1. Have you always known you wanted to be a Designer? Was there a particular moment when you knew this was what you wanted to do?

I started sewing entire couture collections for my Barbie dolls very early, some of which I then also sold at flea markets for some extra pocket money. Instead of sketching I have always preferred a hands-on approach to designing. Even today I’d rather go straight to drafting the pattern then refining the design working with the toile. I don’t recall any particular moment when I decided to become a fashion designer, but I guess there must’ve been a point in time where I realized that I could turn my passion into profession.

2. Where were you born?

I was born in Germany, to a German mother and an Indonesian father but grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia. I’ve also lived in Australia and Singapore for a number of years.

3. Where are you currently based?

I am currently based near Stuttgart in Germany.

4. Did you study Design formally? Tell us about your education and training!

After doing a foundation course in Arts and Design at LaSalle College of the Arts in Singapore I then went on to study fashion design at Trier University of Applied Science. The school is known for a very practical approach to design with a strong focus on preparing their students for the fashion industry. I also spent half a year at Centro Superior de Diseño de Moda de Madrid where I focused on designing and manufacturing leather garments and accessories. During term breaks I interned at various textile and fashion companies in Germany and Indonesia, which helped me to figure out which area of the fashion industry I wanted to work in besides teaching me how fashion design works in the real world beyond the classroom walls.

5. What do you remember as your first work of art?

I made my first silk painting aged three, if that counts…

During my student years I believe the first thing I made, that I was really proud of and I still am today were the two outfits I made for the Feel the Yarn competition in Florence in 2010. I guess it took that long for me to have enough self confidence to trust my instincts as a designer and to do just what I thought was right regardless of what lecturers or other people might say.

6. How was it growing up, is your family from an artistic background? Did they always encourage you to pursue this passion?

Both my parents being textile engineers I started sewing, dying and printing fabric at an early age. They both used to paint, with my mother also sewing and doing paper craft. My parents also dragged me into museums and exhibitions all the time. Although I hated it then, I am very grateful for that today. In fact my parents were shocked when I declared that I wanted to study political science after finishing high school. I changed my mind again fairly quickly, though…

7. How would you describe your designs?

Minimalist, architectural, somewhat androgynous (not always, but a lot of the time).

8. What are your biggest challenges

Starting a project and the stopping when it is as good as it will get, as I tend to obsess over things in pursuit of perfection.

9. Where do you draw your inspiration from? What motivates you to do your art? Who are your influences?

I draw inspiration from everything that surrounds me. Sounds, smells, shapes, colors, textures …. My biggest inspiration has always been architecture and sculpture, though. The way other artists handle and manipulate space never ceases to fascinate me.

I adore the work of Tadao Ando, Richard Serra, Zaha Hadid and Hiroshi Sugimoto to name a few…As far as fashion is concerned I like the work of Yohji Yamamoto, Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester, Boris Bidjan Saberi, Olivier Theyskens … although I try not to derive my inspiration from other fashion designers when designing clothes.

12. Any projects lined up?

My full-time job doesn’t leave much time for other projects at the moment, but I do have something coming up at the beginning of 2012, which I am very excited about…

13. As an artist is there an ultimate goal / dream you would like to achieve?

I wouldn’t call it an ultimate goal but it is always nice to get recognition for the work you do.

14. How would you best describe yourself? Strengths, weaknesses?

I’m a hard worker, obsessive at times. As I get bored easily I’m always looking for new challenges. I’m restless, which probably accounts for the fact that I have lived in 11 cities in 5 countries in the past 10 years… Sometimes I’m not as eloquent as I wish I was so I have to resort to little doodles to explain myself.

Tell me a little about yourself. How did you get your started as a Makeup Artist? Did you have any formal training or are you a self taught makeup artist?

I played around with Make up since I was a child, to the chagrin of my mother, cause I destroyed all her Lipsticks. In the early 90th I completed a training in retail business (Mensfashion). Then I wanted my dream to become true.

