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Vamps and Vixens
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Anulka Dziubunska Fiona Horne Ingrid Pitt Donna Ricci Yvonne Romain Madeline Smith
Anulka Dziubinska
Fiona Horne
Ingrid Pitt
Donna Ricci
Yvonne Romain
Madeline Smith
Donna Ricci
Donna Ricci is a Gothic Supermodel. She makes personal appearances, runs her own 'alternative' modelling agency and is about to open her own vampire nightclub. She even has her own fan club. Just who does Donna Ricci think she is?
Donna Ricci is to gothic glamour what Cindy Crawford is to catwalk celebrity. In the exotic world of vampire, pierced, punk and tattooed chic, Donna has a face that 'fits'. She was the model for the cover of the character Death in the Sandman series, Neil Gaiman's cult graphic novel. Donna remembers: "When there was a call to my agent for a goth-like girl, I was the only one who nearly fitted the description. Gaiman told me I was perfect and we did the shoot over several weeks for several covers of the Death comic book. The first day on the set I got to meet Tori Amos. I wandered dazed and confused for a better part of the day. It was the first big shoot I'd done.
Donna explains: "Death is a comic book character who has six siblings. Despair, Dream, Delirium, Destiny, Destruction and Desire. They each have their own realm that they oversee. Not gods, they are in charge of each aspect of their own part of the human universe. Obviously, Death is there to guide us when we die. She does not take any pleasure in her job nor does she despise it. She does her job every day, with a friendly and sunny personality.
"Gaiman came up with the character years ago and I was so honored to portray her, even for a few days. I have a big place in my heart for her. Although the comic book is drawn, the covers are photographs or artwork by Dave McKean. I simply represented the character in photographic form. I still have one of the original costumes that I thought I might auction off for charity one day.
"I used to go to comic book stores and sign autographs and pose for pictures and travelled all over California. I was really only creeped out once. A woman came up to me and said "You know, I have a tattoo of you on my thigh. Not just the character but you as the character!" and proceeded to lift up her shorts leg to show me. She wandered off for awhile to return and asked "Do you know what I've got at home?" I shook my head no in some kind of curiousity. "Candles made of human bone marrow." and wandered off again. At this point I was thinking she was a bit strange. The third approach was it. "Guess what I'm wearing under my shirt?" she asked me. I was left speechless at this point and without prompt she pulled a necklace from out of the collar of her tshirt and said "a neck-lace made from the bones of human hands." She wasn't kidding and I wasn't amused. I quickly realized how long I'd been there and made my polite leave."
'Wicked Talent' is Donna's own modelling agency and it houses only gothic, vampire, pierced, punk, tattooed, bald or rockabilly models, who come from the US, UK and even Africa. She proudly states that 'normals need not apply'. Recently she has signed up three of the biggest models in the subculture.
Malice, Dita and Persephone.
"It is an uprising trend that a darker and more ethereal aesthetic is being sought in marketing and advertising. Mainstream versions of the gothic subculture are in Calvin Klein ads, Levis commercials and major makeup companies. The entire club scenes for the movie 8MM were local goth club kids and they are also often used in Buffy, Angel, and many music videos.
My personal career has increased with CD covers, calendars, and fashion catalogs. I have no doubt that a more sinister beauty is not only accepted, but now sought after in today's fashion world."
So what are the future plans of this gothic supermodel?
"Wicked Talent is expanding to become a global agency. My personal career is doing better than ever and I'm really happy with my life now. I'm working on becoming a RAINN (rape, abuse and incest national network) counselor and I will open up my own vampire nightclub at the end of the summer."
And finally, how did she end up with her own fan club?
"My publicity manager Janie started my fanclub after seeing another model's and thought it was a good way for me to connect with fans. So far it's been really fun and we host chats once a month both for fans and to assist models wanting to get into the business. I have a lot of great people in my fan club, ranging from pantyhose fetishists to goth boys. A few profiles of members claim to be vampires but I'm not scared."
Article taken from Bite me issue 5
Photos by Ashley Fontenot
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