Sunday, December 14, 2014

Who's that Girl? | Rivi Madison

Photo © Robert Weissner  

Age: 24 [Libra if you must know] 

Ethnicity: Hispanic / Latino  

 Currently live: Los Angeles, CA

Day job (what pays the bills): Full-time freelance model 

Hobbies: Walking through open galleries and always finding new people to work with 

Aspirations: Music

Education/Study: High School and a little college. 

Photo © Saul Escobar

What was growing up like for you? 

For me, it was simple until I was 12. 
My mom decided to home school me for middle school because around 5th grade I was morphing into a pretty terrible kid. 

In this scenario and for my experience, homeschooling was something I actually needed.
My childhood was leveled, and I had a lot of time alone. I am really thankful for that. 
My favorite book growing up will always be Wind in the Willows (by Kenneth Grahame).

Photo © Sodapop Magazine

Do you see yourself as a Model? 

I do not actually. 
I kind of twist and turn a little inside whenever I have to verbally say or write down that I am one. Not because I dislike models. On the contrary. [Better that I explain] :
I grew up with watching Fashion TV with my grandmother. 
We would sit and watch runway shows together and discuss the clothing and/or models. 
Those are the girls that define what modeling is to me. 
Ladies with long legs and unearthly features. 

Maybe better said, when a model has done real campaigns, featured in Vogue, published in magazines that someone can actually hold in their hands, in my mind that is when one can call themselves a model. 
I guess concerning fashion I am a little old-school. 
Kate Moss, Shalom Harlow and Ranya Mordanova are models; and brilliant ones at that.

I do not see myself as a model. 

Photo © Harry Eelman

When did you become involved in modeling and what do you love about it?

I believe I am slightly addicted to transforming; to become someone else yet remain who you are. It's this strange bridge between escaping and knowing yourself even more. 

I've agreed to push myself to many limits. And that to me is a feeling (and moment) that I don't think I have the capacity to put into words. It's because of people and the people that I work with that have allowed me to experience such a spectrum. 

That's why I continue to do what I do.

I became involved because, well, to make the long story short, I originally wanted to be a dancer. I adore dance and every dancer that has crossed my path, but I in the end didn't want to be titled a Professional Dancer
So, after that realization, a very close friend of mine suggested that I try out modeling for fun. 
She introduced me to the world of underground and alternative models (Sabina Kelley being the poster girl and personal favorite in this genre). 

Modeling seemed like the cousin of dance in my mind, so I thought, "Why not." 
The fun idea of it all became serious once I started shooting.
I started to think of it under a different light, and decided that this was what I wanted.

Photo © Tony Adams

Would you like to do it more in the future?

I definitely would. 
There is still a list of names in my head that I continuously dream of working with.
So in due time, I believe it will all come together. 
It's impossible to not create, so I definitely will always model here and there in the future.

You come across as confident and sexually aware. 
There's a real sexual charisma and prowess to your modeling style. 
What do you like about modeling and what have you learned from it?

It's a release. 
Everything I am too afraid to be or do in a normal setting becomes total fiction when modeling. I am allowed to play him or her. I am allowed to take on a different mindset and run with it. The camera may not look like one, but it is a stage. And it has helped me in my personal life as well. 

I have learned so much. From letting go to being in more control of myself. 
It has taught me business, art, how to engage with people and so forth. 
My body awareness has grown to an ultimate high which is something I had always wanted ever since the day I quit dance. 

I thought I would never be a lot of things...and thanks to art, I am. 
And what's personally most exciting is that I still have quite a ways to go and a lot more to learn.

Photo © Robert Weissner  

From your personal experience, what is the biggest preconception and stereotype about modeling and the women involved in it?

Depends if you are agency or non represented. I can't speak for agency models. 
So the pre-misconception that I find most amongst independent and freelance models is that I am just another product of social media. 

People stereo-type freelance models as the, for lack of a better term, "wanna-be" models. Which is a harsh statement, but I can understand why such a statement exists.
Besides that, I do not really know what other stereotypes revolve around freelance models. 
I may literally be a freelance model, but I tend to not associate myself with the concept of it. 
I also don't fall under a specific category because I can't help nor stop myself from working with many different styles/people. 

The whole idea of acting is something I apply to modeling : to consistently play a different role : to exude whatever the director/photographer wants from you. 

Just like Madonna doesn't own a TV, I think it's best to stay away from empty opinions as much as humanly possible.

Photo © Ed Maximus


What do you admire in other women?

I admire women that intimidatingly carry themselves so well. 
I admire feminine grace as much as I admire strength. 
I admire people in general who know who they truly are and are able to genuinely show it. 

Who is Rivi?

