Paul Hameline, Fashion's Renaissance It Boy, Will Always Tell You What He Thinks
"I’m not a clothes hanger. I’m not a clown. If you want that you can take another model."
At the ripe age of 20, Paul Hameline has already had the creative experience of someone far beyond his years. Born and raised in Paris, his quickly expanding resume includes actor, model, DJ, and ‘zine publisher. He’s walked the runways for Margiela and Prada, graced the cover of Dazed, designed prints for Ann Demeulemeester, and the list goes on from there. Most recently, he landed the cover of Dust Magazine, lensed by Willy Vanderperre. The modern-day Renaissance man was recently on hand in Helsinki, where he took part of the Aalto University panel discussion on narratives in fashion with his friend, Vetements stylist Lotta Volkova. We checked in with him after the panel to hear more about his unorthodox approach to modeling (and pretty much everything else), his latest projects, and more.
Your approach to modeling is unconventional. You only model the clothes you like wearing, correct?
First, I work exclusively with friends and always with extremely good teams. Often, it’s really big money jobs because that helps me produce the ‘zine. I’ve said no a few times and once I walked off a job because I didn’t like what I was wearing. I’m not a clothes hanger. I’m not a clown. If you want that you can take another model, not me. But a lot of times people actually ask me if I like what I’m wearing or what I think. I tell them yes or no. I’m always polite, but I always say what I think. You can see it in the pictures if you’re not comfortable, at the end of the day, the pictures look terrible. I did one shoot that wasn’t with people I liked and the pictures looked terrible. It was my first shoot and I nearly quit modeling after that. Since then I’ve made up my mind I’m only going to work with friends and good teams.
Well there’s a beautiful shoot with you in the current Dust Magazine. Who did that one?
It’s Willy Vanderperre and Olivier Rizzo, two friends of mine. Willy shot it with another friend of mine, Mica Arganaraz, who is a super big model, but she also happens to be my next door neighbor and we’re really close. We always end up watching X-Files together.
What are you wearing?
A Raf Simons sweater vest, my jeans are Dior by Hedi Slimane, Adidas, and a Prada jacket.
I try to be.
You’ve also designed…
I did some prints for Ann Demeulemeester’s men’s Fall/Winter 2015 collection when I was 18. But I won’t do that again because I didn’t enjoy it.
Who was the first person to ask you to model?
Harley Weir for Double Magazine a few years ago.
What was your first runway show?
It was Margiela. I did it three times in a row for Christopher Booth and last season was the first season I didn’t do it. I [also] did Vetements and Prada. I was happy with my look at Prada. My chest was bare.
In 2015 you were in two two films, Dennis Cooper’s Like Cattle Towards Glow and Alexander Sokourov’s Francofonia. How did this happen?
There was this guy at school who I actually never met personally, we just have a lot of mutual friends. He used to message me all the time on Facebook and I would never reply, but one day he said, “Oh, have you heard of Dennis Cooper?” And I was like yeah, because I’ve read his books and I loved The Sluts. Then he said, “Well, he’s doing a casting and if you’re free, I could send him pictures of you, and if he’s interested….”
So Dennis Cooper did the casting himself for the film?
Yeah, he did everything (the film is co-directed by Zac Farley).
Weren’t you a bit intimidated?
No. It was the second time I had acted and I already think of modeling as acting.
Tell me about the ‘zines you’re starting. When are they coming out?
I’m working on Rave New World (the name is taken from Aldous Huxley’s 1932 dystopian novel), which is going to be a biannual ‘zine and we’re launching it in Paris on June 22nd at The Broken Arm. It’s a personal diary with the people who have shaped me and my eye, as well as the really close friends who have inspired me. The other one doesn’t have a name yet, and it’s going to be just for my artwork in a limited-edition of fifty copies.
Tell me about DJing. What kind of music do you play?
Yeah, mostly I DJ for my friends. I play post-punk, no wave, New Wave, and industrial. Most DJs play for the crowd, but I play for myself and the crowd responds.
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