etnies Girl snow team rider Alexis Waite kept this journal when she was in Southern California doing a photo shoot for etnies Girl's spring line. Check out the behind the scenes photos from the photo shoot by visiting the Photo Gallery.
It's Thursday morning, September 16, 2004, and I just got to Sole Technology in Lake Forest. Today I am doing a photo shoot for ThirtyTwo boots with the rest of the team.
Just yesterday we wrapped up a shoot for the etnies Girl spring collection. We were treated like stars and living the high life in the Santa Monica Viceroy Hotel, amongst the rich and famous, ha ha! Well, I guess this is kind of true, as Victoria's Secret was having a shoot and putting their models up there, and I had many other celebrity sightings in the hotel as well. I guess that is just daily life in L.A. though, weird place.
The etnies crew, comprised of Grace, Patrice, Sarah and Bryan, did an awesome job organizing the whole event. Our stylist, Michelle, and makeup/hair stylist, Shyama, (who was also there for the shoot last spring) were both great to be around and slayed their jobs. Not to mention Amanda, our photographer, and her assistant Eden, who did a great job too. Is my gushing praise annoying yet? Maybe it is, but screw it—they all killed it and deserve props! And I would like to give and extra shout to Bryan for being the only man amongst the 15 ladies and holding his own—good work, man!
So, September in Southern California, in case you were not aware, is some serious industry party time. Luckily for me (not really, but I have to look on the bright side), I have had a sinus infection and bronchitis for the last few weeks, so I have been taking on the party season with nothing to prove (no different from the norm). I did attend a posh WE party at the downtown L.A. Standard Hotel on Monday night, though, so showing up Tuesday morning and driving seven miles on the 10 freeway for an hour left me pretty exhausted. As soon as I got to the Viceroy Hotel (our headquarters), it was off to hills of Malibu. We were all tired at 9 a.m. and moving at a half-caf speed. It was fine though; the weather was cloudy but cleared up further into the afternoon, which was what we wanted: sunlight. That day, the only one with any apparent energy was our model, Angel, who was a character and kept the conversations and dramatic element going.
The location we shot at was property owned by Pierre from Sole Technology, and it was amazing. The view from up top was beautiful, looking into the canyon and onto the ocean. Even cooler than the property is the home that he plans to build there. The house is basically going to be a retreat home that is fully skateable, complete with a newly built empty pool in the front yard for skating. It was funny to watch the pool being constructed on the hilltop, which has a perfect view, with the metal coping going in first. Even though Pierre is a big-time executive, he is still keeping it real. Thanks, Pierre!
So we shot in Malibu all day. The highlight of this shoot was seeing all of the new etnies shoe and clothing samples. The lines are looking sooo good this next season, really!!! It is obvious that etnies has really committed to their women's department. They are not making a lot of pieces, but all their pieces come with tons of style, fashion risks, and the fits are great. And their shoes, in my opinion, keep getting better and better. Now etnies provides a casual shoe for just about anyone with any style. I am sorry, I am not trying to be a sales person. I am just honestly excited to be a part of such a down company that makes such cool, good stuff.
I have never seen such a tired crew after we got back. We all headed straight for our rooms to lie down for an hour or so and take showers. I am surprised any of us made it to dinner. We ate at the Viceroy's restaurant, which was great, but it was a long, fancy meal and I found my eyes taking extra long blinks many times before it was over. The food was worth it though, and so were the luxurious beds we got to go back to; I know I slept well that night.
Wednesday's call time was 8 a.m. I was so lazy and tired that I stayed in bed until 9 a.m. and then rolled straight into the makeup room. Luckily, I didn't get into trouble; it actually worked out perfectly. Today was all about the crazy scene on the Venice Beach strip. The Malibu shoot was more about natural, pretty shots, whereas the Venice shoot was trying to capture the more urban and fashion forward side of the line. I loved the outfits I was put in today!!! They were awesome, fun and totally my style. I love rocking looks during shoots that I would actually wear—it is much more fun! My hair worked out better today too, so that superficially made me feel better. The day before, I was advised that I should have washed it before the shoot because it was way too greasy to style well—oops, my bad. Here's a pro beauty tip for you girls who care: when your hair is too greasy, but you have no time for a shower, put baby powder all over your scalp at the roots, rub it in really well, get all the white out (no water needed) and soon all the grease will have been absorbed and your hair will have more volume. For the dark haired girls out there, beauty supply stores sell brown baby powder. It works, but still use shampoo every once in awhile, please!!! Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, Venice. I had never been there. It is pretty creepy and dirty, but it was really interesting seeing all the personalities cruising around. Everyone there wants to talk with you, but I wouldn't call it a friendly place ever—it's weird! It was overcast so it wasn't too hot, luckily. I was there with Mary Osborne and Jennifer (a model). We got some good shots and went back to the hotel before the sun got too high and the light too harsh. I changed outfits, had an iced coffee by the fancy pool and got to chill for an hour or so before heading back to Venice with the whole crew. We headed back around 4:30 p.m. and the streets had completely changed. It was so crowded! The skatepark was packed; the local characters were out in full force. We were all rested and in good spirits knowing that the shoot was almost over, and it was working out. We ran around, played, skated and I got to do some back flipping on the grass! It was awesome to get to watch Lauren Perkins skate around for a little bit. She killed it, and damn that girl has some pop! As beautiful and calm as Malibu was, I think the crazy scene and character of Venice created some really interesting photos with some flavor and, of course, more genuine laughs, smiles and faces.
All in all, the shoot was a success! I had fun getting everyone involved and seeing some interesting new places and people. Some standout memories are Angel's strong personality but good heart, and her sometimes hard to follow, crazy, stories and opinions. I also really enjoyed our tired but excellent "dinner party" on Tuesday night. Cool people work for etnies, and they are always fun to hang out with outside the work or office environment when we all can relax and be ourselves completely. I am happy to be a part of the etnies (and ThirtyTwo) family. I had a good time on the shoot (when I wasn't virtually falling asleep on my feet), we were treated royally and I look back on the last two days with a smile. Looking forward to our next shoot!!!