She connected with our La Peony team at the brand’s first-ever photo shoot of the La Primera capsule collection. Her vibrant energy was a fantastic fit for our multi-talented, all-female crew - and, as it turns out, the feeling was mutual. Here is her exclusive take on the experience:
De Anne: You’ve been in the professional modeling field for some time. What is your typical pre-shoot regimen?
Natalia: The night before, I always do a Biologique Recherche face mask (in addition to my usual 12-step skin regimen). The next morning, I complete a regimen of eye patches, gua sha, and a 15-minute ZIIP Beauty nanocurrent microcurrent facial - it’s like a natural brightening facelift. I work out throughout the year, so any activity I do is more for maintenance than pre-shoot prep.
De Anne: Even though we were shooting a fall collection, we were dealing with excessive 107-degree heat - what was your reaction?
Natalia: Actually, the first time I arrived in California two years ago, we were shooting in the desert. It was so hot and many of us felt very dehydrated. Fortunately, I was working with a pro stuntman (it was a car shoot) who gave me the hugely helpful tip to drink a ton of water the night before. So, that’s what I did before this shoot.
De Anne: You and the other two models, Sophie and Holly, had a great chemistry together. Had you worked with them before?
Natalia: I’d met Holly once before, as we’re both at the same New York agency. The modeling community is pretty friendly and feels like a small family. We don’t get to see each other often, so when we’re on set, that’s our only chance to catch up. By the end, the three of us felt like we’d known each other for years.
Melony: As a professional model, you receive so many invitations for work. What was it about LPC that compelled you to work with us?
Natalia: I loved that LPC is a small, intimate collection. So many new brands I’ve worked with don’t realize what goes into a photo shoot and they plan for numerous outfit changes. This set was perfect - the props, the location, the team; everything was amazing.
Natalia wearing the The Caroline Sustainable Stretch Hemp Fleece Jumpsuit In Cream
Melony: Our brand started as a passion project to make women feel beautiful and confident in luxurious fabrics they never want to take off. Can you share with us how the pieces felt when you wore them?
Natalia: I loved everything! They each fit perfectly and would be an instant travel go-to for me, as they look sophisticated but are also comfy with the ideal amount of breathable warmth.
The fabric felt like a soft, cozy blanket, and I loved the lining in the Caroline jumpsuit. My waist felt controlled but I could also breathe - and eat! Not like shapewear at all.
De Anne: Yes! The idea behind our jumpsuit was to get away from uncomfortable shapewear but still offer a smoothing fit. We want you to feel like you’re absolutely rocking it!
Melony: So far, every collaboration has truly been a feat of women uplifting women, with an all-female support team that really shines. We really tried to incorporate Oaxacan women in our modern designs. Do you feel we managed to blend these elements in a way that works?
Natalia: I love the touch on Oaxacan artisans. I’ve been to Oaxaca and absolutely loved it - the atmosphere, the art. Their designs are so beautiful. I really like that these pieces feature just a touch of detail, making each one feel very special.
De Anne: We want LPC to be about confidence, with flattering fits that are also ethical. Our clothes get better with each wear and are manufactured in Los Angeles by a family-run business. We love partnering with women and these amazing artisans for this first collection. Mel’s an artist, her mom’s an artist, and we love providing a livable wage to women who are using their art - we want to celebrate their skill and give them a bigger stage.
Melony: Knowing that you wear so many brands and have such an active lifestyle, what do you see as the major trends ahead? What are you loving?
Natalia: I’ve been seeing a lot of fun play with denim - cowboy boots seem to be coming back. I love that “Western rocker” kind of style. Also a lot of motocross, and the maxi - really oversized fits like your hoodie dress, which you can wear open or form-fitting. I love to travel in big, oversized clothes like these.
Melony: We initially intended the Annie hoodie dress to serve as a dress only, but then we thought about the added versatility of a jacket - with the sustainable element of cozy stretch hemp fleece.
Natalia: I’m trying to be more sustainable, too - there’s a lot of plastic foodware on sets and you never know what brands are doing behind the scenes with their factories or manufacturing.
I’m trying to align with brands that fit my values, so I love that you’re very transparent about it. I can’t always turn down jobs because of non-sustainable practices, but I think it’s great that people are starting to focus on them more. As a consumer, that’s really important to me.
De Anne: Absolutely. We want our customers to feel good about their purchase because they know it will last, it supports women, and it was made sustainably and ethically.
Natalia: What inspired you to launch this brand?
De Anne: When COVID hit, Mel and I experienced a pause in life. We’ve been friends for 30 years, and we started talking about how to find that “unstoppable” feeling with our fashion. We’re also at a point in life where we aren’t ready for “grandma-wear” but we don’t want to dress like our kids, either.
We wanted to figure out what the ideal style looks like. What’s the science behind flattering a woman’s body in sophisticated yet modern ways? We saw a definite hole in the marketplace, especially when it comes to fast fashion. We also wanted to be part of a larger community - women who want to be comfortable, look fabulous, and feel great about their wardrobe.
Melony: Right. I’m always asking myself ‘How do I look good from morning to night?’ We’re both really philanthropic people, so we wondered how we might give back beyond our immediate circle.
We love uplifting artisans, but how do we also give back from what we earn selling these pieces? La Peony was never about money. It was more about spending the next 30 years helping others.
Shop the limited La Primera capsule collection featuring sustainable wardrobe essentials that fit and flatter. Watch the live interview with Natalia Lalonde and see our behind-the-scenes reel @la_peony_clothing on Instagram. Follow Natalia’s adventures @natalialalonde. Big thanks to Natalia and the entire team behind our fabulous fall photo shoot.
ABOUT LA PEONY CLOTHING
Mom, wife, sister, friend, business owner, volunteer. These are just a few of our highlights as life-long friends. For over 30 years, we have shared many of life's journeys and have always held tightly to the notion that life is a beautiful gift and should be about collecting moments.
We have designed and curated an exclusive collection that's socially responsible, eco friendly, and empowering for all women. It's important to live life fully and dress boldly.
At a time when women of all ages and backgrounds are redefining what it means to be feminine, their clothing should help them celebrate their beauty and power.