Katya Moorman studied ballet and modern dance and for many years worked as a dancer and performer. She developed an interest in fashion, design and art photography when she was 22 and has been pursuing it ever since. This eventually led her to NYC's riotous underground party scene, which Katya has become
famous for photographing. After a few years in the party circuit and
countless snaps of socials, celebs and wild party-goers, Katya founded
Style Defined NYC and Style Defined Blog, an online gallery chronicling
the City's most glamorous provocateurs.
Through her passion for the fashion and nightlife scenes, Katya has shot
numerous celebrities and 'downtown personalities' including Patricia
Field, Amanda LaPore and Kenny Kenny. Her photography is an insider's view
into NYC's cult and underground party circuit, and Katya's work has become
critically acclaimed and has been featured in TIME OUT, French Vogue,
Glamour and numerous other international publications as well as in
galleries in NYC and abroad.
Why did you begin Style Defined?
I started Style Defined because I felt that there was something missing in alot of the streetstyle blogs I was seeing: that was the edgier more creative looks that you see in some of the New York nightclubs and kids who live in Brooklyn.
Your greatest inspirations or influences?
- Tom Ford because he goes seamlessly between design, photography and film
- Choreographer Martha Graham because she was a super headstrong female artist back in the day
- Coco Chanel & Madonna for being wildly creative, fearless and unapologetically themselves.
Fashion icons in your opinion?
I am really fond of people who came up from the clubs: Kenny Kenny, Ladyfag and Patrick McDonald to name a few. I'm less impressed with people who have alot of money and pay stylists or work in the fashion industry so have access to all the clothes (although some do look amazing). But ultimately my belief is that you need to be your own icon so I don't look directly to others for style.
Most interesting events you have photographed ?
The Paper Magazine 25 anniversary party was pretty amazing. It was held in the main New York Public Library and all of the best New York fashion and nightlife people were there. Liza Minelli sang New York New York and everyone sang it with her. It was amazing and utterly surreal!
On the opposite side of the spectrum are the gay "House Balls" made famous in one of my favorite documentaries "Paris is Burning" by Jennie Livingson.... They still have the balls and they are long, disorganized affairs but there is so much vitality in them as well. It's very hard to find counterculture. It doesn't exist the way it used to and when it's discovered it's so quickly commodified. I am always looking for the unexpected and the offguard moments where ever I am.
- Italian Vogue is my favorite Vogue in part because I adore Steven Meisel and he always does their cover.
- Purple Magazine and i-D
- In terms of websites/blogs I check out style.com of course and read DazedDigital -Dazed and Confused's website.
- Advanced Style is a genius blog and my favorite for inspiration now. It focuses on older people who have amazing style and are usually not seen in our youth obsessed culture.
Favorite nightlife spots?
First of all where I like to go depends on the party.
I like Greenhouse on Varick Street but ONLY on Sundays for Kenny Kenny's party called Vandam. I can't recommend it for another night because it will have a different crowd/energy on another night... but this is always changing because either a clubnight I like has gotten too popular and lost the magic for me or it gets shut down by the club for not bringing in enough money! Susanne Bartsch has started throwing parties called Bloody Mary but it's not a regular thing so you just have to watch for it.
Favorite up and coming artists, designers, stylists we should know about?
- Katie Gallagher is a favorite designer if you don't know her yet. Very young, just out of school but she has a clear vision which is so important. We did a video interview with her on Style Defined early on and she's really taken off since then.
- I just discovered Copperwheat which is a men's line but I think it's fresh and energetic and I would wear some of it myself.
- Brain Stanziale is another creative up and coming designer to watch. He sells at EVA NYC on the Bowery.
- I also adore my friend Chris Sauve's witty t-shirts that comment on the fashion industry with humor.
Anything else you'd like to share with us?
My current favorite quote excerpt by Jack Kerouac-
the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars
Also please visit styledefinednyc.com and pixiewarhol.com -my other two sites!