Saturday, June 28, 2008

Spy Girl

Countess Vera von Lehndorff Steinort (born May 14, 1939), better known as Veruschka is a German supermodel, actress and artist. Born into nobility in Russia, her father was a German army reserve officer and her mother a Countess. Her first years were spent living on an enormous estate and enjoying a wealthy existence. This lifestyle was cut short when she was just five years old. Her father, a member of the German Resistance, was executed for attempting to assassinate Adolf Hitler. After his death, the remaining family members spent their time in labor camps until the end of World War II. At this time her family was left homeless and penniless.

After studying art in Hamburg, she moved to Florence, where she was discovered at age 20 by Ugo Mulas a photographer. Towering at a massive 6 feet tall, it was hard for Vera to find work. Soon she was snatched up by Eileen Ford and in 1961 she moved to New York city to jump start her career with the prestigious Ford Agency. However, despite her striking beauty, no one wanted to work with her, so she returned to Europe to reinvent herself. She changed her name to Veruschka and created a new prersona. Her powerful five minute performance in the 1966 cult film "Blow Up" by Michelangelo Antonioni gave her the attention she needed. The bookings soon followed and she started earning $10,000 a day working with the best photographers in the world and often art directing the shoots herself. It was at this time she started posing nude wearing only body paint covering her entire body. She would imitate animals, creatures or simply just try to disappear into the background. In 1975, Veruschka turned her back on the fashion industry due to disagreements with Grace Mirabella, the newly appointed editor-in-chief of Vogue, who wanted to change her image to make her more relatable to the average women.

I have loved Veruschka since I first laid eyes on her. It has been said that she does all the body painting herself. This makes her not only a fashion icon, but an incredible contortionist.

shop til you drop!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

babe in the woods

I can remember the first time I went to Wildwood, NJ, I was a very little girl in the late seventies. I had never even heard of the place. But even in my wildest dreams I couldn't have imagined what I was about to see. The first motel I ever stayed at was the Imperial 500, which I'm happy to say is still standing and not the victim of condo nation. I have been a fan ever since of the mid-century motels, boardwalk, rides, arcades and diners. For a few days I stayed at the Starlux motel in one of their airstream trailers. It was such a good time. We even had our own outdoor area with a grill that we shared with the other trailer and the cottage.
If you have ever been to Wildwood you know that every year the t-shirt shops on the boardwalk have a theme. This year has to be one of my favorites with neon paint splatters and knock-off Cazal shutter glasses.
After we checked out of our airstream trailer, we took the short drive to Cape May, for brunch. Cape May is a drastic difference from the glitz of Wildwood, but a warm welcome all the same. I love the Victorian houses and all the beautiful plants everywhere. I found a super sweet lantern shaped like a lighthouse in one of the shops and now my trip is complete.