Saturday, February 25, 2012

SPECIAL GUEST: Translator & Art Curator, Natalia Dreamlander

{This look: "Stop Violence Against Women"}

I was thoroughly tickled by my interview with Natalia Dreamlander from Fashion Against Ideology, a truly wonderful character.  From my sunny living room in the states I conducted an interview with Natalia over skype from her Swiss home.  Despite the fact that we've never met before I can say with confidence that Natalia is, "good peoples" (as they say).

I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did. 

May you be inspired.

{This look: "Joe C"}

Zapora: Hi Natalia! It's Zapora

Natalia Dreamlander: Hi! What’s up? I just came back from Paris

Z: That's so wonderful that you can travel to Paris on the weekend. That would be a 7 hour flight for me

ND: Actually I was there for a week but I can say the same thing about NYC, too far away!

Z: Haha yea I guess your right. Well you'll have to come visit the States someday

ND: I sure want to go back there!

Z: Okay let’s get this interview show on the road. So tell me a little bit about your name and it’s origin. I’m especially interested to hear where the second part came from, “Dreamlander”

ND:  Well, one fine morning I came home from a crazy party and decided to watch all the movies by John Waters that I hadn’t seen, And then I saw that his group of actors were called "Dreamlanders" and I was like, "That's it!"  I've been part of the underground Parisian scene for the last two years, so it kind of made sense

Z:  Whoa.  Tell me about that! What's this underground Parisian scene you speak of?  Is it like underground music, fashion slash lifestyle?

ND: It's a gay/hetero friendly scene, which is about pretty much everything of what you said. There are DJs, young designers, musicians, models...

Z: Oh my gosh this all sounds crazy inspirational

 {This look: "Le Colonel"}

ND:  Yeah, it's really cool.  My style changed a lot after I started hanging out with these kinds of people. I also learned to accept myself, because as long as you have style and a fun personality, you will be appreciated no matter if you're thin or fat, young or old. It's very different from a "conventional" night life.  The crazier you look, the more people like you.

Z:  That sounds like my dream world.  But I also think it can be very fun to dress crazy in a place where you don't fit in, fitting in is definitely overrated.

ND: Sure, but I really hate it when people become judgmental. It's fun for a moment and then it becomes boring and makes me want to slap people, haha

Z: Haha Yes, I totally agree! I just want people to appreciate each others differences instead of passing judgment.

ND: The more different people are, the more inspirational it can be! This is actually what I look for when I read blogs. I love to discover bloggers who post inspiration posts that are different, it's like visiting somebody else's imagination. I hate blogs with outfit posts only.

Z: You put that so well! "It's like visiting somebody else’s imagination." You have a beautiful mind!

ND: thanks, you made me blush! Haha!  But really, that’s what it's about.  I love to see what kind of music people listen to, what they see, where they go. STALKER!!! Haha

Z: You're right, that's what I look for on the internet in general. I look for people who are unique. Who dress differently, think differently, live differently. I'm such a people watcher. So tell me about your hometown, what’s it like there. Are there a lot of interesting people to watch there?

ND : I was born in Moscow, Russia, was raised in Geneva, Switzerland. I kind of have a weird background which confuses me very often. I still speak Russian but I feel uncomfortable every time I run into a "real" Russian person who just expects me to be like them and I’m not.

Z: What an interesting background! hard to keep up with things like language. If you don't use it it gets lost. I used to speak French a long time ago but that died with my childhood. So you have an interesting background has this influenced your professional life, I wonder if you could share with me what do you do for a living?

ND: Well, I used to be a journalist and an art curator but when the financial crisis came, it was all kaput and I must say, I was quite picky and didn't want to work with just anybody so I couldn't find a decent job and so I changed my career path. I studied translation and graduated last September. Now I spend a lot of time in Geneva because there are more opportunities for translators here.  My dream life is to have short term contracts and in between keep working with artists.

{This  look: "Poison Ivy"}

Z: You have a very interested life.  You're very fortunate to have been able to explore so many career paths.

