I first stumbled upon the stunning Swedish alternative fetish model Arathin whilst blogging on WordPress. Her fierce poses in corsets and latex ranging from gothic to fairy tale themes truly captivated me. Years later, I finally have the opportunity to share her entrancing work with the world. I got the chance to go in depth with Arathin and learned she’s much more than a fiery model with a love of high heels.
[Asylum Attendant] What is the meaning behind the name Arathin and why did you decide on it as your model name?
[Arathin] I came up with the name many years ago when I was going to participate in a fantasy LARP (live action role play, for those of you who don’t know the term), although I can’t for the life of me remember what character I was going to play. The event was unfortunately cancelled, but somehow the name stuck in my head. It’s like something out of a fantasy novel with a bit of an edge to it, which fits my aesthetics perfectly. Today I can’t think of a better artist name to go by.
[AA] Your positive body image is refreshing and inspiring. How do you maintain a healthy sense of self-esteem in an appearance-based industry?
[Arathin] It’s all about knowing that you’re worth more than just your looks, that you have other qualities that make you badass. I know I’m intelligent, hard-working and really good at what I do and that helps me feel good about myself. Yes, having a good/unique look is pretty important in this business. But I’m a firm believer in that if you are creative enough and that creativity shows, your inner beauty will shine through. Of course, even I have my bad days when it’s really hard to keep this up. But that’s usually fixed with some tea, chocolate and some sleep. Spending time with my friends also works, or to talk with the models from The Alternative Model Directory, that I’m also a part of. We’re like a family and we always have each other’s backs no matter what. And that’s a really good feeling to have.
[AA] Who are your favorite Steampunk fashion designers or clothing companies?
[Arathin] Oh there are so many to choose from! But some of my favorites are Morrigan, Clockwork Couture, Rosies Art, Retroscope Fashions and Steampunk Couture. However, I’m a huge accessory freak and that’s what I really love to look for. In that department my favorites are MADmoiselle Méli H (who’s also a very talented model), Catherinette Rings, Brute Force Studios, Tom Banwell, Hysteria Machine and Tragically Adorned. I love taxidermy jewelry as well and for that I mostly turn to Lady Locks Creations. I’m currently collecting her tentacle jewelry, being the octopus lover that I am. And I have to mention corset designer Viola Lahger, who has made nearly all of my corsets – including my custom made Steampunk one.
[AA] I’ve seen that you make some of your own jewelry, clothing and accessories for your photo shoots. How important is it to possess a do-it-yourself spirit as a model?[Arathin] I think it’s pretty important. For me, it helps to keep the creativity alive whenever I’m not shooting. It doesn’t have to be making your own clothes and props. Basic things like putting together the entire outfit, as well as knowing how to do the perfect makeup and hairstyling for the planned shoot are just as important and equally creative.
[AA] Describe your unique spin on the Steampunk look.
[Arathin] I have a tendency to mix traditional Steampunk with unconventional materials, like latex. Even though I love the traditional Victorian look, I mainly use it for inspiration. I don’t like to do things “by the book”; it just doesn’t work for me or help my creativity. I like to mix things up, to add things that originally aren’t considered Steampunk and put them in a Steampunk context. So far I’ve gone from fairy tale/fantasy based Steampunk, to fetish oriented, to Gothic and Dieselpunk inspired. Mind you, I still haven’t done a proper Victorian Steampunk shoot yet so that’s one of the things still on my Steampunk To-Do List. I’m still learning about this whole subculture though, so I can’t say that I have perfected my take on it yet.
[AA] You make latex clothing look quite classy and elegant. What would you say to people who are hesitant to try wearing latex?
[Arathin] First of all, thank you! But to answer your question, you want to start off small. Don’t buy a catsuit the first thing you do, because if you realize you don’t like it then you will have spent lots of money on something you will never use. Start with a pair of gloves or a basic skirt (if you’re a woman, that is) or a top, and make sure you’ve read up on how to treat it properly. It might seem a strange material at first but once you’re used to it you will find that it hugs your shape perfectly, feels smooth against the skin and has a lovely shine.
[AA] I hear that you love to drink tea. What are some of your other hobbies besides modeling?
[Arathin] I love reading and watching movies, mostly science fiction, horror, fantasy and fairy tales. I’m also a huge science geek and enjoy reading as well as watching documentaries on space, astrophysics and theoretical physics. I also collect octopuses and anything Lovecraft related, from books to stuffed animals. Alongside of all this I also love to solve crossword puzzles and cook. Seriously, food is my second passion apart from modeling. I love eating, cooking and learning about food, food chemistry and techniques.
[AA] I think your stance to not pose nude is admirable. Do you feel a lot of pressure to pose nude as a fetish model?
[Arathin] Of course there’s a pressure, but I don’t feel that affected by it. I have my personal reasons for not doing nudes, and they have nothing to do with the aesthetics of lingerie/nude modeling. I prefer to keep my clothes on and will leave the nude modeling to the beautiful ladies who do it best. I suppose there are some who think that to be a fetish model you have to pose nude, but I disagree. Fetish does not equal nudity in my world.
[AA] Tea Time, the lovely alternative model and Ashbury Heights band member, is one of your biggest inspirations. Why do you look up to her so much?
[Arathin] Tea Time is a very close friend of mine and she’s also one of the people who got me back into modeling after a period of doubting myself as a model as well as my place in this business. I’ve learned a lot from helping her during shoots and also by watching her perform on stage during the years we have known each other. She’s one of the most down to earth people I know and incredibly creative.
[AA] Why did you choose alternative modeling over a more traditional modeling career? Does it give you more freedom to be yourself?
[Arathin] It does give me more freedom but it wasn’t really a question for me which direction I wanted to go in. I don’t fit the standards of the traditional fashion model. I don’t have the right shape and was also too old when I started out at 22. Alternative modeling allows me to be myself. I don’t have to change radically to fit into any mold. And honestly, it’s a lot more fun and creative.
[AA] What’s next to come from the Creative Dreamlands of Arathin
[Arathin] Next up are some more Steampunk and gothic shoots, hopefully I will be able to do a Lovecraft inspired one this year that I have been working on for quite some time. I’m also working on a few Cosplay shoots. I’m not really a Cosplay kind of girl, but these are characters that are very close to my heart so it feels like a good idea to bring them to life like this. I will probably put a little spin on them though and not make the outfits all that traditional. And of course there will be latex and corsets, I just can’t go one year without shooting some of the traditional fetish attributes.
Picture Credits: Photos Taken by Josefine Jonsson Photography & Retouch, Kitty Carol, and Vicki Jacobson Creative Arts