EXCLUSIVE

Christy Turling­ton Burns is back. Can you han­dle it?

Elle (Canada) - - Front Page - By LAURA deCARUFEL

Re­turn of the supe: Christy Turling­ton Burns.

her beauty de­fies de­scrip­tion. Try and you will sound like an am­a­teur Keats, flail­ing about with su­perla­tives, grasp­ing at hy­per­bole to do jus­tice to that nose, that skin, those eyes that look blue, then grey, then green. The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Mu­seum of Art dubbed her “the face of the 20th century,” and, when that grand in­sti­tu­tion needed the de­fin­i­tive sym­bol of hu­man sym­me­try, it cast her fea­tures in fi­bre­glass for its Cos­tume In­sti­tute man­nequins. “When you look at her,” Karl Lager­feld once mused, “you think ‘It just can’t be—such per­fect faces don’t ex­ist.’”

This sea­son, the face of the century is back in the spot­light. Christy Turling­ton Burns, ac­tivist, di­rec­tor and most su­per of su­per­mod­els, reprises her role in Calvin Klein’s iconic Eter­nity cam­paign with a very spe­cial part­ner: her hus­band, ac­tor and di­rec­tor Ed­ward Burns. It has been 25 years since Klein him­self tapped Turling­ton Burns, then 19, to be the face of the brand’s ro­man­tic lily-and-freesia fol­low-up to its smash hit, the overtly sexy Ob­ses­sion. Those first Eter­nity ads, shot by Bruce We­ber and in­spired by pho­tos of El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor and her chil­dren, fea­tured Turling­ton Burns look­ing ethe­real in black and white. Eter­nity

be­came a best­seller and she a star.

“When I look back over all the im­ages of my ca­reer, those are the most clas­sic,” says Turling­ton Burns to­day, warm, charm­ing and (yes, be­yond) beau­ti­ful, sil­hou­et­ted against the sun in a down­town New York ho­tel. “They’re the ones that I feel most like ‘Okay, the ’80s weren’t all shoul­der pads.’” In fact, the late ’80s—and much of the ’90s—were all about su­per­mod­els. Turling­ton Burns and a hand­ful of oth­ers— Linda Evan­ge­lista, Naomi Camp­bell, Cindy Craw­ford and Clau­dia Schif­fer—trans­formed the modelling game, com­mand­ing un­prece­dented cash and spark­ing head­lines for their world dom­i­na­tion and oc­ca­sion­ally out­landish com­ments. (Turling­ton Burns once re­called a nightmare that she was on The Arse­nio Hall Show “cov­er­ing Linda’s and Naomi’s mouths.”) Known as “the nice one,” she ap­peared on more than 500 mag­a­zine cov­ers.

By the late ’90s, how­ever, Turling­ton Burns’ pri­or­i­ties had shifted. She stud­ied com­par­a­tive re­li­gion and East­ern phi­los­o­phy at NYU and delved se­ri­ously into yoga and in­ter­na­tional phi­lan­thropy. (See “Where the Heart Is.”) In 2000, she met Burns at a party in the Hamp­tons. To­day, they have two kids: Grace (“a tough cookie”), 10, and Finn, 8. “Time goes by so quickly,” says Turling­ton Burns, with an eye­crin­kling smile. “My hus­band and I have been to­gether for 14 years, and you for­get some­times that ‘Oh, my God, this isn’t just a good thing—this is an amaz­ing thing!’”

The new Eter­nity cam­paign—shot in the Turks and Caicos by Inez van Lam­sweerde and Vi­noodh Matadin—of­fered a lovely op­por­tu­nity to take stock. “I was jok­ing on-set that cou­ples can rekin­dle their ro­mance by do­ing a commercial to­gether,” says Turling­ton Burns and then dead­pans, “Mar­riage is rolling around in the sand with a cam­era.” If the re­sult­ing ads are any­thing to go by, hap­pily ever af­ter in the Turling­ton-Burns house­hold is NSFW. Laugh­ing, Turling­ton Burns cites the cur­rent shots as her Calvin Klein faves, adding that her def­i­ni­tion of eter­nity has also evolved since she was a teen liv­ing out of her suit­case in a SoHo loft. “I wasn’t think­ing about the fu­ture,” she says, those fa­mous eyes shift­ing colours as the New York af­ter­noon sun deep­ens. “Now I feel more of a com­plete per­son. This is who I am.” ■

With pals Linda Evan­ge­lista, Naomi Camp­bell and Polly Mellen, 1989 Killing it for Chris­tian Lacroix, 1991 With hus­band Ed­ward Burns, 2014

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