In 1996 I did a special training in a famous Make up-School, to become a Make up Artist and Hairstylist. In the same year, I was on a New York Trip and met the boyfriend of the most famous Make up Artist of this time – Kevyn Aucoin
He introduced me to Kevyn and this was like a lottery win to me as a newcomer. This wonderful man gave me the chance to work in his team and showed me everything I needed to know, to work on photoshoots, Fashionshow and vids. He gave me the self-confidence I needed to „exist“ in this hard business.

He taught me, how to deal with business partners.
We went on working together on jobs several time until 2001. Unfortunately he died on May 7 2002 of kidney and liver failure due to acetaminophen toxicity, caused by his addiction to prescription painkillers he took because of a pituitary tumor.

He is still my Idol and with his dead, the world lost an incredible Artist and wonderful sensitive person.

Did you always want to be a makeup artist or did stumble into it? Did you begin working with a major cosmetic company? When did your freelance makeup career begin?

I grew up in a little Village and I had no Idea, that there is a job called Make up Artist. I was always very interested in Make up and Styling. As a Teenager I wanted to do a training as a hairdresser, but at this place it was absolutely unusual for a man to work in this job. That´s why I did a training in retail first.
I started working as a freelance Make up Artist in November 1996 after my first 3 month in the team of Kevyn Aucoin.

What are your favorite and most exiting aspects about your work?

In the beginning it was my fascination in how you can change your look and slip in different roles. Later I noticed how Makeup can change your personality and give women self-confidence. I had an experience with a woman who had a cancer treatment behind. She lost one of her breasts and her hair as a result of the chemo. She absolutely lost her feeling of femininity and was in a deep depression. I showed her in a very personal „training“ how to do get back a healthy feminine look. How to paint eyebrows (one of the most important parts of the face), how to ad fake-Lashes without looking unnatural, using blush and eyeshadows. I also showed her, how to dress her wig in a natural way or use scarves on the head. After 4 hours she changed from a „person with depression“, that once was woman, into wonderful self-confident lady with the courage to face life again. She started crying and laughing, both at the same time. It was a wonderful emotional moment. 6 month later I received a letter. It was from her and she wrote me, that she is fine and that I helped her to find her way back to life by giving her back the feeling, that she´s still a woman.

What areas of media do you frequently work in?

My focus is still working on photoshoots for adverts and magazines (Fashion, Beauty). I also was in front of the camera as an make up-expert for different TV-productions.

In 2007 until 2009 I worked as a freelance consultant for Rouge Bunny Rouge, a British Cosmetic brand, to support the creative team in finding and develop new products, and to develop an international training book for their MUA´s.

In 2010 and 2011 I was their official brand-representative in Germany and also presented their products on QVC Germany/Teleshopping.

Fashionshows are a small part of my business.

I also service German and international Celebrities and do their Makeup for special Events.

What are your dream goals, who would you like to work with?

One of my dream goals was to do what I just do. But there are some more things I want to do. Having an own Skincare and Makeup-Line. Writing a book about Makeup. I know there are many… but most of the books are terrible.

There is nobody I really want to work with is photographer David LaChapelle I just like his crazy productions.

What do you think about the trend of airbrush makeup? What are the pro and cons in your opinion?

To be honest, I think the trend of airbrush Makeup is over. It was a trend in the past years, but it takes a lot of time and experience to do it. You can do wonderful paintings on the body, if you know how to do it, but on the other hand it takes to much time if you only use it for the foundation. HD-Make up is a very good alternative to get a flawless result. And you apply it with a brush or sponge. Very easy and faster then airbrush. Today, time is money in this job.

What advice would you give new photographers when it comes to working with a makeup artist?

I would tell him to have a peak on the MUA`s portfolio first. Every MUA has his/her on kind of style. But there is a big problem in times of photoshop. You can barely see, if the MUA has the skills you need for your project. So if you like the portfolio, arrange a test shooting. So you can figure out, how the MUA works, and whether the collaboration fits. It´s important to speak about details. Tell the MUA what kind of picture is in your head, give the MUA the chance to bring in his/her own ideas. It is important to find a way, with witch both are satisfied.

What is the most exciting or challenging opportunity you have had as a freelance artist?

There´ve been many challenges in my career – like my first big photoshoot I did on my own.

Butt he most challenging opportunity was presenting the products of Rouge Bunny Rouge on QVC-Teleshopping.

