Home EdizioneEd. 13 Dana Taylor, after conquering catwalks and covers, embarks on an original artistic journey to portray that oppressive world
 Dana Taylor, dopo aver conquistato passerelle e copertine, si lancia in un originale percorso artistico per raccontare quel mondo opprimente

Dana Taylor, after conquering catwalks and covers, embarks on an original artistic journey to portray that oppressive world

by Matteo Muzio

Written by Matteo Muzio

There are some models who are not like the others. They have a magnetic gaze and a natural charisma in moving through space, so much so that they remain imprinted in the memory, even though we often don’t even remember their names. Dana Taylor is undoubtedly one of these people and has always had this as a goal in life, favoured in this by her family background. Then came a global catastrophe, and so many insecurities emerged: about the working environment, about friendships, about actual personal freedom and the sacrifices that such a job entails, when done at the highest level, on catwalks all over the world. So you no longer think about glamour, about covers in Vogue and Playboy, but about finding meaning in your life. Taylor is now in her thirties and has a new career in the world of art and creativity ahead of her.

Dana Taylor, dopo aver conquistato passerelle e copertine, si lancia in un originale percorso artistico per raccontare quel mondo opprimenteYou grew up in a small, remote town in Illinois. Why did you always want to be a model?
My father was a photographer, so it’s like I was born for this. He made me do small advertising campaigns from a very young age, but as I got older I didn’t like doing them any more and I would simply go to his studio and make a mess. When I became a teenager, my interest in fashion revived, although I must say that I always enjoyed watching the girls getting ready and all the process it took to create the final image. I begged my father to let me be a model, even though he knew how tough that world was and made me wait until I was fifteen to make sure I was ready. So I signed my first contract and that’s where it all started.

After many years of work, the pandemic arrived in 2020. What was the moment when you realised you had to devote yourself to other projects?
That was a crucial moment for me. Initially very hard to focus. I had built my modelling career through an endless series of catwalks, shoots and appearances. Everything, however, seemed uncertain. Instead of getting sad, I decided to see it as a chance for personal growth and change.

I had to try out different projects, which partly intimidated me and partly freed me. So I decided to try my hand at digital creativity.

Dana Taylor, dopo aver conquistato passerelle e copertine, si lancia in un originale percorso artistico per raccontare quel mondo opprimenteWhy did you choose to call this creative path ‘Chaos & Couture’?
Because these two words best describe both my personality and my life: a mix of elegance and unpredictability. But also eccentric, a crazy ball of energy.

You decided to make some creations using digital art. Did you also choose this way to be more affordable?
Of course, making my work accessible to everyone is an important part of my idea of digital creativity: I want to break down barriers and create inclusive art for everyone, regardless of their financial situation. Because I want to inspire the public through my work by removing the barriers that prevent imagination from spreading.

One of your works in the ‘Chaos’ path is dedicated to mental health: how important is this theme for a career in fashion?

Many models, including myself, have dealt with mental health problems, but we have often had to keep them hidden.

You can’t show emotion when you have to work: you always have to be ready, because otherwise you can upset someone and lose your job. On set you have no say in your outfit and so you feel treated like a mannequin, so you feel devalued and not considered a sentient human being.

Dana Taylor, dopo aver conquistato passerelle e copertine, si lancia in un originale percorso artistico per raccontare quel mondo opprimenteSpeaking of that, another image from your path portrays precisely dehumanisation in the fashion industry. Do you think this is still a big problem today?
Of course, it remains a huge problem, even if the media says the opposite. If you work there, you come up against it every day. Then you are the one who has to defend yourself: when you have a horrible day with a disrespectful client, you have to ask yourself the question if you want to live through more such days. Many girls are sent to addresses without knowing what they will have to do, and it can destroy the nerves. Then comes the fear of losing the job. You have to trust your agent and raise your voice: there is only one life!

Moving on in ‘Chaos’, you see how this whole environment was suffocating you. Is that also why she decided to break all her contracts?
I felt that if I didn’t, my agency would restrain me from telling the story the way I wanted to. I didn’t want to risk having the pill softened so as not to upset anyone..

I wanted to tell the truth, even if it meant breaking a few relationships and blowing up a few bridges.

Only in this way I could tell the story without censorship.

Dana Taylor, dopo aver conquistato passerelle e copertine, si lancia in un originale percorso artistico per raccontare quel mondo opprimenteYou are now in full control of your work and also of your life. How much did it cost her to achieve all this?
It wasn’t difficult, but I took risks, I put my reputation on the line without knowing if this gamble would work. Instead, my honesty was appreciated.

Do you plan to explore other art forms in the future?
As an artist, I think I have to continuously challenge myself to explore new creative fields. If my path initially led me to digital creation, I am excited by the thought of what I can do next. I want to grow, to be able to explore new avenues and inspire other people too.

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