Friday, July 13, 2018


Iman, Toronto, May 30, 2007

SHE REALLY, REALLY TALKED A LOT. I mean, a lot; I actually felt sorry for David Bowie at a certain point. I imagined that he didn't get a word in edgewise at home, and had this image of him holding up his finger and saying "Yes, dear - " and "Of course, darling, but..." For the first time in my life I had a reason to imagine David Bowie's home life as an old radio comedy about a retiring, milquetoast husband and his firebrand wife.

Supermodel Iman was in Toronto promoting her role in the Canadian franchise of Project Runway, which was a huge hit at the time and the subject of much coverage in the free daily. I was, of course, more than a bit overawed to be photographing Mrs. Bowie - I can't lie about that - but the prospect of having one of the world's most famous models in front of my camera was also intimidating, and I wondered if it would be possible to get anything where Iman didn't merely slip into studied poses.

Iman, Toronto, May 30, 2007

The shot at the top is very nearly what I imagined I'd get, and much of the shoot - done on the terrace of a penthouse suite in one of the new boutique hotels downtown - is like this: Iman in autopilot, presenting the sort of face that I imagine Peter Beard or Patrick Demarchelier or Richard Avedon would have tolerated for a few frames before imploring her to pretend that she cared.

It was the shot I handed into the free daily, in any case, but going through the shoot years later I noticed the frame just above. There's a bit more happening here - perhaps a bit of impatience coming through: The seasoned model concerned that this rather silent newspaper photographer isn't up to capturing her best face. If I flatter myself, it reminds me of a still from an old Italian movie - Anna Magnani or Gina Lollabrigida building up to a fierce tirade at some hapless male co-star. In any case, my closest brush with fashion's upper echelon.

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