I was used to be in front of the camera from other TV-productions, but I never sold products on Live-TV. I had special trainings on QVC, because I´ve had to learn to interact with the host (who plays the role of the customer, asking all questions that are important). I had to learn how to show the textures and colors of the products and explain the main-benefits and ingredients in a very short time, while answering the questions of the host,doing Makeup on a model, controlling myself on a small screen. All at the same time. I´ll never forget the first show. It was like going to my own execution. I never felt so nervous in my whole career. 😉;-) But after a few minutes I felt very comfortable and I really enjoyed all my shows.

to see more of Holgers work and learn more about his current project go to: Holger Weins

Tell me a little about yourself. Where do you call home?

I grew up in a small village in Germany in an area called Eifel, Eisenschmitt, with my three brothers and sister. Recently I purchased a home with my boyfriend in Waldrach, a town close to Tier. We are currently remodeling the house and hoping to finish it before our wedding in September.

How did you get your start as a Designer? Did you have any formal training or are you a self taught Designer?

I started as an apprentice to an interior decorator. I enjoyed the job even though it could be physically exhausting, but what really called me was the drawing and designing of fabric. I couldn’t let it go and finally decided to go back to school to get my GED in order to study fashion design at Fachhochschule Trier. During my time at University I completed a couple different internships to broaden my perspective which included working with a goldsmith and a seamstress.

Who or what inspired you to become a Designer?
I am not quite sure anymore. As a child I was interested in designing and remember watching movies with my mother and being amazed by the clothes. Back then a series called “Sissi” was very popular, and I believe the elaborate robes of the queens and princesses made me interested in designing dresses.

Dreams of a little girl! I still like to watch historical movies mostly because of the excellent work of the custom designers. One of my goals is to work on those projects in the future!

Do you think going to school for design is important to excel in the industry?
I think it depends how you define your goals. There are a bunch of designers out there that have great success without any formal education, but generally if you dream of getting hired by a major label, a good education, is very helpful. On the other hand if you want to have a small Atelier, an education as a seamstress would be a good background.

I believe it is very important, besides getting the right education, to network in your desired field. Internships are very helpful to make contacts and get a feel for the different design fields within fashion design. If you make good connections and really nurture them it will be easier later on to make your dreams come true.

Do you remember the first design you ever made?
Oh yes I absolutely do! I used to make cloth for my Barbie and my sister had to always be a manikin for me. The first real dress I ever made had a blue and white flower skirt and I decorated it with a Barbie doll with matching hair. I believe it might still be in my parents attic.

Did you begin working with a company? When/How did your freelance career begin?

After graduation I worked with my dad for a little while in his company. I designed patterns for rugs and display windows for him. I learn a lot during this time about running a business and gathered information about how to apply for grants and accumulating materials. I also wrote a business plan and sent it to grant submissions. While working in his company I started to accept offers as a seamstress and in November of 2009 I got my grant and was able to start my own business.

What are your goals in your work?
I would like to take on more work as a stylist. I also hope to get the opportunity to work as a custom designer for theater and movies. However I always will design evening gowns – they are my passion. I am working right now on a small collection to present at a fashion show.

What are your biggest challenges?
There are small and large challenges that life brings daily. In the future I might have some difficulties to find a balance between my family and my work, but I am sure I can work it out by having a small Atelier at home.

What are your favorite fabrics to work with?
I really enjoy working with silks and combining them with other materials. The combination of different materials offers so many new creative ideas and inspirations like combining jeans with chiffon and silk or leather with lace and feathers.

What material would you like to work with/or what skill would you like to learn that you haven’t yet?

I would like to learn how to make shoes, but it is very difficult to find somebody to train under. These days it is very rare to find people who know how to construct shoes from scratch. Most shoes are made by big manufacturing companies and not by individuals anymore. I also would like to learn more about making hats.

to see more of his work go to: facebook, whipstitch

Tell me a little about yourself. How did you get your start as a Designer? Did you have any formal training or are you a self taught Designer?
I have been interested in art from a very early age, even as a child I used to draw a lot and enjoyed it very much. My interest in studying fashion design gradually became more intense until I eventually decided to realize my vision and my desire to create my own clothing. During the process of completing a number of internships, I felt encouraged to pursue my goal; I felt I had made the right choice. I realized that – even though it involves a good deal of hard work – making my own ideas come true is incredibly gratifying. I prepared a portfolio and applied to the University of Applied Sciences in Trier; I passed the entry exam. I recently finalist my degree course and I presented my first line of clothing to a large audience. This experience was absolutely brilliant and it has confirmed my decision to continue this path: I really enjoy designing clothes, continually realizing new ideas and seeing my own creations during fashion shows.

