Patitz, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford. Photographer, Peter Lindbergh.
TALES FROM PARIS ~ It's hard not to step back into the nineties with the latest British Vogue cover featuring the "Original Supermodels": Christy Burns (Turlington), Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, and Naomi Campbell.
Max and I were fashion design students in London during the birth of the supermodels. The January 1990 British Vogue cover by Peter Lindbergh was the supermodel certificate that skyrocketed these five models to superstardom. This Vogue cover gave George Michael the idea to feature them in his music video, Freedom! '90. Imagine our excitement by this combination of great dance music and fashion with five supermodels in one video. It was something fresh, glamorous, and fun. George Michael celebrated the individuality of each model, and he didn't even appear in his video (Does anyone know who the boys were in the video?).
This may sound silly today, but seeing this music video then was a rare and exciting moment because there was no internet, so no YouTube. We couldn't watch it whenever we wanted. We had to wait until Top of the Pops or MTV aired it. When my favorite music videos appeared on TV at home, I stopped everything else and was glued to the screen. And then Gianni Versace had four of the five supermodels walking down his runway singing "Freedom", at his Autumn/Winter 1991 fashion show.
Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford. Photographer, Rafael Pavarotti.
Later on, when I was lucky enough to get into the Paris fashion shows (without invitation), being there and seeing my fashion idols was an unbelievable experience. This was before the Instagram age; we only saw them in magazines, on TV or at fashion shows. Their appearances were unique moments, and Paris Fashion Week was the place to be. I often waited near backstage doors to catch a glimpse of the models I had only seen in magazines. They fascinated me, observing how they dressed in their clothes to go to "work." Often, they dressed up in vintage clothes rather than the latest fashion labels and looked so stylish in an eclectic way. I couldn't help noticing some used their Birkin's as tote bags to carry their makeup kits—an occasional designer freebie. Fashion was moving away from power dressing; the total look from head-to-toe by one designer was on the way out.
Years later, I saw Jane Birkin with the world-famous bag named after her and was intrigued by how she nonchalantly personalized it with lots of charms dangling from one of the handles and even a bumper sticker on the body of the bag.
What a wonderful surprise to see the supermodels back together again on the September cover of British and American Vogue magazine after decades, thanks to Edward Enniful's discerning talent, who also shared the news on his upcoming departure, "This issue is an important one for me. These pages mark my final September as editor-in-chief of British Vogue".
Sadly, Tatjana Patitz is no longer with us; only four wonderful women are on the cover instead of five. They have all aged gracefully but have kept up with the times, continually reinventing themselves with new chapters, and even survived the grunge movement, a reaction against supermodel stardom. Seeing the latest Vogue covers confirms so beautifully and reassuringly that age is no longer an issue; inclusivity and sustainability are what matter today.
That unexpectedly impactful January 1990 British Vogue cover, styled by Sarajane Hoare, was in black and white without razzmatazz, no accessories, no heavy makeup, and no big hair; they even wore their own jeans for the shoot, shot on a street in the New York Meatpacking District, and yet their natural beauty shines through. British Vogue editor-in-chief Liz Tilberis asked Peter Lindbergh to photograph the "nineties woman." He replied that he couldn't do it with just one model. This cover is a gentle reminder that beauty cannot be summed up with just one woman, and making a big splash can be done without excess.
For Eve and Max, we strive to capture these free spirits, embracing different beauties with a caring, quiet luxury, allowing each woman's inner supermodel to shine through.