Wannabe interview: Biljana Tipsarevic and Martha Dominguez

The team behind a creative Internet-based fashion corner, the “Packing Stylist” blog, are two young ladies, who are decided to share their love toward fashion, travel and art with the rest of the world. They make fashion fairytales in their own special and personal way.

WANNABE MAGAZINE: You have combined your love towards fashion, traveling, food and art in your blog “Packing Stylist”. What made you choose this particular name for your blog?

BILJANA TIPSAREVIC: Every city has its own unique sentiment and atmosphere, and that goes for its fashion sense too. It is interesting how women dress, and how they perceive fashion in different parts of the world. That is the exact thing we try to represent to our readers. I wanted to write down my impressions about places that I visited, so as “must see” locations of the city. I travel a lot, and packing is a skill in which I am excellently adept and I do it quickly and with great ease. But, that is only possible if you know exactly what you need to carry with you to a certain destination. So, on our blog, all of our readers can get useful advices about this subject.

MARTHA DOMINGUEZ: I was always wishing there was a place where I could go and find out what to pack when traveling to different cities…and despite my search, I never found one. So, I decided to create a blog and call it exactly what it is…a stylist for packing. That’s why it’s called “Packing Stylist”. The goal is to be able to come to the blog and find the city you’re traveling to and see what we can picked out for you to pack and why.

Biljana graduated from "Faculty of Technical Engineering" in Novi Sad, Serbia, and after that, she got her Master's degree in "Industrial engeneering and management". She is currently studying at the "Callegari", an institute for fashion design in Milan, Italy

Your blog is a great delicacy for all fashion hedonists. What is fashion, in your opinion?

B: It is a way of expression, a form of art. The way you dress tells a lot about you, and how you see yourself, and it is very important that you dress in synch to your way of life, education, your job and character. Fashion shouldn’t be blindly followed and you should not be a slave to all the trends. Your own sense of fashion should derive from your personal sensibility and attitude.

M: Fashion for me is art…it’s very personal, totally objective and without a right or wrong…just a personal preference. And I love that it is an extension of your personality…that’s why I love for people to get creative with their clothes…it shows me what kind of personality they have more than someone that just dresses the same as everyone.

It is well known that many of the famous fashion bloggers around the world made their blogs into a very good business opportunity. What is your opinion about fashion blogging?

B: Most bloggers start their blogs for their personal satisfaction, and out of the need to express themselves, either by words or photography, and they do it without any material or business plan or goal. I greatly appreciate those who made their work into a lucrative business, for there is nothing more satisfying than to do what you love and make a good business out of it. I would personally write my blog even if no one read it, just for my own amusement. I like to write down my impressions about travelling and fashion, and even more than that, I like to share them with the others. Especially if I know that other people enjoy our blog and acknowledge our suggestions.

M: It would be great to make a larger business from this blog, but the real motivation for “Packing Stylist” is the passion for fashion and for travel…I would do this still if no one was reading…but thankfully people are reading it and they enjoying…so if it opens up a new door in business, that would be icing on the cake.

Do you have any favorites among foreign and home based blogs, and what is that special thing you like about them?

B: I would have to mention an Italian girl and her blog “The Blonde Salad”.

M: My absolute favorite is The Sartorialist…this is written by Schott Schuman who has an absolute killer eye for fashion, art and true originality. My personal favorite part of the blog are his street style shots…seeing normal (non celebrity) people dressing with underground designers, vintage clothes and handmade accessories brings me the most inspiration.

Marta begun her modeling career when she was just 15

In a very original and creative way, your blog introduces us to the most beautiful destinations around the world. Which city’s culture and beauty left the biggest impression on you?

B: It is hard to point out just one place that has it all. If it was strictly about beauty and art, it would definitely be Paris. If judged by energy, fashion, atmosphere of the city and the general feeling you have while being there, I would have to say New York. Best vacation destinations are Maldives and Dubai. Kenya has the most beautiful nature, and London is the most sophisticated and culturally amazing place.