Do you think going to school for design is important to excel in the business later on?

I think that with a combination of ambition, focus on one’s objectives, and a little business sense and luck, everything can be achieved without specific schools. Many famous designers such as Armani or Christian Dior did not attend fashion school and they are obviously incredibly successful. Some are more adventurous and go into business by themselves without having been to school, others prefer to play it safe and go to fashion school. Some make it, others don’t. Personally, I do not think that a diploma is a guarantee for success.

Did you always want to be a Designer or did stumble into it? Did you begin working with a company? When How did your freelance career begin?

No, becoming a fashion designer was not my career aspiration when I was little. Even as late as four years ago, I didn’t have the slightest idea about fashion design. I had never thought about the process that takes a garment from the first sketch or draft to its eventual realization. As a child, I used to draw my idols and favorite cartoon characters and I wanted to become an animated cartoon artist. However, as there were an increasing number of reports about fashion in the media, I realized that I possessed an untapped – and, so far, unnoticed – stock of ideas for dresses. Once I had become aware of this, I started to commit my ideas to paper. I have recently handed in my diploma thesis and I’m planning to apply to a selection of companies. I’m hoping to gather experience for a while and eventually I will set up my own business.

Who or what inspired you to become a Designer?

Nobody inspired me to become a designer. Of course, I do have paragons and favorites; I’m particularly partial to the work of Elie Saab or Zuhair Murad, for instance. What I find most You create something and your idea has the potential to make other people happy. This is my motivation and inspiration. intriguing and exciting about design is the process during which an idea is turned into reality.

What are your biggest challenges?

The biggest challenge is the correct organization and planning of a collection or a fashion show. Often there are unforeseeable problems and it can be difficult to stay on schedule. Furthermore, it is important that you are able to find a spontaneous solution to all sorts of problems, because frequently there’s no one to show you how things work or how to behave correctly in certain situations. You have to be able to deal with this kind of pressure.

How do you work? What is your process?

The best ideas come to me in dreams and in the shower. Sometimes they’re specific forms and colors, other times they’re ideas for a whole dress. I always carry a notebook so I can record fresh ideas instantly. When I prepare a new collection I browse my notebook and extract appropriate elements from a variety of drafts, turning them into something new. I also enjoy draping very much. It allows and encourages the spontaneous formation of new patterns, forms and ideas. The result is instantly visible, a circumstance which permits the designer to immediately see whether the garment fits the collection or not. This method leads to a prolific accumulation of ideas for the collection and in the end one only has to pick the best.

What other projects are you working on?

Currently I’m participating in a competition called the Gold Ball. (www.dergoldeneball.de). I have been selected into the top 10 at Berlin Fashion week. I am specialing in wedding and evening gowns this competition is geared to. I am looking forward to go to the final selection in Leipzig and see how the jury evaluates my dresses.

Fotograf: Daniel Gieseke
Design: Shahrzad Ahmadi
Hair and Make-Up: Sebnem Ekmekci
Models: Dana Söhngen, Yesim Sery

1. How long have you been a photographer?

Well I bought my first camera when I was 9 years old – a Brownie 1957 model. I
start shooting regularly at Bryanston (My High School) and learnt to print at 14 years old. My professional career as a photographer started in 1994 and I established myself in NYC in 1996 after stints in London, Milan and Paris…

2. What brought you into the field?

I consider myself a creative person whether I work with a camera, pencil or just brainstorming. At school I was being set up academically to study medicine. However on my own time I studied wood work, metal work, dress making, pattern cutting, weaving, pottery and of course photography. No one at my careers department ever mentioned a career in photography was a wise move in fact it wasn’t even a suggestion. The reality was when you went to a school like mine you were expected to get a “real” job not a hobby…. It was after my stint as a model that I realized that such jobs existed and could be fiscally worthwhile. I recently returned to my high school and I’m happy to report that they have a whole section now on entertainment and media in the careers dept! I big jump from modeling to photography happened in the mid 90s when the ‘Amazonian’ era I was a part of came to an end and the androgynous, heroin chic waif era started. I didn’t want to throw away years of experience an
d I gave it my best shot at photography.

