Nadine Lustre shocked us all last October 31 with the most fashionable visual album of the decade. Here’s what her stylist and MEGA Fashion Editor, Lyn Alumno, has to say about the looks.
If you haven’t watched the visual album, Wildest Dreams yet, then please open up a browser and spare 30 minutes to watch it. After watching the visual album, we’re sure we can agree on one thing–it’s the absolute magnum opus of Nadine Lustre and Careless. From the fashion to the music, Wildest Dreams met all expectations in bringing to the public a new way of viewing Filipino music videos. They’ve pushed the boundaries in an international way. Because of this, they are currently receiving the proper recognition for their efforts. With that being said, we can’t help but pay homage to the stylist of Wildest Dreams, our very own, Lyn Alumno. In this interview, we find out the inner workings of the styling and fashion narrative behind Wildest Dreams from the research to the actual shoot.
On Lyn’s growing relationship with Nadine Lustre
MEGA: How did your relationship with Nadine Lustre start?
Lyn: Nadine was my first cover star for MEGA back in 2018, when she launched her Lustrous collection. I was nervous, because I didn’t have any connections in the industry that time. So, I just relied on my stalking skills and messaged designers. I ended up overpreparing for the shoot by bringing a lot of clothes (I still do), but it was all worth it.
M: How did that relationship blossom to what it is now?
Lyn: I would always be assigned to style her whenever she has shoots with MEGA, whether it be a feature or an editorial. Then when her first H&M Swim Collection dropped, I was asked to talk about it alongside her during one of the launches in-store. It wasn’t until Making MEGA in Rio, when she finally asked me to be part of her team.
M: From the first time that you’ve worked with her, what are the differences with the overall styling when it came to Wildest Dreams?
Lyn: That MEGA cover back in April 2018 was probably a premonition of things to come, because I dressed her up in swimsuits. Come 2 years later, most of our shoots for the visual album are still her soaked in water–most of the time. Except the direction I created for her now is more outlandish and adventurous. You can see in the VA how I dressed her in different styles ranging from avant-garde, futuristic, glam, bohemian, and of course, elevated streetwear.
On putting in the work for Nadine Lustre’s Wildest Dreams
M: You styled over 70+ looks for Wildest Dreams. How much time did you have to prepare for it?
Lyn: We started shooting by the end of August. I began researching on Filipino references and female music icons mid-July for both fashion and beauty. So, that technically gave me about a month to prepare for everything.
M: How did you prepare for Wildest Dreams under the pandemic? Did you run into any difficulties?
Lyn: It was a pain in the ass. We were on lockdown, so I couldn’t go out of the house, Grab wasn’t available 24 hours, I didn’t have much space at home for the clothes (I occupied almost two rooms with just clothes, shoes, accessories), I didn’t have a driver, but thankfully my dad volunteered to do the pullouts, and I only had one assistant that time who was also working from home. My go-to for repairs and alterations were also closed that time, so my grandma helped me with sewing some of the pieces. My mom and my brother helped with taping all the shoes, and my boyfriend also assisted in pulling out and returning. It was definitely a family effort.
On working with Nadine Lustre on set
M: In terms of communication, how involved was Nadine Lustre in the outfits that she wore for Wildest Dreams?
Lyn: She’s very hands on. She tells me what she wants to achieve and I give her references. I send her inspiration on our Pinterest board and we sit down on it. We also do fittings the night before each shooting day to see which looks to wear for each video. If she wasn’t so game to wear any of those pieces, I don’t think it would have had the same impact.
M: Do you have a memorable behind-the-scenes story during filming that you could share with us?
Lyn: I don’t even know where to begin! I can’t reveal much. You just have to wait for the behind-the-scenes docu soon. But I think one instance was when we just finished filming the harness scenes and there was a lot of mess on set, so Nadine helped in cleaning up. Then our creative director, Zonlee was like, “ride the broom!” And it was funny ’cause it looked like a chic Sabrina the Teenage Witch poster.
On Wildest Dreams and the future for Lyn Alumno
M: If you could pick one, what is your favorite look from the whole visual album?
Lyn: This is a difficult question since there were so many looks by talented local designers. It’s either the phoenix look where I styled her in a wearable wings sculpture by local artist Herminio Tan over a red ‘shipwrecked’ dress by Ebiro, which I deconstructed even further on set. (Of course with their permission. Thanks guys!) Or the custom nude bodysuit with bar codes and balikbayan prints from Proud Race when she was unboxed from the crate.
M: As a key takeaway, if you could sum up your work for Wildest Dreams, what would be the one thing you could describe it as?
Lyn: It’s wild, literally. I still can’t wrap my head around it. I took on this project not knowing how big it would be. I’ve also learned a lot from our culture when I was immersing myself in Filipino mythology and local folklore. I was given the opportunity to connect with my roots. I’m forever thankful to Nadine for the trust, along with Careless and Zoopraxi Studio.
M: What’s in-store for you in the coming year? Will there be future projects we should look out for?
Lyn: This month alone has a lot of surprises that I can’t reveal yet. I guess you just have to keep your eyes open for that.