Cover credits: Photographer: Natalia Lefay, Coat: Devilnight UK, Jewellery: Alchemy Gothic at The Gothic Shop
Valentin van Porcelaine is one of the few male models the gothic community has to offer. Usually referred to as Vampire Prince, Valentin is a silver haired model and costume designer from Germany. He has worked with many well known brands such as The Gothic Shop and Alchemy Gothic.
1. Hi Valentin, thank you for taking some time to chat with us. How would you describe yourself?
Thank you very much for the invitation. I love Gothic and Amazing and I am happy that I can share some thoughts on your page!
I usually describe myself as a fabulous Vampire Prince.
I am a costume designer, fashion student and model from Germany and I am living in my own gloomy fantasy world filled with fairytales, dark castles, sharp fangs, opulent dresses and glitter. ♥
2. Can you tell us the story behind the name Valentin van Porcelaine?
In the Gothic Community it’s quite common to choose a new name for yourself. It’s part of the creative self-expression, since extraordinary people should have extraordinary names.
Van Porcelaine is a reference to my love for dolls. I love the perfection and everlasting beauty of dolls and when I do my makeup I hope to achieve the polished complexion of snow-white porcelaine skin.
Nevertheless I still use Valentin Winter a lot, but Van Porcelaine may be more fitting for my work as an artist.
3. Was modelling a life dream for you? How did it all start?
I always loved fashion. I am illustrating, crafting and sewing since my earliest childhood, used to make dresses for my dolls and started to design my own historical inspired clothing when I was around 15 years old.
I got involved into the modeling community by designing and sewing my own clothing and I got to know other designers and models. To be honest I am quite shy in person and i didn’t want to model in the beginning but luckily I was convinced by some truly amazing photographers!
I have so many ideas and pictures in my head that need to be expressed and photography is a great way to create fantastic worlds that are more exciting and beautiful than reality. I love to perform and reinvent myself with every photo, always exploring different sides to my personality.
4. Do you remember your very first photoshoot? Can you share some details and your feelings about that?
My first photoshooting was only 2 years ago with the incredibly talented photographer „Knochensaege Photodesign“. He convinced me to try modeling and the pictures are still some of my absolute favourites. That day I dressed myself in my favourite outfit and took the bus to a graveyard in Frankfuhrt, Germany together with my best friend Inga, who was more experienced in modeling than I was. I was a bit nervous but it was fun and exciting. Seeing my own face as a part of the finished artwork gave me a lot of confidence and encouraged me to work with other photographers.
I got so much love and positive feedback from my amazing followers and friends on social media, that my internet appearance grew quickly and I was soon contacted by some amazing photographers, brands and designers who liked my aesthetics.
5. In all your pictures, we can see amazing outfits with lots of details that really make the difference. How much time and effort do you put into your outfits?
Thank you for the sweet words! It’s lovely when the effort you put into your work is appreciated. I am always planning different projects at the same time and a part of my brain is always collecting ideas- whenever I see a certain look, a picture or anything else that inspires me I make a note in my head and add it to the long list of visions that still need to be portrayed.
I always put all my heart and soul into my photos, regardless if they are promotional or for my personal projects, so I have to admit that I am often late to shoot a sponsored piece of clothing because I am still waiting for the perfect accessory or the matching jewellery!
But I guess that’s what gives my pictures the perfection I am longing for.
6. I know you sew many of your beautiful outfits for Wave Gothic Treffen. Would you consider making commissioned work for other people?
Yes, I am sewing a lot of clothing for myself and sometimes for my friends. I already had some commissions for custom made historical clothing and I love to fulfill fashion dreams and watch my victims enjoy themselves in the finished garment. It’s very rewarding to see how they feel like a dark princess, wearing something that I created with my hands.
I will definitely build my own brand and shop in the future, but for now I am open for suggestions and commissions! 🙂
7. Speaking of WGT, I know you really enjoy going. Will you attend next year as well? What do you like best about events like that?
WGT is my highlight every year and I will definitely go there again. I love the whole feeling of being surrounded by people with similar interest. I am lucky to have the most amazing friends and WGT is family time for me. I spend the whole week with my coven, visiting concerts, having shootings or just sitting around all dressed up and feeling fancy. It’s a great place so socialize, get to know people that I only know online or meet other artists of different professions, while wearing utterly impractical dresses and overdone makeup.
8. You can pull off so many styles in your photoshoots from elven and romantic to vampire and witchy looks. Do you have a favorite?
