Craving insane inspiration, a couple of months ago we took a trip to Paris, and we are ecstatic about the series of videos that we brought back. As Ylva, the breakdancing star of our first profile, says, "The people that go to Paris to be themselves are outsiders 100 percent. They don't do it for fashion or for fun. They do it because they cannot be anyone else than who they are." A haven for "real freaks and real people" is just what Ylva needed after growing up in Sweden, where you have to smile, "have a career, kids, and a beautiful body, or you're fat and miserable."
Brought up in a town with three houses, at five Ylva was already strutting around in deep fantasies and old lady heels. "I always dreamed of being a diva," she confesses. Raised by a "communist" father (whose vinyl collection included Marley and Zappa) and a teacher mother obsessed with hand crafts, it was Ylva who set the limits, not her parents. Fate guided the teenage Ylva to a party where, after spotting a guy breakdancing, Ylva uncovered her calling. As persistent as the sports socks that she wears with her heels, Ylva hunted down the strange dancer (this was before cell phones) and learned some of her first moves. "When you're very new at something, the curiosity and the improvisation puts you so in the present that it becomes magic," explains the owner of the sickest Vivienne Westwood hat on the planet.
Inexplicably her own, Ylva loves fashion (but only when she can spin on her head while wearing it). The ballet/breakdance queen prides herself on balancing the very feminine and very masculine in her dances and in her style. She wears her friend's 50s cabaret princess dress with sports bras and spanks, or an embroidered Elizabethan bolero that accents her boxers emblazoned with ILLEGAL. After dance school, panic attacks, and therapy, Ylva finally found where she belonged: in the City of Light. "With my art, I like to attract people that are maybe not attracted to my style from the beginning through double meaning," disclosed Ylva. "I'll be naked, but then I'll paint my teeth black so that you'll think I'm sexy and disgusting at the same time. People see something and they're like, 'It's punk, but it's also classical and beautiful. How should I react?'"
Elisa & Lily
Ylva's video was edited by Paul O'Brochta
Shot, interviewed, and photographed by Elisa & Lily
For more about Ylva, check out her website