- Photo credit: Arun Nevader (Getty Images)
In August, I was invited to collaborate with LA based designer Natalia Fedner with her unique and patented metal mesh garments for Miami Swim Week. Fun fact about Natalia – she’s also a Project Runway alum!
I have to start with how I even met Natalia. Several years ago, I was watching one of my favorite creative TV shows, Project Runway. This was the one-off Under the Gunn season. As I was watching one of the designers in a commentary interview, I notice the glint around her neck and thought “that necklace looks really familiar”. I couldn’t see the detail enough on the paused TV screen, so I did an internet search and found a still shot of her from that interview.
When I zoomed in on her neck, I exclaimed “OMG she’s wearing my necklace!” My sister said “you need to contact her and say thank you”, and I responded “I doubt she’s going to reply to me”. Nonetheless I sent an email to the address on her website, and within hours, Natalia responded back with “I’m so glad you reached out!” I’ve been looking for you!”
The necklace turned out to be milestone birthday gift from her mother that they had found in a Seattle boutique where my work was carried at that time. Apparently, the salesgirl did not have the artist’s info, and Natalia really wanted to know who it was. And she found me! Or I found her? Kismet!
Natalia and I have been friends ever since. She is extremely generous with her info and experiences and she has tried to promote me whenever she can, encouraging me to explore a multitude of opportunities in the Los Angeles area where she lives. Natalia works with a number of fashion and editorial stylists to numerous celebrities, and her work is carried in high-end boutiques in LA and across the country. Looking at her body of work, she has adorned fashion, style, and music icons such as Heidi Klum, Charlize Theron, Lenny Kravits, DojaKat, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Shakira, Kylie Kardashian, and JLo.
In June, Natalia reached out to me and asked if she could incorporate some of my jewelry for a runway show she had coming up. It turned out to be Miami Swim Week. After much prep and a quick turnaround, I overnighted several pieces of Priscilla Laurel as well as some joyarte fine jewelry pieces to her. I was beyond excited, even though I had no clue what to expect.
Seeing the images rolling off my Instagram feed from Arun Nevader from Getty Images, as well as other photographers who attended the event was incredibly surreal. The quality of images from all the photos was breathtaking. Natalia painstaking took care to style each look impeccably, coordinating her incredible garments, her accessories and my jewelry. She used each models finest attributes and she knew the imagery she was creating. The models fed off her infectious energy and personality, thus creating iconic shots for all of us. I couldn’t get over how great the images were and I thought, “wow, these pics are going to shake some trees for sure”.
Now that I’m getting more attention from this collab, it’s time to leverage that. Natalia and I have plans for more events together, both runway and popup events. I will always share when something exciting is in the works, and it becomes a must to take note, and to be there. And once again, I am reminded to just follow my heart when I am designing, and creating. Take it big, take bold, take it provocative. My new mantra is “Just Tell the Story”, and let it speak loud and clear.