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Have you ever wondered what it takes to showcase at NYFW? Well, we got the first-hand scoop from our very own graduate AnaLauren Pamintuan! After winning the school’s first graduation fashion show in November, AnaLauren had to prepare for NYFW in February. This meant she had to put together 12 Fall/Winter looks in less than three months! That amount of work would even have a seasoned designer feeling stressed. However, sometimes stress and pressure create the most beautiful things — like a diamond.

I believe this sense of pressure between getting her designs finished on time, in addition to her responsibilities as a mother and her normal day job, appropriately inspired the name of her F/W collection, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.   In her own words, “The collection features textured fabrics and styles where sleeves and skirts convey rock-like volume. As women, we can find ourselves in that place – with our burdens, our loads, and difficult decisions that must be made – so I designed the pieces to display the strength, grace and style with which we carry them. Like the mother of pearl, women are strong, resilient, and iridesent.”

We couldn’t agree more. Not only was AnaLauren able to create a diamond, she polished it and made a dazzling collection of it. You go girl!

Read more about AnaLauren’s NYFW experience below.

Congratulations on your first NYFW Runway show!! We are all so incredibly inspired and proud of you. I know the whole school was following your journey on Instagram day by day. What was your first day like? 

Thank you so much! The support from FISF is simply incredible. I can tell you that so much was happening so fast that the days and nights all blended together and literally felt like there were no boundaries between the two. The flight to NY was great, according to my sister I fell asleep before we took off. The best 3 hours of sleep on a plane ever! You can imagine the butterflies in my stomach when I got off the plane in NY, not to mention the goosebumps that I had thanks to excitement, nerves, and the coldest winter I’ve experienced thus far. I recall saying “s#!& just got real”. We checked into the hotel, which thankfully was conveniently located near everything related to the show, we got some food, and then back to the hotel, to work on my designs with my sewing machine that got to see NY for the first time!

All of your looks came out absolutely stunning. How did the fittings go?  

Thankfully, Rucht and I were able to go together and she helped me through that process. Meeting and selecting the models, prep work, photos, notes, etc. Although there were pieces that still needed final touches, I’m glad we were able to make the necessary adjustments there and complete them per model.

Were there any hiccups or did everything go smoothly? Did the runway graduation prepare you for this moment or was this experience different?

There were definitely areas for improvement, but I would imagine that to be the case for anyone’s first time at anything =) I enjoyed learning what to expect with a local fashion show versus one that’s out of state. I trust it will guide me when I have one internationally as well. Yes, without a doubt the graduation show absolutely prepared me for this moment. Things were as smooth as rocks. cool

What was your first press conference like?

It went well in that I was truly happy with the look and the model for the press conference. I didn’t know what to expect really, so I just went with the flow and followed my gut as I presented my collection and model, Ashley from Australia.

What kind of questions did they ask?

Honestly, I think that moving forward I will know to ask if I need a translator since the majority of the questions and answers were in Spanish which I totally respect, but would have loved to engage and exchange more given the opportunity in any language. I do remember a question regarding inclusivity in the world of fashion design and I think it was great for Albania and Fashion Designers of Latin America to welcome myself, a woman of Filipino American roots and Sandro Pagliari, the designer from Switzerland. It’s amazing to bear witness to that kind of support and knowing that we’re all rooting for each other as people and as designers. After the press conference, I was also interviewed by a media company, 12by6, which was pretty great as they asked me about my journey and I got to give another shout out to FISF. I’m getting used to this – being in front of the camera. I’ll have to take pointers from my 5-year-old daughter who loves the camera!

How did you feel on the day of your first runway show? What kind of thoughts and emotions were running through your head?

I couldn’t sleep the night before my show. I was working – both on the collection and for my job – up to the time I had to leave the hotel to get to the show. Thankfully, I was able to schedule Tiffany Oliver, a NY & Miami based makeup artist, to do my makeup, so that was one thing I didn’t have worry about lol! Plus, she’s such a pleasure to work with and she made sure I got on that runway looking fly too!

It was stressful and blissful all at once! If you can picture that with some snow too. Overall, I was full of gratitude knowing I was surrounded by my family who came to support me from LA, Vegas, and Miami. A few years ago, I told myself I would have a fashion show of my own by a certain time in my life and here I was blessed to be a part of NYFW just 3 months after graduation!!! How surreal is that?! No one could’ve told me that’s how it was going to go, but God’s got bigger plans than I could’ve imagined. I know that my grandmother Lorenza and grandfather Illuminado were smiling down on me and were my guiding stars through all of this.

It was impressive to see how many looks you had to pull off in such a short period of time. Of all the looks you made, which was the most difficult to put together?

First of all, I couldn’t have completed everything without the assistance/magic hands of Ms. D’Oleo and Ms. Alcena. Their input and guidance was an immense help. My mother and cousin assisted with some pieces that needed to be finished by hand. My sister, uncle, fiancé, and co-worker even helped out when needed! I can’t express how much I treasure my team.

The most difficult piece was the mother of pearl dress. Not only did it weight about 25 pounds but we had to remove the individual tiles of pearl in the seams and darts and then hand sew them back on. The process made me appreciate the easier fabrics =) but it also opened up a world of couture that I plan to explore more.

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I’m sure you have a certain story and attachment with each look you created. But if you had to choose, which one is your personal favorite?

This might be the hardest question to answer. I’d have to say my personal favorite is the silver and gold long knit dress with the built-up neckline and the brocade peplum. It has this resilient yet statuesque look that conveys what I hoped to bring out through the collection. 

What other designers were you excited to see? Did you have a favorite show? (besides your own of course!)

Another difficult question. All the shows were creative and definitely had their own style and interpretation of the art of fashion. Some of my favorite looks came from Manuel Tiscareno, Aria Garcia, and Daniel Vercchelli.

Did you find any leads or new customers as a result of the show?

Yes, there were people who expressed interest and right now I’m able to focus on following through on those as well as building marketing/branding.

What kind of feedback did you get from the audience?

There were plenty of people who loved the designs and fabrics both men and women, so it was really satisfying to know that what I created was well received.

What’s next for House of Laurenz?

It’s really about building and keeping the momentum going. This time is allowing me to focus on the business end of things and connect with the audience. So it’s still a work in progress as with everything in life. =)

Inspired by this story?

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