I learn all the time while writing and contributing to this blog. It’s something that I am very pleased is a by-product of doing what I love. This next interview I’m posting was a lesson in more ways than one. First of all the subject of the interview, a glorious model who goes by the name Lady Chips. As with all of these pieces, I strive to learn more about inspirational women and their work, and got ample opportunity while talking with Lady Chips. I admired how she spoke about her popularity, always with respect to her followers and careful not to elevate herself above anyone. This is a wonderful interview conducted via email with a truly endearing and phenomenal French female. I know she’d shy away from such praise, but it is mine to give, and I do so gladly. I think you’re going to enjoy this piece. It’s a celebration of living in the moment, being level headed and fabulous all at the same time. I hope you’re as captivated as I was.
How are you doing today? How about a little introduction to the wonders of Lady Chips for those who are unaware?
Hey. So I’m 27, French. I’m from Paris. I’m married, straight edge, vegetarian.
It’s a short intro but it describes me pretty well.
Where did the name Lady Chips come from then?
Lady is for Lady Gaga, big big BIG fan! Chips is because when there is a packet of chips around, I eat it in 5 mins and my husband always laughs about that. As simple and stupid as that. I didn’t want a “serious-glamorous” pseudo.
You are an alternative model and a gorgeously inked woman. What does the word alternative mean to you? Is it a style or an attitude or both perhaps?
I don’t really like the word “alternative”. It’s like we put me into a box….I’m maybe tattooed but I’m like everybody. I just try to feel right the way I am, and it’s good enough. I don’t like etiquettes. A person isn’t just one thing, but has multiple facets. So alternative, no. Human being, yes. “Born this way”.
When did you start your modelling career? When was your first shoot and how did it go?
I started it….hmm….let me think….2 years ago maybe? Yeah something like that. At this time, everyone was still on MySpace, and a photographer noticed me, so I did a shoot with him. Then I put my pictures on the web and ask one photographer if he was ok to shoot me. He was, that’s how I started. Really nothing much to tell about my beginning. I just loved that the first time, it was funny, it took a lot of concentration and energy, and it was just what I needed at that point of my life.
(But I want to say that it’s not my job! It’s not a career. I just do that as a passion. I’m 27, I know I’ll never be able to live with this!)
What made you want to be a model, and did you have any idea about what the industry would be like?
Well, being involved in something is great. I’m really into each one of my photo shoots. That’s what I liked. You meet a photographer who believes in you, and you have to show him the best so he’s not disappointed and so you prove to yourself you can do something great, better and better each time.
It’s a great thing to never dwell on what you did, you always question yourself and want to do better. I’m not into competition, but when it’s with myself, I like that.
I didn’t have any particular idea…..I don’t care…it’s hard, but it’s hard for everybody, for any kind of stuff you want to do in your life so…
What have been some of your best memories and shoots from your career as a model so far?
Meeting some people who became really good friends, and being in a world of someone else and at the same time give your personal touch. That’s fantastic.
I have a lot of good memories! A lot! This time I think I’m going to say the first time I went to a photo shoot for “Le Turk”. It was with one of my best friend, and we arrived at his studio….it was like…I don’t know….heaven. This man is such a genius, he created the whole scene with his hands. He created a world just for us, like if we were going to make a movie. Everything was just WOW! and my friend and I couldn’t speak, we were just like….ok, I’m gonna die so much I have feelings in my heart right now. Anyway (it’s hard to tell that in English!)
Your tattoos are of course beautiful, I’m sure you get asked about them all the time. What is it that you find so appealing about the art of tattooing?
I don’t question myself about that. I like that. I feel pretty with them. Some find them ugly, some find them beautiful.
Like the tattoo on my tummy says, I’m “sexy ugly”. And that’s what I like about me. I can’t speak just about them, because they are me.
I maybe do photo shoots to show that we can now have tattoos and be feminine. I kinda hate the cliché tattoo=drugs etc etc….
You have so many exquisite pieces on your skin. Could you give us a brief history of some of your tattoos, what they mean to you and who has done them?
Ooookkkk…. I have a lot so it’s not a simple question.
I have some because of my husband, I love to love him, and I love to show him I love him.
I have some of animals because I love them
Some are because it reminds me of something, some others just because they are pretty, cute….
I did my hand 4 months ago and I’m still excited about it. It’s a raccoon and it’s too cute!!! Sailor xa from Nancy did it to me. I love his work, I have….I think 5 tattoos of him, he’s one of the best old school tattoo artist I know (with Chris Dettmer of course who did my chest!).
What are you thinking will be your next tattoo and where will you have it?
I don’t know! I want so many things sometimes it’s frustrating! One of my next tattoos I think will be my other hand, still with sailor xa. I’ll do a red panda.
And my dream would be a tattoo by Nikko Hurtado!!!
It’s clear from your blogs and sites that you have an international following and interest in your work. You have a terrific grasp of the English language, but is it hard to switch between languages depending on which set of fans you’re addressing?
…I know some people who are not living in France love my work, but I don’t feel I have an international following. I’m writing you from my bed in my apartment in Paris…., for me it’s kinda virtual, even if I can see some Americans, English…..love what I do. (and thank you for your support!!!!)
Well, it’s not really hard…..I often speak in English, it’s easier for everybody and I don’t speak a ton of language, just French and English.
For those of us outside of the country, could you tell us a little about the alternative scene in France? What clubs and venues do you like to go to personally?
