Do It Like Dustin
- Top by Neith Nyer
All in all, Dustin is owning the damn thing, and making their takeover seem so effortless. Read on to hear about Dustin's typical night out, the queer struggle in Paris, and what they have to say to young budding creatives trying to make it.
Why did you start DJing?
I had been a part of the club scene—the gay club scene—for two years and I played music at all the after parties. One night a friend of mine just asked me to play, I said yes, and I haven’t stopped since. I’ve been doing this every weekend since I was seventeen.
What makes the Parisian club scene special?
There’s this kind of honesty about it. The thing is that it’s so small, everybody knows each other and expects a lot. You have to bring something new to the table every time you go out.
And I heard that you’re launching a new party soon!
I already have one party called “Polyester” with a friend of mine, but it’s a really intimate gay, queer party that’s mostly Italo-disco. So I’m trying to do a new party, something very raw. I like that when fashion people go out in Paris they don’t care about shit. They really don’t care about their appearance.
Yes! Everyone just looks so good in the beginning of the night and then they just go for it.
Exactly, then everyone has to do a walk of shame when they go home. I love that. I want to do something unexpected, like mixing very different DJs and combining it with art. And have it in warehouses! That’s where the real parties of Paris actually happen, but fashion people only pick the fabulous establishments. Ugh. I like to be where you can sit on everything, walk everywhere and do whatever you want.
Let’s talk about more about fashion. You’ve walked so many great shows now.
Yeah, I did Margiela. It was so incredible, especially having Galliano there and being the only trans person there. It was kind of surreal.
Fashion has really embraced the LGBTQ community recently, which is such a good thing. But sometimes I’m scared that it’s just a passing fad and not a real progressive change.
I think it’s going to change. For some people it might be a trend, but once you opened the gates you can’t go back. Fashion has always been queer, now we’re just taking it back. The queer community has always been the inspiration. I think this is a breaking point, people feel more of a responsibility to act respectfully.
Full look by Studio Pierre; Dress by Rodebjer
I read in an old interview that the advice you’d give to young people is to not let anyone define them according to gender or sexual orientation.
I really don’t think that your gender defines your personality. You’re born with it, it’s your person. But it doesn’t have to be the first thing you talk about. My gender and my sexuality doesn’t concern anyone else. I mean I wouldn’t ask anyone about their CV or something like that. I think you define yourself, by your personality and your character.
Do you think you can ever live somewhere else than Paris?
I was thinking about going to New York, but I can’t get myself to leave this place. If I would leave, I’d always come back here. I’ve been in Vietnam for a month, but I was like, “Ugh. Take me back.” I love Vietnam, but I miss Paris too much.
Have you been to Vietnam a lot?
Yes, when I was young we went every summer. My mum is from Vietnam, and my father, I don’t know. No one talks about queer issues in Vietnam. I was there with a friend who’s black and bald, and we were really the talking point of the whole town. Everybody was like, “Is it one boy and one girl? Is it two boys, or two girls?” And I speak Vietnamese, so I understood everything.
You showed them something that they didn’t know.
I don’t think it changed anything though.
I think it does! In some way.
You do? Maybe. When I’m in Paris and meet someone who’s ignorant, I never return the ignorance with hate. I believe that people respond better to education. And even if that person didn’t understand your point that time, they might be more respectful the next time. I actually just saw an article saying that Paris has been voted the most gay friendly city in Europe. Which is so weird.
But maybe it’s true that Paris is the most gay friendly city? Perhaps the other cities are worse?
There is a huge queer scene, but the “other” scene is also huge. All queer people, it’s actually quite sad, but when we go out we take cabs. We’d never take the subway. It’s not safe. I had two friends who walked up to me bleeding in the street the other week. I think London is much more gay friendly. Even Berlin. If I’m thinking of a gay friendly destination I’m not going to think of Paris.
What’s a normal night out like then?
I start by fixing my face for like three hours. Then I usually go to my friend’s house—she lives on my street—or sometimes we have a pre-party at one of my friends’ bars. If the place we’re going to is in Paris, we usually stay there for 4-5 hours and then have an after party, but if it’s outside of Paris.. Then we just stay, stay, stay. Nobody wants to go out in the sunlight.
Dustin is currently working on their first single, a secret project with Paco Rabanne, and of course their next party in Paris.