By MILA FIGUET
"I wish the girls would have been as much encouraged to explore their sexuality as the boys were"
Who are you? What is your fashion background ?
My name is Veronika Dorosheva. I am a freelance fashion stylist and writer, currently based In Berlin. I actually don’t have a classic fashion background. I studied Journalism and Literature prior to getting involved in fashion, which is now an important part of my -working- life.
It started with me writing show reviews and conducting interviews with designers and other creatives, which I still do. Then at some point I started to style small shoots for friends and people I knew. The more you do, the more contacts you get and the more people get in touch with you, and hire you for their projects, you know... This is how I ended up doing what I am doing now: all sorts of shoots, editorial work as well as commercials.
Do you believe that styling is an art like any other type of art?
Yes absolutely! As for any other artists it takes time for stylists to find their own signature and to understand what they want, and what they can do. Some people are more creative than others. Some people look at their work simply as work and don’t have an ambition to create something unique. They see their job just as a way to sustain themselves. Others, on the contrary, have this urge to create and to explore. I think you see the same tendencies in pretty much every artistic field.
There are many gender stereotypes associated with the fashion industry (the perfect skinny blond girl f.e.). How do you feel about that?
I think it’s not so much the case anymore. I think we are experiencing a big shift, which is happening now in fashion and in contemporary society in general. People started to be more aware about gender stereotypes, and even if those still exist there is certainly more space for discussion in the public discourse about gender and sexuality. Just look how popular are the feminist ideas at the moment. Fashion like art, both reflect on political events and shifts in public consciousness. Artists are naturally picking up the new ideas way faster and they comment on those ideas through their art. Fashion is a bit slower in these terms, but it’s also changing! Alone the fact that many luxury brands started to use models of both genders for both their menswear and womenswear shows is the marker of the shift in the gender discourse.
Is it more challenging to style boys rather than girls?
Both can be challenging depending on a project, but I prefer to style boys to be honest. Maybe it is because by doing so I am each time learning something new about the male body. When I style girls, I can always try the clothes myself. This doesn’t work with boys. Maybe this is why it’s kind of exciting for me as I never know for sure if the clothes will look exactly the same way as I think they will...
Designer Shura Fillipova believes that fashion is becoming genderless. How do you see the future of fashion?
I wasn’t sure if I knew the designer and had to google her name. But then I realized that I’ve seen her designs in some editorials w little while ago and that I am actually following her brand on Instagram. I wouldn’t say that fashion is becoming genderless. I would say that fashion designers are more and more eager to explore the gender stereotypes and play with them and that there is certainly more fluidity regarding who should wear what…
To be honest, I don’t understand why some people want everything to be genderless. If everything becomes genderless where is the proclaimed diversity that people are so eager to celebrate? Isn’t it amazing that bodies are different? As for me, I love how menswear pieces can look amazing on women and how sexy and powerful a woman can look in a menswear jacket. I also wear some menswear pieces, exactly because I appreciate very much that the shapes and fit are slightly different.
I think rather than pushing this agenda of genderless clothing people should encourage and celebrate the freedom of choice. When everyone will feel free and comfortable to wear what she or he wants (be it a skirt or a dress for a man and a tuxedo for a women) then fashion will be finally liberated from the stereotypes.
How did being a woman impact your life and your art?
I grew up in a very traditional culture regarding the gender stereotypes, nevertheless I was raised by very strong women. What I have always admired in women in my family is the emotional strength and the ability to deal with their personal emotions, but also understand other people’s emotional states. This is how I think that womanhood impacts my life. I am trying to understand people and be aware of their feelings and motivations. The only thing I wish would have been different at the time is that of sexual education and the feminine sexuality. I wish the girls would have been as much encouraged to explore their sexuality as the boys were. I hope this has been changed by now.
I think there are so many other things that impact my life and what I am doing beyond the fact that I am a woman. Where I come from, where I live now, who are my friends and people I encounter in my daily life, my curiosity etc. All this made me who I am now and thus influence what I am doing as a creative person.
Why did you choose Berlin as your base?
I didn’t choose Berlin, Berlin chose me, haha… Well, it wasn’t a thought-out and conscious choice, but rather a series of circumstances that brought me here. I am very happy that it happened though. I learned a lot and consider Berlin as my home at the moment, even though after spending 11 years here I feel like I start to be open for a change.
I think Berlin is a great city for artists and musicians, but there is not so much happening in terms of fashion, certainly not enough on the professional level.