get a collection look book, tee shirt, logo embossed leather cuff or a pair of my popular rib knit arm warmers (pictured below). 
Fall 2012
(Photo: Randy Brooke / Model: Daria)
And since the opportunity to collaborate with me on a custom piece went pretty quickly, I updated the project to include one more!   I'm in the process of writing a blog post explaining the entire process I go through when I create my one-of-a-kind pieces and how much time is involved. You'll see that the $1000 offer on my Kickstarter campaign is quite a bargain!!  Hurry up before it's too late!
 And now I will leave you with a little bit of cheese...


Tick Tock Goes The Fashion Clock!

Just a few days left to make a pledge!  I met my goal, so the good news is that my project will be funded!  The less desirable news is that the expenses are starting to add up as expected... and then some!  Typical.  Even the smallest contribution will help a great deal!  Click below to read about the photo shoot and see what little rewards you can get by donating.  If not for me, do it for FASHION my Taffetadarlings! 


Lookonline Gives Me A Pitch So You Can Give Me A Kick!

As most of you already know, I'm currently running a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter in order to produce my Spring 2013 look book.  While I'm thrilled to say that I have reached the goal (thanks to my core supporters who have been there since day one), BUT you can still get involved and make a contribution.  There are so many (unforeseen) expenses that add up when doing a photo shoot and the more money I raise, the more books I'm able to print and, therefore, mail out to buyers, editors and other key industry peeps.

Photo: Shane LaVancher / Model: Caitlin Sloat has been one of my long time supporters and publisher Ernest Shmatolla and his impeccably dressed editor-in-chief, Marilyn Kirschner were kind enough to give me and my project a nice plug in today's post.  Thanks guys!

To read the article, click HERE.  To subscribe to the DFR (Daily Fashion Report) and other fashion insider news including parties and industry events, become a full subscriber!


Photo Shoot Update

Well my Taffetadarlings, I'm making progress raising funds for my Spring 2013 look book shoot -- thank you to everybody who has contributed so far!!  I'm still pushing and I have just one week left to achieve the goal, so any help would be appreciated.  And please spread the word!
Finding an affordable venue/studio to shoot in can be a difficult challenge in New York City, but I'm going to be as frugal as possible.  I searched high and low to find a spot for my Fall 2012 "Modern World" runway show and even though I found a good deal, it still ended up costing $1500 for the day.  But, I needed a bit more space to accommodate the audience and a small runway, so I'm able to work with something smaller for the photo shoot.  
my girls backstage at the fall 2012 Modern World show
photo: Randy Brooke
As I stated in my Kickstarter campaign, a good model can make or break the shoot.  However, that doesn't mean that I can hire any girl I want, I have to be thrifty since I'm working within a tight budget.  But, I've been lucky enough to find talented and experienced girls in the past who, unlike Linda Evangelista, WILL get out of bed for less than 10K per day -- a lot less.  And thank goodness, one thing there will never be in NYC is a shortage of (eager) talent.
fall 2012 look book shoot
Model: Caitlin Sloat
Photo: Shane LaVancher
Another way that I'm able to swing it with a small budget is the fact that I don't use a stylist like many people do.  Typically, a stylist a very important asset in any photo shoot, but more so for magazine editorials where they have to pull pieces from multiple designers in order to create a story.  Since I'm using solely my own pieces, there isn't much need for a stylist.  Still, a lot of designers depend on stylists to come up with the right image for the book.  I think I've mentioned before that I'm a control freak, so I actually prefer to handle the "image" and the styling myself.  I mean, I designed the clothes, I think I should know how I want them to be portrayed.
spring 2012 "Biohazard" photoshoot
model: Julia Kravetz
photo: Shane LaVancher
And then there's the hair and makeup team.  I know for a fact that it easily costs $100 and upward just to have one's makeup done for an event (basically one hour of work), so you can imagine what it might cost to hire people for an entire day.  The good thing is that stylists and artists typically offer day rates that make it more affordable than if they were charging you hourly for a twelve hour shoot.  Also, I have found that stylists and makeup artists are often anxious to participate in a fashion photo shoot because they can push the boundaries a little bit (or a lot) more than they are able to with their usual clients.  So, I've been lucky in the past to find talented people who are willing to work within my budget.
fall 2012 photo shoot
amazing hair: Lucie Ducrot
fabulous makeup: Rieko Shiba
photo: Shane LaVancher
Obviously, there is still the photographer's fee (and their assistant) which accounts for a fairly large chunk of the funding, as well as book printing and lunch for everyone during the shoot. Well, now that you have a better idea of the costs involved and the break down, I hope that you contribute if you can.  Click the link below to check out my project!  Thank you!!


