TWELV DIARY #26: Hannah Vandermolen
NAME: HANNAH VANDERMOLEN
My mom was the first photographer to ever shoot me. I can still remember her shouting, "don't smile. This is not a school photo, this is for art." As a painter, I am often the one with a subject in front of me, so I wasn't totally used to the idea of being the one posing. But with a photographer mom and a film maker dad, I did learn to pose for the camera at a young age. I never imagined I would ever fall into the world of fashion. It always struck me as a realm for people who were vastly different from me, a group I did not think I could ever fit into or be a part. Now that I am, I see that I misjudged this world.The men and women I've met at jobs and castings and shoots - models, photographers, stylists, artists, retouchers, set designers, people from all sides of the business- have been interesting, creative, and inspiring people, and not so vastly different from myself. It's true that the industry is fickle, it's true that it has a tendency to set certain beauty standards and be cut-throat and follow guidelines of marketability, it's true there are some nasty people involved from time to time. But I am lucky to be a part of a wave of models who are unique and are bringing more to the table than just their physical presence, and I feel that fashion is now requesting this type of person. I am an artist, a musician, and I model. I have friends who - when they're not walking the runways- are stone masons, are touring the world with their punk bands, are writing short stories, hiking, dancing, and are making films. More and more, brands are requesting these types of people, because people are requesting these types of people. I think its because they are relatable, because most of us want to read a magazine and connect with the person in the image, see a bit of ourselves in them.There is an art to modeling and to fashion that I was not aware of before, but I am now. There is a feeling of strength, ease, and freedom when I'm in front of the camera that I love. It's a type of acting. In some ways I love it as much as painting and as much as singing. And despite the inevitable rejection all models go through from time to time, this has been the greatest gift because it's taught me to appreciate the people involved in this industry and how to persevere in my own life- not just in the fashion world, but in music and art and all the things I want to explore. I am much stronger, more aware and inspired because of this experience. And I'm looking forward to lots of good things to come.
WRITTEN BY: HANNAH VANDERMOLEN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: HANNAH VANDERMOLEN