Getting ready with Valentijn de Hingh in Gucci

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.

Watch this Face: Kim van der Laan

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Harper’s Bazaar UK featured Kim van der Laan on their “Watch this Face” list.

“How I spend my free time depends on the season and the mood I’m in. It runs from sports like skiing and longboarding to being involved with the European Youth Parliament, to binge-watching shows on Netflix.”

Read the full interview here

A trip down memory lane with Anne-Marie van Dijk

It’s been quiet around Anne-Marie van Dijk for a while. But that’s about to change – as of January this year, Anne-Marie is back. Here’s what she’s been up to.

You’re with Paparazzi exactly 10 years this year! It all started with your love for orcas/disapproval of the captive orca industry, didn’t it? Can you tell us a little something about that?
I’ve always had a love for whales and dolphins, especially orcas. I’m fascinated by their intelligence and complex social/emotional lives. I was scouted at a marine park while living in Florida at the age of 14. The reason I said yes to modeling was to help raise funds for an organization that’s been trying to save the oldest orca living in captivity. Her name is Lolita and she’s been held in the smallest orca tank in the world for the past 46 years. What started with the plight of one whale led me to realize that the fashion industry can serve as a wonderful tool to help further causes I feel passionate about. This – ultimately – inspired me to stay.

What did your first steps into the world of modeling look like?
To be honest, I was completely clueless about fashion and the world of modeling when I first started. My first shoot was for Abercrombie & Fitch with Bruce Weber while living in Florida. My family and I then moved to The Netherlands where I was booked for Prada (thanks to Paparazzi) – my very first runway show. I had never heard of Prada, which makes me laugh now, but I am very grateful for that moment because it truly launched my career. After that I moved to New York where I lived for 12 years and had the privilege of working with some of the industry’s greatest photographers and designers.

You’ve been throwing it back on Instagram with some amazing pictures you literally found in the old box. Can you share your favorite one with us, plus tell a little something about it?
My favorite polaroid is the first one I posted, the one where I am portrayed as a dancer (shot by Mark Abrahams for German Vogue). There’s something sensual, elegant and “introspective” about that image. I suppose I like it so much because it captures a side of me few people are aware of but that’s always present: dreamy, contemplative, “looking inward”. The dancer seems immersed in her own world, which is often how I feel.

When it comes to modelling, it has been quiet around you for some time. What have you been up to?
This question makes me laugh as it reminds me of a comment an agent once made, “Anne-Marie isn’t available yet again, she’s too busy with her own things!”. I suppose I’ve always had one foot inside the industry and one foot out. I take my work as a model very seriously but I am also aware of the privileges it gives me to funnel my time and resources into projects and/or initiatives that are close to my heart. One of them was a health and wellness organization I founded for models, CLEANSE, which unfortunately I’ve had to put on hold because of a burnout. I took some time off to recover but hope to start working on fun projects again this year.

Would we be right by saying your personal style consists out of wind jackets and comfortable shoes for the bigger part? Did you ever feel you had to change this style because of your work?
Yes. I love comfortable clothing such as jeans paired with a comfortable knit sweater, wind jacket and sneakers. It’s been my ‘style’ for years. With that being said, my closet does contain some beautiful designer pieces but those who know me well know they’re a part of my “professional attire” and not my personal look 😉 As for if I’ve ever felt like I’ve had to change my style because of my work? Yes and no. Yes because at the end of the day my style isn’t very “stylish”. No, because it’s just who I am.

Any tips for the young girls who are just starting out as a model?
Yes, dance to the beat of your own drum! See modeling as a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but never stop asking yourself what your true dreams, hopes and aspirations are in life – and pursue those passionately. Real fulfillment is found in doing what you love. Let the world of modeling support you, not consume you.


More than just a pretty face

Dutch Vogue interviewed Anna de Rijk about her work as an artist. English translation below.

Anna de Rijk (28) is a model, draws en creates videos and performances. “Creating stuff is rather usual in my family. My mum is an illustrator and sews, my dad is a writer and me as a kid, I was always working on some creative project. My sister creates cartoons, my brother makes jewelles and knives from bones and rocks. I ended up studying at the art academy of Gent. Some people have to fight their parents in order to be able to follow their heart and do something creative. Not me, luckily; my parents understand the urge to be free and create, and have always let me make my own decisions.”

“I did notice my parents were starting to get a little nervous when they saw I kept modelling for a rather long time. They were proud of me of course, but just didn’t think it was a very useful thing to do with your time on the long run. Subconsciously I’ve always felt the same. It was fun for a while, but it was always meant to be a temporarily thing. By now I’ve started to look at it differently; I now see that modelling is something I can do besides everything else I do, instead of the other way around. That’s why I decided to start modelling again after I graduated – I had an amazing comeback at Prada.”

“I haven’t always wanted to go to the art academy. When I was in high school I was thinking of studying anthropology. At the time I was living in Haarlem (Holland). I was rebelling against my parents and everything they stand for. I was a bit of a difficult teenager I guess. Really wasn’t into anything creative for a while. It took a while for me to really understand myself. Modelling absolutely helped me with that. My world all of a sudden got way bigger and I got to see how many different people are out there. On set I felt free, and that’s how I discovered I really like to perform.”

“Eventually I decided to go to the academy because I wanted to discover myself in a way that modelling wouldn’t allow me to. I studied autonomous art in Gent, at the KASK. That study allows you to practically do whatever you want – you don’t have to focus on just one medium. I drew, performed and made installations. You really learn to think about stuff and question everything you create. It’s an amazing bubble to live in, but also gets to be quite confronting from time to time. I had to learn how to build my own framework, and decide what and how I wanted to communicate to my audience. After having worked on my new house very intensely for about a year, I’m now in the process of re-orientating. For a while I thought I would have to focus on one medium, but I now realise that just isn’t necessary – I’m just gonna keep going where I left of in Gent.”

Read the Dutch interview in Vogue Nederland, March 2017

A talk between Marte and fellow model/artist Laura Kampman

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Marte Mei van Haaster (“full time artist / part time model / all the time yogi” as it says in her Instagram biography) and Laura Kampman (“photographer • model”) joined forces for It resulted in a hyper personal project and talk. Like Marte says: “When our two worlds met it was quite a search of respecting each others boundaries whilst staying true to our own needs, but I feel like by doing so we’ve gained more collectively, which was a very fulfilling feeling. To work so together so intimately, between the borders of model and artist, I feel like the images express this vulnerability.” Check the full story here.