M: For me, this would have to be Paris, France. This city is truly magical and so romantic. It is a city very close to my heart (I was married there) and I absolutely can not resist it. The French culture, the fashion, the food…all have set the standard for so many other countries to follow. And yet…no one can do like Paris…a one of a kind indeed.

Which lady and which gentleman deserve the “Icon of Style” title, in your opinion?

B: I consider style to be a way of life, something you carry inside yourself, and it is formed by your education, upbringing and culture that you get from your home. People with style are those who are talented, creative and intelligent. Audrey Hepburn was an absolute icon of style and still is, to many people, but I shouldn’t forget Coco Chanel. More recent icons of style would be Tom Ford and Brad Pit.

M: A style icon would of course be the genius Coco Chanel…that for me is someone that set the trends, not followed them. And for gentleman, my current pick is the incomparable Tom Ford. I simply can not resist a man in a well-made suit and accessories to die for. Men, take notice…because Tom Ford is the goal.

Biljana sees fashion as a way to express yourself – something like art

How would you define your own style?

B: My style has changed a lot throughout the years, and it has matured with me as a woman. My dedication to piano lessons, music school, ballet and my interest in art had influenced me ever since I was a kid to build up a feminine and elegant style.

M: I am more of a classic girl. I love feminine dresses, pencil skirts, swing coats, cashmere sweaters and round toe pump shoes…I like to describe my style as elegantly hip…most of all, I dress to feel pretty…that’s when I know I’ve got a great outfit on.

Many consider the “little black dress” for a fashion classic. What piece of wardrobe is, in your own opinion, a “must have” for any and every stylish lady?

B: An tailored blazer is something that every girl should have in her closet, because it is ideal for every occasion and easily combined with other pieces. You can wear it with high sexy heals when going out at night, with your flat shoes for a casual walk around the city, or with classic shoes on a business meeting. You can wear it with shorts, jeans or a dress. It all depends on the impression you want to make and what you want to highlight in your figure.

M: For me, I would definitely agree that the LBD is a must but if you have to add something to your wardrobe it would be a fabulously tailored blazer…surprisingly it is not as conservative as one may think…you can wear a blazer with everything from jeans to shorts to dresses…and adding a blazer to the simplest of outfits can take you from casual to chic in no time.

She wrote a column from "Zink" magazine during the period from 2001. until 2007

Do you follow the fashion scene in Serbia, and how would you define it?

B: I do, and I can say that it was monotonous and empty for a certain time. Now we have a lot of young and talented designers, who are extremely interesting and deserve more attention than they get. I am, also, currently studying fashion design, where I strive to enrich my knowledge and education, so that I can, one day, dedicate myself fully and in the most adequate way to fashion design. I think that only knowledge and good ideas are the things that are really worth in this business.

Whose designer skills do you especially appreciate, and what for?

B: I most definitely appreciate people who made huge fashion brands on a global, worldwide scale. Those are the ones who managed to have their fans and customers all over the world, among different cultures and religions, and to be accepted as “trend-setters”. Those brands manage to survive through many decades, and yet, they never stop being innovative and amazing . Taken all of that into consideration, I would have to especially mention Giorgio Armani. Though I don’t see myself wearing his models, I greatly appreciate and admire him and his work. Designers who are really capable of leaving me breathless are Stephane Rolland and Zuhair Murad.

M: The design work that I most appreciate (actually I obsessed with this label) is Rodarte. Two young California girls created this brand that has had the fashion world in love since they came on the seen in 2005. The collection and styling is something that I would wear and I love that they were able to create these very classic lines into clothing for the modern woman.

A fashion trend you can’t resist, for the next season that is before us, is…

B: Pastel colors and color-blocking trend.

M: Flowers and colors…and trust me, you will not want to resist either trend…it’s just too pretty to not enjoy wearing.

What do you like to read in Wannabe Magazine?

B: A lot of things. I like that the magazine represents a lot of different segments of life, its articles write about different subjects, promoting the young and talented people in Serbia.


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