It is hard to label Maria Amanda’s role in fashion as anything but prevalent, quotes of her beauty echo through all over internet and the blonde Danish muse has served as an inspiration for graphic designers, artists and photographers, appearing on the cover of numerous fantasy books and cd’s, she’s immensely passionate about alternative styles, especially gothic and fantasy. Maria Amanda is based in Copenhagen, Denmark but her passion for fashion world make her travel a lot, she has been modelling since 2011 and has already made her name, leaving a strong mark on the hard alternative fashion world. She goes from amazing photo-shoots to well known run way fashion shows.
How would you describe yourself?
First of all, I’m a family person. I value my family more than anything. When it comes to friends, I prefer to have a few really close ones that I consider my family as well.
I’m a big animal lover, and sometimes I even like animals more than people. They are so innocent and pure, and they will always return the love and affection you give them. Because of this I’ve chosen to be a vegetarian.
I’m a crazy perfectionist, which is sometimes a little inconvenient for me. Certain things just end up taking up way too much of my time.
I had a rough childhood because of bullying, but I had my family to support me, and in the end it made me the person I am today.
I have always been a dreamer and a romantic. If I could, I would live in a world of magic and fairytales. That’s why I love to model. It’s like creating your own alternate reality.
How did modeling came into your life?
It was all by coincidence really. As a child and teenager I hated being in front of the camera, as I had really bad self esteem. Then five years ago a friend of mine convinced me to let her take some pictures of me wearing a gothic dress. I actually liked the result and put them up as stock pictures on DeviantArt, in the hope that maybe one person out there would photoshop a pair of wings on me or something like that. To my surprise the pictures got really popular among talented digital artists worldwide – They got on book and cd covers and I started receiving fan mail. Everybody was just so sweet and supportive. So I did some more pictures and soon I was actually really hooked and enjoyed being in front of the camera. It was thrilling being a part of creating the kind of art I had always loved and admired.
Do you favor glam modeling or are you comfortable with alternative modeling?
I love both. I started out doing alternative modelling like gothic, lolita and a bit punk, since that was my everyday style, and also the style I liked to express myself with. However, as time passed, I found myself drawn to more and more elaborate costumes and to explore more genres, like couture, avant-garde and fantasy. I still do gothic shoots as well, but what I like the most is when I can merge the different genres and create some kind of gothic fairytale in a beautiful couture outfit.
You have the most amazing looks, beautiful dresses and they all seem to tell a story, are you a part of the creation of a photo shoot?
Thank you so much. Yes, I always play a big part in the planning – unless it’s a specific job where I’m hired to only be the model. That’s usually when I’m doing fashion photography jobs for look books and stuff like that. When it comes to my alternative modelling, I’m usually the one doing the most of the planning. I love to have a concept and then watch it come to life through a combination of outfit, makeup, location, photo-technique, poses and so on. That moment when everything you planned comes together and creates something beautiful is such a satisfying feeling. When I was a child, I actually dreamed of working with photography and creating those glimpses of perfection you see in magazines and on billboards. I had never thought that I would be the one in front of the camera though.
What’s the part of your body you like the most?
Definitely my hands. It’s the only part of my body I always liked. And for most of my life it was the only part of myself I was proud of. When I was younger people always told me that I had long piano fingers and that I should be a hand model. Today I am actually doing a lot of hand modeling for jewellery brands. So I suppose they weren’t wrong!
One thing that seems to be your mark is your eye makeup, was that your idea and do you do it yourself?
Yes, I almost always do my makeup myself. Sometimes it’s more convenient to have a makeup artist on set, or maybe the client already has a certain makeup artist they use, but I really prefer to do it myself. I feel that I know my face better and know what works for me the most.
In the beginning of my career I actually had no clue what I was doing when it came to makeup. I didn’t know which products you use for what. I have always been good at drawing though, so I just thought of it as drawing on my face instead of paper and took it one step at a time. It all worked out alright, haha. In the beginning I just used a lot of eye liner, as I’ve always loved to wear that. Later on, I started experimenting more and more with eye shadows, brow shaping, foundations and all that stuff. Today I have years of experience and a makeup artist certification to lean on, so I’d at least like to think that I’ve developed a proficient and professional approach.
You work with some of the best brands in alternative clothing and accessories, with all that in your hands what is your favorite type of photo-shoot?
Definitely something extravagant and spectacular. Something with a big couture dress, a beautiful headpiece and all the little details on point – things that can tell a story and create little windows to alternative worlds. I want to create scenes that draw in and fascinate the viewers and show them “my world”. The outfit is an immensely important part of achieving that. I definitely also favor being on location instead of in a studio. You feel so inspired when you’re outdoors, surrounded by beautiful nature or by old ruins or monuments.
Is there a Shop or Brand/designer that you favor to work with, or maybe one you still didn’t had the chance to work but would like to in a near future?
I have been fortunate to get to know and collaborate with the people behind a lot of amazing brands and stores, yes – something I’m very grateful for, and I appreciate every one of them. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without all my sponsors to make me pretty. I want to send out a special, big thank you to The Gothic Shop for being my very first sponsor years ago, and for always believing in me. I still have a long list of designers and stores that I admire, but haven’t had the chance to work with yet, and I keep coming across more and more all the time. I can’t keep up! There’s just so much talent out there. I do have a lot of new collaborations planned for this year, though, and I can’t wait to get started.
Just out of curiosity, how do you dress in your everyday life?