3. What is your primary income stream?

Photography is the main income stream in any one category for my business. However at this stage in my career I obviously my money from TV/Film, book sales, Prints, Endorsements, Creative Direction and Production revenues.

4. How long did it take you to establish your position as fashion photographer?

You are constantly establishing yourself whether to your audience, editors or yourself. I started to get noticed as a young test photographer in Europe. When I came to NYC I worked 7 days a week testing young hopefuls and veteran models alike. It wasn’t too long before I became one of the go to test shooters favored by many of the top agencies like Ford, IMG, Elite and Click. That translated into editorial gigs with my first 14 page spread in Paper Magazine in 1998. The rest is history as they say.

5. What do you believe have been the key factors in your success?

I have always believed in hard work and dedication to your craft. Of course lucky breaks come your way but you need to be able to recognize an opportunity and act on it to produce another set of lucky breaks so to speak. Crissy, my wife has worked tirelessly by my side and I would be a shadow of the man I am today without her. I am not a one man show and never have been. In order to do what I do I have a team of diligent hard working folk who excel in their own areas like styling, make up, hair, production etc. They constitute my team and being able to pick a winning team is key. Hence management skills are key too.

I have also never just sat around waiting for some one to hire me and my team. We have always actively created opportunity and work by looking for holes in the market and approaching clients directly with how we feel they could benefit from our input creatively. In this competitive world you can’t expect people to just come knocking especially in NYC where you have the creme de la creme of talent.

6. Have you altered your career trajectory along the way? If yes, how often and why?

Not exactly but yes and all the time. What I mean by that is I never had a set idea of what I needed to accomplish or set boundaries for my business. I am delighted to tackle any creative task thrown at me whether it means appearing in front of the camera or behind it, designing or creating and both hands on or just on a consultant basis. You see for me photography although a love of mine isn’t really the defining element of who I am or what we do. Being creative is.
As you may know we spend much of our time creating exciting PSAs and films for various charitable organizations too which is certainly different from fashion yet we use the same principles to achieve success.

7. What advice would you offer a photographer interested in pursuing your career type?

First and foremost you have to believe in yourself. You need to learn to love what you do and what you stand for. You need to make statements to get noticed, whether you are loved for them or condemned for them is fine you just can’t afford to be ignored. Work hard and persevere, there’s no substitute for blood and sweat! Love what you do and you’ll find that the passion you show is contagious. Be good at what you do and the confidence you gain will set you free. Only then can you be spontaneous.

Fashion Week – Women’s Wear Fall 2011

10 Things we learned at New York Fashion Week Fall 2011

to see more of his work go to: Fashion photographer Richard Warren

How long have you been a photographer?

When I was ten years old my parents gave me a toy darkroom kit for Christmas. I was fascinated with the magic of images appearing under amber lights and at age of fifteen I decided to devote a lifetime to the art of photography.

First as a student then finally as a fashion photographer, the journey of photography has led me to many places through many visual concepts. The fashion work is exciting and lucrative, and for a time it was my only art. Recently I have become interested in art that will pass the test of time. As fashion trends come and go, a 1921 Edward Weston photograph of a Bell Pepper will remain a classic image, lending immortality to both the photographer and the photograph.

What brought you into the field?

My best friend and I were studying photography together. Through a family contact he worked as an assistant for a local modeling agency. He was doing all the darkroom work and brought some prints for me to look at. I guess I was bot fascinated and also jealous of my friend as we were very competitive. In short in looked glamorous and I was hooked !

What is your primary income stream?

Repeat clients in the intimate apparel trade and fashion catalog.

How long did it take you to establish your position as fashion photographer?

Ten years. Five years assisting then 5 years globe trotting and getting published in different countries.

What do you believe have been the key factors in your success?

