Idda Van Munster (Aida Dapo) Interview

BWP: You love everything from the period between 1920s and 1960s. How did you fall in love with this period?

Idda: People have always told me I was born in the wrong era. I am a history geek infatuated with every time period, but I definitely belong in the 1920's - 1950's. 

I love the Roaring 20's—feathers/pearls, flapper girls, getting the right to vote, T-strap shoes, Charleston and luxury cars. I also love the 1930’s despite the fact that there was the Great Depression in the United States. Who can forget amazing Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as well as George and Ira Gershwin! 

My favorite decades are the 1940's and 1950's. The wartime (WWII) and postwar society is fascinating to me. I adore swing dancing and big band music. Some of my favorite movies came out during this time period. 

Love seemed so real and genuine back then; and that’s the main problem I have with living in this era—how complex and unemotional things have become. The advancing technology, as great as it is for things like health care, ultimately separates and alienates people.

People in general seem to have lost interest in  humanities, like literature, art and history. Young people especially have lost a sense of common decency, respect for elders and kindness towards others.

We live in the instant-gratification-oriented society and most people are always rushing and so busy looking ahead to the future. 

I would like to live in the world as it once was when people were not addicted to texting and computers. I would rather send a letter than an e-mail or a text message. I prefer standing in a field and breathing sweet air instead of car fumes...

My first memory of vintage apparel is me dressing up as my grandma when I was a child. I wanted to look like my mother and grandmother.

I curled my hair for hours, put on grandma’s red lipstick, walked around the house in her heels and played with mum’s porcelain dolls.

I used to dress punk and rock’n roll in my early teens. During the war in Bosnia my family and I lived in Germany. When I moved back to Bosnia I started wearing “vintage” as soon as I started buying my own clothes.

From as early as I can remember I didn’t like dressing the same way as everyone else. I have always been a rebel when it comes to, well, everything! 

Vintage style is my way of expressing my personality and my feelings; it is also something that makes me feel complete, cute and sexy. It gives me confidence which is something I had always longed for. 

BWP: Do you always dress in the vintage style?

Idda: This is my everyday look, not a costume for photoshoots. I feel out of place in jeans and a T-shirt and prefer the feeling of vintage silk over any other sensation in the whole wide world. 

Most of my authentic vintage pieces come from vintage stores. I wear vintage clothing because it suits me and makes me feel good about myself. One of the things I enjoy most is scouring flea markets, garage sales, and vintage stores for the perfect pieces to add to my wardrobe. 

I don't see vintage as a trend. Vintage is style with no end! It is not surprising therefore that the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s vintage styles have made such a huge come-back in recent years. Seeing a return of natural curves, natural women and fun and elegant fashion is a true delight to women and men alike, and I am excited. 

Styles that were established from the 1920s-1960s are timeless. Since I was a young girl, I have adored the style of the women of the golden age of Hollywood and of the showgirls of Europe. I love escaping into the elegance of film stars such as Rita Hayworth, Liz Taylor, Betty Garble, and Jean Harlow. When I saw these classy ladies it became cleat to me who I was going to be when I "grow up".

BWP: How do people react when they see you for the first time?

Idda: I’ve never had a really bad reaction, but some people just don’t ‘get it’. People usually react in a very positive way; strangers and friends lusting after my latest finds.

I am dressing for me, not anyone else! Wearing vintage means to be often overdressed by today's fashion standards. To me a special occasion is not needed to wear a lovely dress. Every day is a special occasion! You should wear what you want, and when you do so wear it with confidence. Nobody should criticize someone who looks good and feels good. 

Wear what makes you feel beautiful. And if you feel beautiful in what you are wearing, other people will pick up on that vibe. When people judge you and make fun of you they do so out of their own insecurities.

BWP: Who is the most beautiful woman to you?

Idda: I can’t pick just one, but some of the most beautiful women in the world were Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth, Ginger Rogers, Audrey Hepburn and so on. These women were talented and very classy. 

One of my favorite beauty icons is Marlene Dietrich. She was simply remarkable and in tune with what her own personal style. I admire strong women. I love women who know what they want, work hard to get it, and still have time to be caring, loving, and feminine.

BWP: What is the best compliment someone has ever given you?

Idda: "I have never met anyone like you – you are so unique."

BWP: You are a professional makeup artist and you do a remarkable job. What is your best makeup tip?

Idda: Since I can remember I was passionate about makeup and painting.  Just the idea of creating beauty has always been fascinating to me. 

The secret of beauty is perfect eyebrows. More often than not women underestimate the power of amazing eyebrows.

BWP: What do you like most about being a makeup artist?

Idda: Everything! Creating new looks, meeting new people and being able to make people feel beautiful. I love sharing beauty tips, visiting new places, and travelling. 

Last year I have visited some amazing places whilst doing what I love. Also, as a makeup artist I’m intimately involved in the most important and exciting events of people's lives: weddings, graduations, prom nights, etc. 

BWP: You are also a model. What do you like most about modeling?

Idda: I never thought of becoming a model because I didn't think I had what it takes. However, that changed when I started wearing vintage. By the way, I do my own makeup and hair styles in all my photo sessions! 

