For the latest installment of “Vogue Stories”, Vogue‘s ongoing series in which industry insiders look back on their histories with the magazine, legendary model Lauren Hutton shares a tale of an especially memorable photo shoot with Richard Avedon.
Having covered the magazine a record 26 times, Hutton surely has no shortage of memories from those heady days, but you can see in her incredibly thoughtful response that this one has a special significance to her career and life:
Years ago Dick [Avedon] and I were in Paris; in those days, the collections were shown all day to editors and grandes dames, and the magazines would shoot all night. We’d been working for three days and nights, and being the only model, I was bone tired and at one point fell asleep on the studio sofa between shots. I woke still in position with Dick shaking me, saying, “Lauren, look at you—you’re sleeping in a pose!” “This is the way I’ve always slept,” I said. “But why?” Dick asked.
With his letters, my father would include pictures he’d drawn for Stars and Stripes, all those forties poster girls, Rita Hayworth– and Betty Grable–style, and as a child I thought that if I looked like them, if I slept by the front window, he would come and pull the screen from outside and take me away. From a very early age I’d learned to sleep in imitation of his covers—elbows out, my hands curled at my ears or one hand at my ear, one down by my hip. As Dick pulled all these answers out of me for the first time, in the dark of the studio, with the hairdresser and the crew waiting outside, he sat next to me and patted my arm; he was wonderful, a great reporter—he always got the story behind the picture. And I was crying and he was laughing; his laughter was delighted because we both knew how important this was. “You were born to do this!” he said.
Who knew Avedon moonlighted as a shrink?