Hard work, lots of luck and I followed the traditional formula of apprenticing then working for fashion magazines to build my vision.

Have you altered your career trajectory along the way? If yes, how often and why?

Yes when I had kids I was traveling too much and I stopped shooting fashion for about 6 years. I worked for shelter magazines shooting gardens. I am a much better photographer for doing it so no regrets.

What advice would you offer a photographer interested in pursuing your career type?

The best advice I received was from a photographer named Douglas Kirkland. “Do what ever you can to make money and survive but always have a personal project”.

You will be remembered for your personal photos and not by how much money you made.

to see more of his work go to: Fashion photographer Richard Warren

1.) Tell me a little about yourself. Where do you call home?

Home is somewhere safe and secure, a place that gives me a sense of belonging. It needs to feel safe and permanent for me to let my guard down and create an environment that reflects and nourishes my soul. Where I can be me. It is my refuge. I have been living in various countries, such as Colombia, Israel, USA, Spain and now in Germany. Therefore, I have learned to create my home where ever I am.

2.) How did you get your start as a Gemologist and jewelry Designer?

My interest in the world of Gemstones and jewelry started at the age of 15. My family had some friends that used to own jewelry stores, and they recognized my passion and interest. They started to teach me everything they could until I graduated from high school and decided to look for a Gemologist career in USA (New York.) When I started to study, I realized that I felt complete. It is my passion, and I am completely devoted to it.

3.) Did you have any formal training or are you a self taught?

I had my formal training from different institutions, such as
GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and the Jewelers Education Foundation, but life brought me the majority of my experience. I´m always learning in this field.

4.) Do you remember the first piece of jewelry you ever made?

Yes, of course! That was a beautiful, blue, star-shaped, Sapphire ring that I made for my mother. She stills wears it, and she says that it is her lucky charm.

5.) What got you started in jewelry design?

I am a night person, when it gets dark, my creativity starts to flow. I start to draw, and sometimes I keep drawing until 2 or 3 in the morning. That’s how I started to design jewelry. I realized that I have the talent and creativity as a gift from God and that I have to explore it. Normally when a client wishes something specific, then I wait for the evening and start creating wonderful designs.

6.) Did you always want to be a jewelry designer or did stumble into it?

That was always my wish since I was a little girl. In fact, my last name, Goldsztayn, means “Stone of Gold”. I did some research and it seems as though my ancestors were involved in jewelry. It is in my genes.

7.) Did you begin working with a company?

Yes, I started to work for different companies. It was a wonderful experience because they allowed me to grow. I am very grateful. However, my biggest wish was always to have my own place,to be more in touch with customers, and be part of their stories. The jewelry business is very connected with emotions, and I love it. Now, I have my own company (SHOGOLD), and I enjoy every minute of it.

8.) When how did your freelance career begin?

It began in New York. I am a workaholic, and I had the chance to work in different places. When I began to offer my services, I realized I was working for lot of companies and traveling in different countries in the world.

9.) Where do you see yourself in the world of jewelry artists?

I see myself as a creative soul, but I believe that all jewelry artists have that divine inspiration. I believe that we all can unite and create exquisite beauty. What we can do together as a team has the potential to defy imagination.

10.) What are your goals in your work?

I have so many goals, but the main ones are to help clients when they have a unique vision. I want to provide my experience and make their dreams a reality,to enjoy my designs as much as I enjoy creating them. To see a satisfied customer brings me so much happiness. And finally one day to be able to have a non-profit organization where I can help creative souls to developed their dreams.

11.) What are your favorite mediums/methods?

There are so many methods, but one of my favorite ones are the assembling, the symmetry, stone setting and cutting gemstones.

12.) What material would you like to work with/or what skill would you like to learn that you haven’t yet?

In the jewelry world. there is so much to learn. It is an everyday process. I would love to learn Mokumegane ( 木目金 ), an ancient Japanese technique of fusing layers of precious metals to form a single piece with unique and distinctive swirling patterns.

Website: www.shogold.com

Tell me a little about yourself. How did you get your start as a Designer? Did you have any formal training or are you a self taught Designer?

