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Inside Steven Alan

A Moment With . . . Nian Fish + Natane Boudreau

  • In honor of Mother’s Day, we thought we’d catch up with our favorite mother-daughter creative team, Nian Fish and Natane Boudreau. The NYC-based pair collaborated on our Spring 2013 film (Nian produced and directed, Natane wrote and starred) and were hard at work on no less than nine CFDA films when we spoke with them.

    Nian and Natane at Pachamama (which means Mother Earth in Quechua), Machu Picchu

    Where do you live, and how often do you get to spend time together?
    Natane: We both live in the beautiful West Village. We spend hours every week working on a film project or developing them and try to find a bit of time to do our favorite activity . . . antiquing and flea marketing all over the world.

    What was it like working together on our Spring ’13 film?
    Nian: We flowed together perfectly as we’ve worked together on short film projects for 10 years. Natane consulted with me for the CFDA Award films by bringing me concepts, directors, actors and writers as she has strong relationships in the film and entertainment business, but this was the first time I directed and Natane wrote a short film together. After working on the Steven Alan Spring ’13 film, we decided to create an official film company: Tiger and Dragon Films, as in Chinese astrology, I am a Tiger and Natane is a Dragon. I think the main reason we work so well together is that we respect what the other brings and have a zero competition factor.

    Natane, what was it like growing up with your mom being a prominent figure in the fashion world?
    Well, being a Taurus, of course my material side loved it! Really, it had me admire her even more for being a single mom and at the same time being Mama Buddha for the fashion world. I still don’t know how she managed it all.

    Did it influence your style at all?
    It did in the way that when I was a runway model and would travel to Europe, before leaving I’d pack “looks” with her  . . . here’s the look for Galliano, Demeulemeester, Versace. You’ve got to inspire the designer you’re going in for. As there were 17 castings a day, I’d have 5 looks in my car.

    Nian, did you always know Natane would end up in a creative field?
    I knew from the time she was three as her creative imagination was apparent. She got an unusual early break at that age, when she began modeling and had her first campaign shot by Steven Meisel, followed by a Calvin Klein kids campaign with Bruce Weber. Through her early years in the modeling world, she developed an encyclopedic knowledge of fashion with its ancillary world of directing, lighting, set design. Natane had fun with directors and with the cast. She would go to my stylist prop closet (I was a fashion stylist in the 80s) with her friends and she’d dress everyone up to play these characters in a movie or TV show, Mannequin being one year’s obsession, alongside imitating Madonna singing, “Like a Virgin,” with the full on look!

    What qualities did you inherit/pass down?
    Natane: I inherited her work ethic, making sure to acknowledge people, and her smile.
    Nian: I passed down love of family, growing to be the best human being you can be, and an appreciation of beauty.

    In which ways are you completely different?
    Natane: I don’t have the patience she has and I’m a bit more unbridled.
    Nian: She’s bolder than me, meaning she cuts to the chase faster and she spends more time outside the box, and I find that to be one of her greatest assets.

    How do you usually celebrate Mother’s Day?
    Natane: We’re blessed to have three generations to celebrate Mother’s Day: my grandmother, my mom and me. We often go to Chinatown for Dim Sum as my grandmother speaks Cantonese and can order the real deal. This is usually followed by seeing a documentary film in the movie theater as my grandmother is the original film buff in the family.

    Nian, what was your favorite gift from Natane?
    My favorite Mother’s Day gift from Natane is the handmade photo journal of our trip to Peru, with Machu Picchu as the highlight. She decorated it with M + J Trimmings, put a story to all the photos she took of the Peruvians with their beautiful and oh-so-colorful clothing, pieces of the maps we used, photos of the food we ate, the ancient architecture we saw. She has always put her heart and imagination into the gifts she gives me as she does with everyone.

    Natane, tell us about the first time you got into trouble. What was your punishment?
    My mom was macrobiotic for my entire childhood, which meant I was too. Her idea of dessert was a baked apple stuffed with granola, so you could say I was sugar-deprived.

    When I was five, I had a playdate with my friend Burnett, who had a giant bowl of candy on top of his refrigerator. I came home from the playdate and my mom asked what was bulging out of the giant pockets in my pink down coat. I said, “nothing,” very sheepishly and my mom asked me to please show her. I pulled out fistfuls of Burnett’s candy and my mom said that that was stealing and that I needed to return it to him. She took me to return the candy right away.

    I can’t say this was exactly punishment but I felt like a bad girl!

    What do you admire most in each other?
    Natane: I admire my mom’s ability to not let her ego get in the way of a profession that is filled with “looking good.” I admire her tenacious work ethic – she never cuts corners. And I admire her kindness and equality towards all she works with and her loyalty and devotion to her clients.
    Nian: I admire Natane’s vision , her honesty, her depth, her diverse talents and most of all her appetite for learning about life, about herself, which translate to admiring her courage.

    Many thanks to Nian and Natane! We hope you enjoy your Mother’s Day dim sum.

    This entry was posted on Friday, May 3rd, 2013 at 12:53 pm and is filed under A Moment With . . .. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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