As part of Alessandro Michele’s vision for Gucci, Valentijn de Hingh will be attending Vogue’s birthday party tonight wearing head-to-toe Gucci. Last year she was to be spotted at the Berlinale in a yellow lace number from the Gucci collection, about which she chatted to German Vogue. Read the English translation below or the original German version here.
Valentijn de Hingh spends a quiet moment before the Berlinale Red Carpet with Vogue. A love for film brought the Dutch model, together with Gucci, to the Berlin Film Festival, in particular for the premiere of L’Avenir starring Isabelle Huppert. We talked about going to the movies by yourself and the responsibility to talk about the transgender community.
Welcome to Berlin. How are you experiencing the city?
So far I’ve mostly been working actually – doing research for an art film. For four days I’ve just been watching movies in an apartment with a small group of people. When we went to have lunch at a Vietnamese place, we saw a man on the street with handmade marionettes, who offered to do a show. He seemed to be doing it for himself mostly, though. That moment to me was a good reflection of Berlin. The people here, and to a certain extent the city too, seem to just give off a creative energy. That appeals to a lot of people, including me.
What is it you like about the world of film?
I really like how with a good movie you can disappear for a moment and be transported from this world to a completely different one. Also, I like the fact that the cinema has a certain historical aspect even though it only exists for a relatively short period of time now – compared to the art of painting for example. Yet cinema produced numerous genres over the past seventy/eighty years.
Do you have a favourite movie?
I like old movies like All about Eve, with Bette Davis. The movie tells a story about the cosmos of Hollywood back in the days.
You stepped into the spotlight at an early age. How do you deal with that now?
It is important to understand that being in front of the camera is a job. To prepare yourself for doing this job on a professional level is a process that I sometimes struggle with. There are people who tend to ask really personal things in interviews. In my case, as a transgender model, it often concerns private, invisible sides of me that they wish to explore. It’s important that I’m able to speak of these things, but this is always easier in private settings. I feel a sense of responsibility in the way I act – I can’t speak for the trans-community, but as a part of it I do get to reflect on certain matters.
Which women from the world of film do you find interesting?
I’m more interested in the way the role of women has developed in movies over the years, and is still developing. For one, the fact that women are still under-represented on screen and on the production side, and how that seems to be a subject of blogs and public debate more and more these days. There are more and more movies that deal with women in an interesting way – well-written stories like Blue Jasmin. Meryl Streep, president of the Berlinale 2016, always fascinates me. I’m also really looking forward to the evening with Isabelle Huppert a lot.
On the red carpet, what kind of clothes grab your attention?
In my hometown, Amsterdam, you may write ‘black tie’ on an invitation and yet people will still show up in sneakers. That really irritates me. I always try and find a great dress for occasions like that. I like it when you can tell someone really made an effort of his or her look. Whether or not I personally like the look isn’t important. It’s about the feeling that is created. That’s why I love the Oscars – those guests take a good two weeks to get their look together. I really like the Tom Ford dress on Gwyneth Paltrow for one, with the cape. I like capes and back-décolletés a lot, like Hilary Swank in Guy Laroche. Nicole Kidman in Gucci at the SAG-Awards also looked great. Tonight I’m wearing a yellow, lace dress from Gucci.
What does a perfect night at the movies look like to you?
I really prefer to go to the movies alone – I do so several times a month. If I’m with friends I’m always wondering if they are having a good time. I like to just sit alone in the dark, so I can really immerse into the screen.
Can we expect you on the big screen on day? You already have experience in front of the camera.
Yes, I’ve participated in several art projects. Most recently with Ursula Meyer from Austria. I had quite a lot of lines, but it was more reciting than acting. The project really got me thinking, wondering if I should try to do more in film. I’m also connected to theatre thanks to my parents, so I’ve always been familiar with acting. I guess it depends on the offer – in the first place it has to feel good.
Are you bringing a souvenir from Berlin?
The movie marathon that I mentioned earlier is my souvenir. It consists of memories of great movies I wouldn’t have seen otherwise – The Three Faces of Antonioni, Mulholland Drive, and a movie from the 60s with Mick Jagger. And I guess we’ll see what tonight will bring.