The pictures a model takes come out months later – half the time I forgot when and where the pictures would come out, and I didn’t collect my magazine photos. The pictures I have left come from one of the books I had (there were three at the Agency – I don’t know where they are now, probably in the trash). What I knew from the beginning was how ephemeral a model’s job was. I would pose for a picture that would be looked at in a few months, sit on someone’s coffee table for a week, then end up in the trash. So, I never made it a point to look for my photos or keep them. I don’t regret much – I look back at the photos and they don’t mean anything to me – it’s like it’s someone else, and I’m even a little jealous of this person’t slenderness – where did this person go? Her bones are hiding somewhere in my body, but she’s no longer there. I think it must be worse for an actor – there you are walking, talking and laughing – and it’s no longer you. You moved on – but the image stayed the same…

Anyhow,  when they shoot bathing suits it’s in the winter, so you get to go to places like Morocco or the Canary Islands where it’s warm – but there are times when the budget won’t allow, or some artistic director has a brainstorm like the time we shot Summer Clothes in the Alps on a Glacier. Seriously? The assistant and the art director held up a blanket so I could change. I was standing barefoot on snow, putting on tee-shirts and shorts, then grabbing my boots (the shots were waist up) and walking out in the snow while skiers swooshed by whistling, cat-calling, and laughing at the model who was turning an interesting shade of blue. Luckily there were not many outfits, and I got to ski down to the bottom of the slopes on skis I borrowed from the assistant who had rented them for himself, but the photographer needed him to go to the summit. The assistant knew better than to argue. I’ve seen photographers fire their assistants mid-shoot – and it isn’t pretty. The assistant’s boots were too big for me, and the skis were too long, but I took off my socks, stuffed them in the toes, and put my bare feet in the boots. Note: This is not to be encouraged – my feet were frozen by the time I got to the bottom, but at least I didn’t fall out of the boots!  The Italian Alps are gorgeous, and one regret I have is that I didn’t have a camera with me that day just to shoot the scenery. In those days, we didn’t have cellphones with built-in cameras – this was the dark ages, remember?

In the winter, we were out in the streets in flimsy summer clothes, much to the amusement of any bystanders. In the summer, we had huge winter coats and boots, and sweat would be pouring off us as we stood in the hot sun and tried to look comfortable.

Here is me in July, with a winter coat: 

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Winter coats, Marie Claire circa January 1980

 And here is me in January with a summer frock: 

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Summer dresses, Vogue UK, circa July 1980

Each time the clever photographer avoids shooting any trees or anything that would shatter the illusion!  The model is supposed to go along with all this, cheerfully donning sandals and a cotton dress in January, while the assistant runs along with an umbrella to keep the snow flurries out of the model’s hair – in July, in the baking heat, we wear coats, gloves and hats, and stand for hours while the photographer argues with the art director about where the best angle is for the shot. Then the assistant forgets to load film in the camera – and after an explosion of shouting and temper, the assistant is fired (I told you, it wasn’t pretty!) and you start all over – except now the photographer has to load his own film and take his own light meter measurements, and you better duck out of his way because he’s pissed… It’s all a lark though – and just think of the pay! Because models, in my day, were paid about 25$ a day for these fashion shots. The big three – Vogue, Glamour, and Mademoiselle, figured they were so fabulous that just a few tear sheets from their magazines would be enough to feed a model’s family for months – so you got paid peanuts to stand naked in the cold, or smile while you slowly melt…