Elinei is not turned on by “normal people,” but rather by the magic of flamboyance – tailcoats, horror movies, Phantom of the Opera and rock and roll. “To me, it’s just interesting how certain groups can express everything about themselves so easily, just with their aesthetic. I love reading about the history behind punks, rockers, the Mods, or whatever it is, hip-hop…to me, it’s just a very interesting side of fashion, because it’s what’s behind it. I’m very into that,” she says. Elinei has not changed her own elaborate makeup regimen for six years and it is a melange inspired by the ’60s, Alice Cooper, A Clockwork Orange and the Norwegian punk band, Turbonegro. Many people, including myself, have never seen her without it or without one of her signature hats, whether Wicked Witch of the West, pirate or Jimi Hendrix-inspired. They seem to serve as touchstones for Elinei’s cultural persuasions.
Half Swiss and half Brazilian with an addiction to New York City, Elinei considers Manhattan to be the balance between the extreme cold and warmth and traditional and wide-open psyches of her opposing heritages. A similar tension exists in her clothes, like when she mixes a typically feminine corset with a typically masculine tuxedo jacket, or pays tribute to the Big Apple of the ’70s by breaking up her obsession with the minimal black leather of Iggy Pop or The Ramones with a glammish pink shirt reminiscent of The New York Dolls. However, it is Alice Cooper, whom she grew up listening to by way of her mom and whom Elinei most reveres for his not easy to define and yet totally his own aesthetic – a bit punk, a bit glam, a bit vamp, a bit traditional, much like her own.