Sporting her infamous oversized glasses, Lauren Biedenharn is a killer stylist who’s done it all. From celebrity red carpets, to music videos, to grungy fashion editorials, her unique aesthetics make her one to watch. Read on about her incredible story below!
You’ve had quite a journey to where you are today. How did it all begin?
I knew when I was in grade school that I was obsessed with art, fashion, and general life-style. When I got into college, I created my own concentration in art school which was a mixture of graduate costume from the theater school and art/fashion from the art school. After college, I moved to L.A. I ended up getting two internships, one with The Cobrasnake and one with Jessica Paster. The Cobrasnake sent me on tour with DJs to dress them for their live shows and music videos – here is where I met my first full time client CC Sheffield (a female DJ and actress who I toured with for 2 years). Jessica Paster is an A-List stylist who sent me all over, styling artists for music videos and dressing actresses for red carpet events. I did the entire award season with Jessica in 2011 dressing Elle Fanning, Emily Blunt, and Anette Benning to name a few.
After the season was over, I left Jessica to work on feature films and television series. Working on set for 2 years, 12 hours a day every day – I was burnt out. The set life, although exciting and fun, was not for me. I longed to have business strategies, more creativity, and growth in my career and wallet. I began full time styling on my own, as well as managing and executing marketing strategies and photoshoots for companies all over Los Angeles.
Tell us about TheStyleSpace – how did this launch your career as a designer and stylist?
I started TheStyleSpace with a few partners – it was a group of five in the beginning. It was a collaboration of a mix of ideas and markets we were pitching to. Unfortunately, we were all young and changing our lives. Two of the partners moved out of state, and one got a full time job in the food and beverage industry. Alas, it ended up being a dual partnership with me and my ex-boyfriend. He was the business I was the design and marketing. A group of amazing people helped along the way.
The work environment was very collaborative at first. We had weekly think tanks with a business model and a lot of ideas. We edited down ideas to make a more solid product for a specific clientele. As people started to move on in their own paths, it began to be more of a solid market we were pitching to and myself and my partner driving to get product to that marketplace.
What was the biggest challenge working in a team setting?
I was committed to TheStyleSpace 100%. It was my life and I never stopped networking and researching. With other team members unsure of where they were going in their lives, it was hard to stay on track. Eventually, this meant I became both the leader and momentum of the team, which I was fine with. The only thing that really bothered me, and the health of the company, was working with my boyfriend at the time. You have to appreciate everyone and their opinions and work efforts, but you also have to be strong enough to lead and navigate through bad time management and bad cost management. That is what I had to learn with my boyfriend. I let him get away with a lot and in the end he really hurt the company and our relationship, which ended along with the company. Go figure.
Who is your dream client?
My dream client was CC Sheffield. She was an amazing mentor and a great friend. She brought me under her wing and helped me grow my tough skin and learn to navigate Los Angeles’ intense and corrupt industry. I love dressing men and women in outfits that let their true inner-self shine through, with no hesitation. Miley Cyrus would be another dream client. Oh, and Tank Girl.
Your portfolio is filled with photography from Nakid’s Editor-in-Chief, Dustin Thornton. What is this creative partnership like?
Working with Dustin is like working with your long lost artistic soul mate. Every shoot we work on together is an explosion of creative juices, passion, experimentation, and just great fun! His mind and my mind run on the same track when it comes to concepts, mood, and execution. It is like completing each other’s sentences – but in photoshoots and art. I have huge respect for Dustin because he is who he is 100% of the time. No matter what people think they want, Dustin usually knows what they want more than they know themselves. He has a vision, and if you just let yourself follow the path he takes you on – it will result in an amazing photography but most importantly an amazing journey. Art is special because it is a gift to the world. It is not necessary to survive and it does not require to be shared, but sharing it is the greatest most selfless gift you can give the world -and Dustin gives that every day of his life.
You’ve worked with MeUndies for years – what is it like to work with a growing brand from the beginning?
MeUndies is a funny story. I met Jonathan Shokrian (owner of MeUndies) in college in the art school. We had a mutual friend, Bret Slater, and we would all hang out after class and sneak up to the roof of the arts building and watch the sunset over Dallas. We would talk about art and our futures and our lives… it was a great time. “Shok,” as people call him, and I graduated the same day from SMU – and that summer we both moved to L.A. He was from Beverly Hills and got into MeUndies right away. About once a year we would catch up, and Shok showed me the behind the scenes of the building of MeUndies at his office on Robertson. A few years later, MeUndies was a huge hit! Shok brought me on the team as a stylist for campaign photo shoots. I have always been very involved in his work, events, and the growth of our friendship.
Do you have a favorite designer?
My favorite designer? That’s like asking me who my favorite artist is… who my favorite philosopher is… I need them all to push and pull against one another to make each of them important in their own light. An Oreo is not amazing without milk right? You need all of them to really love the world they create together. I have to say that in shoots, I’m obsessed with the use of space and light. I don’t usually like shoots with a plain background and created light. I like natural. I like fashion on a real person in a real space with real light. That’s real life… I want to live in real life… not fake life.
What does styling mean to you as an artist?
I love creating art to share with the world. I want to take an idea or a vision and share it in a medium that people can relate to in their own way… naturally. I want people to FEEL!!! People are becoming desensitized and I do not want to lose our human touch. This is why I love making art and photoshoots of real people in the real, beautiful world. Every photoshoot with Dustin is just that. He creates a vision within the real world. That’s the key – that’s fucking talent! I want to live a dream on this world we are on! Our minds are the dream, and we can create and show that dream in this world we live on today – and make that dream a REALITY!