Photo Shoot Time! Kick Me Again!

Many of my Taffetadarlings have inquired whether or not I was going to do a new Kickstarter campaign for my Spring 2013 collection.  Well, I decided to skip it this time around and campaign for a photo shoot instead.  It's such a massive undertaking to put a collection and runway show together, and since I've done it four times already (with all of your help, of course!), I focused on a small capsule collection this season.  I mostly do custom work anyway, so it seemed to make the most sense.
from the new collection
The concept is settled, fabrics purchased (and I must say, they are gorgeous!), sketches complete and samples are on their way!  What IS the theme you ask?  I always like to concentrate on a particular idea, era or style each season and this time around, I drew inspiration from the Rockabilly world.  As with most of my themes, it is something that has been interesting to me for quite a while and it just takes the right timing to pull out the idea and bring it to life -- such an exciting part of the process for a designer!
some fabric from the collection and a model car
Over the last few seasons, I've been following my runway shows with a photo shoot to produce a look book.  Why?  Well, it's a selling tool.  It's tangible.  It's permanent.  The runway show, while it's pretty much a necessity, is fleeting.  Many shows run less than ten minutes and don't always draw the most important people in the industry that designers need to reach.  That is due in part to the hectic schedule during Fashion Week with five or six shows overlapping at any given hour, and also because it is definitely a struggle as an emerging designer to fill the seats with the likes of Anna Wintour.  But, that is the ultimate goal and I still believe it's achievable!
 left: more fabric from the collection / right: vintage Miriam Haskell bolo tie that I bought at a flea market in the 80's - served as inspiration
So, that's where the look book comes into play.  These books can be mailed to key store buyers, magazine editors, etc. along with detailed descriptions of the outfits.  The pictures are taken in a controlled environment which allows for the lighting to capture details and fabric textures that are often lost on the runway.  The books are an absolutely imperative tool when trying to sell not only the garments themselves, but a brand, an image.  In addition to the books, I use the pictures on my web site so you can understand how important it is to have these photos.
photo: Shane LaVancher / model: Caitlin Sloat
from last season's shoot
What happens during a typical photo session?  I'm not gonna lie -- it's a blast.  Of course, it's a lot of work and I don't think I've been involved in a shoot that didn't last at least twelve hours (with a quick lunch break), so it's a long and tedious day.  But, there isn't the pressure of a live show and I get to collaborate with seriously talented people who are all helping to make my clothes look the best they can.
photo: Shane LaVancher / model: Julia Kravetz
fall 2011
The team basically consists of the photographer, photographer's assistant (who does a lot of running around, adjusting light, holding up screens, etc.), the model(s), hair stylist, makeup artist and me!  So, everybody needs to get paid (except me) and fed.  It's the designers responsibility (or whoever arranged the shoot) to pick up the lunch tab.  That's okay, I prefer to have everybody happy not hungry!
photo: Shane LaVancher / model: Elicia Perkins
The day begins (earlier than I would like) with me schlepping the samples, shoes, accessories, etc. to the shoot location and I unpack and start steaming.  After a coffee, of course.  The photographer is there setting up (and this takes a few hours) to get everything arranged just right.  We go over the concept again and talk specifics.  Prior to the shoot, we will have had at least one meeting to discuss my collection and what I want to portray in the photos.
hair stylist Lucie works her magic
Then, the hair and makeup team arrives and starts to get organized.  Shortly thereafter, the model(s) show up and the stylists and artists go to work.  Again, I will have sent ideas, pictures, etc. to the hair/makeup team so they can get an idea of the concept and the image that I want to achieve.  Usually, they stick some pictures to the mirror for reference during the shoot.  But, I also like to let creative people be creative and I'm happy to let them put their own spin on things.
makeup artist Rieko works on model Juila during my Fall 2011 shoot
Most of the work seems to happen in the first three to four hours of the shoot because there is so much preparation.  But, once the first outfit is finished, things move along at a fairly nice pace and while it can take some time to nail just the right shot, it's so much fun to watch the process and I'm in awe of the photographer's skills.  Sometimes while this is all happening, I see something I hadn't before or think of a new pose that might work -- with so much creativity in one room it's hard not to feel inspired!
photo: Shane LaVancher / model: Caitlin Sloat
Now you know what happens behind-the-scenes and why a look book is necessary in the first place.  I hope you've enjoyed today's lesson!  LOL. Please consider donating to the campaign so that I can make this shoot happen!!  Check out the project on Kickstarter and see what cool little rewards you can get for becoming a sponsor!


