Lady Gaga wears a dress by a collaboration between Haus of Gaga and Pinoys Kermit Tesoro and Leeroy New.

Dressing Lady Gaga

Philippine Star – Supreme (October 23, 2011)

By Divine Lee

MANILA, Philippines – I’m gonna marry the night. I won’t give up on my life.”

The line from Lady Gaga’s song is perfect. How Leeroy and Kermit got to Lady Gaga is all about persistence and hardwork.

Kermit Tesoro, a young designer, and Leeroy New, a visual artist, landed the singles cover of Lady Gaga’s Marry the Night.People may think it’s just pure luck but I have been sitting through the coordination and trust me, it was no walk in the park.

I was already working with Kermit Tesoro when he got an e-mail asking about his shoes from Nicola Formichetti, a Japanese-Italian designer and the man behind Lady Gaga’s most iconic looks. The young designer, overflowing with nerves and excitement, passed on the duty of coordinating with him to me. Yes, we got to talk to the “Anna” of Lady Gaga’s styling team that she mentioned in her CFDA speech. The first inquiries were all about Kermit’s various shoe designs: from the skulls to the heel-less. We sent a couple of pairs to Lady Gaga and she wore one for her collaboration with Gilt Groupe. From that day on, we have been coordinating with her team endlessly.

Kermit Tesoro’s heel-less shoes for Lady Gaga’s Gilt collection

Kermit the Hermit, as I would tease him, took a bit of convincing in starting a website. After the Gilt Groupe stint, I got flooded with requests for photos from different stylists, so I told him “Ker, I’m not the techiest person here and I’m having such a hard time attaching files all day long…can we just put out a website? “

That website was the start of our amazing race specials. The Haus of Gaga team picked out five outfits for her from Kermit’s collections — four from his two latest collections, and one from his collaboration with Leeroy. We were all set and ready to go until they told us the deadline…everything was needed in two weeks! Kermit was a walking zombie during that time. The last and most important piece was the one with Leeroy.

I don’t know how they did it but we were technically a day late for FedEx, who refused to ship our package. There was no other way but to find someone to bring it to New York City. I was actually already considering flying to NYC myself to hand-deliver the package, but before doing so, I turned to Twitter and Facebook. Thank God Anna, a friend of Victor’s sister, is a flight attendant for Asiana.

My driver got the piece from Kermit who was at Leeroy’s house (I think they finished the piece just right before the pick-up time). My driver then brought the piece to Anna, who hand-carried it all the way to the NYC airport and gave it to Victor’s sister Isabel and his in-law Antony, who even rented a car for that day to deliver the item to the team. They made it just in time, a Sunday to be exact, so they delivered it to someone waiting for them outside a closed office.

With no specific details and phone calls, we were all just waiting for something, anything to come out. Everytime we would ask the Gaga team, the answer would always be “It’s on our line-up.”

The waiting was the hardest part. The original agreement was that the piece was to be used for one of her shoots, so we were all just waiting for a video to come out, but I think they were so happy with the piece that they edited it a bit to fit the concept of the Marry the Night cover, which the Gaga fan site released only a few days ago! The collaboration worked! Kermit and Leeroy New made all of us Pinoy little monsters proud!

I know there are more opportunities for these two in the future. Both of them are so talented, and will for sure make us even more proud with their future work.

Now, I don’t think the last few words of advice should come from me. Let’s take it from Lady Gaga’s song:

I’m gonna marry the night

I won’t give up on my life

I’m a warrior queen,

Live passionately tonight

Once again, Gaga said it perfectly. Stand up and be passionate. Work for your dreams, because it is possible. Lady Gaga is not just a fantasy, and Kermit and Leeroy just proved that to us.

Much love,