Lorelei Shellist is a woman who knows a thing or two about chasing a dream. This past weekend, Lorelei attended the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival as the producer of Skin On Skin, a fashion film based on the true story of her own real-life experiences. Lorelei Shellist began telling her story through her memoir, Runway Runaway – A Backstage Pass to Fashion, Romance, & Rock ‘N Roll, and has now become the producer of a film that was nominated for 4 honors at the Fashion Film Festival this past weekend. Lorelei Shellists’ dreams have definitely come true, and she has dedicated her life to encouraging young men and women everywhere to chase their dreams as well and to make their passions a reality. Lorelei was able to give The LA Fashion Magazine some more insight into the creation and inspiration of her fashion film, Skin On Skin.
What was the overall inspiration for the film?
“Skin On Skin is actually based on my memoir, Runway Runaway – A Backstage Pass To Fashion, Romance, and Rock ‘N Roll. It’s a true story about myself as a teenage girl at a time when I was chasing my dreams. I became familiar with the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival when I began working at the festival as a host in 2011 and, ever since then, I’ve been attending every year. Year after year, I would witness these wonderful films by talented producers and I thought, ‘That could be me out there’. Last year, I got inspired to be a part of the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival when I was asked to participate as a producer. I agreed to enter, but only if I was granted the freedom to make my fashion film the most meaningful and inspirational film that it could possibly be. That was the only way I would agree to it. I also wanted to make a film that people could relate to, so I tried to make it as real as possible. I wanted Skin On Skin to be accessible to those who were facing challenges while going after their dreams because I myself have experienced some of those same obstacles, so I felt that it would be important to share those experiences with the audience. As the filming went on, the whole idea and message of the film actually led to our actors and everyone else who was working on the film to share their dreams and passions with each other while working harder to make those dreams a reality. I have always believed that one dream always leads to another, and that art creates itself, so it was great to watch it all come to life!”
Were there any obstacles that you faced during the production of Skin On Skin?
“Yes, of course. Chasing a dream always comes with at least a few obstacles. I definitely experienced some challenges while producing the film, but the people who really believed in the message of the film and the overall goal were able to help us tremendously in many ways so that our team could get back on our feet and make sure that the film could continue to be the very best that we could possibly make it. I actually started a Go Fund Me account to help out with funding for the film during production, and I was so surprised by the number of people who were immediately willing to lend a hand and support our cause. There were over 100 people who helped fund the production of Skin On Skin, and I think that is truly amazing. I think the reason why so many people were willing to help is because they could relate to the story behind the film and the reality of the idea of breaking through certain challenges in order to achieve a goal. Other than funding, another challenge that I faced was realizing that I was trying too hard to control certain things throughout the production process that weren’t meant to be controlled. I wanted everything to be absolutely perfect and I kept thinking to myself, ‘Anyone can create a fashion film, but how many of those films will be truly transformational? I want Skin On Skin to inspire people’. For example, there were some parts of my life that I thought should be left out of the film, because I thought it would hurt the film rather than enhancing it. I soon realized that I can’t change the way my life has fallen into place and that I can never hide from the reality of all of the experiences that I have gone through. I had to remember that people are more interested in the entire truth and not just the good parts. However, I learned from this. I learned that I had to let go of the attachment I had to what I thought the film should be, and to sit back and watch everything fall into place because, at the end of it all, Skin On Skin would turn out exactly how it was meant to be. I learned a lot about myself in general throughout this entire process.”
It’s amazing that your film has been nominated for 4 awards! One of those nominations especially stood out to me – Best Music Award. Can you talk a little about the music that was used throughout the film and what made it particularly stand out?
“A friend of mine is a composer and a songwriter, and we have mutual friends who are singers and who were willing to be a part of the film. We integrated music from all over the world into Skin On Skin, which I believe is the reason why the music stood out so much. The genre of music that has been used within the film is always changing; it’s different. For example, we used music from some of the top orchestras in Los Angeles. I have been involved in music my whole life and actually wrote and sang on one of the songs that was featured in Skin On Skin. The song is called “Deja-Vu” and was inspired by a reoccurring dream that I had. The dream took place in Paris and contained adventure and even romance.”
What does fashion mean to you? What inspired you to take that path?
“Well, you’ll have to watch the film to find out! From the age of four, I have been inspired by fashion and extremely passionate about it. Cindy Gloeckler, my current associate, was my biggest supporter and is the person who got me to become more involved in the fashion world. She was the first person to purchase my book and even got me on television. Cindy has helped me significantly and continues to do so. I hosted a group in which I would help people find their inner fashion designer and help them to achieve that dream. Cindy was actually in that group with me and as I would speak on my own experiences with fashion, she saw a great potential in me and urged me to do more with it. The steps that Cindy has helped me take along the way have led to me being able to create the “Dream Dress”, a dress that I ahem envisioned for a long time and have finally been able to bring it to life. The Dream Dress will be featured in Skin On Skin.”
Can you give some detail about the dress that you will be wearing during the ceremony this weekend?
“I will be wearing pieces from my own collection that I designed myself. On the day of the premier, I’ll be wearing the chiffon leopard print dress, similar to the dress shown on the poster promoting Skin On Skin. Jo-Ann Dean is the ASL interpreter that I brought along with me. She will also be wearing a piece from my collection.”
Are there any projects that you have been working on that we can expect to see from you in the near future?
“The biggest project that I have been working on is my Runway Runaway Collection. The collection consists of 36 pieces. Believe it or not, all 36 pieces can fit into one suitcase, so the collection is very convenient for the traveling woman and for the working woman. Each piece is made with a different animal print and has a goal of comfort, which is what my designs are most known for. I create my designs based on my own experiences. For example, I know what it feels like to come home from a long day of work and want to rip off the outfit that I’ve been wearing for over 8 hours. Well, I wanted to create a line that didn’t make women feel that way. I would never design anything that I would not be comfortable wearing myself. The pieces from the Runway Runaway Collection are so comfortable because of the material that is used to create them. The fabrics that I use the most are chiffon and poly-spandex. I never use cotton. Another addition to the collection is that it is affordable! I wanted to create products that the average working woman could afford. As far as the Dream Dress, it comes in 6 different colors and can be worn in several different ways. The Dream Dress is a dress for the woman on the run and allows that woman to feel comfortable in her own skin at any time of the day whether she is traveling, working at the office, or on a night out.”