I don’t really like to go out…..I prefer to eat in a restaurant than party all night. I did that a lot when I was single, I used to be a bartender, I always had a drink in my hand…..I was a party person…but I grew up and that’s not for me anymore. I just enjoy my life now.
Your videos are always very entertaining. Is it important to you that you interact with fans on a more personal level, making them feel more involved?
ahah! you watched them!
first thing, I don’t like the word “fan” when I speak about my followers. I don’t create something so we can’t speak about fan.
but yes I like to speak to my followers, I’m just a person, so why can’t I talk to them?! and even if was “somebody”, I’d still be just a person. but the thing is….I really like being dumb and funny and I’m a geek so it’s nothing special for me.
In my opinion you have a fantastic sense of style. Does fashion play much of a role in your day to day life?
Thank you!!! of course it does, but I’m never satisfied with my style, I always feel I’m a complete looser with no money who can’t buy some weird, avantgard-ists, fashion stuff….but I do what I can.
You are one of the few people who seems to be effortlessly cool in everything she does. Do you have certain inspirations or people you look up to stylistically, or do you just wear and do what feels right?
thank you again!!
I wear what I like and what feels right. there is nothing worse than putting something on you are not good in.
but I have of course some inspirations, from everywhere and everything. sometimes I’m a little lost cuz I love so much it’s hard to choose.
I’m inspired by designers. it could be Alexander McQueen, Mugler, or Nikkilipstick and Tokyolux.
I’m inspired by Lady Gaga of course! she’s so perfect I’m not gonna start speaking about her.
I’m also inspired by models like Nafrayou, Audrey Kitching, Amelia Dinmore, Nicole Winters……..
music, movies inspires me, 80’s, life inspires me. it just depends what mood I’m in.
You always seem so in control in your pictures and very graceful. Do you carry such poise into your real life, or are you very different away from the camera?
I like to be in control of my life. I’m quite annoying because I have a lot of values. Honour, dignity, truth, loyalty.
I’m kinda strict I guess…..but nice. It’s something heavy to wear everyday because it involves a lot of self-questioning and disappointment. So much I’m a really anxious person. When I do a photo shoot, I leave this anxious thing and I just carry with me the good points of my values (I don’t know if that’s really clear).
What are you like on a set? Do you like to get direction from a photographer, or improvise more when being photographed?
a mix of the two things. I like to do my stuff but with some good advice of the photographer so the pictures are better.
You seem to effortlessly pull off so many different styles of shoot, from pin up and corsetry to fashion and latex. What is your favourite type of shoot, and what style would you like to explore more?
yeah, it’s great, but I want to do more and more fashion shoots. something weird with great style, something feminine with cool-but-studied-pose…I want to do more “sexy ugly” shoots!
What advice would you give to anyone trying to get into the modelling industry? What have you discovered about the business that you didn’t know before?
just, be serious, don’t take it for granted ever! it’s not easy to do so be brave, and enjoy every moment cuz it’s wonderful!
Is there another model working today that you would love to work with? Also is there a photographer you’d love to be photographed by?
yes a lot!
Katy Gold, Audrey Kitching, Bridget Blonde, Amelia Dinmore….
and for the photographers…well! Alvarado, Kat Attack, Viva van Story, Frizzy Cube, Adrift at sea, Travis Haight, Vlad vdk, Styx, Oli Kniest, Red Rum, Dangerously Dolly, No Regrets, and a lot more…that’s the ones I think of now. and I would love to work for New York Couture, High Gloss Doll, Toxic Vision….
Would you like to travel more with your career, and do more international jobs in the future? What are the chances of seeing you work in the UK sometime?
of course I’d like! and I had some amazing propositions, but u know….without money it’s difficult to take a flight
yes! there are some photographers I want to work with in the UK, and I love this country! It’s been a while since my last visit, but be sure I’ll come and do some great pictures!
What is next for Lady Chips? What projects are you working on right now?
I try to find some new photographers to do some “fashion” photo shoots. I think I maybe gonna slow down my shootings because I have a specific idea of the turn I want to take.
Could we please finish with Bernard Pivot’s well known questionnaire?
What is your favourite word? Sexy Ugly. je t’aime.
What is your least favourite word? Betrayal.
What turns you on (creatively, spiritually or physically)? Love.
What turns you off (creatively, spiritually or physically)? People.
What sound or noise do you love? Lady Gaga’s voice when she speaks or sings. something happens every time in my body. it’s magic.
What sound or noise do you hate? the sounds I am hearing right now! The wind in the aeration in my kitchen and my husband snoring!
What is your favourite curse word? Putain, ta mere la pute. (the two means “whore”)
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? working with animals.
What profession would you not like to do? everything with people.
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? nothing, I focus on my life, and it’s hard enough!
I can’t thank the wonderful Lady Chips enough for her time and effort. Her response to my approach was lightening quick, with enthusiasm and consideration of the questions asked. I couldn’t ask for anything more, and I hope my affection and admiration for this lady comes through in these words. Please visit the links below to learn more:
All images used in this interview were provided by Lady Chips herself. For more check out the links above.
Picture index and credits:
picture 1: levi brok
picture 2: ewa cieszkowska/pasties nikkilipstick
picture 3: le turk. co model wilhelmina andersotter
picture 4: ewa cieszkowska/ muah emy lee/corset maelle bordier