LINDA EVAN­GE­LISTA

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Harper's Bazaar Art -

Linda Evan­ge­lista is de­scrib­ing the im­ages she has of her­self—among other things— on the walls of her New York apart­ment. “Pulling my cheeks from Steven [Meisel], cry­ing from Pe­ter [Lindbergh], whistling from David [Sims], the corset ... ” Of course, even with the briefest de­scrip­tion, you can see each and ev­ery pic­ture. Evan­ge­lista is, af­ter all, the su­per­model’s model. She wrote the book on chameleonic glam­our (sadly, not yet lit­er­ally, much to the cha­grin of Linda ob­ses­sives ev­ery­where). But while she has posed for the lex­i­con of pho­tog­ra­phers, il­lus­tra­tors, mag­a­zines, and cam­paigns over a leg­endary 35-year ca­reer, Evan­ge­lista had never sat for a painter. It’s funny to hear the su­per­est of su­pers say she was “ner­vous. I kept say­ing to my­self, ‘Linda, he wouldn’t have ac­cepted to do this if he didn’t like you.’” She con­tin­ues, “When I first sat down, Cle­mente said, ‘You re­ally want to wear that dress?’ And I was like, ‘Yep, this dress is me.’ I’m very Dolce, very 1950s. I love wom­anly em­bel­lish­ment. But I didn’t know it would take five hours!” She laughs. “With my el­bow out. Oh, my God.” In Cle­mente’s por­trait, Evan­ge­lista sees an “ex­ag­ger­ated ver­sion of my­self. I was shocked! But I thought it was beau­ti­ful. And I never think any­thing is beau­ti­ful.”

Evan­ge­lista, who turned 50 last year, char­ac­terises this new decade with a wry hu­mor. “I’m man­ag­ing.” The best part? “The wis­dom. That sounds very cliché, but it’s true. If only I had this wis­dom 30 years ago.” Worst? “It’s f*ck­ing work! And you can quote me on that. I have ev­ery gizmo and gad­get and tool from Spin­ning bike to Power Plate to Bosu ball to row­ing ma­chine and stretch­ing bands and this and that.” A trainer vis­its Casa Evan­ge­lista five times a week. “For 15 years! And he’s cute,” she jokes. “So that helps.”

Evan­ge­lista is, yes, su­per dili­gent with her up­keep. “To­day, I started with a Greek yo­gurt, and I put some chia and hemp in there and blue­ber­ries. I try to have my carbs mid­day, and at night I love veg­eta­bles. Love, love, love veg­eta­bles. I’ll have a pro­tein with veg­gies.” She’s not a drinker. “Nope. I like wine; I love pair­ing it. But I don’t drink, no.”

For skin care, she swears by up­town New York fa­cial­ist Ge­or­gia Louise. “She has magic hands! I also ex­fo­li­ate a lot, and I’m a big freak for sun­screen.” To wit, Evan­ge­lista’s In­sta­gram of­ten fea­tures her swad­dled in pro­tec­tive sum­mer garb that gives her an air of Garbo. When she’s dress­ing up, she swears by the age­less al­lure of “any­thing Azze­dine Alaïa”.

Ask what older woman she ad­mires and her an­swer is swift and hi­lar­i­ous: “There’s not many older than me! But ... Iman. She’s just fab­u­lous. She’s a role model to all of us. A gor­geous per­son.” Like Iman, Evan­ge­lista has em­braced so­cial me­dia. Well, be­grudg­ingly. “I was forced! My agents had an in­ter­ven­tion where they made me sign up for In­sta­gram. And I post, but I don’t want to share that much. I don’t know what to share.” She’s an avid fol­lower of the so­cial mod­els Cara and Ken­dall and Gigi (“I think they’re all fab­u­lous”), but be­lieves that if so­cial me­dia had ex­isted in the su­per­model era, “I don’t think we would have needed it.”

Now that she’s in this brave new cy­ber­world, does Evan­ge­lista ob­sess about what she posts, how she comes off, how she looks? Does the ul­ti­mate model have a selfie face? “No, no,” she coos re­as­sur­ingly. “I don’t need one.”

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