I have always been interested in fabric, clothing and style. From my first sewing projects in high school, I was addicted to fabric and manipulating it to fit on the human form. For years I sewed without patterns, seeing the shape needed in my mind then fitting it to myself or models. I have always loved sparkle, glamor and femininity and have worked on achieving these things in my designs.

Originally, I am from Alaska. I left the state for college and have lived in many different places from New York to London since then. I received double degrees in Fashion Merchandising and Business from Baylor University. At the end of my time there, I really wished I had focused more on design. A year later, I applied and went to Parsons-The New School AAS program to get concentrated technical training in Design. There I learned technical patternmaking and draping and was inspired to start creating more designs. I now use a mixture of these techniques as well as creating without patterns.

I also have a love for accessory design and tend to also create headpieces, jewelry and hand painted shoes with my looks. I like to style to whole look from head to toe to create a concept, not just a garment.

picture1/2: Model – Anna Belanger, Photography – Cherry Blossom Photography, Make-Up & Hair – Ashley Baker
Do you think going to school for design is important to excel in the business later on?

Not Necessarily. I think that many things have to come together the right way to achieve success in the fashion industry. I have seen designers with no formal training create much better things than those with a formal education. However, school is definitely a way to hone your design skills and receive valuable feedback from talented artists. However, overall I think success in fashion depends on talent, motivation, networking and business savvy.

Did you always want to be a Designer or did stumble into it? Did you begin working with a company? When How did your freelance career begin?

I have always designed for fun. I prefer working freelance because it gives me the opportunity to be much more creative with my designs. After school, I have been working only freelance and have created one of a kind looks for different events, shows and editorial shoots.
A few years ago, I decided to officially name my designs and to start creating more cohesive ideas. For the name, since Ashley Baker doesn’t really have a designer ring to it, I decided to choose something that spoke of my heritage. Elizabeth is my first name and Roche was my grandmothers maiden name. She grew up in Paris and her mother was a wonderful clothing designer, so I chose to name my line Elizabeth Roche in honor of the family tradition of clothes making.

picture3: Models – Taylor Lee, Cheryl Day, Photography – Gil Monreal, Make-Up – Molly Hutchins, Hair – Sarah Sonnentag

Who or what inspired you to become a Designer?

Honestly, I don’t think it was one person or event. I have always had a love for fashion and the ability to understand shape and form in a way that comes together in design. I feel the need to create and fashion design is one of my outlets for this need.

What are your biggest challenges?

Time is my biggest challenge. I work a full time job in marketing and therefore have very little time to devote to fashion design.

How do you work? What is your process?

Many designers sketch and them create. I am the opposite. I am completely inspired by the fabric. Once I find a fabric I love then I let it speak to me, most of the time, the design almost creates itself out of the fabric. I know that if I am working to hard to ‘make it work’ then it isn’t right and I start over. I mostly drape fabric, then go back and pattern make the pieces I need to be precise.

picture4: Model – Natalie Travis, Photography – Cherry Blossom Photography, Make-Up – Tess Weaver

What other projects are you working on?

I am collaborating on ideas for a couple of books, I am working on some digital art pieces and I am working on creating more designs for editorial submissions.

Elizabeth Roche

Model Mayhem

Where do you call home?

I grew up in Kansas City and moved to NY after graduating. I also lived in Germany for 2 years and Haiti for 11 years, but I came back to NYC, which is where I currently hang my hat and where I feel most ‘at home’.

How did you get your start in retouching? Is there any formal training in your background? How did your interest in retouching begin?

I have a BFA in Painting from The Kansas City Art Institute, so I have a traditional background in art. I would have laughed if anyone would have told me I’d go digital, but in the 90’s a photographer friend of mine in Haiti started using Illustrator and I started peeking over his shoulder as he worked. Soon after I moved back to the US and discovered Photoshop. I don’t know what happened, I just couldn’t leave it alone and dropped everything to teach myself everything Photoshop. I didn’t know for sure what I was going to do with it, but then I found retouching and thankfully stumbled upon a retouching position at a Photo Lab and got hired. It was a hard strict job requiring long hours, but that’s where I honed my craft. Later I learned more upscale retouching, but fixing mistakes by lower end photographers at that lab was what sharpened and challenged both my artistic and technical skills.

