Alone-time with style superstar @tamaramoeng, styled and interviewed by @kylebxshxff, and photographed by @tarrynfrancis.

AIN: Let’s start with an easy one: who is Tamara?

Laughing: That’s the hardest question of all!

Let’s start with hi. I’m Tamara Moeng: I love to create and tap into expression through various avenues, like modelling and dancing. It’s hard for me to box myself up into only one thing.

I’ve recently started to really enjoy being behind the camera, for example through styling. Besides co-directing shoots with friends, I’ve also been fortunate enough to assist and learn from a few fashion directors and designers, who’ve really opened their arms to me in encouragement and support.

I’m really excited to see where I can take myself with this – more importantly, I’m excited to keep growing. The goal is to produce work that I can fully stand behind – like with real representation for young people, like myself, who are part of a ‘sociological minority’. And to sustain myself through creating, of course!

AIN: So Tamara, how’s your ‘house arrest’ going?

Lockdown has been… interesting, for lack of a better word. I’m currently with my mom at home, while my dad takes care of a plot we’re invested in. If anything, it’s been a pleasant adventure with my mom – we’re have many chats that I didn’t’ think I’d ever be able to actually have with her.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen cooking – and snacking! I’m even pretty sure I’ve mastered how to make the perfect crêpe, I admit.

But, Lockdown hasn’t been all rainbows and sunshine. On top of the constant anxiety, I’ve been forced to really spend a lot of time with myself – I haven’t done that in a minute, so you can imagine the kind of spiralling that leads to.

AIN: Productivity or pause, during this pandemic?

I haven’t been productive whatsoever. Sometimes I feel really bad about it – but then, I just come to terms with the fact that it’s okay to feel whatever I’m feeling. If anything, this will probably be the only actual ‘down-time’ I’m going to have for a while, so I’m soaking it up. I’m also really trying to avoid my phone as much as possible. I’ve even turned the internet off most of my apps.

AIN: How are you staying sane, while staying home?

Colouring in! I don’t think I’d still be sane without it. It keeps all my anxiety at bay and helps to pass the time. I’ve also been doing a little bit of yoga and a workout, most mornings. But, I think the cute vide calls with my friends is at the top of the list!

AIN: It can feel awfully tough to get creative with all that’s going on. How do you keep creativity alive in the time of COVID-19?

Staying creative has been very difficult but, I’ve been tapping into a bunch of new music, which usually sparks my creative process. I’m also watching all the movies and series that I never had time to watch, which has been a great source of inspiration.

I also recently found myself writing down random thoughts. I don’t want to call it journaling, because it’s far too sporadic and incoherent for that. Laughing.

AIN: What are you looking forward to after lockdown?

Seeing my homies and giving them the biggest hugs ever – if hugs will be allowed “oop”. I can’t wait to sit at a table with loved ones and share a meal. After that, I can’t wait to collaborate and create.

AIN: Describe your lockdown-look: is it all sweats or are you still getting dressed, with nowhere to go?

It’s been sweats and sweaters, all the way! I’m pretty sure that hoodies are the uniform of Lockdown. Laughing. I saw a tweet that said, ‘I think my shoes think I have died’ and I couldn’t relate more. I specifically wore corduroy and a pair of sneakers when I went out for groceries for the first time in 4 weeks, just so I could feel the closest thing to ‘normal’.

AIN: What do you think we can all learn during this time? Should we go straight back to business as usual – or are there ways that we can evolve from this?

I think that working spaces are going to change, because this pandemic has made us realise that some methods are just not very efficient. Personally, I’m definitely going to appreciate experiences and interactions way, way more – really live in the moment, you know? Hopefully, we’ll all be inclined to make this change.

PHOTOGRAPHER: @TARRYNFRANCIS
MODEL AGENCY: @TAMARAMOENG   @MYFRIENDNED
HAIR & MAKEUP: @ORLIOH
STYLING ASSISTANTS: @OKBADDIEK & @_KOPANO_M