I am thrilled to chat tonight with the gorgeous alternative model Valentin Van Porcelaine! In a world where female alternative models dominate the “market”, it is always double the pleasure to see male models in this industry. Valentin is a stunning, long-haired model from Germany who specializes in Gothic, Aristocrat and Fantasy shootings!
It is lovely to have you with us, dear Valentin. Could you tell our readers a bit about yourself and how you got into modeling?
V. Thank you for inviting me, I feel flattered by this lovely introduction! My name is Valentin Winter, or “Valentin van Porcelaine”, as I am known to some through my social media presence. I am 20 years old and live in Germany, where I am study design at the moment and work freelance as a model and costume tailor.
I was very young, maybe 13 or 14 when I first started to create my own looks with jewellery and makeup, trying to capture a fantasy-aesthetic, inspired by fairytales and storys like “The Lord of the Rings” or “Interview with the Vampire”. I always had an addiction to glitter and beautiful clothing and a tendency to a certain decadence.
As Oscar Wilde said- “Let me be surrounded by luxury, I can do without the necessities!” As you said, the gothic- and alternative-modeling scene in general is dominated by girls, so I stood out and got quit a lot of positive feedback on my styling and I found some photographers who helped me realise the images I had in mind.
That’s how I started taking photos and suddenly I was got in contact with some amazing shops like “The Gothic Shop”and my lovely friend from “Nocturne Jewelry”, who wanted me to present their creations. That’s how I got into this- I am still quite new in this field.
Photo by Atelier Simone Richter
Alternative models are more than just “puppets” for fashion products. Most of us do our own hair and makeup and create a different persona in almost every photoshooting that we do. I love your creativity and style! How long do you need to get ready for a photoshooting?
V.Thank you so much! I completely agree- the most remarkable difference to the “mainstream-modeling” is that the gothic-scene is always searching to dissociate itself from social standards and the models in this scene are presenting themselves as individuals and get appreciation for creating their own authentic and remarkable style instead of fitting into an average standard.
How long it takes me totally depends on the partcular theme, sometimes I am ready in one hour and sometimes I am working on my outfit 3- 5 hours. But in general I always need 1 hour more than I have and need to run behind the tram in the end- a difficult thing with high heels and long dresses and probably a ridiculous sight..
How would you describe your personal style and how long did it take you to perfect it?
V.Most of all, my style is androgynous. I was always a very feminine boy and I like to blur the stereotypical gender roles. I wear highheels, corsets, fake lashes and I grow my nails to long and sharp claws (and yes, they are honestly all natural, like my hair.)
I get lots of inspiration from all kinds of fantastic stories and creatures, from mermaids, elves, fairies and my interest in witchcraft. My style could be described as gothic-aristocrat/ visual kei but I don´t want to limit myself to a certain “genre”- most of all it’s important for me to stay true to my very own standarts.
Eventually I may be just a glamorous vampire prince! Photo by Atelier Simone Richter
You have collaborated with some amazing brands and shops, is there a particular designer you would like to work with in the future?
V.Oh of course, I would love to work with Pierre Leszczyk! His brand “Empireart Couture” has the most beautiful roccoco-creations and I am always marveling at the wonderful designs.
But my deepest dream is to work with the “Mertailor”, who makes incredibly realistic mermaid-tails. I always wanted to arrange a shooting with a tail and feel like a real merman..
You are one of Alchemy Gothic´s official models. That is quite an achievement! How was that collaboration for you?
V. Yes! That was a lucky moment indeed when I started modeling for them a few months ago. Alchemy Gothic is by far my favourite Gothic-brand of all time. I always loved their jewelry and spent way too much money on my collection of Alchemy Gothic-jewels, so it was a great pleasure for me to get in contact with them.
They sent me a delicate selection of their collections and I tried to involve them into my glittering world and tell a story with each picture. There are more projects yet to come for this year!
Photo by Atelier Simone Richter
Germany is considered the Gothic “epicenter” not only in Europe but worldwide. Not only because of the Wave Gotik Treffen but because it undoubtedly has more shops, concerts, festivals and followers than any other country. How would you describe the German Gothic “scene” today? Did it change a lot over the past few years?
