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Illaria Dana

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

When I'm laughing, and/or when I wear the first thing my gut told me to. If I change my clothes a lot, I always come back to the first thing I picked up.

2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?

I notice women on the street who seem alert, who are walking with purpose, but also aren't afraid to smile, who are engaged with their surroundings as well as their intentions.

3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?

I love women who are engaging, warm, seem to have interior lives and secrets, who aren't necessarily flirtatious but are confident. Yes, engaged is the word for it. I like women who dress simply, with strange accent pieces, the overall effect being both out-there and put together. Who don't try too hard to be classic or zany.

4. Was there a moment in your life when something “clicked” for you about fashion or dressing or make-up or hair? What? Why did it happen then, do you think?

When I was three, there was a blizzard. My mother tried to put me in my snowsuit. I screamed and screamed until she let me wear my white lace slip and my black leather boots. Not much has changed. I have a definite style, and I don't worry about it. I wear boy's clothes and crop tops and very elegant blazers and dress shirts that my grandmother gives to me from her collection. I have always known what I like. There's no other reason to it.

5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?

I don't like to shop with anyone else. I will know what I want when I see it by myself. Other people's input may sway me into or out of buying something I love.

6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?

Wear whatever, literally whatever, you want!

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.

Honest to myself. My heart has an eloquent and powerful voice. When I don't show up to hear it, I am punished! Always. I wanted to go to school, desperately, and now I am studying horticulture. This is a function of my "heart". You know, the part of you that is tapped into something huge. That grows and grows if you let it. I've always loved dreamers. Usually they are poets or musicians, but sometimes they are just hard working men with calloused hands. Rarely are they rich. The rich seem to have given up on their dreams. They are hiding somewhere. Chores I am learning how to do. Finances, well I promised myself I'd never worry about money again.

9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?

Frye boots. You know why.

10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?

I gave my former some gold chains that belonged to my grandfather. He looks damned good in them!

12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?

We have a similar type, as we are both tall, but I am more slender. My mother is just starting to explore fashion creatively, so maybe I influenced her a bit!

13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?

Yes, mostly from men. Their pants fit me really well and the clothes are more durable. My father has the best leather bags.

16. Please describe your body.

Tall, slender, not super thin, very tall, carved shoulders, long legs

17. Please describe your mind.

Pronounced, agile, learning

18. Please describe your emotions.

Strong, evening themselves out

19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?

I am naked. I never wear make up. I cut my bangs so short that I literally could not cut them any short. My hair is tied back and fresh lavender is in the tie.

20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?

All things are important. Clothes used to be part of a tradition that furthered the relationship between people and the earth. Traditional Greek attire had women wear one of two dresses, the work dress and the occasion dress, all hand-embroidered. Their hair braided and covered. Functionality and beauty. Clothes are a craft. They have their own personality. And you can be whoever you want when you dress yourself.

29. Did your parents teach you things about clothing, care for your clothing, dressing or style? What lessons do you remember? Or did you just pick things up?

My father taught me how to treat leather shoes. And what grease to use. I am eternally grateful.

32. If dressing were the only thing you did, and you were considered an expert and asked to explain your style philosophy, what would you say?

Each piece has a spirit. Clothes talk to each other and the body that is wearing them. Pieces that should never go together logically do on the right woman. For every woman, there are these odd combinations that only she can wear. Find these for yourself. Wear things that you cherish.

33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?

What is real. What is light and dark. What is familiar and unknown.

49. What is an archetypal outfit for you; one that you could have happily worn at any point in your life? What do you like about it?

Dress, boots, hat, perfect. Functional and free.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?

Finally, I do.

57. If you were totally comfortable with your body, or your body was a bit closer to what you wish it was like, what would you wear?

What I wear now.

59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?

I suggest wearing what you really want to, being who you are…if this aligns with trends then that doesn't matter, and if it doesn't then that still doesn't matter. I think that colors and patterns are fun sometimes. Sometimes I like plain clothes. I dunno, the rules are for you to decide, and no one else.

60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?

Lavender essential oil. Most perfumes make me gag.

61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?

I like to be able to dry my hair before I leave the house. I wish I didn't though! It's a limitation, however, it does make me feel more confident. And it makes my hair an inch or so longer.

62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?

I never wear make-up. Maybe lipstick less than a dozen days a year. I don't pluck my eyebrows.

75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?

Hand-me-downs, I wear more than anything else. It's like some part of the previous owner is in there. Also a hand-embroidered shawl from a vintage store owner. She embroidered the shawl in the seventies!

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

Yes, like lavender, combined with a specific conditioner and lotion. I like the three scents combined. Also, like my lover. I like that smell in my nose.

What kind of work do you do?


Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?


Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.

I love to write, and plants, and books.

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