It always depends on my mood and on the atmosphere that I want to create. All these looks are different aspects of my personality and thus equally important to me. I love everything dark, morbid and gloomy and I have a huge love for magick and occultism. But my favourite colour is still pastel pink and I have this elven princess in me that loves glitter, crystals and fairytales so I combine all of these aspects to my own, personal style.
9. You are modelling for many well known brands like The Gothic Shop and Alchemy Gothic. Does this mean you are open to collaborations?
I am so thankful for all the great opportunities to model, promote and collaborate with amazing brands and shops!
Especially The Gothic Shop, Wonderland 13 and Evil Pawn Jewellery. have been so generous to me and supported me a lot with beautiful outfits and Jewellery. I love working with them and do my best to represent them appropriately.
In a subcultural community it is very important to connect and to support each other. And I still can’t express enough how glad it makes me to see my face in the official catalogue of Alchemy Gothic – they have always been my favourite brand and suddenly I work with them.
I always keep true to my style and my aesthetics, but I take my promotional work serious, since it’s my business, being a model and blogger.
10. Where do you draw inspiration from? Do you have an idol, someone you look up to?
I get my inspiration from everything I like. Movies, books, mangas, fashion of the past and fairytales. Musicians like the bands Within Temptation, Versailles and Malize Mizer inspired me a lot. But of course I also look up to other artists who explored the artistic field of alternative modeling and inspired me when I was younger, like my dear Adora Batbrat, who I am lucky to call my friend nowadays.
11. Can you tell us a bit about your personal life? Who’s Valentin behind the camera?
I am pretty much the same behind the camera as I am on photos, only bit more shy and reserved when I meet new people, what often gets mistaken for being stuck-up or arrogant. There is nothing more important to me than my lovely friends, and regardless how serious and sophisticated I may appear on pictures I am a very positive and maybe even a bit to childish and cheery when I get excited. Rumors say that my friends and I are known for inappropriate and very non-victorian behaviour on Gothic Parties and occasional Masquerade balls – you may very likely find us bursting in laughter in a corner, which is a difficult thing when you wear a corset by the way…
I love good conversations, dancing and I have a huge collection of Monster High Dolls!
12. As you mention in your blog, you are genderbending and you consider yourself an androgynous boy. Has this caused negative comments from the alternative community? How do you cope with it?
Yes, as much as I like my feminine appearance I am still happy to be a boy. I like to play with genderroles and to blur the lines.
Long hair, long nails, long lashes and corsets don’t have a gender and I ignore the rules. Luckily the gothic community is very open to spiritual and gender-related questions. It’s just not that important and people are more likely to question your taste in music or clothing than your sexuality or gender identity.
13. I know you are still very young and you must have so many plans. What are your major goals in life?
My major goal is to stay true to myself. I don’t want to change my way of living for anyone, even if it means that I will have certain obstancles in daily life. I am very ambitious and I work hard to get what I want. I don’t worry about „not finding a job“ because of my extravagance. I will make my way and build my career on what I love- fashion and art. I think if you are passionate enough you will always find a way to be successful.
14. Who is the biggest support in your modeling career?
My biggest support is my best friend and sister at heart, Inga Siebert. We always inspire and motivate each other. She was the one who encouraged me at my first shooting and we both see our life as a piece of art, that evolves with every day.
I am also very thankful to the amazing photographers that I have the pleasure to work with, like the incredible Atelier Simone Richter.
15. Do you have any special plans for upcoming photoshoots? What can we expect to see of you in the future?
I have so many plans! I did so much dark romantic fashion shots lately and I would love to do more fantasy themed settings. I am deeply in love with the Celtic faerie mythology and I have some elven and faerie looks planned….. but that’s all I will reveal for now! 😉
16. We have reached the end of this interview I would like to thank you for taking the time to chat with us. What message would you like to leave to your fans, followers and our readers?
Thank you so much.
My most important message is, to be brave and just do your thing. If you want to express yourself, do it the way you want to and don’t be afraid. Don’t worry what society will say, don’t worry what the people on the internet will say, don’t even worry what the gothic community will say. As soon as you stand out, there will be hateful and jealous people, who try to pull you down because they are afraid of you, even in the smallest community. But you can never let hate come to close to your soul. Focus on the positive feedback, on the supportive people and on the love you get from your friends. Positivity will get you so much further and help you to grow! When you follow your passion you will be the one who is confident, strong and happy in the end. ♥