Today we will be chatting with the lovely German Gothic model, Mademoiselle Karma. Hello Lena, it is our pleasure to have you wish us, could you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
Hello, I’m glad to be invited! My Name is Lena but I’m better known in the world of Gothic and Fantasy modeling by my artist’s name Mademoiselle Karma. I’m 23 years old and I’m living in the South of Germany near Frankfurt am Main. Currently I’m a university student of Archaeology –more precisely Pre- and Proto History- and will be getting my first degree in a few weeks.
1. Photographer: Metamorphis (official site)
When did you discover you wanted to create Gothic art and imagery? Were you interested in the subculture from an early age?
I’ve always been fascinated and attracted by dark aesthetics. Since I’ve been young I had a preference for fantasy and fairytale worlds, especially those with a more gloomy side to them.
I’ve been involved in the Goth subculture, precisely in the sub-subculture of Dark Romantics/ “Neo Victorians”, since my early teens. At events and gatherings of this type it is quite usual that several professional photographers are attendant and many photos are taken. So it was no surprise that one day I decided to take this to another level to create and plan photoshootsmyself besides those scarce meetings scattered over the year.
Through the years I became acquainted with many wonderful photographers so I could start off at an already quite professional level with my official modeling début back some years ago.
2. photo Photographer: Udo Lueck / Underworld Photographics
Collar: Mystic Thread
How long have you been active as a model and what is your outtake on alternative modeling nowadays?
I’ve been active as a model for several years now, but it’s not as long ago that I created my Facebook fanpage. I set it up in February 2013 in order to separate my private profile from my creative work. I would have never guessed that I could accumulate as many followers as I have now. I’m thankful and still a bit unbelieving that so many people like what I do – at this point a warm “Thank you” goes out to all my supporters and followers!
My opinion on alternative modeling in general is that it’s a great opportunity for all of us who do not comply with the usual looks of fashion and beauty dictated by the standard society and especially for those who like to step out of line to fulfill theirselves.
There are fewer restrictions in alternative modeling but this sadly leads to an inundation of people who spoil and utilise this medium for their own purposes – in particular to make alternative lifestyles fashionable enough for the general public to squeeze out as much money as possible. It’s a big downside for me because I still believe in art for art’s sake which is an ideal hardly to maintain nowadays.
We live in a time where the notion “sex sells” has became a cultural staple. However, you are one of the few exceptions in alternative modeling when it comes to showing skin. Your photos are always graceful, glamourous and aristocratic. What is your opinion on fetish models being put into the same drawer as Gothic models such as yourself?
Thank you! I’m glad that I’m still being recognised in my rather buttoned appearance in a world in which the oversexualisation of female bodies has become common practice. That’s not for me!
I don’t condemn anyone for jumping on the bandwagon of showing a lot skin for the sake of attention or just because they like it. My personal ideal of beauty demands another look. I try to celebrate bygone times – periods in which women impressed rather with a glamorous attitude than just plain bodies and I attempt to give those past looks my very own twist.
I have to confess that I’m not a lover of putting anyone in any drawer at all as we all are unique in our own ways. The custom of gathering Goth models and Fetish models under the same banner arises (in my opinion) from the fact that both are an inherent part of the so called dark alternative scene. Nevertheless both types of modeling should not be confused even though many Goth Models frequently visit the realms of Fetish Photography and vice versa.
7. photo: Photographer: Udo Lueck / Underworld Photographics
Bracelet: Dark Embrace Handmade Accessories
Could you tell us more about the wonderful designers and flamboyant dresses we see in your pictures? Do you have a personal favorite?
Most of the dresses you see in my photos are my own. I’m not only wearing them for photoshoots but also “in real life” while going out for a party or at festivals. I don’t have a personal favourite because I love all of them *giggles* and I cannot get enough of such beautiful dresses. That’s why it gets quite cozy in my closet by now. They take a lot of space! All the headpieces and hats even more so…
I also regularly model dresses or accessory for designers. It’s always a great honour for me! I’m glad I am able to enjoy so many lovely collaborations with talented designers and photographers from all over the world!