ND:  Yeah, it's really cool. It's like living different lives in one. But, it's confusing too. You know, I was born on the 23rd of October and sometimes it’s said that I’m a Scorpio and other times it’s said that I’m a Libra.  That sums up my whole life, I can't define who I really am.  In French you would say "avoir le cul entre deux chaises" which literally means "having your ass between two chairs"

Z: Hahah, I like that expression.

ND: Hahahahahaha

Z: Perhaps you are undefinable

ND: Maybe, I don’t know it's the same when it comes to my style.  I’m inspired by very different things.

Z: Do you find yourself going through different "style phases"?

ND: No, it's different styles all in one hahaha

Z: So how would you describe your style?

ND: Well let's just say, I try to have key words to make my different looks look like they are worn by the same person.  Right now my look is something like, "Baroness on Crack" or, "Confused Dandy".  I try to mix different things with one idea in mind but I don't always succeed.

Z: Failure is a great part of success. Aren’t my cliché’s comforting?

ND: Haha yeah. I guess I'm still working on my style actually.

Z: So is there anything your currently obsessed with that's influencing your style?

ND: In general right now I love folk things and princesses, tsarinas... In particular right now I have a thing for pin up hair and African prints. It's a hell of a mix! Hahaha

Z: What an interesting combination! So would you say that music inspires your style at all?

ND: Ach... less and less I would say. It’s like everyone’s making music these days. There’s so much freedom, it's crazy to say but the sometimes the more freedom and more choice we have, the less creative we get (frowns)

Z: So true, I find that after spending too much time watching TV or on the internet I feel less and less creative. All this technology and excess of knowledge is draining. It’s hard to stay inspired….how do you stay inspired?

 {This look: "Red Riding Hood"}

ND: Mmm good question.  Well, being around creative people really pushes me to be creative too like they expect me to rock an interesting look or say something cool so I can't just show up wearing jeans and a shirt hahaha

Z: It's good to surround yourself with people who push you. Oh so I wanted to ask you a little bit about your blog how did you get started?

ND: I wanted to start a blog a long time ago! Because I was reading a lot of interesting and inspiring blogs and thought, "I should do the same" but it took me forever to get started. I realized that if clothes were just a superficial thing, nobody would make a fuss about them, but if you study history, you'll see that the first thing that dictators tried to change when they got to power was the way people looked and the clothes they wore. Dictators are just an example of course.

Z: Mmm fashion is powerful! It allows to express how we feel and who we are. It makes us think, and thinking can be dangerous.

ND: Oh yes! a lot of fashion movements began because people were fighting for something.

Z: Like YSL's power suit in the 80s love that, I love blazers with powerful shoulders, huge shoulder pads

ND: Me too! It reminds me of the Zoot Suiters in the 20s-30s, that was so political! And it was followed by young people in other countries.

Z: Yes clothing is amazing, is there an outrageous item in your closet that you covet?

ND: Hum...I would say my puppy sweater.

{This look: "Puppy Loco"} 
 Z: Why is it so special to you?

ND: Because it's really versatile and cute, and also because I bought it from a friend of mine who is a fashion designer. I love buying stuff from young designers, it makes me feel like Peggy Guggenheim or something! Hahaha

Z: Wonderful! Supporting the arts is so important; I can’t even begin the express. Alright Miss Dreamlander it’s time we began wrapping it up.  I’d like to ask you my favorite questions: if you could share one message with the world what would it be?

ND: Think before you buy. I am really concerned about the ethics of clothing.

Z: I agree.

ND: And I think fast fashion has nothing good to give us so yeah..."Think before you buy", not only because being fast fashion's puppet sucks, but also because it's about time we started thinking about where our clothes from, in what working conditions and by whom they are made. Ethical must become cool!

Z: “Ethical must be cool”, that’s brilliant.  You have left us with some priceless gems of information! Thank you so much for taking the time to interview with me.

ND: Thank you for inviting me!

Like what you read? Pay Natalia's blog a visit to experience more @

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