With the merry-go-round of the international shows starting in New York again yesterday, it seemed fitting to have a look at fashion shows past – check out this video I found of Cindy Crawford from her 90’s TV show, MTV’s House of Style (the greatest thing EVER for those with a love of fashion history and/or supermodels).
It’s from the 1991 Giorgio di Sant’Angelo show with all the supers, and what struck me is THEY DID THEIR OWN MAKEUP. It’s quite amazing seeing the biggest models in the world, at the time and arguably ever, and they’re just cracking on with their own makeup and body moisturiser. Different times indeed.
I’m sorry to do this to you because I may well be taking hours out of your life by telling you about this incredible series of videos from famed British photographer, Nick Knight. They are interviews with models to show the history of contemporary fashion photography through their eyes, and after watching quite a few of the Kate Moss videos so far I’ve found it’s an amazing behind the scenes look at some of the world’s most iconic fashion images.
Block out some time, because I warn you, they’re addictive!
Recently I have been looking a lot at body painting, and one of the masters and pioneers of body painting is also one of the world’s most beautiful women, a 60’s model by the name of Veruschka. She was actually known as the world’s first supermodel.
In the 60’s models did their own hair and makeup so she was a very gifted makeup artist, branching out in 1966 to body painting, which then became a lifelong artistic pursuit. Using only makeup she would transform her extraordinary gangly physique into animals, rocks, trees, wallpaper – anything that took her out of her own skin.
Six feet three inches tall and with impossibly long limbs she inspired countless photographers and is the subject of many of the iconic fashion photographs of the 60’s and 70’s.
I was fortunate enough to meet Veruschka when I was assisting Kay Montano on a shoot with David Bailey, one of my favourite photographers. That day he was shooting four of the greatest models of all time – Veruschka, Penelope Tree, Twiggy and Kate Moss for Vanity Fair. You can imagine what an amazing day in the studio that was! All of them are incredible women and there were some extraordinary and quite surreal moments that day as they reminisced together.
Veruschka is still a force to be reckoned with now, and when you read about her life, you know why. Born into the Prussian aristocracy, her father was a key member of the German Resistance, and eventually was executed by the Nazis. Veruschka and the rest of her family then became refugees, spending the rest of World War II in labour camps. She eventually moved to Florence where she was discovered as a model at the age of 20, before ending up in New York and becoming one of the world’s top models. She was a muse of Avedon, Peter Beard and Irving Penn and famously appeared in Antonioni’s 1966 cult film, Blow Up. (The photographer in Blow up was also modelled on David Bailey).
Here’s some Veruschka videos for you – the first from Style.com about the release of her book, Veruschka, with some of her extraordinary fashion moments in it. The second one is dubbed into Russian (so super handy for my Russian readers), but who cares if you can’t understand it – Veruschka’s breathtaking face speaks for itself.
I dare you not to dance when you hear the new version of CHIC’s disco classic, “I’ll Be There”, which has been directed by famed photographer duo, Inez and Vinoodh – and if you’re a fan of Paris Vogue as I am, you’ll know their work from every recent issue of the magazine. (This month has an absolutely gorgeous 70’s disco spread in it, so they’re on a bit of a roll with that theme).
The incredibly lovely model Karlie Kloss provides the eye candy and I also dare you to not enrol immediately in an abs class at your local gym after seeing her floor-based disco moves. Trying on sequinned mini-dresses never looked that good.
Since its inception in 1964, the Pirelli calendar has been the gold standard of pinup calendars. No longer the province of ropey topless chicks straddling a motorcycle in dusty garages, it’s shot by one of the world’s best photographer every year, and uses the most beautiful models in the world. The final calendar is sent to a tiny handful of Pirelli’s best customers and VIP clients. It has always been kept under wraps and been the province of a very small, very select group of people.
But now, with the advent of the internet, it’s not so secretive anymore. Here is a 30 minute documentary on the making of this year’s Pirelli calendar, shot by arguably the most influential fashion photographer of our time, Steven Meisel. And the makeup in the calendar (‘cause let’s face it, this is MakeupMole, which is ALL ABOUT THE MAKEUP, even when there’s naked supermodels involved) is Pat McGrath’s usual perfection. If you ever wanted to see Joan Smalls as a latex boxer Belle de Jour fantasy fetish girl, now is your chance!
It couldn’t really be more Burberry if it tried – Kate and Cara sitting on a giant perfume bottle, in classic Burberry trench coats. Despite not being able to appreciate the perfume one iota (due to scrambled olfactory senses after the birth of my son – my sense of smell has never gone back to normal, such a bummer), I can still appreciate two British supermodels being gorgeous as it rains perfume. Sigh. If only life were like that.
In fact stuff the supermodels and the perfumed rain, I’d settle for one of those Burberry trench coats.