Sunday, January 18, 2015

Daytime Dreamer Editorial Shoot

Isn't this photo just amazing?! Every shoot with photographer Michael Obando, I am stunned. He captures the true beauty and graceful movement of every subject. Even with an injured eye (from a restaurant job accident in 2013), he is able to create stories and lure you into his photography with every shot.

I had a great time working with this team and styling our fantastic model. In this photoshoot, the essence is of a woman in downtown LA that fantasizes about her alter ego. A quiet restricted woman envisioning the power she holds inside.

Daytime Dreamer Team
Photographer: Michael Obando
Model: Crystal Brooke
Makeup Artist: Jessica Degarcia
Styiling by me: Angelica Chavez

Sunday, January 11, 2015

6 Essential Tips for a Successful Fashion Shoot

I'm a fashion designer with over 5 years experience and a diverse portfolio through collaborations with various models, photographers, and team members. Over the course of these photoshoots, I've come to learn many lessons, and I am here to share my top 6 Essential Tips for a Successful Fashion Shoot.

1. Before shooting, make sure to have EVERYTHING prepared. The next five tips should be checked off, and that is when you know you are ready to go. Give yourself at the very least 2 weeks to find your team and get them prepared so that they ALL understand what is happening and how it's happening. This is for any team leader: designer, photographer, business owner, makeup artist, etc. "Team leader" is defined by the person that came up with the concept/idea/product for shooting and needs to put together the team to carry out their concept/idea/product.

2. Call Sheet should be DETAILED and include a time schedule. The basic information that should be included is: Title, Date, Location, Team Members, Phone Numbers, and Time Schedule. From here, you can include images and clear descriptions of what is wanted. Don't expect that by putting up photos without writing that everyone will understand what you want, or that by just putting together the photoshoot everything will happen like you wanted. You need to be specific without room for error or assumptions, and that leads us to Tip #3.

3. Communication, Communication, Communication. Clearly explain what you want from each team member and let them know that if they have ANY questions, they should always ask. Make sure that they have looked at the Call Sheet, because otherwise it was a waste of your time and there will be people saying they had no idea you wanted this or that at the shoot. If someone is NOT communicating with you even after you emailed, Facebook messaged them, texted them, and called them, then they are unreliable and you need to drop them. Communication is key so that models know how you want them to act and what to bring to the shoot, photographers know what story you want to tell or style of shooting, you know what film team is going to do and what they need from you, and makeup/hairstylists will have practiced and be ready to create the look you have sent their way.

4. If possible, have an assistant or two. They will make things SO much easier on everyone. Let's say the team has a lot of things on location but don't want to carry them everywhere, one of the assistants can watch over them. They can also run errands like bringing the food/snacks/water you ordered, help with props, video document the event for blogging and youtubing later, and keep track of time to remind everyone to stay on schedule. There are always people that will be glad to gain behind the scenes experience or you can hire full time assistants.

5. Put together a Designer and/or Photoshoot Kit. This is essential for any designer to have things on hand, like safety pins, double sided tape, bra padding, thread and needles, etc. It can also work great for anyone to have during shoots with things such as: wigs, belts, accessories, first aid needs, even things such as period pads, deodorant, and nail polish. You never know what could happen during a shoot, and you should always be prepared. This will make you look professional and everyone will love you!

6. Have a pre-shoot meeting spot and time for everyone to leave together. Having people show up at the shoot location can work great, but many times, there will be problems with that. All of a sudden the car isn't working or something came up. By providing a meeting spot and time, people can carpool and you'll be sure of having everyone at the shoot.

Let me know if this has helped you in your next shoot or if you think I missed any essential tips. I love hearing from others!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

How is Piece of Sass AMAZING?

I've recently been a part of an exciting project as CoFounder and Lead Designer of Piece of SASS swimwear. My business partner for this fashion label and I worked together with a team of models, makeup artist and photographer, and film crew to launch our first line of swimwear. We shot in Malibu, California, at the beautiful beach Leo Carillo. The experience was challenging, but definitely full of great lessons. Stay tuned for my next post on "6 Essential Tips for a Successful Fashion Shoot".

Our swimwear was designed with each of our models body types in mind, because we know that not every woman is the same.

For example, if you're a busty but thin woman less than 5 foot tall, the perfect suits for you would be the Gracie top with Erin bottoms or the Lisa one piece. The Gracie top has a V Cut to highlight your bust and full coverage to hold your girls in place, and the Erin bottoms have a higher leg opening to make your legs look longer. If you don't feel comfortable with showing cleavage on the other hand, the Lisa bikini would provide that coverage and add a curve illusion to your hips with the contrasting colors.

If you'd like to know which bikini would make you look your best, without any worry of size/height/shape, ask in the comments section. I would be glad to answer!

