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Monday, 29 October 2012

Dressing the stars: costume designer Andrea de Araujo

Swedish Mafia video.
Styling by Franck Chevalier and Andrea De Araujo
By T. Madison

If you love music, film or pop culture, you've likely seen the work of costume designer and stylist Andrea de Araujo.

Six years ago, Brazilian-born Araujo had just completed University in San Francisco, California and decided to relocate to Los Angeles shortly after, in pursuit of her vision of working in the entertainment world. But, the hard work was only the beginning. Without knowing a soul in a new city of opportunity, Araujo was guided by her intuition whilst finding work in an area that she could feel passionate about: costume and styling.

Having a background in theatre and costuming, she was able to sharpen her skills by steady work and a clear vision of what she always wanted to do with her future.

It wasn’t long before she met others who also shared the same adoration for creativity. After a callback from a friend, she had landed a job working with famed photographer and artist, David LaChapelle.

“I have been very lucky,” said Araujo.

The electrifying yet busy times were steering swiftly ahead: from designing costumes and working on short films to assisting prominent directors and stylists.

In fact, one of her favourite projects was a Swedish House Mafia video where she worked alongside acclaimed stylist, Franck Chevalier, designing and building avant-garde costumes. “It was amazing work but also an amazing challenge,” said Araujo.

Typically, when preparing for styling gigs, she may pull ten racks of clothing all ranging from different eras, locations, and silhouettes.

“I am constantly going back to history, for example, it may be jacket styles from ten years ago, one top from one [fashion] house, and a belt from New York … it’s a lot of work,” said Araujo.

Those pieces are then connected to create one or multiple looks. Unlike mainstream fashion, Araujo doesn’t work off of current trends or keeping up with hues of the season. Instead, she’s part of another world of fashion storytelling, all by character development. Sometimes it may be in a commercial and other times in film.

“I prefer commercial styling because of the fast pace. The best part of styling is when I create and build the costume, I choose from beginning to end, create the fabric, and when I see that an agency sees it and smiles, that makes me happy,” she explains.

After living in Los Angeles Araujo knew that working in the entertainment world could indeed be her true passion.

“Trust your instincts. I’ve always understood colour, fabric, and the history of fashion, I’ve never really been into traditional fashion… sewing was never my thing. My desire for life is my passion, and I love what I do,” said Araujo.

So, how does the sought-after costume-designing stylist keep her ego in check? “I am grounded because of my culture. I don’t want to become a rude person to be the best in the world. You can with a good attitude.”

Currently Araujo is working as one of the costumers in the up-coming Sofia Coppola film, The Bling Ring, starring Emma Watson.
Watch Andrea de Araujo's styling work for the Swedish House Mafia music video below:



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