This question is a bit too philosophical. [laughs] I am still trying to figure out so many things.
For now, I am a chameleon floating through life. 
(Which is actually a hilarious visual but just go with it.)

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I have been asked this so many times...and I always come back around to the same answer.

I can be inspired by the glitch of a mans shoulder or how he fixes his shirt, how glass shines underneath daylight, or by the look and feel of velvet. Memories both sweet and sour inspire me. 
New Yorkers, Russians, and Parisians inspire me...

Photo © Robert Weissner 

How would you describe your style?

I am really fond of looking graceful yet questionable. Questionable in the sense of mystery. 
I care more about the vibe I am giving off through clothing. Style is a real language. 
Lots of black and burgundy. 

Anger and Grace into one : that's my style. 

Are you a fashion brands girl or do you just wear what you like or whats comfortable?

It depends. But I am going to have to fall guilty to both.
I own a mint-green Carolina Herrera dress that when I put on, I always fall a millisecond brain dead because of how incredibly well it's cut, and the way it feels as a whole. 

But then again, I can have the same experience with a vintage dress designed by an unknown designer. And nothing feels as good as that hoodie that's been with you through thick and thin. 
It's really the look and shape of things that I like most. 
Comfort is nice but it isn't what grabs my attention first.  
I naturally have my favorite designers because I have a heart for fashion. 
I love Helmut Lang. But I love my black hoodie and tights combo just as much.

© Jennifer Medina

What are your top 5 fashion staples you cannot live without?

1. The color black in general 
2. Black tights
3. Black boots
4. Fur cloak-like jacket that I have (which is also black. duh.)
5. Sheer anything : from lingerie to blouses. 
Sheer fabric for life. 

Favorite places to shop?

I tend to bunny-hop all around Los Angeles or wherever I travel. 
But so far, Retro Reload in Lomita and Jet Rag on LeBrea have really been my go-to spots. 
Sunset boulevard has a great selection if you take your time and look.

And when you want to treat yourself, there's a hidden vintage shop in Beverly Hills that makes me cry a little inside. It is absolutely beautiful. 

I believe they have items that Audrey Hepburn wore.
I'll try to remember the actual name of the joint (I think my heart and ego purposefully forgot the name [laughs]). 
I also like eBay a lot. But who doesn't.

© Mark Velasquez

Who would you say is your style icon?

Just one huh? This is tough.
Well, deceased style icon is Audrey Hepburn. 
- I really believe there was hidden sass underneath her loveliness. 
There was such a depth to her. But her wearing Givenchy gowns always made me happiest.

Modern day style icon might have to be Pam Hogg. 
That woman not only owns her designs but owns herself in such an incredible way. 
I absolutely adore her manner and sense of style.

Tales of love & lust?

I'm too private when it comes to such matters but...Zoolander was definitely playing in the background one time. That's probably the most hilarious and embarrassing sex I've ever had. 

What is it that you love most about being a woman?

As a lady, I love being able to break certain rules that are given to women. 
I like giving my own definition of what it is or what it's like to be feminine. 
I enjoy the quirks that go along with being a woman.

Photo © Ed Maximus

What do you find sexy?

Sexy in general? It goes back to how you carry yourself.
I love attitude. Attitude in how someone walks or holds their cigarette. 
These two things say a lot to me. I find antics just as sexy as the right amount of silence.
Another question that is just as vast as what I find inspiring. 

Is there anything you would change about yourself if you could?

Yes. Body type. [laughs] I wish I were naturally lean. 
Besides that, I don't think I would change anything else. 
I am afraid to answer this because it is a rather scary question if you think about it.
Because the truth is, if I were to change anything indefinitely, it wouldn't be me anymore. 
When no one is around, what is Rivi usually doing?

Ha. Binging on images/ideas or stealing flowers from neighbors.
I really do steal roses from rose bushes and I do not apologize. 

Photo by Chuck Seller

Is there a public and private Rivi?

Yes. And that's all I am going to reveal.

What's your take on life and what advice would give any of your fans?

I am going to replace the word "fans" with audience.

I don't know if I am some one who has the right to give advice to an entire audience. 
I don't know what everyone is struggling with individually, but, I will repeat something I heard a man who goes by Prince Ea say, "If there is no internal peace, there can be no external peace." your own way, try to calm the flames when you can.
Accept people's personal choices. 
Live and Let live.

Life is a roller coaster and a question mark to me. 
There are days when I am 100% sure of what life consists of, and there are other days where I have no clue what will happen in the next hour. 
Life is a maze is. 
One worth figuring out. 

©  Edward McGowan

Where can your fans find you online?

Anyone can find me on Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook.
Links below // And thank you Renee for putting up with me :

@rivimadison on instagram OR