Always black and always short dresses or skirts. I would call it classical goth, fused with current fashion trends. I like to look a bit like a gothic doll / fairy / witch / elf fusion. At least that’s what I’m going for, heh. I like to mix different materials; lace, velvet, tulle, faux leather, sheer fabrics and ribbons, to create some different texture in the outfit and make it interesting. That way it’s not just black, and the outfit can be just as eye catching as if you had been wearing a lot of colors. I always wear high heels or boots, and I put a lot of effort into my hair and makeup. Those things just have to be on point. I’m really a perfectionist in that way, which can be really annoying. Wish I could just let go sometimes.
You are one of the favorite models that graphic designers chose pictures from to work with, do you like to see you pictures retouched in so many different and sometimes magical ways?
I love it! It’s what got me started and what kept me going to where I am today. As a child I had all these posters on my walls of fairies and other beautiful creatures, and I always dreamt of living in those worlds. When people create magical pictures from my stocks, I’m as close to being in those tales as possible. I like to think that today I’m on the walls in the rooms of the next generations of little dreamers, inspiring them to be different and reach for their dreams.
You aren’t just a photo model you also do some runway shows, what do you like to do best, do you prefer Photos or Runway, Alternative Fashion or High Fashion?
I really just love all of it. They’re all very different experiences. For photo shoots I have that whole creative process from the first idea to the finished pictures. I have full control of what’s going to happen, and I can express what I want to say. When it comes to the runway I’m “just” the model. I’m put into a situation I have no control of, and I just have to rock it. It’s all instant, and you can’t do it over if you make a mistake. You’re a whole team of models, designers, stylists and coordinators buzzing with excitement and you feel the most incredible rush when you finally hit the runway.
If I had to choose between alternative fashion and high fashion my heart definitely lies with the alternative genre, but what I really prefer is to combine the two.
Do you have any concepts for future shoots that you can’t wait to try out?
Yes, always! I always have so many projects in the works – I just wish I had more time to carry them all out.
Currently I’m looking forward to finally doing a proper Elsa shoot. I’ve been wanting to do a cosplay of her ever since I saw the first movie poster, but I’m very picky about the dress. I don’t want to just buy any cheap costume, so I teamed up with a designer that will be able to make the perfect dress. It’s still only in the early stages, but I want it to happen this year.
Another concept I’m very excited about, is that I will be doing my first shoot with my sister. We’re going to pose as the two evil sisters, Ravenna and Freya from the new Huntsman movie. It will be really special to do that together.
Then I also have a lot of concepts in the works with my dear friend, photographer Lillian Liu. We’re going to have another shooting marathon in London in July before Lillian is going back home to Canada. Like last time, we’ll be working with a lot of incredible designers for this and I can’t wait to get started.
Finally I’m also looking very much forward to travel to Kiel and model with La Esmeralda. I have admired and been inspired by this girl for so many years, and it’s going to be incredible to actually meet her and work with her.
Where do you go for inspiration? Do you have any idol, someone that you look up to?
I find inspiration everywhere. I can completely lose myself for hours just scrolling through pictures on Instagram, DeviantArt and really just all over the internet. There’s so much beautiful art out there, so many talented designers, photographers and models. I don’t have nearly enough time to even process all the ideas I get by looking at other peoples work.
As a model, I have one idol in particular. Ophelia Overdose. I have looked up to her and her work ever since before I started modelling. She makes the most amazing pictures and she’s also a great designer herself.
Do you have any other passions besides modeling?
I would say that I have three big passions in life. Number one will always be my family, including my wonderful fiancée and our three cats. When it comes to career plans and what I want to do with the rest of my life, my big passion is science. I have always felt a big curiosity towards understanding what makes the world work. Physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, astronomy and such are subjects which have always fascinated me. I’m currently writing my Master’s Thesis in Biochemistry and hope to work with developing pharmaceuticals when I have graduated in the summer. When it comes to what I like to do in my free time, I love everything that allows me to be creative. I have always loved to draw, paint, make jewellery and decorations and stuff like that. It makes me calm and gives me energy.
What do you consider your biggest career highlights so far?
Hmm, that’s difficult to decide. When it comes to runway shows I would say that I’m very proud to have been walking at both London and Copenhagen Fashion Weeks multiple times.
When it comes to photography, I was just recently featured on VOGUE Italia with a picture made in collaboration with designer Linda Friesen and Lillian Liu Photography. That was really a big moment for me, and I couldn’t quite believe it at first.
A personal highlight of mine was my childhood dream coming true. I always felt a deep fascination for mermaids, and have always dreamed of swimming around in an authentic looking mermaid tail. Then, a couple of months ago the charity organisation Project Mermaids asked me to be their Danish Mermaid in an underwater shoot wearing a tail made by the amazing tail designer, The Mertailor. That was the most incredible experience ever, and really, it was my biggest dream as a model coming true. There’s nothing more I could ask for right now.
Well I could stay hours asking you questions but knowing how busy you are let me leave you with just one more. You do know you have many fans, and many see you as a reference to their own work, what do you like to say to them?
From the bottom of my heart, thank you! I would never have been where I am today, if not for your love and support. Your support is what made it possible for me to get this far, and my life is much happier for it! I can be creative and do something I truly love. I owe you guys so much. You probably don’t know this, but when I come across new followers, or you write special comments on my pictures, I like to go and check out your profiles and get to know you a bit – see what kind of people it is that like my work. Yes, I’m stalking you back, haha. I’d just wish I had the time to write you all back.
And let me also say, Gothic and Amazing, thank you for having me. It has been a great pleasure to work with you on this issue of your magazine. I wish you all the best for the future.