The Erin Bikini Top and Bottom

The Daisy Bikini Top and Bottom

The Gracie Bikini Top and Bottom

The Zhani Bikini Top and Bottom

The Lisa Bikini Top and Bottom
Piece of SASS swimwear is sustainable because we believe that every startup can take their part in helping our Earth. These are the benefits of using Hemp/Bamboo blends:
  • On an annual basis, 1 acre of hemp will produce as much fiber as 2 to 3 acres of cotton. Hemp fiber is stronger and softer than cotton, lasts twice as long as cotton, and will not mildew.
  • Hemp requires no pesticides, no herbicides, and only moderate amounts of fertilizer. Hemp is frost tolerant and requires only moderate amounts of water to produce.
  • Hemp may be known for its durability, but its comfort and style are second to none.  The more the hemp is used, the softer it gets: it wears in, not out, thriving on regular use and machine washing without suffering fabric degradation. Hemp actually becomes softer, more resilient and more lustrous as a result of washing.
  • Hemp has a high resistance to ultraviolet light (UPF of 50+) is the maximum ultraviolet protection rating given to the material!

So now you know two ways that Piece of SASS is amazing. Can it get any better than that? YES IT CAN! These are two additional ways:
  1. None of our models are photo-shopped! We believe that the raw, natural beauty of a happy, confident woman is what makes her unique, special and beautiful.
  2. Every time a suit design is sold, we at Piece of Sass Swimwear support one of four charitable causes that aligns with our values: UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), Best Friends Animal Society, BIAUSA (Brain Injury Association), and Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
We're excited to see PS girls popping everywhere this year! Happy New Year!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Rid Your Demons: Light VS Dark Editorial

My most recent beautiful photoshoot with a talented team truly captured the essence of what I was trying to portray. The title "Rid Your Demons" is a representation of the heartaches and obstacles in life that are created by ourselves.

 I've been learning a lot about manifestation in life and how we can bring our dreams to reality. With this said, we can also bring our negative thoughts to reality. Those are the constant obstacles in our lives: fear, anger, jealousy, hatred. They can bring destruction in our lives and consume our energy so much that we never move forward. All it takes is to finally realize the cycle we're in and use our little bit of will to get out. Just imagine what could be instead of what is, truly envision it and how it'll make you feel, and go for it! You'll be shocked at how easily things will start falling into place, and the greatest thing about it is that you'll know YOU did it.

Enjoy these astounding photos by:
Photographer Michael Obando
Model Crystal Brooke
Makeup Artist Leah Darcy Pike
Designer Me, Angelica Chavez

Have you ever heard of manifestation and tried it? What were your experiences? and we would really love to hear comments on the story/photography/styling/etc.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Designer Commentary

How's everyone doing?! Summer so far has been great for me. I've met so many new amazing individuals by participating at FARM Animal Rights Movement, protesting against animal cruelty at Indy the pit bull's trial (which is continuing July 18th!), connecting with interns for my EcoFashion brand Veltimera, and through my social media posts. Since I've been so busy with my business, I haven't posted any new blogs here, which is why I'm writing this one.

I won't be back on here for a good while, BUT, I will continue engaging with artists/vegans/fashionistas through my social media pages. You can also read the posts my blogging interns are writing at

A little bit about the two events I mentioned above:
FARM Animal Rights Movement is a non-profit raising awareness on animal cruelty for food by sending volunteers, all around the US, to schools and public events. They host a variety of campaigns, such as: "World Day for Farmed Animals , Great American Meatout, Gentle Thanksgiving, 10 Billion Lives Tour, Letters from FARM, Sabina Fund, Vegan Earth Day, Meatout Mondays, and Live Vegan." Just like Veltimera, their mission is to end the use of animal products and support animal rights. This is an image below of my friend and I at one of the volunteer campaigns for the 10 Billion Lives Tour.

Indy is a pit bull from the Valley in California that was found on the day after the 4th of July in a dumpster with third degree body burns. Camera's caught a man throwing him into the dumpster at night, and was finally caught almost a year later. The woman that took care of Indy adopted him and called a trial against the man, but unfortunately, the man got away with only an animal negligence charge. By the second trial, 3 people for Indy increased to 300 protesters against animal cruelty. Now we are waiting for the third trial July 18th at the Van Nuys Courthouse!! Anyone and everyone that can attend, do so, and tell everyone you know as well. We are absolutely grateful for the support. Below is an instagram pic of the event, and that's a service dog in support of Indy.

If you'd like to keep updated on events such as these, and connect with me through my social media, click the links below (I post about animal rights, vegan dishes/recipes, my style pix, my troublemaking cat, makeup art such as the one at the top left, and more. Always love meeting new people!):


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Violet Gemini: Underwater Fashion Shoot

Hope everyone enjoys this set of photos! This experience was exhilarating, and I'm glad to get the opportunity of shooting with photographer Michael Obando once again.

