Above: Sketches for custom looks for Bella Thorne. She had definitely wanted the red dress and my overachieving self offered to make all three looks. Can you tell I was excited? Below: Bella Thorne in our Sooki Dress. Photo by Jacob Fischer.
So how did I get this opportunity? Instagram and good timing. My PR person, Annemarie, decided to go through our followers one day and she happened to see that Bella Thorne followed us. Cue the freak-out moment! Then Annemarie made a point that if I DM Bella she would see it right away instead of it being filtered out. This was also around the same time that Bella just released her new track and I offered to do custom garments for the project. Not only did I get a reply but I ended up doing most of the wardrobe and accessories for the video with a three-week notice.
The Process It was very easy working with Bella and her team. We all communicated over text. She knew exactly what she did and did not want. My biggest concern was getting everything done in time, especially considering how detailed I wanted the looks. The concept of the video was based on the American Horror Story hotel season, which featured the fashion icon Lady Gaga. So, of course, I went to the nines with embellishments and even did accessories that included hats and gloves. I wouldn't have been able to get everything completed without the amazing interns and friends who stayed up late with me working. So thank you for believing in me and signing up to do all the crazy projects.
Above: Detailed shots of Bella Thorne's black lace dress embellishment and embroidery, all of it hand sewn as well as hand beaded. Below: Look 2 was Bella's lingerie look featuring a sheer white kimono and 2 piece underwear set.
On Set Again, the timing was everything! The dates of the filming fell at the same time when I would be in Las Vegas for a meeting. I was able to shuffle things around and take a short flight over to California to be on set. I was honestly sewing until the last minute, even on the plane. Shout out to the lady that sat next to me that put up with it. I was able to finish the red dress on the plane and even figured out how to put an invisible zipper in by hand.
Annemarie picked me up and we immediately went from the airport to where the video was being filmed at the West Hollywood hotel, The Petit Ermitage. Bella and her team had taken up an entire floor of the hotel. When first walking from the elevator I was met with a mattress propped against the wall, an oversized teddy bear, pizza boxes, light stands and a number of other things. I had not known it at the time but the unique appeal of this video was that it was completely DIY and these were the props for all of the scenes.
The first person I had met was Jen Stein, the creative/artistic director for the shoot. She was busy setting up the bathtub scene by meticulously burning down the candles and placing it around the bathtub for the first scene. This was just one of the many detailed sets that Jen had created.
Above: Gigi Gorgeous wearing our LNH Signature Gloves and Black Tulle Gown in the bathtub scene with Bella Thorne Below: Gigi Gorgeous gets intimate with Bella Throne in the bathtub. Photo by Jacob Fischer.
I jumped in to help with the DIY when the hats originally meant for the video was held up at customs. No one really knew where to get that specific styled hat on such short notice so I offered to make one out of a cereal box. Jen had her confused assistant pick up cereal and gave me free rein of her hotel room turned studio. There were craft supplies everywhere in the room. Annemarie and I at one point were crawling around on the floor looking for pearls to put on the hat. Then we set up at a vanity area where the hot glue gun was plugged in and made a hat. At first, everyone was wondering where the hat came from and by that time I could only say "a cereal box." That part was what made the hat.
Bella Thorne shows off our "cereal box" hat and our lace lingerie set. Honestly no one would have guessed that a hat that good came from Honey Nut Cheerios.
Gigi Gorgeous She shows up in a pink tracksuit and immediately starts talking. Up to this point, it was quiet in the room. The hairstylist was working on Bella's hair, Annemarie was ironing, and everyone else was on their phone/computers. It was nice to have someone so bubbly and friendly. She was easy to work with and so chill, even the fittings were a breeze. The white dress that had to be fixed because it was torn and Gigi patiently sat there while I reconstructed the dress with safety pins.
As crazy and hectic as everything felt, probably due to my sleep deprivation, it was all an amazing experience. I got to work with Bella, whose hustle I have admired from afar. No one works harder than she does or has as many projects going on. The video was even directed by Bella herself. It was cool seeing her both in front and behind the camera.
Bella Thorne and me. Thank you for letting me play a small part in this project!
Final thoughts As an emerging designer I'm very fortunate to have had all these opportunities. From the red carpet dressings to the music videos, they have been more than I could have ever imagined myself being a small part of. Unfortunately, 99.9% of these projects are unpaid. My income comes from my online shop. So if there is a look you really love, get it for yourself. Each purchase means so much to me because it enables me to continue to do what I love.
Watch the video below featured on Ultra Music:
Credits:Directed by Bella Thorne