I love modeling because I want to create something beautiful for me while having fun – it makes me feel good and happy. The best pinup models are the ones who truly love it.

BWP: If you had to choose, would you choose to be the most famous model or makeup artist in the world?

Idda: Definitely a makeup artist! I enjoy being a makeup artist because it is my passion, it is the chance to work with so many different people, being creative and being my own boss.

BWP: How many languages do you speak? 

Idda: Three: German, which I can speak fluently – then English too. Languages called today Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin are basically same language with different dialects. It's similar but not the same, I compare it to US English and UK English, plus Serbs write in Cyrillic. I personally say I speak Bosnian.

BWP: You are a pharmacy student. How important is education for someone to be successful in life?

Idda: I’m studying Pharmacy – fourth year. At high school I loved biology and chemistry so I wanted a career based on these subjects – and healthcare. 

I do believe education is an important part of being successful, but on the other hand I do not think it is always necessary to have an education in order to be happy in life.

BWP: Is beauty a curse or a blessing? 

Idda: For women (as I am one) I think beauty is quite the double-edged sword.  Beauty is all about your inner attitude, how you behave and how you act or react towards everything around you. 

It is a blessing if the inner you is beautiful. Unfortunately the world is full of bitter people, jealousy and envy which is definitively the down side of being beautiful.   

If you are very likable, you are likely to be popular because of your inner beauty, but still people can get jealous, especially if you are successful. Whether beautiful or not, there are good and bad aspects of both.

BWP: What makes a woman truly beautiful?

Idda: The only real beauty and elegance is in the mind—If you've got that, the rest comes naturally.

BWP: You come from Sarajevo, Bosnia. Can you tell us something about your hometown and people that live there?

Idda: Sarajevo is a beautiful, lively, and vibrant city with a lot of stories and legends to tell. It has a huge cultural and historical background, and there are lots of things to see and do in Sarajevo. 

From the economic aspect Bosnia is certainly not the best place in the world. However, it is the place with the most warmhearted people, the most laid-back lifestyle and lots of fun. The food is also great. Sarajevo is my home and all Sarajevans are very proud of Sarajevo and everything it represents.

BWP: What are the Bosnian women like? 

Idda: The women in Sarajevo could be put in two categories: the “turbo folk” chicks which are quite “liberal” in the way they dress; and the others - which are mostly trendy (in a positive and classy way). 

There are a lot of different lifestyles and styles of fashion. You see metal girls, punk girls, fancy girls, hip hop girls, hardcore girls, etc. 

The thing which is common for the great majority of Bosnian girls is that most of them are trying to look flawless in their own way; which is one of the reasons that everyone is amazed with the girls in Sarajevo and Bosnia in general. Bosnian women, as well as the women from the all ex-Yugoslav countries, are some of the most beautiful women in the world.

BWP: Who is your role model?

Idda: Dovima, the famous model from the 1950s. She is one of the most beautiful women that I have ever seen; very sophisticated and elegant.

I remember seeing her in the film "Funny Face" in the bookstore sequence with Audrey Hepburn, who was another classy and beautiful woman. Miss Hepburn looked as if she were the mortal and Dovima the immortal Goddess of beauty, elegance and femininity.

BWP: What do you do in your spare time?

I make it a point to enjoy the little things, because it helps me appreciate the big things.  

Being able to enjoy the little things makes difficult times bearable, because no matter how tough or hard life gets, you’ll always be able to find something to smile at. 

I enjoying the nature, I love looking at the sky/clouds, having my tea time, watching movies (I’m a true movie geek), reading books, travelling, sewing, vintage shopping adventures, swimming, spending time with my family and friends, and enjoying every second of my love.

BWP: What is the nicest thing that someone had ever done for you?

The nicest thing anyone has ever done for me was giving me birth, and I have my mother to thank for that.

BWP: What do you look for in men?

Idda: Personality over all, good sense of humor, intelligence, great listener, eyes, smile, hands, and a big factor for me is how he treats the other women in his life, like his mother or sister.

BWP: You are a very romantic person. How important is romance in this age of high tech?

Idda: Oh, yes I am! The way people express themselves and their romantic gestures may be different from those of days gone by, but there is absolutely no question that romance is alive and well in the modern age. Today’s young lovers are more likely to email a cute poem or tweet a note than send a love letter by mail, but there is no question that there are romantic messages all throughout modern communication and cyberspace.

BWP: What inspires you?

Idda: I take inspiration from old film stars and vintage photoshoots. Vintage world is my ultimate instigation. 

BWP: Is it more important to love or to be loved?

Idda: One-sided love is like being a bird with only one wing. The love you take is equal to the love you make; meaning that the love you receive is equal to the love that you give. Both are important but I feel that it is a good thing to show love and kindness to all people and things. I mean, not only to focus on romantic love; when I think of love I think of my parents,  my brother and my loved ones too - and that love is given unconditionally.

BWP: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Idda: I don’t know! I have never really planned anything. To decide for one thing, means to exclude another option, and I like the thought of keeping my mind open to almost anything that comes along the way. 


Always remember that true beauty comes from within.