Friday, October 12, 2007


Over the course of my career, there has always been one model who set the standard for all models - Ms. Linda Evangelista. With a name like that, she either had to be a supermodel or a drag queen - she turned out to be the former with a dash of the latter.
Ms E. is the greatest chameleon of our times - a walking, talking, emoting, posing mannequin with the ability to change looks, moods and wigs with the speed of Marion Jones on steroids. She has gone from new girl in-the-shadow-of-Joan Severance, to mopped top glamour girl, to amazonian diva, to grunged-out slacker, to white hot blonde, to red head siren, to couture muse and in between, anything else imaginable. She really has done it all and has been pivotal in the creation of the visions of many influential designers - especially Gianni Versace, Azzedine Alaia and Thierry Mugler.

The other great chameleon is the unbelievable, awe inspiring, goose bump inducing Kristen McMenamy (or as my fabulous friend Steven R. used to call her, Kristen Smack-yo-mammy). She goes too uncredited for her contribution to fashion - she really was her generation's true star. She is the ultimate model's model, willing to do ANYTHING for the success of the photo. This would include shaving off her eyebrows, dropping 20lbs. to do couture, changing her hair color every season, etc. She was the trailblazer for the Stella Tennants, the Eves, the Omyrhas and every other androgynous freak turned glamour girl. In my opinion her transformations were even more legendary for how amazingly drastic they were and because of the time span that she was able to work her magic. My personal favorite time of hers is the Versace-Avedon period. That was a collaboration made in heaven.

Here is a bit of Ms. Kristen McMenamy in a few of her many incarnations:


Other great chameleons of note are:

Theresa Stewart - the great under-the-radar muse.

Carmen Kass - the greatest of her generation.

Karen Elson - The girl with a million looks and 9 lives.

No comments: