Lady Anna Calypso
Alternative model from the UK
I am truly honored to have the opportunity to interview another Gothic and Amazing Lady! Lady Anna is a true inspiration and the person whom I personally respect and admire so much!
She is a true Gothic Lady from UK, who made her dream come true by becoming an alternative model beside her illness. She is so strong and powerful and yet so ladylike, elegant and gentle like a flower on her photos.
She is that amazing person who owns “The Black Cat Jewellery Store” and whose jewelry collections are simply breathtaking and wonderful. So, keep reading and find something more about this fierce woman!
1. When did you start with your modeling career and what made you fall in love with an alternative modeling?
I am actually very new to all this! I only started a year ago apart from one photoshoot that I did two years ago in April 2014. My husband, then fiancé, bought me a photoshoot with a friend of his for a Valentine’s Day present. I thought it would be the only shoot I would ever do.
My love for modelling comes from two places. First, the love of the clothes and secondly, a desire to express myself through my body, which I used to do via dance before I got ill.
2. Do you remember your very first photo-shoot and can you share some details and feelings about that?
That first ever Valentine’s Day present photoshoot is stuck in my mind. I LOVED it!! I could have gone on forever. I hadn’t danced for 9 years before that and so it was fantastic to ‘perform’ again. I took to being in front of the camera straight away. Up until then I had been used to being behind the camera as photography was, and still it an interest of mine.
3. How do you find all that preparation for shootings that sometimes lasts for hours? Do you enjoy creating new look with perfect make-up, matching jewelry and clothes?
I put a great deal of thought into each outfit. It takes me weeks to get it all right in my head. In the early days I would miss-match things but I am getting better at putting the right clothes, accessories and makeup together. I love this planning stage.
However, the problem with my illness is that preparation can’t last for hours, otherwise I would be exhausted before I began. It has to be as short as possible. So I have to be extremely organized! I plan the outfit weeks before and the day before I lay it all out including all the makeup that I’ll want. I have to make sure that everything is exactly where I will need it because even unnecessary walking from room to room can use up too much energy and it’s all about preserving energy! I need to be prepared and ready to go in 40 minutes. (I suffer from M.E. which is a chronic illness with the main symptoms being extreme weakness, fatigue and exhaustion. It’s a real barrel of laughs! Haha! I can only stand up for a minute – no joke, which places great challenges on the actual shoot. Also locations need to be accessible by wheelchair.)
4. I wonder are there any aspects of a modeling career that you haven’t explored yet and are there some things that you would always avoid?
Being the age that I am (43!!) I am aware that I shouldn’t wear anything too revealing. No one wants to see that! Lol. I would like to model some more casual outfits, everyday outfits. Maybe more towards the punk end of things. I also have some 50s swing dresses that I would like to do some shoots in. I want to be able to pull off many different styles and looks.
5. Beside your modeling career, I’ve mentioned that you are the owner of an amazing jewelry store. Where do you find your inspiration for creating and designing your jewelry and how did you start with The Black Cat Jewellery Store?
The jewellery design came about from my being ill. Before I got ill I used to train horses and owned a pet sitting business. It was wet, muddy and often cold. Completely different from what I do now. I needed something that I could do that was within my capabilities and that I could do from home. I hated not working. It’s so depressing. So I started my jewellery business. It has been going now for 5 years.
The inspiration comes from the materials that I use. I love the semi-precious stones. Whatever style jewellery I am making, be it classic, boho, gothic, Victorian, I try to include my beloved gemstones.
6. We know you as a model and a jewelry designer, but can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your personal life?
I LOVE cats. I wouldn’t be without them. I live with my husband, Andy (who is also my photographer), kitten Harriet and ginger cat George. I am a workaholic and perfectionist and therefore slightly neurotic, but in a good way I’m sure. (Laughs!)
7. Does the music play a big part in your life and what music genres do you prefer?
I couldn’t live without music. I listen to music everyday. My favourite genre is doom metal but I also like symphonic, orchestral and gothic metal. My favourite bands are My Dying Bride, Draconian and Swallow The Sun.
8. Who is your biggest support in your modeling career, who gives you strength to keep fighting in cruel and tough modeling world?