V.That’s true, I am very thankful to live here and to have all these options when it comes to dark partys, shopping and festivals. I am probably too young to judge in what ways the subculture has changed or developed during the last years, but as far as I see the scene is steadily growing and taking a much more diverse range of different people, opinions and styles.
I often hear the older generation of traditional goths that are still mourning the ´´80s and the times when a mohawk and pikes stood for a critical view on modern society and the times before the era of gothic clothing off the reck, and I hear the complains about all te different styles that have “nothing to do with 80s goth and Bauhaus”…
That may be. But honestly- I personally do not think that’s a bad thing in general. I like to see all the influences from different subcultures, from Japanese Streetfashion like Lolita, the “Pastel Goth” and the “Nu Goth” trend and I like the fact that the scene is keeping up with time.
I was not born in the ´80s and I have no personal link to the “no future” generation, that was amazing and new back then, but the world goes on and younger goths live in a different society now and have to deal with other problems.
My connection to this subculture has a different origin- I feel connected to the Victorian era and the first generation of “Gothic” as in “Gothic novels” by Edgar Allan Poe and Lord Byron, and this romantic and gloomy aesthetic is my connection to the Gothic-Subculture.
Photo by Marija Buljeta, at WGT
What music do you personally prefer and what events do you enjoy visiting?
V.I listen to a wide range of different genres, from Symphonic Metal, Neofolk and J-rock to Witchhouse and sometimes even “Pop”-Artists like Lady Gaga and Natalia Kills, as long as I like the lyrics! I dont really like concerts and conventions because I dont like crowds, but the “Wave Gotik Treffen” is an exception- it’s my social highlight each year!
I like masquerade-balls and little Outdoor-Picnicks with friends, when the weather allows.
In your personal time, what other hobbies do you enjoy and what is your main field of interest?
V. I am designing and sewing many outfits myself and started taking custom orders since I worked at the costume-department of the German Opera for one year. I am drawing, sewing and decorating therefore.
I also read a lot and disappear in distant fantasy-realms for as long as possible. And I am very close to nature whenever I can, live and eat vegan and wander through the forest searching for bones to decorate my room.
I love all kinds of dolls- I collect “Monster High” dolls and I love japanese Ball-Jointed-Dolls for their perfect, porcelain looks. This is also the cause for my artist’s name “Van Porcelaine”. I always admired the perfect, ever young beauty of dolls.
And in the very secret moments I would lie in my room and watch Disney Movies, since I kind of live in a Disney World myself. I plan to live in a little castle with some friends in a few years. When this day comes I will probably loose my last grip to reality! 😀
Photo by Atelier Simone Richter
Dressing in such an elaborate and flamboyant way in which you do, one does assume you get a lot of attention. Do you have any stories to share with us when it comes to other peoples´ reactions to your look?
V.From the way I present myself one could assume that I am a extrovert person, but in fact I am quit shy and don’t like to get attention in daily life at all.
So I got the most pleasant reactions to my look in Sweden when I visiited some friends- NONE! The Swedes are so polite! I guess they where just as confused as a German would be, when meeting me, an almost 2 meter tall Elven Prince with Vampire Fangs and floorlength black gown at the supermarket before I went to a shooting, but they just keep their reactions to themselves and act politely and discreet.
Thats something I miss in germany.
Photo by Crescentia Moon Photography
A lot of your photos have a fairytale vibe to them! Is there any specific fairytale that inspires you? What would you say is your biggest inspiration when it comes to photography?
V. My favourite fairytale was always the “Ice Queen” which still is a huge influence on my self-perception. I was also totally impressed by the Malfoy-Family in Harry Potter. I am a proud Slytherin and still waiting for my letter from Hogwarts.
Another huge influence on my photos are probably the paintings of Victoria Frances. Although she picks every single cliche and stereotype when it comes to fantasy art, she inspired me a lot when I was younger and this imagery is still obvious in my photography, since I like to play with cliches myself..
Thank you for taking time to chat with us! Where can our readers follow your work online?
I started a blog where I plan to upload news and my recent work more often this year:
And I am way more active on my Instagram account lately:
Thank you very much for the friendly invitation!
Left Photo by Crescentia Moon Photography
Right Photo by Atelier Simone Richter
Fetured photo by Atelier Simone Richter