1968-1969 NYC | Behind the Picture

Posted by Willy
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Dear friends, Here I am again with my "story behind the picture" and this time we are going to New York!

We arrived there in 1968, Salvador, our baby Alejandro and I. We first stayed at the Chelsea Hotel which was already a trip. New York was amazing at that time, so much going on (you can read more about that in my blog). My agency was Eileen Ford whom I knew from my visit there with David Bailey so in that way I was set up. Soon we found a place of our own in 92nd Street between Madison and 5th Avenue which could not be better, few steps away from Central park and the Guggenheim, we even had a garden, how good can it get? Soon we got to know people that we either knew from before or that we met there. We were hanging out a lot with the "Living Theater" whom Salvador knew from Paris and Rome and we had the most incredible parties with them. Honestly there was so much to do that modeling really came in second place for me. We were making leather clothes because a very kind young man invested in us because he liked what we were wearing when he saw us in Central park one day and there was our baby Alejandro, and so many new people to know and so many parties. NY was "hot" at that time, there was a lot going on and the mind expanding drugs were very popular with the people we knew. I have some funny stories about that...


In our leather designs for Twen magazine article about me, pictures by Andres Holmquist.


One day walking in the street with our friend Myroslava we met her friend Arthur Elgort who was just starting out taking pictures and he asked us if he could photograph us right then and there... he later gave us all the original prints and this is one of them:


Picture of Myroslava, Salvador and me with baby Alejandro by Arthur Elgort.


To model in NY was very different for me than modeling in Paris, London or Milan because they knew me there but here I was sort of unknown and had to go on "go sees", that is going with your book to see photographers and eventual clients, something I did not like and in my book I had mostly pictures by Newton and that did not help as he was not that known in the US at that time. I did some very nice pictures with young photographers we met for tests shots though...


Here one of the pictures of test shot... sorry don't remember the name of the photographer, he probably became famous...


But lucky for me there was Harper's Bazaar magazine, in my opinion the best then, and they liked me so once you get booked with them things start flowing. I cannot remember the name of the editor but she was very good and so I worked with Chris von Wangenheim, with whom I had worked before in Milan for Italian Vogue...


Pictures by Chris von Wangenheim for Bazaar 1968-9.


and a lot with the great, kind and spiritual photographer James Moore. I just loved to work with him, he was so kind and always so relaxed. He booked me for Bazaar and the New York Times and he also booked me for publicity which was great because the magazines paid next to nothing but it was of course good to be seen so you also got some commercial jobs although I was not that commercial kind of model that was fashionable at that time.


Pictures by James Moore for Bazaar 1969.


... and the pictures here below have a funny story because I was booked with an other model, wish I remembered who it was. I do remember her image but not her name but who knows maybe she reads this? She had 2 acid trips and gave me one so we took it, wow. Usually I did smoke weed, or rather hashish but never on a job, leave alone an acid trip, but she convinced me and soon it started to work and we were going on location for the New York magazine with James Moore and the editor some where near a beach. After a while the other model got so stoned that they were wondering what was going on and they sent her home so now I was alone and completely stoned, I was hallucinating and felt as if I was disappearing in the sand but I made it, I really don't know how but here are the pictures...


Pictures by James Moore for New York Times color magazine 1969.


An other funny story was with a very nice photographer, sorry again but don't remember the name and the wonderful model Margrit Ramme. It was a great session for an editorial called " Gypsies" but in this case it was the photographer who gave us the acid trips and we had so much fun. I don't think Margrit took one but the photographer and us we did. At the end of the session he took us to a airport where you could fly small planes. The pilot in the back and you in the front in the open air, OMG it was so scary and specially when Salvador went up and made all kind of acrobatics in the air and me on the ground freaking out, it was amazing, Love the pictures of that session and here are some, maybe someone recognizes the photographer, very nice memory and I only recently found the pictures via Margrit...


The Gypsy Series.


 Well, I also worked with Bert Stern once and with Scavullo but don't have the pictures but I do have this one by Neil Barr...


Picture by Neil Barr for Bazaar 1969.


One day we got arrested because a friend, Alejandro Vallejo, the same friend that is in the pictures with Newton in Morocco when I met my husband Salvador, was staying with us at that time in NY and he had a friend send him some Hashish from Morocco. It was in a suitcase in a double bottom but the rest of the suitcase was empty, so Hello? when the postman rang the bell and said he had a parcel for us we opened the door and right behind him were 2 plainclothes police men with guns in their hands. Wow, they came in and found some other paraphernalia and arrested the 3 of us and brought us to the police station. At a point they told us to go down the stairs and there was a strong lighting like in the studios and several camera men at the bottom so we went down making the peace sign with our hands and smiling. Yes, it was on all the news channels and Eileen Ford who was quietly watching the news got a big shock. It was all a lie though, they said we had arrived at the airport with 60 pounds but it was 1 pound in the mail. Immediately all my jobs were cancelled except for Harper's Bazaar and love them eternally for that. I any case we got out of it by just paying a lawyer a lot of money and it was time to move on. It had all been a great experience, New York so exciting, we met so many people and even went to Woodstock, all that you can read in my blog. This is all for now, told you a lot I think and next time we go to Ibiza and than to Paris.....



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