I don’t tend to talk much about my doubts and insecurities as far as modelling goes so I would say that my biggest support comes from within myself. If I feel that I shouldn’t be doing it because of my age then I just think of Adora Batbrat, who is the same age as me. If she can do it then so can I!
9. Name three things you simply cannot live without.
Cats. Music. Chocolate
10. What is your everyday casual look? Do you prefer full make-up or simple, basic make-up, such as: powder or the BB cream, eyeliner and lipstick?
Oh, dear, I really fail here! My everyday look is no makeup at all! Just moisturizer.
11. Back to the modeling theme, I would like to know is there some particularly special model who inspires you and who is your very personal favorite.
I have been greatly inspired by Jeanette Cederstrom Karlsson. She has modelled some of my jewellery for me and she always produces such amazingly good photos, sometimes self-portraits and without, it seems, a great deal of fancy equipment. Jeanette is also fantastic at creating amazing sets and can pull off many styles with ease. She was also kind enough to send me some of her handmade clothes which I modelled a few weeks ago. Many thanks to you Jeanette. I am very happy to have you as a friend.
12. How much have you changed since you first started modeling and designing jewelry?
As a person, not at all but in my skills with make-up, greatly. A year ago I had never put on more make-up than eye liner and foundation. Before I got ill I used to work outside in all weathers with horses so make-up and clothes were the last things on my mind.
13. We are aware of the fact that you can perfectly “pull off” every single style of an Alternative modeling, but which one is your favorite Gothic style?
That’s kind of you to say so. As I said earlier, it is my ambition to be able to pull off different styles so maybe I’ve achieved that a little bit already. I hope so. But to answer your question, I love the clothes of Victorian Gothic best but during photoshoots, I feel much more comfortable when I can do what I want with my, often spindly looking, legs! So that would mean more of a Punk Goth style which includes leggings and/or short skirts.
14. Do you have some special plans for shootings and new jewelry collections in the future that you would maybe like to reveal in this interview or just give us a hint?
I have so many shoots planned!! All in my head. Fortunately, if I say to my husband (and photographer) “Can we do a shoot this weekend?”, he always says “Yes, whatever you want.”. I have some fabulous dresses from my favourite shop, The Gothic Shop, which I would like to do some shoots with. Especially I would like to repeat the first photoshoot that I did with my husband almost exactly a year ago. I want to see how we’ve improved and I’m sure that we have.
15. It was true pleasure and honor for me to chat with you, so to end this interview: what would you like to leave as a message to your fans, followers and our readers?
Firstly I would like to thank you so much for this interview. I am truly honoured that you picked me to talk to.
I would also like to mention Julia from The Gothic Shop, who has given me the opportunity to model some of her fabulous clothes and has been of great support of my modelling. Many thanks to you, Julia.
Also all the new friends whom I have made during the past year on social media and in real life. The Gothic community is so supportive of each other. It is a pleasure to be a part of it. Many of these friends model my jewellery for me and provide me with so many great images. So a special thanks to them.
And of course, to my followers on social media, without whom there would be no point in me doing this. Thank you from my heart for your continued enthusiasm for my work.
And last, but most importantly, to my husband and photographer, Andy, without whom Lady Calypso would not exist. Love and hugs. XX
Cover credits: Photo by Andy Martin, Shirt & hair clip: The Gothic Shop, Wig: Black Candy Fashion, Corset: Dracula Clothing
1. Photo by Andy Martin, Leggings – OOTD Leggings. Purple bolero – The Gothic Shop. Crescent necklace – The Rogue & The Wolf. Charm bracelet – The Black Cat Jewellery Store
2. Photo by Andy Martin, Top, corset & horns – The Gothic Shop. Wig – Anna belle’s Wigs. Harness – Battie Clothing
3. Photo by Andy Martin, Blouse, gloves & corset – The Gothic Shop. Shoes – Kate’s Clothing. Skirt – Dracula Clothing
4. Photo by Andy Martin, Gloves by Restyle from The Gothic Shop
5. Photo by Andy Martin, Harness – Battie Clothing, Wig – Annabelle’s Wigs. Ring – The Rogue & The Wolf. Charm Bracelet – The Black Cat Jewellery Store. Hairbow – MADmoiselle Méli H. Contacts – The Gothic Shop