Going For Gold In Chicago

Back in August I posted about a fantastic show/charity event that I was lucky enough to be involved with and now I'm excited to fill my Taffetadarlings in on how everything went.
The prestigious Chicago Gold Coast Fashion Award Show has featured some pretty big names with past winners including; Donna Karan, Bill Blass and Monique Lhuillier (maybe you've heard of them?  LOL).  Of course I was excited, but nothing could have prepared me for the grand scale of the event -- it's like the old saying goes, You've gotta see it to believe it.  It's very hard to process what a room that seats 1400 guests really looks like.  It's huge.  And even bigger when you add a gigantic "T" shaped runway and additional space in the back for bloggers to hook up and provide live coverage of the show. 
a few of my pieces on stage
Okay, so now the nerves took over a bit.  I usually operate very well under pressure and I've had four runway shows of my own to prove it.  Still, I was relieved that my jewelry designing pal Wendy Brandes accompanied me to Chicago to keep me sane.  Talk about a devoted friend!  I'm lucky to have her not only as a friend, but a client as well.  Of course, Wendy wore one of my dresses (well, it's technically hers!) to the show and she looked insanely perfect.  I would like to give myself/my clothes all the credit here, but WendyB could make a potato sack look chic.  I wore one of the outfits from the collection being showcased  -- my Fall 2012, Modern World collection.
Wendy wearing a black cocktail dress from STACY LOMMAN : NEW YORK

wearing a piece from my collection
model wearing the same outfit backstage at my runway show in February
Back to the show!   Being an audience member was a little strange since I didn't have control over the models, music, hair & makeup like I normally do (I'm such a control freak -- down to the font in the programs, etc.), but at the same time it was really nice to be able to enjoy my food and wine and let somebody else take care of all the details.  And I need to point out what a fantastic job the girls behind the scenes did.  I went backstage before the show got underway to go over a few key points (please open the cape to show the flag print lining, etc.) and everything was running like a well-oiled machine.  And everyone was soooo nice and helpful.   I was really impressed with how professional everything was (thanks to show producer Susan Glick), in fact, the only way I could tell that I wasn't at a New York show was the lack of chaos backstage!
one of my pieces on the runway - viewed on one of the big screens
After a touching video from the Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and a few words from the Children's Service Board President Jeniece Higgens, the runway show commenced.  Last year's winner Fabiola Arias showed her winning collection, shared some encouraging words and wished the competing designers luck.  One by one, the eight different designer collections strutted down the catwalk each time with a nice introduction and the designer's name flashing across the two giant video screens.  I couldn't resist taking a blurry shot of my name when it was time, but I was too focused and nervous to take any other photos. 
Wendy Brandes, on the other hand, was more than happy to jump up from the table and a glass of Pinot Grigio to snap some pretty amazing pics.  She tried a video at first, but the lighting didn't allow her to get anything but blurry, bright white figures on the runway so she quickly abandoned that and switched to the regular photo setting...

At the end of the show the models did one last walk (wearing one piece for each designer) carrying a sign with the name that corresponded to her outfit.  Then, the audience was supposed to tear off their choice from the little booklets left on the tables and place the names into baskets that quickly sashayed through the room by event helpers.
finale (the houndstooth trench is mine)
The winner was announced and the "ladies who lunch" promptly got up and the room emptied out in what seemed like a few minutes.  Wes Gordon, who also took the title for FGI's 2012 Rising Star in January, reigned triumphant.  I wasn't too disappointed, I just need to figure out how to get something on Michelle Obama like Wes did!  The show was a huge success, I was so thrilled to be a part of such a great event and important cause/charity.  Besides, the plastic, light up, star-shaped ring that I got at the show is STILL twinkling five days later!  Maybe I'm an idealist, but that symbolizes to me that my star is burning bright and will continue to do so.