Monday, October 5, 2009

A day in the life of: Chloe Amutio

The screeching sound of my alarm clock tells me it's 8:00am in Buenos Aires. A quick shower, a cup of coffee, and a breakfast apple, later I am in a cab and on my way to the shoot for DMAG magazine. Among the cluster of European buildings in the chic Recoleta district looms a gigantic mansion that has been annexed by the Four Seasons Hotel. The estate has been converted into a sort of sumptuous playhouse for the jetset glitterati that visit this Paris of the South.

Ten minutes late. I run through the estate's forbidding gates and through dozens of majestic, Versaille-esque rooms and salons before spotting fashion producer and current international hot shot Emilio Lacroze. He is an über hipster complete with tapered jeans, 'stache, bowtie, and a particularly stubborn itch for aesthetic perfection that has won him a coveted prize at this year's Festival of Fashion Photography in Cannes. I am his assistant.

Work immediately materializes in the form of a huge tabletop covered in garment bags containing the exquisite couture of Christian Lacroix, Camarín, De La Ostia, Kenzo and Ralph Lauren Collection. Budding Argentine designers have also come forth bearing gifts, Carmen Steffens, Paruolo, and Ricky Sarkany provide stunningly elegant and delicate stilettos that could have easily been pulled out from Blair Waldorf's closet. I hang the pieces Emilio and I have preselected for the shoot with hurried deference. The rest I arrange on another rack, where they will await to be picked out should inspiration fail and fresh material be needed.

Sunlight pours into the stately drawing room while Emilio and I direct hair and makeup on our young model. In the corner, the photographer–who wields a Galilean camera– and his assistant are discussing the lighting. Our black canvas is then frosted in Swarovski and practically shoved into the first ensemble. The long creative process of fashion directing ensues. Outfits and creativity flow around the room at an unrelenting pace, interrupted only by the occasional five minute cigarrette break. The illusion of debonaire beauty is difficult to achieve and must be approached resourcefully. Unexpected problems require inventive solutions. Pins and paper stuffing provide an efficient sartorial formulas for fixing gowns and shoes that are too big.

Flash, Flash, Flash! Our model's frail frame and the room's regal walls are incessantly attacked by thunderstorm of camera flashes.

The result? High Fashion.

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