Saturday, January 8, 2011

The infamous Paulina Porizkova

During the late eighties there was no model more ubiquitous then Czech-born Paulina Porizkova. At the age of fourteen, a friend of Paulina's sent photos of her to modelling agencies and Elite agency's John Casablancas noticed her promise. Paulina was one of the first models to truly pique my interest. My first impression of Paulina was that she was almost other-worldly, unlike any being that I could ever have envisaged.  Paulina's chiseled bone structure, luminous skin and azure blue eyes, coupled with her uncanny ability to project emotion through the camera lens, made her one of my firm favourites. It was however, Paulina's sardonic wit, honest and outspoken dialogue, and intellect which made her one of the most alluring and engaging models of her time. 

In an interview with Interview magazine in 1987, Paulina offered her own take on modelling. "My opinion of the modelling industry is that I don't like it, no - I don't enjoy being a model -  but it's a very good job. It's a good stepping stone if you want to do something else. But modelling as a state of mind - that's where you have a problem." Paulina elaborates further "It's a very plastic world. It's very superficial. People flatter each other to death every day and then the next day they decide they hate you. It's very fickle and very political." Paulina downplays her role in the creative process of modelling adding that "modelling is not a creative job in itself; photography is. What do I create? I let people play with me so they can set up what they want to do." 

Paulina's outspoken views and refreshing candour earned her a reputation in the fashion industry as somewhat of an "enfant terrible". In spite of this tag, Paulina quickly became the rarest of models whose look would eventually define the look for that decade.  During the eighties Paulina was the darling of the fashion set appearing on the covers of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Self and Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit issue. In 1988, Paulina reached the very pinnacle of a model's career by signing an exclusive cosmetics contract with Estee Lauder for a reported $6 million a year.


Vogue - July 1987
Photographer - Richard Avedon

Self - June 1987
Photographer - Richard Avedon

Harper's Bazaar - May 1987
Photographer - Francesco Scavullo

ELLE - April 1987
Photographer - Gilles Bensimon

Cosmopolitan - March 1987
Photographer - Francesco Scavullo

Sports Illustrated - February 1985
Photographer - Brian Lanker
Vogue - May 1986
Photographer - Richard Avedon

Cosmopolitan - Unknown
Photographer - Francesco Scavullo

Paulina Porizkova
Photographer - Herb Ritts

Sports Illustrated - February 1985
Photographer - Brian Lanker

Paulina Porizkova
Photographer - Marco Glaviano

Sports Illustrated - February 1987
Photographer - Brian Lanker

Estee Lauder - Knowing
Photographer - Victor Skrebneski



5 comments:

  1. The irrepressible,incorrigible Paulina the great!!

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  2. I love this story. paulina is one of my favorites too.

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  3. Thanks Linda, Paulina remains to this day one of my all-time favourites. She was one of the first models that I ever wanted to know the name of. I still have her Revlon Unforgettable ad shot by Richard Avedon...

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  4. Def one of my favorite beauties to makeup, Amazingly beautiful...........

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