Feeding inner fashion animal
It seems as if moving into the new apartment for Kriste Stan, an author of fashion blog Feed Your Fashion Animal and her boyfriend Vincas Cygas wasn’t such a difficult task after all. They both decided to come back and live here in Vilnius, capital of Lithuania. “Vogue”, “Elle”, “Harper’s Bazaar”, “W magazine” are only some of the magazines which have noticed light, minimalistic and elegant style of Kriste, which is perfectly evident in her clothes as well as in her white as a fairytale home.
Kriste, you studied and lived in London for the past three years. Why have you come back and who was the happiest about this decision?
I’m not sure about that… I think I felt that London wasn’t my city. There are many possibilities, new things, new people and useful experience out there… And yet we made a decision to come back. Vincas had plans to start studying in Lithuania and we thought that we could try to install ourselves here. When he finishes his studies, maybe we’ll travel somewhere else. My parents and even grandparents had always wanted me to finish my studies in a foreign country, maybe even to stay there, so people who were the happiest about this decision were actually my friends and myself. I was really happy about coming back to Lithuania.
You searched for a new apartment. What is the story of this house?
This house is like a memory of my childhood. My grandparents lived here and I used to spend time in this house for about twelve years. Just when I came back, I told my grand-dad that this house is very close to me and that I would like to interpret it in my own way, redecorate it a little bit and start living. We made the changes all by ourselves, so we’re very thankful for our families for helping us: we would gather together and take away the wallpapers, clean the walls, take to pieces the wardrobes. Previously this apartment was in soviet style, so now Vincas and I are happy for having it re-done according to our taste and wishes. We haven’t invited grandparents yet but we hope they won’t be shocked! (laughs).
You’re working in fashion communication right now. How does your work day look like? I guess you have less time for Feed Your Fashion Animal blog…
Each day is very different. When I come to the office, I usually drink a cup of tea, check my e-mail, arrange my schedule. In this kind of work, I get to communicate with many interesting people, stylists, photographers and I’m very grateful for new encounters, experiences. We’re also working with a children’s fashion shop, so sometimes I have to work as a stylist and organize the photoshoots. I do have enough time for my blog. Right now, I would like to change its conception a little bit: unite a website dedicated for my illustrations and publish more artistic material. I’d love to show more of my art works than combinations of clothes. I’m in deep reflections right now concerning these changes, thinking how to connect everything and create something new and beautiful.
What was the most memorable moment during your career of a fashion blogger?
It was probably London Fashion Week, when my outfit was published in “Vogue” magazine. I recall that moment very well: I started jumping from joy. It was my very first London Fashion Week, September 14th and I had come to study in London just two days before. I came up with that outfit very quickly, put in on and went out with one of my friends, who was already studying in London… It was a real fashion oasis for me! Many photographers rushed to take photos and I didn’t even know what magazines they were working for. After some weeks, I saw a photo of myself in “Vogue Italia” and was completely amazed. And after that, I saw myself in other magazines as well… This summer, while I was in Barcelona, I met a photographer Adam from “W magazine”. He collaborated with “Vogue” and other publishers. We discussed briefly the fashion industry, the most famous models and other people who are working in it, and I was absolutely fascinated by how simple and easy-going that man was. He had started his career while working in a cafe and spent much time taking photographs. Getting to know him encouraged me to try more and push myself towards my goals.
What do you think is the most important rule for someone who wants to be a successful fashion blogger?
Well, I’ve always said that the main rule is being unique. It’s essential to stop trying look like others. Maybe getting ideas from different people, especially in the start when you’re beginning to form your style and taste is quite common, but you have to stay faithful to yourself. Of course, “pop” style is more accessible to mass culture and popularity comes much easier that way, but if you do what’s honestly important for you and you do it according to your very own vision, success comes along with it.
Who makes all those OOTD (Outfit Of The Day) photos?
Actually, I had a lot of photographers. The very first one of them was my sister, who was only nine years old then! (laughs). We would go together outside, I would tell her where to stand and how to take photos. Later on it was my boyfriend Vincas, who’s still taking photos of me sometimes. While I was in London, I met a girl from South Korea during the fashion week. She had finished photography studies in London Fashion College. I’m very thankful for her to have photographed my outfits. Now, when I’m back here, I work mostly with my friend and my colleague Viktorija Paskelyte.
Your “Instagram” photos are not any less beautiful. Would you have any advice how to create such aesthetically attractive feed?
There’s probably no secret because I capture things just the way I see them. I try to look at things from the other angle. Probably it’s not evident from the shot, but I spend much time composing how everything is going to look like in the photo. When I do a still life, I try to avoid intensity so that objects, people and clothes would occupy the most important role in that photo. It’s not white walls that count, but the environment – it should be neutral so that things which we want to emphasize could be seen.
What do you think are the perks of being a fashion blogger (invitations to fashion events, gifts, recognition or others)?
I value getting to know other people very much. Sometimes when I meet somebody, I think that probably I won’t see him for a second time, but I try to maintain the conversation and friendly relations. This has a positive echo in the future: various collaborations happen, or I find nice friends. I also like participating in events and having a chance to share my impressions with others. And when I hear that this inspires other people as well, I try not to miss a single possiblity to do this.
What are the things about you which would surprise people?
One time somebody asked me what would I do if I weren’t a fashion blogger and I answered that I’d probably go to Africa or Australia to work with animals. People are really surprised when they hear that. Fashion, animals… these things probably don’t match for them.
What is the first thing you notice in other people’s style?
It’s probably the accessories. A lot of people would say shoes, but I tend to notice bags more. I change my predilections every year, so I’ve seen lots of bags which attract the eye – then I want them and ask the owner where it’s from and sometimes get sad when they say it’s a model from an old collection.
Is there a fashion rule you’d never break?
I like experimenting very much. I never create rules for myself and I never use them, so I don’t get to break them.
How would you describe fashion of Vilnius, in comparison with London or other fashion capitals?
Previously, it was more difficult to comment on this, because all people were similar and dressed in a similar way, but now when I’ve spent some years abroad, I notice that a lot of things have changed here. There are more experimenting people, who are not afraid to go out dressed up in a way which is beautiful for them, so I’m very happy about that. I also feel better this way – I used to feel a little uncomfortable because people would look and comment on my “strange looks”. But this encourages me to stay faithful to myself and dress up the way I like, in spite of what other people think. This is how my blog started – I wanted to prove other girls that you can dress up how you like and this is how it should always be done, it’s not important what others think. So now I’m really pleased with the situation in Vilnius because there are more people who think this way and are not afraid to try something new. You can wear whatever you like in London and nobody will ever say anything. Lithuanian people are becoming braver, but the huge difference remains. The fact that high fashion is more affordable for British people is probably also important, they can invest more in their style.
Who was your first fashion icon?
I think the very first one was my mom. When I was little, she used to teach me how to match colors, choose what to wear. One morning I got up and told her: “It’s over, I’ll choose myself”. It was winter and I chose thin pantyhose, a shirt without sleeves, but I was very happy that mom let me do that. She always gave her advice but never pushed to necessarily use it.
If you could change wardrobes with one person, who would it be and why?
I’d change wardrobes with a fashion blogger and journalist Leandra Medine from “Man Repeller”. Right now she’s my fashion icon. I got a chance to talk to her in London and I’m very glad about that. Judging from her blog, Leandra is a very interesting and inspiring personality. I never miss her outfits. I think we have something in common and we try to match things which don’t match.