Earlier this week, a Polish music video surfaced starring one of our favorite models, Anja Rubik, looking decidedly...well, not quite like the razor-sharp-hipbone-baring model we know and love.
The clip is called "Chleb," Polish for "bread," and in it Rubik plays Princess Dresiara. Her character was imagined by the song's creator, Mister D, and for the role Rubik sports some seriously over-the-top makeup and short denim skirts.
Thanks to our Polish readers, we now know that Mister D is the rap name used by popular Polish writer Dorota Masłowska, who regularly criticizes Polish culture through her work. The video "Chleb" is a send-up of certain areas of Polish youth culture, with Rubik playing the ultimate fantasy version of a Polish woman.
Naturally, we had to know more -- so we hopped on the phone with the supermodel to ask her a few questions about how she got in touch with Masłowska, what she feels her role in the video says about society and, perhaps most importantly, how it felt to wear that costume for a day.
Fashionista: So, how did you get involved with the project? Rubik: The girl who is singing is actually a very famous Polish writer, she writes a lot of theater and novels that are incredible, and I've been a fan of hers since her first book was published, which was a huge hit in Poland. Now, all of her writing is very controversial, and it's kind of addressed to people who know the situation in Poland -- the social situation, what's happening in Poland when it comes to interactions between people, how we approach different things. Her literature is written in a very simple language, in a street language, but it addresses kind of serious problems in the society in Poland.
She decided to do this album as almost a sort of social experiment and also to kind of poke people a little bit, to stimulate them into thinking. She wanted to address issues, so she decided to do this parody of an album, she's singing and she wrote all the lyrics.
I mentioned in an interview that I have a lot of respect for her and that I love her writing, I think she's an incredible idol for young women, she's very independent, has her voice, she's very young, and she read that and decided I could be a great collaboration for this album, to do this music video. She wrote me an email, and I agreed immediately because I love her work and I love what she does and I liked the idea.
We decided to so something very crazy, something that would attract attention, basically a parody of everything that's happening in Poland -- and actually, all around the world as well, so that's how it started.
When you Instagrammed a screenshot from the video, you said, "More of #Chleb by Mister D and everything thats wrong in our society," and I was wondering if you could speak to that a little bit. Well, I don't want to be too precise, because I think it should be left open to interpretation! But you know, [it's about] the image nowadays for women -- the excessive plastic surgery, the vision of a woman where it's not actually being comfortable with oneself and not accepting oneself, just aiming for artificial plastic surgery and to this weird vision of a woman. Also, I think general media has the tendency of dumbing down women to the idols that we show through media. That's my side of it.
There's also a huge layer connected to Poland where I think a lot of people living abroad won't completely get it, connected to church and connected to the political world, connected to being closed as a society -- it's a very multilayered idea.
The thing I really connect to is the idea that the media likes to dumb down women to these idols, and I think the people on the covers of magazines are not really women that young girls should be stimulated by or look up to, because there's nothing really behind them, nothing of importance behind the faces.
That's very interesting, especially because you work in the modeling industry. [laughs] Yea. Nowadays we also live in times where personalities are taken away from models. You look at shows and it's a lineup of girls looking exactly the same. It's the same with a lot of campaigns, there's faces of girls created to look just alike.
If you actually speak to them, each one of them is an individual, they have their interests and their passions, and they use them for a lot of great things. Even some of the top girls in the industry, when you talk to them, they're all really smart girls. They just don't have the chance to show that because that's the industry they're in. I'm talking about also TV -- the way media sometimes creates a woman is very one-layered. The women that we should be looking up to are women that work towards something, that achieve something, they're successful in something that has some kind of meaning.
This is the career of a model, it's great, but something is still behind it and usually girls don't just model, they have different projects on the side and different interests. That's why I also think for a lot of people Instagram and Twitters are very popular right now -- I'm talking about the modeling point of view -- people want to get to know the girls, and through Twitter and through Instagram, as vain as it is in a way, and as narcissistic as it is, through that you show a little bit of your personality, of your life, of your interests as well.
Speaking of modeling, this video is obviously a totally different way to portray yourself than we're used to seeing you in the fashion industry. Yes! People say I was very brave to do that, because it is a complete parody obviously. That's why it was actually quite fun, to become that character for a day, because it's completely opposite to what I am in real life. [laughs] I don't wear any makeup, I'm kind of grunge, I love fashion but I love minimalism, but the idea was to make it a little more extreme so the point comes through more.
It was a matter of dressing completely different. Some other people didn't quite understand what was happening. I was just playing a part, and I just had to put my fragility towards beauty aside [laugh] and create this persona. I mean, the video is supposed to be completely in bad taste and completely kitsch.
Well, I don't completely understand what's happening but it's a lot of fun to watch! Did you expect it would have any impact or attention outside of Poland the way that it has? No actually, I didn't think that because of the words and obviously the song is Polish, and I didn't actually give it a larger thought.
I was really concentrating on Poland, and Poland is really disturbed [by the video] -- it's in the media, it's in the press, it's everywhere, and it's really making people think and address a lot of issues, which was the main point of it. I actually didn't think it would be picked up by people abroad.
But I'm glad it was, and I hope people get the idea of it. It was supposed to be completely crazy and fun, and although there are a lot of serious issues behind it, it's still just saying something completely absurd.
Do you think you'll work with the artist again in the future? Yea, of course! I mean, I don't know if there's going to be another occasion because she's a writer -- and I highly recommend her books, I think they're translated into English. There's one in particular that I really recommend because the action takes place in New York -- it doesn't say New York but it's described as New York -- and it's actually pretty genius. [ed note: the book is Honey, I Killed Our Cats, and is not currently translated into English.]
But she's mainly a writer, so unless she comes up with another crazy idea where she proposes me a part or a collaboration, I'm totally into it, but otherwise I don't know how that would happen.
Do you have anything else in the works? I'm working on the next issue of the magazine [Rubik launched 25 Magazine], so I've already started. I'm the host of "Project Runway" in Poland as well. And that's really fun because Poland is really growing when it comes to fashion, and it's nice to see the growth and see how people are starting to get excited about fashion. There's so many young, talented people in Poland who need good help or need that breakthrough and support.
Also, in Poland, the idea of fashion or the idea of a designer is still not broad, it's still a growing industry, so it's interesting for the people to see the effort and to see the creativity that goes into the job. It's a really great experience.
I keep myself very, very busy! So I'm just working a lot still, and engaging.
Didn't catch "Chleb" the first time? Watch it below: