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Madame Archel model

Model feature : Madame Archel

Madame Archel is an alternative model hailing from the U.S, with a vast portfolio of work under her waspie. With experience in alternative fashion & fashion shows alongside working as a professional musician.

How did you start modelling? Was it something that you always wanted to do, or did it just 'happen'?

Actually, it just happened! I was living in Raleigh at the time and had gotten involved in the goth subculture and was experimenting heavily with fashion, makeup, and hair. I had a friend who owned a club that was full of computers for gaming. One night at the club, he pulled up Dita Von Teese's website and was showing me and said, "Hey! You could do something like this! You really should!" For a while, I resisted, but later he set me up with a shoot with a Triangle photographer, Brian Regan. I was terrified, but the shoot went so well and was so well-received that I was hooked and shot nonstop after that for several years. I have ties to Seattle, WA and worked a lot with photographers out there, as well. I eventually moved out there for a while.

What drew you towards alternative modeling?

There are several reasons, really, the first being that it's the look that I choose for every day life. It's "me." I do experiment in shoots with different aspects of alternative fashion. Some work on me and some don't. The other reason is that I don't have the type of look for mainstream fashion modeling. I am petite, extremely pale, and curvy. These days the mainstream wants tall, skinny, and very young. I find that I'm able to keep modeling in the alternative world because those things don't factor in as heavily. My build and my age have yet to hold me back in this genre and the feedback I've gotten has been overwhelmingly positive..

Do you have any fellow models or heroines who have inspired you?

Absolutely! Some of my favorite inspirational models are actual friends of mine. I found a lot of inspiration in character models like Josie Nutter and burlesque/retro models like Vienna La Rouge. I have, of course, found inspiration in Dita Von Teese's style since we have similar coloring and she's also petite. Right now, my favorite gothic models are Threnody/Morgana and La Esmerelda.

What kind of shoots would you like to work on in the future?

When I first started modeling, I worked hard on putting together a large body of work to represent me. Now that I've been doing it for 10 years, I find that I want to shoot less and aim more for quality than quantity. I also would like to work on more art modeling and less fashion/editorial, particularly working with digital artists. I find that shooting less causes me to be more selective and plan the shoots more carefully.

Madame Archel model

What has been your biggest modelling achievement so far?

Hmm, it's hard to say. I suppose that would be my 2 print magazine covers, for Flick magazine and for The Chronicles. There's nothing like the feeling of being published in print; anyone can put a photo on a website, but the amount of work/time/money that goes into a print publication makes it quite special to be involved. Indie magazine publishers work hard to bring alternative fashion and culture to everyone, often just barely breaking even for their efforts. It really is a labor of love and I enjoy getting involved in those projects.

How did you discover your paticular interest in alternative fashion?

I'd say I started getting involved in alternative fashion as early as the early 80s, when I was discovering alternative music. I was a teenager listening to music I'd discovered through MTV's 120 Minutes or through alternative radio. I was into goth pop when I was a teenager such as The Cure, Siouxsie, The Smiths, New Order. My fashion grew out of those musical influences.

Are there any companies or designers that you'd like to work with?

In my fantasy dream land, I could fly to Europe and work with Morgana Femme Couture, Royal Black Couture, or Vecona. However, there's no end of great designers to work with in the US and even right here in North Carolina!

What are your goals & aspirations for the future?

As I said before, my goal these days is to do fewer shoots of high quality, with real forethought put into the styling and concepts, focusing mostly on artistic vision and collaboration with other artists. My other goal is to work on my solo music project, Udara, which is an ambient/ethereal project focusing on woodwinds and looping to create interesting soundscapes. I am also collaborating with some other musicians, as well. I would like to do some modeling work that will compliment my music sites, so that will be a consideration, as well.

You can find out more about Madame Archel & her work over at

First image: Photographer - Fallen Angel Studios | Second image: Photographer - Hannah Combs Photography