When it comes to equipment what are you using in regards to monitor etc?

I work on a Mac Pro quad core and swear by my CG211 Eizo Monitor. The larger monitors have issues, so I use the 211 and have a second monitor to keep my Photoshop panels open.

What is your opinion on the current trends of retouching?

I like most of the trends as of late; more natural skin, less plastic. We used to always “over” saturate images, I never liked that, now the trend is a little ‘de’ saturated, which feels more modern and ‘cool’. I still appreciate very artsy retouching, advertising is an art form, I don’t want to see ads that have no conceptual artistic thought and effort attached to it.

Do you have a favorite image that you’ve retouched?

Of course! But that always changes as I get and retouch new images. I have favorite photographers and favorite jobs, Some jobs are more generic and less artsy/edgy. I like the jobs I am challenged by, and given artistic freedom on.

What aspects of photo retouching do you find the most challenging?

Color is always the most challenging. Structure is easy; you’ll always eventually get there, but color is subjective. I’ve spent an entire day color correcting a eyeshadow compact. OK, ok, it was a cake with a raise design in the middle that had an iridescent over-spray, which never captures in the shot, so I had to create the iridescence, but still it too all day for 4 cakes. Color and shape/contrast moves are what I spend most of my time on.

I should mention redoing the hairstyles of certain shots can be pretty challenging.

How much direction do you typically receive from the client?

My answer to that is; Every client is different. Some give lots of direction and others rely on my discretion. I learn the preferences of each client and usually know how far to go. I sometimes have to go farther and sometimes have to put back something I’ve removed.

How much time do you typically spend on an image? What’s the longest amount of time you’ve spent?

I can spend as little as 3 or 4 hours on an image to 60 hours or more. An editorial that just needs a little clean up and overall color move won’t take long, whereas a Beauty spread that has a beauty shot (the head shot), products, a lifestyle (full body shot) and a compiled background may take weeks. It’s hard to say how long exactly since the file goes back to the client for further corrections from 4 to 15 times on a big job.

If anything, what won’t you do to an image that a client might ask for?

I can’t think of anything I wouldn’t try to make happen if I was asked, unless perhaps if I thought it would make the image look bad or ridiculous. I’ve had some of my best successes when my clients pushed me to do the impossible!

How has digital photography changed your job or how you approach retouching?

The only change for me is that I get my files in digital RAW format and haven’t had to scan an image in years!

Any advice for other people who want to make retouching their career?

Practice, practice, practice.

To view more of Carrie’s please follow these links:

Also watch out for Carrie’s New book:

Real Retouching
A Professional Step- By – Step Guide

Publication Date:
March 15, 2011

Description (source Focal press)

From the perfect glossy pages of a magazine to the larger-than-life images floating on a billboard in the sky, image retouching has become a key component of today’s digital photography world. So popular, in fact, that the sheer act of retouching has become its own verb as we often ask ourselves, “I wonder if this image was Photoshopped?” Sometimes controversial but widely accepted, and even expected, excellent retouching skills are crucial to finding success in the field of digital imaging. As you work through the clear step-by-step instructions in the book using the images provided on the bonus CD, you’ll learn how to do real retouching jobs from start to finish, including each and every technical step along the way. You’ll also get behind the scenes advice for talking to clients and establishing a workflow to ensure that your client gets the results they are looking for. If you’re a student or aspiring professional just starting out in the world of retouching, the information found in this book can help you find work in the advertising/retouching industry. If you’re already a working photographer, you’ll be able to add retouching to your repertoire as an additional offering to your clients. Carrie Beene is a professional retoucher and educator who has worked with some of the world’s most prestigious companies, including Revlon, MAC, and L’Oreal, and has contributed imagery to such renowned publications as the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, and Vanity Fair. In this excellent new book, she’ll share the techniques she has learned and developed over the years to help you navigate the often mysterious world of image retouching.

*Offers insider advice through never before published retouching secrets to give you a leg up on the competition
*Includes practical and thorough coverage of exactly how to fix real life problems that you can apply to any retouching job, so that you can present yourself and your work like a professional
*The only book of its kind that focuses solely on retouching for the aspiring retoucher or working professional