How we came about shooting this was actually because all year of me living in this apartment, that I'm about to move out of, I never went in the pool. For some crazy reason, I decided this was the perfect time. At night, in a dress, with the freezing water! After about an hour of swimming, though, I got used to the water and I didn't want to come out haha.

Recently, I've been playing around a lot with makeup, so I'm still pretty new to it. I was shocked it stayed neat during the entire shoot.

I'll also be selling crop tops, like the one I'm wearing, soon on my website. Keep coming back!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Vegan Celebrities

HI EVERYONE! I just wanted to share a little something to inspire on veganism.

Natalie Portman became vegan in 2009 after she read a book called "Eating Animals"

Carl Lewis became vegan in 1991 to prepare for his race.

Ellen DeGeneres became vegan in 2008 after reading several books because she loves animals.

Woody Harrelson became vegan in 1989 when a girl told him it would take away his acne in 3 days, and it did!

Russell Brand became vegan in 2011 after he saw the movie "Forks Over Knives"

Usher became vegan in 2012 after his dad died of a heart attack in 2008.

Thom Yorke became vegan when he got inspired by the song "Meat is Murder" by The Smiths

Mike Tyson became vegan in 2010 due to wanting a healthy life when being so close to dying.

Tia Mowry became vegan in 2013 to take control of her health and be able to have a baby (she had been diagnosed with infertility in her 20's).

Sunday, April 7, 2013

10 Tips on How to Build a Great Website

When I first started my brand Veltimera, I knew I wanted a website, but had no idea how to do it. Like everyone else, I thought I had to know coding and all that outer space material that only those who study it understand. But, the curious cat that I am, I googled "create your own website." Simple as that. That is how I came across, which I highly recommend. There's other sites to creating websites, but this is the one I love the most because of everything they provide for you. They even build a website for you if you'd like, which of course you have to pay for; but hey! if you have the money, go for it!

So here are the tips I recommend for building your own website, without the coding:
1. If starting with Wix, look through the variety of templates they have available based on your category of service. Preview your favorite ones and print out each page of those templates, or if you're conscious about the Earth as am I, take snapshots and open them in an Adobe program to write notes there. Write what you would want to say on the different sections of the pages, add notes on images you would like to use, cross off what you don't want, even mix and match your favorite pages from the different templates. That way, when you go and edit the actual template online, you won't be lost and you'll have it done quick and to its maximum potential.

2. This brings me to my next point: Have clear goals on what you want your viewers to see/feel/imagine/understand, and who you want to be attracted by your site. By knowing the answers to these questions, you'll know what not to do or use on your site.

3. If not using Wix, you can probably still do the same steps of printing out the templates you like or writing notes through an Adobe program.

4. Create your own backgrounds, images, and logos. I made the mistake of using a background from what's provided at Wix my first time, and later found another site with the same one. So Embarrassing!! That may also show your lack of passion and attention to detail, because you couldn't even come up with your own style.

5. Look through other websites in your field, from lower price markets to higher cost brand products, and competitors too. What do all their sites have in common? What do you notice many of them are missing? What is essential and what isn't? Pay very close attention and keep note, so that you know what to add, edit, or remove from your site.

6. Also look through sites of other industries. Most people don't think of this, because they subconsciously just want to follow what everyone else is doing, but sometimes you find great ideas you can incorporate to your site.

7. Be creative and have fun! Just don't go too overboard, because too much stuff can become overwhelming, and your potential customers can get agitated and leave in a quick second.

8. Make your most important pages stand out and make sure your visitors can navigate through your site with ease.

9. Ask friends and people such as teachers or established business people what they think of your site, and what advise they can give you. Do Not accept "I like it" or "it looks great." That is not constructive or helpful at all. Make sure to ask them specifically about the advise or what they liked or didn't like, not just "what do you think?."

10. If you have the money, you can also pay a graphic design student to edit your site or create some images and maybe even a logo. Or subscribe to a service that gives you advise on a month to month basis. There are tons of great tools you can find online to help you with your site and more. Just Google it!

I love Google!!!

Hope you enjoyed my tips and found them useful. If you have any questions, let me know!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Shoot in the City Night Sky

Here are the images from my second shoot with model Ariel Yu, photographer Michael Obando, makeup artist Leah Darcy Pike, and our friend Allison Samonte that worked with me on hairstyling. This was such a fun shoot too, hurrying to get great shots before the sun went down and using what we had available for lighting. It truly is a great team I got to work with.
In this shoot, we finally got to use my Raglan Double-breasted Hoodie Jacket. I made that design about 2 years ago, so it was amazing to get the chance of shooting it with insane makeup and a stunning model.

Our first shoot together can be seen here:

To contact these amazing artists, inbox them through their Facebooks:

Enjoy!! :)