Meet Patricia Lagmay, a Los Angeles based fashion stylist whose unusually impressionable and memorable work has earned her the opportunity to work alongside many high profile fashion brands, celebrities and online and print publications. Her stylistic choices are refined yet strikingly bold, making her work easily recognizable. As long time followers, we were so excited to briefly e-chat with Patricia to talk about her beginnings in fashion, how she puts looks together for a shoot, her style icons, and what advice she has for others who may feel intimidated about experimenting with their own personal styles.
Who is Patricia Lagmay?
The thing that’s probably most relevant if you’re reading this is that I’ve been a stylist for over ten years. I’ve worked with brands like Everlane and Priory, and magazines like Vanity Fair and Kinfolk.
Beyond that, I am an excellent thrifter, a pretty decent cook, and a terrible napper (my 20-min naps always last three hours). I like hanging out with people who are 70 and up.
Can you tell us about your beginnings in fashion?
I’d say it started with my mom, who in the 90s dressed in the way we all imitate now. Eventually, I found myself killing time at the magazine aisle whenever my parents were grocery shopping. I still remember getting my first issue of Teen Vogue. Kate Bosworth was on the cover because Blue Crush had just come out. From then on I was hooked.
When I was freshman in university, I started doing informational interviews—which essentially is when you interview someone further along than you in their career, and pick their brain about what it’s like to do what they do and also how they got there. I googled the names of fashion editors in my city and convinced them to meet with me. A few months of this led to an internship and 12 years later, here we are.
Favourite and least favourite things about being a stylist?
Favourite: Exercising my creative muscle and exploring new ways of thinking.
Least favourite: That I work in an industry that’s built on consumption. But we’re finally starting to look at that critically, which is great.
What is your process when putting together looks for a shoot?
I always start by asking why we’re doing a shoot. Is it for a client or for a magazine? If it’s for a client, what service are we providing? Are we trying to set the tone for the collection? Are we trying to inspire? Are we helping customers understand how their one piece can stretch to 15 outfits?
If it’s an editorial, a lot of it is about emotion. What’s the story we’re trying to tell? Who will be wearing it? What movements do the garments allow for? I also do my best to incorporate all the brands that were kind enough to lend for the shoot.
What kind of silhouettes are you drawn to when dressing yourself?
I love the tension that happens when opposing ideas come together. So the age-old feminine and masculine, casual elegance, all that good stuff.
What do you think about the idea of “trends”? Do you pay attention to them or just dress in whichever way you feel?
It’s hard to be totally immune to them, but I’ve always been allergic to the word trendy. I try to ignore trends for the most part, but there’ll come a time when I feel bored with my own style and will explore and have fun. But if something’s everywhere, I just can’t bring myself to do it! It’s always a fine line between you wearing your clothes and your clothes wearing you.
Perhaps cliche, but I’m always curious. Who are three of your “style icons” and could you tell us why?
My mom, because I can’t deny the effect she’s had on the way I dress. Old people on the street, because they’re paying zero attention to trends and are mixing and matching in ways none of us are. And kids, for the very same reason. They just dress how they feel.
What brand or person would you love to work with in the future?
Phoebe Philo. There’s so much intelligence in her approach to design and it would be insane to be a fly on that wall. My little fly brain would probably explode.
What is something that recently challenged you?
I’m working with a client who comes from a very different generation, and a very different world, than me. Bridging our communication styles has been a really valuable learning experience.
In your opinion, what is the most underrated piece in a wardrobe?
We’re constantly being told that this x, y, and z piece is the one thing we need to have so, sadly, I don’t think that exists anymore. But wouldn’t it be romantic if it did?
When packing for a trip, do you have a go-to outfit? If so, what is the formula?
I always pack a bundle of basics that can be paired any number of ways. Two t-shirts (one white, one navy), two pairs of pants (usually one denim, one trouser), a button-up, a slip, a sweater, a jacket, and a few shoe options (usually sneakers, loafers, and a sandal). Maybe a pair of shorts if the weather allows for it.
What kind of advice do you have for people who might want to experiment with their style, but might be intimidated by the whole process?
Let your intuition guide you. Do you feel good in it? Are you having fun? How we dress is just another art form we all get to explore. There’s no right or wrong. Conjectures that dictate either are just subjective and arbitrary.
When you think of your ideal day, where are you and what are you doing?
Alice Waters talks about companionable solitude in one of her books. I love my alone time, but I also love sharing moments with other people. Companionable solitude is the happy baby of both. Maybe you’re in the same space as your partner, but you’re both doing your own thing. Or maybe you spend the first part of your day in solitude, but then come together for dinner at the end of it. It’s nice.
Who are the designer’s you are watching who are doing new and inventive things?
What are some Instagram accounts you follow that you go to for inspiration or visual pleasure?
@gramparents, @subwayhands, @moro_dabron, @werenotreallystrangers, @kalen_hollomon
What excites you about the future, and what are some things you hope to accomplish?
Our social consciousness as consumers is growing by the day. We’re demanding better from the companies we spend our money on, and slowly but surely, we’re seeing change. I hope to contribute to this through my work.
Beauty and skincare products you swear by? Can’t say I have any! Looking back, what is a lesson you have learned to help you to get to where you are now? Saying no, thank you is just as important as saying yes. What have you currently been saving on instagram right now? (Please feel free to screenshot your saves and send to us!) It’s been a mix of things that inspire me visually and emotionally. But also some things that make me laugh. We all need a good laugh these days!