We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren St Laurent and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
Being from Dallas, Texas, I grew up in a big city with big city ideas on art and expression. I never felt like my creativity was diminished by my location. I was also very lucky to grow up with two parents with vintage ideals. My mother is an antiques dealer and appraiser and my father collects and restores old muscle cars. I grew up going to vintage car shows, estate sales, antique hunting, etc, so I was always around items that called from a past era. I think that’s where I get all of my vintage and historical costuming aesthetic!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think a lot of US-based careers have suffered due to outsourcing. Even attending Fashion School, we were taught mostly on how to communicate to overseas factories rather than hands-on training on how to do the work ourselves. I pride myself in having all the necessary skills to tackle any job that comes my way, which I’ve found is a rare trait in both fashion and costume design settings. In the fashion and costume world, students are taught to sketch with precision to get their design ideas across to the person who will pattern and construct the garment. I want to be the one to start with an idea and see it through to completion with my own hands in the pattern and construction process as well. I have very little patience for ‘designers’ who can’t sew or pattern for themselves. I take great pride in my work and my work ethic, and hope to inspire a new generation of US-based manufacturing.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I always love taking new people on an adventure through the fashion district in LA — there’s nothing like it in the world! Not only are there fabrics, trims and notions galore to make your own garments, but you can also wander into Santee Alley and find a whole new wardrobe at wholesale prices. I’ve purchased everything from fancy masquerade jewelry to wigs to lingerie and shoes all at a fraction of what you’d pay in a retail store. It’s a bargain-hunter’s dream!
We would then make our way to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising to check out the Oscars’ Museum Costume Gallery where you get to take an up-close look at the beautiful costumes that were made for the previous year’s most famous films. As much as one remembers from watching the film, there’s nothing quite like getting that up-close and personal look at the embroidery or beading details that were lost in the camera. From the fashion district, I’d take my friend to lunch at Yuko Kitchen, where they have the best sushi and cookies (of all things!) and walk around the corner to The Last Bookstore for some famous instagram portraits in their unique interior design! It would truly be a memorable day for any non-Angeleno!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I don’t know where I’d be today professionally if not for my friend and mentor, Fon Davis. Fon is the CEO of Fonco Studios, a small but mighty production studio here in Los Angeles. Fonco specializes in unique filmmaking, including practical special effects, prop making, set design, miniatures, puppets, stop-motion animation, motion capture, and visual effects. I have had the honor of being head of the wardrobe department for six years now, and the work we get to do under Fon’s leadership is so challenging and rewarding. My skills have been entirely transformed working here, with constant problem solving and discovering new ways to tackle an idea. I treasure the relationship that has brought my design sense to new heights under his tutelage.
Red Marie Antoinette Dress – ModelMosa Spaceship Photo – Duke Shoman Runway & Angel Photo – York in a Box Rooftop Vampire – Alyssa Matesic Adrianne Curry Runway Photo – Chuck Cook Photo Ghostbusters Collection – Dave L Photo