m. klara

Stylist in the Making
May 14, 2009, 6:46 pm
Filed under: Gettin My Career On | Tags: , ,
m. klara gets ready for her engagement photshoot

m. klara gets ready for her engagement photshoot

Tricia let us out of class early last night, but I stayed afterwards a little bit to complete my class assignment. Elizabeth stayed also and we spent the last few minutes of class reviewing SPEC and cost sheets.

As we were walking to the our cars, we got to talking and we discovered that we had similar goals in terms of fashion.

First of all, she wants to be a custom dress designer for wedding dresses and I had to tell her about Wai-Ching. Wai-Ching is awesome. Second, she wants to be a stylist and start a business party planning for events and weddings. I was like, omigod! I totally wanna do that too!!

I had actually stayed after class last week, too, to talk with Tricia about how to get a start in becoming a stylist. Right now I’m thinking more along the lines of becoming a stylist for photoshoots. As I’m getting to know myself artistically, I notice a theme of taking elements and putting them together to create one big picture. The simplest way of illustrating that is through my love for making collages. Even the Tarot cards I own have collage pictures instead of the typical single image.

It’s the same with fashion. I love looking at street style and how individuals take garments or accessories or even objects that might look ordinary on its own, but fantastic when paired together to create one unified look.

With photoshoots, its the same thing: taking different elements –backdrop, lighting, colors, models, props, etc.– to create a mood, develop a storyline, evoke an emotion. To me, a successful photoshoot will inspire creativity in others.

All that fluffiness aside, Tricia advised several things. One, working with magazines is a good start. Also, finding connections in the entertainment industry. Two, research schools that offer certificates in costume design and merchandising. Three, market my psychology degree like a mofo.

After talking with Elizabeth last night, I was inspired to think about ways I could incorporate my psychology degree into a future side career as a stylist. During the intake, or first meeting, I could ask the editor/director/photographer/model what their vision is. If they’re having trouble with that, I could ask about the mood or emotion they want to evoke, what colors they want to use, what message they want to send out to the audience. Play word associations with them. Talk about the abstract before getting into the concrete (the actual physical space and tangible elements). Or should I do the reverse? That would be fun to play around with…And seeing as I’m only in the beginnings of my fashion venture, I’m versatile in terms of what kinds of moods and styles I like to mess around with.

I was talking about marketing plans with my brother yesterday. Taking a marketing class would be interesting, too. And definitely helpful. Working with magazines is a fine idea, but to be honest, I don’t like the idea of working under someone else for very long. Though I love team work, I see myself more as a freelance agent, working with magazines here and there, but definitely with indie companies or websites.

I’m currently looking through Academy of Art’s online fashion courses and there are so many I wanna take! Introduction to Fashion Journalism, Consumer Motivation in Fashion, Costume Design for Film, Fashion Marketing, Fundamentals of Management, History of Fashion, Visual Merchandsing, etc. FUN!! And the best part is that the online classes cost nothing.

Strictly speaking, this will be a side job. Psychology will always be my main career choice. I find psychology to be useful in everything, even fashion. The one beef I’ve always had with psychology is its lack of creativty. I don’t know if it’s because psychology has always been accused of being a “soft” science that they feel the need to stay clinical and well, boring. But I noticed that even in my dissertation, I chose to study something offbeat, something more personal and less sterile (Filipino mail-order brides).

I should definitely look into studying art and music therapy because if there’s one thing I’m learning, fashion can be good for the soul.

PS. I just found a Styling course!! Woohoo!!

PPS. Okay, as I’m making my way through the course catalog, I think I’m interested in Fashion Journalism and Editorial Styling. I’m still getting used to the terminology…


“Mermaid. White. Minimal”
May 1, 2009, 3:11 am
Filed under: My Wedding | Tags: , ,


So I’m getting married in 3 months. It’s a milestone in so many ways. A milestone into “real” adulthood, a milestone into a life-long journey with another person, and fashionably speaking, a milestone into my first foray into design.

I know since I’m into fashion that I should be watching Project Runway or America’s Next Top Model (and believe me, I would if I had DirecTV or any kind of television service at all)…

…but I don’t.

Still, I get my style jollies off of Ugly Betty, mostly because the dialogue is so campy and I love the telenovela style of the show. In Season 1, a top Japanese designer named Oshi goes to Mode and he walks into their offices with a whole entourage and a freakin soundtrack: Bebot by Black Eyed Peas (a wonderful homage to my Filipino heritage, I thought). Freakin hilarious.

His style was “Round. White. Mi-ni-mal.” Which, incidentally, is very similar to my current aesthetic preference. I went to David’s Bridal today to try on a bunch of dresses that follow these style elements:

  • mermaid silhouette
  • lace
  • very minimal beading

I have always wanted to get married in one of those ethereal gowns that remind you of fairies and flowers in your hair. To be honest, after I saw Lord of the Rings, I swore I was going to get married in a place like Rivendell. So I thought I would end up liking the lace dresses I picked out to try on. Alas, none of them encompassed all the elements I wanted. I loved the lace, but they either lacked a train or had a straight silhouette.


–I ended up trying on a dress that lacked the lace, but had all the other elements.


Mermaid. White. Minimal.

Isn’t it gorgeous? Oshi would be proud.

The dress is pretty simple, but I love the minute details on it: the slightly spiked edges at the neckline, the ruching on the body and the folds in the skirt. Plus it has no beading whatsoever. It’s so sculpted and modern. And I love, love, love the mermaid silhouette. I think all long skirts that I’ll own from here on out shall have a mermaid silhouette.

It was kinda distressing me that I couldn’t find a dress I liked in lace. I’ve been engaged for nearly 3 years. Perhaps I’ve outgrown the bohemian look. I embraced it to the max in college, and in grad school, I was all over the place. I’m thinking my tastes have grown up a bit. I’ve started to take quite a liking to the more structured looks on the runway.

To be honest, the wedding dress looks rather statuesque. As a psychologist (who loves symbolism), I can imagine I’m feeling rather hardened these past few months and I’m looking for a way to show people that I’m strong enough to withstand all the drama that’s been thrown my way, both in my personal life, my work life and just being in today’s world with war and the economy getting us all depressed. I know it’s just a wedding dress, but I was definitely thrown for a loop that I was drawn to this particular style. There has to be a reason. And I always look for an excuse to blame the economy (and Bush).

The only caveat with El Statuesque? It reminds me of my best friend’s wedding dress…