Orange County, CA – Monica Lawrence, a passionate Zuni tribal member and emerging filmmaker, is making her mark with her captivating debut documentary, “AMERICAN HAUTE COUTURE.” This groundbreaking film, aiming to be featured in this year’s AFI Film Festival in October, explores Native American creativity and challenges long-standing stereotypes, shedding light on the rich cultural heritage often overshadowed by tragedy.
Monica Lawrence’s journey from concept to completion is a testament to her determination and commitment. “I didn’t wait for an opportunity, I made my own,” declares Lawrence, who directed, financed, filmed, and even sewed a tote bag for the project. The film unearths the origins of the Ribbon skirt, addressing the absence of a national costume in America, and boldly confronting the persistent racist viewpoints that have plagued the nation.
“AMERICAN HAUTE COUTURE” delves into the exquisite skills of Native American seamstresses and ateliers, championing their artistic contributions that often go unnoticed. The film also highlights the collaboration of Lawrence’s Scottish friends, a team of talented film editors who transformed her vision into a compelling reality.
A proud Sagaftra member, Monica Lawrence brings a wealth of experience from her work in the entertainment industry. Having appeared in Rutherford Falls (Season 1, Episode 6), Lawrence emphasizes her desire to maintain control over her likeness while continuing to pursue her passion.
Born in Whittier, CA and raised in Orange County, CA, Monica Lawrence’s connection to her Pueblo roots in New Mexico presented challenges, which she courageously overcame to embrace her matriarchal heritage. She is of the frog clan, which further underscores her unique cultural identity.
While “AMERICAN HAUTE COUTURE” marks her debut documentary, Monica Lawrence has exciting plans for the future. Her completed writing projects, one detailing her experiences as a Temp worker and another centered on frugal living, reflect her wisdom and desire to impart knowledge. She is also no stranger to diverse interests, having penned blog posts and articles about motorcycles in both the US and UK, and becoming the first woman to lead a scooter rally ride in Orange County in the early 2000s. As a skilled belly dancer and happily married individual, Lawrence’s multifaceted persona is as captivating as her filmmaking.
Monica Lawrence’s “AMERICAN HAUTE COUTURE” is a powerful testament to self-determination, cultural pride, and creative expression. As an emerging voice in the world of filmmaking, Lawrence has undoubtedly set the stage for a promising and impactful career.
About Monica Lawrence
Monica Lawrence is a Zuni tribal member, passionate filmmaker, and proud Sagaftra member. Her debut documentary, “AMERICAN HAUTE COUTURE,” explores Native American creativity and challenges societal stereotypes. Monica is a multi-talented individual with a diverse range of interests, from motorcycles to belly dancing, and she continues to inspire with her unique perspective and creative endeavors.