Today we have someone very special on the spotlight! Someone that you will remember. Dreaming about New York made us meet the successful Dutch model and artist Dorith Mous! The page turner, the different and provocative one. Whatever we say, won’t be enough so we will just say Dorith Mous and let you go into her world by reading the interview she gave for Spotted Style! Special thanks to Dorith, it was a pleasure for us!
Nathan Martin Photography
Born in Amsterdam and based in New York City, photographer and artist Dorith Mous was seemingly born into her art – gaining beautiful knowledge of physical form and being able to capture depth from a subject through her own nomadic experience as a fashion model for the past decade.
Now moving fluidly from a storied career in front of the lens to one behind it, as a photographer, Dorith elicits an artful finesse of the soul from the body – one in which her subjects both exude and challenge archetypes of beauty. Shooting mainly black-and-white film, she tries to make clear that obscurity, between who someone is seen as and who someone is beneath the surface.
With her successful debut exhibition in New York City, entitled “I Am YOU”, Dorith continues to create awareness by means of this same harrowing honesty that permeates through her portraiture of subjects.
1.Describe yourself with a few words. Who is Dorith Mous?
Dorith Mous is… A girl who lives between the lines and likes it there.
2. What does your job consist of now? You are a model and a photographer. Isn’t it challenging to work on two different lines at the same time and where do you feel more comfortable? Behind or in front the camera?
My days are quite interesting as of last year, not that they weren’t before that, but it’s definitely challenging executing more than just one profession at once. Especially because modelling is quite intense on its own and doesn’t always give opportunity for any planning, while photography requires designated dates and times. I also produce and direct. I sometimes feel like I am three people in one, ha, but I enjoy it all thoroughly. Choosing between being in front or behind the camera is not an option for me, although I think being in front of it still wins due to the versatility it brings me at this stage vs my photography still being In a very developing state.
3. When and how did you start your modelling career? Were you scouted by somebody?
I was scouted at 13 while shopping in Amsterdam with my best friend from high school by a London based agency; SELECT
4. Did modelling influence or change your life? If yes, how?
Modelling and its aspects, made me who I am today, for at least 75%. If it wasn’t for this colorful, crazy, intense, amazing, confusing, toll-taking career, I would have never been this close to knowing who I really am and what I want out of life at 28. This is something I do not take for granted. I realize how incredible it is I was given the opportunity to dig around in this thing called life while doing something I love.
5. Have you dreamed to be a model and have you imagined that you will go so far with it?
I never thought about fashion, let alone becoming a model. Ever. Once I was one, I never knew where it was gonna go. It’s pretty cool how far I have come, especially for someone who never thought she could ever be found pretty (enough).
6. One of your last biggest campaigns is for DKNY, We are New York. How did it happen?
I was very happy to be a part of WeAreNyc, since this is very much what I stand for; uniting all different types of people and sticking together. I got casted on the street by AM casting and from there my agency took booking the job on.
7. How did you become interested in photography? What is it for you?
Photography was I guess always a big part of how I grew up. My father photographed a lot on trips and was always carrying this Olympus OM-1 around. As a little girl I thought to myself: “When I’m a grownup I want one of those”. I bought my dad a digital Nikon SLR for his Bday years and years ago since he wanted to try out the digital way of photography and I made him give me his OM-1. I never parted with it for the first couple of years. Then I started buying my own old school cameras and built my collection out to nearly 30 bodies and different lenses. I also inherited some. I went in and out of my photography obsession but always kept shooting my travels. It kind of accidentally happened that I am now doing this as a profession since I always saw myself ending up on a stage.
8. Can you tell us more about your debut exhibition in Brooklyn called ‘’I Am YOU’’? What made you chose to put discrimination on the main focus?
Being a European who lives in America, I can really tell how much more segregated it still is out here. I often get into conversations about race, descent, background and culture, because it endlessly interests me. Then, the ‘Travon Martin case’ happened. For a year and a half people were talking about Travon, a boy who got killed because of his skin color and Zimmerman, his killer. I found myself thinking about this topic, discrimination, and what it does to people, a lot and realized that most often when one speaks of discrimination, the conversation is about either the black-white-issue or a male-female-issue. But people exclude many forms of discrimination into their opinions of injustice, such as being ‘too’ short, ‘too’ tall, having HIV or being an albino. With IamYou I wanted to make people realize we have come to a point where we judge by association, not solely by default. Whether it’s skin color, physique, sexuality, religion, ability/disability or disease that makes one think a certain thing about another, these ALL don’t define a person. To know more about what I did with the show and how it turned out, I’d like to invite you to my website www.dorithmous.com to click the IamYou tab.
9. Do you take photos in colours?
Rarely, but I am somewhat interested in going to.
10. What do you look for in a model/person that you will photograph? Do you want to know people’s stories before photographing them?
I most often photograph people BECAUSE of their story, so yes definitely! I take the time to get to know a person a little before I expose them to my lens. I shoot more dancers, singers and actors than models anyway, so I need to get who they are to transpire from the image.
11. What makes someone beautiful?
Embracing who they are.
12. What is fashion for you? How would you describe your own style?
I don’t have just one. I am not necessarily a fashion doll and don’t care too much about brands but I am a big quality lover. Nice fabrics and cuts are very important to me and this results in an expensive taste. I am an absolute combat boot freak, love them, and jeans are something I will always have in my wardrobe, but I wear a different style all the time. I guess my style is just ‘Dorith’ 😉
13. Is it difficult to break into the photography or the fashion industry?
Can be, doesn’t have to be. Shitty thing is; You can never chose what’s gonna be easy in life and what’s not. There’s people who get into their profession, land the right jobs right away and shoot right into fortune and fame, others spend a decade breaking into the right circle.
14. You are currently living in New York. Since when and how life has brought you there?
I was nomadic for 10 years before descending into NYC to be based in one spot. NYC is THE place to live as a model of my kind so that wasn’t a difficult decision. I also lived in LA for quite a while perusing a music career.
15. Is New York a dream come true for you? How would you describe it?
New York is a dream and a nightmare at once, but it’s definitely a blessing I get to live here.This city can be a monster you know, it’s not always easy surviving in this system of people who all want a piece.
16. What does Amsterdam mean to you? Do you miss the city?
I absolutely adore Amsterdam, but the right opportunities weren’t there for me. I miss certain things yes, but I miss specific things in every city I’ve lived.
17. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Life. Being. Living. Everything.
18. How do you see Life through your eyes? What is life like through your eyes?
Ha! It’s a mess. A beautiful mess.
19. On your blog there are lots of quotes of Page Turner. Who is she/he and do you consider yourself as a page turner? How would you define the person staying behind that?
I am. Page Turner is me and I am her. She is my alter ego. I write under that pseudonym and it used to be my stage name. She is the fearless one. The one who always knows what to say and is uninhibited.
20. The things that are worth fighting for?
Yourself, your friends, your family, your career and cheese.
21. How do you imagine the future, what does it hold for you?
Who knows. I don’t. 😉 The future is a very abstract concept for me, I don’t dare make any assumptions, but I see two houses, two dogs and lots of horse riding once I am ready to settle down.
22.If you could tell something to the whole world what it would be?