Being a big fan of fairyesque photography, I adore your photos where you portray a mystical creature. Does it take you long to get ready for photoshootings such as these?
Depicting mystical characters is one of my favourite parts of modeling and photography. I often draw inspiration from ancient tales of great goddesses and gods. It probably originates from my general interest in mythical stories and from being an Archaeologist, haha. I’m always in touch with past ways of thinking and mythical worlds which were an important component of life back then.
It takes the same amount of time for me to get ready for fairytale photoshoots as for less complex themes. The element which consumes more time is the general planning of the sceneries and putting together the outfits and matching accessory.
I pay attention to details even though not all might be recognised by the viewer the way I intended them to be seen. It’s not necessary, but I’m always glad when people recognise certain attributes which emphasise the entity I’m representing.
Tell us more about your hobbies and preferences outside the subculture and modeling.
I enjoy literature a lot – not just reading but also listening to it. All kind of books, but I especially love Classics, Fantasy and Sci-fi. A book has to carry me away or give me a distinct feeling otherwise I will lose interest quite soon.
I enjoy visiting museums and exhibitions. Not only the ones with a link to Archaeology but also those which are devoted to the Fine Arts in general.
Moreover I collect aphorisms and quotes. When you are familiar with my fanpage, you might have noticed every photo of me is accompanied with a short quote that fits the mood of the depiction.
I also savour hiking from time to time. This might come across as odd because many people refuse to believe that I’m able to roam the lands in “unfashionable” clothes…but I assure you -for the occasion of hiking- it is quite possible. I love nature and I take great comfort in being surrounded by it, listening to its sounds or being lost in my own thoughts.
When I’m not busy with university or modeling I also enjoy creating little accessories like necklaces and headpieces. Not always for photoshoot purposes, some are just for going out.
12. photo: Photographer: Knochensaege – Photodesign
Is there a specific designer you would like to work with in the future?
Of course! I am absolutely in love with corsetry and I own lots of exquisite corsets myself. Because of that it’s hardly surprising that I would be overjoyed if I could collaborate with Royal Black Couture & Corsetry one day. This designer creates such outstanding and very unique corsets and even entire outfits. Sneak a peek at those fantastic garments, it’s worth it!
What music genres do you especially prefer and are you a frequent visitor of concerts or festivals?
I mainly prefer dark romantic/ritualistic kinds of music and Dark Wave. I’m a frequent visitor of the well-known Wave Gotik Treffen which takes place in Leipzig (Germany) over the Whitsun Holidays each year. It’s a great festival to meet with friends from all over the world, to get to know new people, to enjoy music and also cultural events like readings and museum exhibitions.
I don’t attend concerts very often. I only visit concerts of bands that I really want to see and those are not that many. The main reason for this is that I’m not fond of standing in a hot and crowded hall -shoulder to shoulder- without any room to move or breathe freely. When I have the option to choose I prefer smaller concerts with less people over big ones.
How would you describe your local Goth scene?
I would describe it as diverse. It’s hard for me to answer this question because I’m only interested in certain divisions of my local scene and I don’t have any connection to the other parts. There are all kinds of the dark alternative scene (I’m reluctant to call all types “Goth”) in place.
Overall I prefer dark romantic gatherings with matching musical accompaniment but sadly there are hardly any in my area so I rely on parties that are more on the “oldschool” side of Goth which I also love very much. Dark Wave, Post-Punk, Batcave… in general events where music without a “techno” feel is played. Luckily there are still some in the region! I just don’t like uber-electronic music like EBM, Industrial and suchlike, so I don’t attend parties of that type.
All in all it’s not a big local Goth scene but still bigger compared to other areas of Germany. Yet, the “oldschool” parts are sadly getting smaller and smaller because young interested people are missing.
Thank you for taking time to talk to us! Do you have any last words for our readers? Where can they follow your work?
It was a pleasure! You can find my work on my Facebook page http://facebook.com/MademoiselleKarmaModel
Of course I have some final words for all of you: The world is a terribly real place. Never lose your wonder… be magical, be wild! Indulge in your imagination and dreams.