Wednesday, August 29, 2012



This is taken from my first brush with styling, way back October 2007.

The complete cast.
I was working on the Toyland concept for Marco Polo Davao’s Christmas Catalogue at that time. Thinking Santa’s Toy Factory, I proposed on making the brochure look like an easy read storybook, featuring the most loved dolls of all time, in different scenes taken around the hotel.

In the pre-production meeting with makeup maven Otoi Mercado and my photographer-friend Paul Borromeo, we locked down the details of the shoot, and came up with the final cast of characters: Barbie and Ken, Raggedy Anne and Andy, Cabbage Patch Kid, a musical clown and a diner girl.

the musical clown
the musical clown 
We asked Jon Nunez of Glam Model House to gather his best models for a go-see. Choosing the models wasn’t an easy task for this project as I had to ask the models to stand, sit, and move like a doll. Good thing Otoi and Paul helped me with the selection process, sharing their insights on who had the most doll-like eyes and expression.

Cabbage Patch Kid
I had about 2 weeks to put together the whole wardrobe for this shoot. I have never worked as a stylist before. At that time, we didn’t have the iTouch or iPad to help me with the costume pegs, and I had to take everything by sheer memory whenever I went out to hunt for the clothes. I did some sketches and sat down with a seamstress for the costumes of Raggedy Ann and Andy, the Cabbage Patch Kid, the diner girl and musical clown. I scoured around the streets of Chinatown and vintage shops to acquire the rest of the costume and props. I even went far north of Davao just to find those vintage skates for the diner girl. The pair of skates were far from the meaning of old and gray, and so I gave in to my inner OC self and painted the whole thing clean and white.

Raggedy Ann and Andy 
The shoot took one whole Saturday to finish. We started with the hair and makeup around 10am, and the cameras started clicking as soon as each model was all dolled up and ready. Hair stylist, Joan Lanch, joined our team, and he did a great job in executing the exact look we had pegged for each character.

Diner girl, MJ.
True to the nature of Christmas and Santa Clause, we are to finish the project with a touch of magic and luck. There were unforeseen instances that we never thought we’d be able to execute or re-touch, but hey, we did. MJ, the diner girl, lost her balance and landed on the floor together with the cocktail glass. She rose again, unscathed and we did a retake of the shot. Paul got so lucky as his camera was able to capture MJ’s pose right before she fell. For Barbie’s shot on the red carpet, we asked our banquet staff to stand in as paparazzis and to hold on to Paul’s extra flash equipment, which he controlled via remote. The flickers and flash made it seem like there were a lot of cameras on location.

I was more than happy with the turnout of the shoot, more so when the pages were already out in print. It was the most exciting and challenging project I did for the hotel at that time, and I was more than proud that everyone were all praises with the images we shot.

Thank you, once again, Paul, Otoi, and Joan for sharing the magic your with me. I look forward to another collaboration of this kind.

- credits -
Photographer: Paul Borromeo
Makeup Artist: Otoi Mercado
Stylist: Meg Sta. Ines
Hair Stylist: Joan Lanch
Models: Glam Model House


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