The goal of this “Behind the Picture” series is to explore not only the story behind a certain powerful or interesting rainwear picture but also the person depicted in the picture or the photographer who created the image. All too often a picture is shared online endlessly; the people in the picture are reduced to objects or subjected to speculation about their motivations and feelings, and nobody will ever find out what was really behind the image.
Pictures that have some sort of contradiction in them are most interesting to me: at first glance it might seem obvious what is going on and most would scroll further without giving it a second thought, but when you look a bit longer you start to ask questions. This picture is a perfect example of that, as the longer I look at it the more things I start to wonder about.
A quick look shows a very attractive young lady showing off a complete rainwear outfit. Her looks and pose indicate some modelling is going on, but the background is rather cluttered which would indicate this is not a planned photosession. Models also make random pictures, so maybe she just got this rainsuit brand new and wanted a picture taken wearing it to post on social media. But in that case you would expect the scene to be a living room or any other location than a bedroom, which is a more intimate setting. And the suit is combined with a pair of boots, something that is unnecessary in case it was just a quick picture. She might just have gotten dressed to go out in her full outfit, but the natural light suggests it is a bright day without rain.
The rainsuit itself also raises questions, as it is not a common suit I have seen before. With no logo visible or specific design features showing it is hard to determine the brand. The yellow color and regular fit would point towards workwear, but the extremely reflective surface better fits a fashion rainsuit. I’ve not come across a rainsuit like that before as I am sure I would remember it. The knee-high boots in this outfit look like PVC or rubber horseback riding boots and actually go very well with the yellow rainsuit and the black buttons on the raincoat. All together this picture intrigues me on several levels.
Meet Eileen, she is a Dutch model who features in both regular modelling pictures as well as “wet and messy” pictures. I contacted her about the above picture specifically, and actually found out she featured in several more pictures I have seen coming by regularly, showing other rainwear.
Can you tell a bit more about this specific photo?
This picture was made in 2017 according to the metadata of the original file. The version you showed me is actually of extremely low quality, which probably explains why you were a bit hesitant to contact me as it is hard to zoom in much and you can now barely recognize me. Your version of this picture must have been shared, copied, and shared again to end up as a 24kb picture. I have sent you the same picture in higher quality which you can share.
Your earlier guesses about this picture were actually quite spot on. The rainsuit I am wearing in this picture was a gift and I made some quick shots of me wearing it to share. It was not a professional photoshoot but me putting it on, combining it with a pair of riding boots I already had, and posing in a couple of different places to show the fit and overall look of the rainsuit. In some of the picture you can still see the folding lines as the rainsuit was brand-new and just came out of the packaging.
The reason I got this suit gifted was to use it in a “wet and messy” video, which you can find here. The basic idea is to get dirty while wearing the rainwear; in this case in the bathtub with a lot of custard and other food items. Making this video was a lot of fun – partly because of the protective features of the rainwear. You can get pretty covered in custard without getting dirty, but once it gets into the suit it turns extremely messy pretty quickly.
An advantage of using a rainsuit in pictures and videos like this is that it is very easy to clean. With regular clothes the washing machines is making overtime but with a rainsuit I can just turn on the shower to clean myself up and wear the rainsuit at the same time. Next I hang it up to dry and within a day it is as new again, ready for the next shoot. Below a playful outdoor picture in the same rainsuit.
On your site you have more pictures and videos of you in rainwear, including the famous vintage Agu rainwear with the white rubber lining. Do you have a specific relationship with rainwear in general or Agu rainwear in particular?
For my site I focus on wet and messy pictures, which can involve everything from muddy locations to getting covered in food. In most of my pictures I wear regular clothes, as that has the biggest fan base, and I enjoy that the most myself, but I do notice a group of people looking for specific wet and messy rainwear pictures. So every now and then some rainwear comes by.
A lot of people have asked me about my Agu rainwear used in some photoshoots. To be honest, I never knew this type of rainwear was that popular. You mentioned to me before that production of this rainwear stopped somewhere in the late-eighties which might explain why I haven’t come across it earlier. When I grew up other types of rainwear from different brands were more popular and I don’t remember anyone having one of those vintage Agu rainsuits when I was young. I must have missed the days these rainsuits were common in The Netherlands by at least a decade.
But my photosets in Agu rainwear get quite some attention and from time to time people request specific photos or videos with it. I now own one vintage Agu rainsuit and if you see me in pictures wearing different rainsuits it is because they are borrowed from fans who want me to wear them for requested pictures. Below an older picture of me in a classic green Agu rainsuit.
Thank you very much for telling a bit more about the specific photo and yourself, and for sharing a couple of more pictures of you in rainwear. If people are interested in following you, seeing your modelling pictures, your wet and messy pictures, or more rainwear pictures, where can they find you?
The easiest way to follow me is on Instagram where I have a profile for my modelling and photography, you can find that here: https://www.instagram.com/eileenvogell/
I do not have a separate place for rainwear pictures, but you can find my wet and messy pictures on my site wamderland where I have also published multiple photoshoots and videos with rainwear. And I do regular livestreams, which are mostly wet and messy related, on Patreon. Through Patreon I have the ability to be more interactive with my fans which is often a very fun experience. And in case people have specific requests for photoshoots, for example with their favorite types of rainwear, you can always contact me on my site. Just let me know what you are looking for and maybe I can make it happen.
Since publishing this article some people contacted me with extra information about the specific rainsuit Eileen is wearing. Earlier I mentioned I did not recognize the brand or model of rainsuit, which is probably because it is most likely from a South African brand named “Al Safe”, which sold (past tense) this gear as a “Chemical Suit”. And while the company focused on the local South African market for their gear, it has been a member of the rainwearcentral-website that has purchased and shipped several of these suits globally to people who contacted him about this specific brand. It is highly likely he also indirectly supplied the suit Eileen is wearing in the photoset, although it has reached her through someone else I am in contact with who can maybe later comment further. Many thanks to “Rainwearboy” for sharing this information and having distributed these suits around the globe to people interested in “Al Safe” protective gear.