Someone who exudes confidence and passion is sexy. Effortlessness and humor also seem to be important ingredients.
How do you celebrate Valentine with your loved ones?
Staying at home with a delicious meal and then snuggling up on the couch to a great movie is our favorite thing to do. Going out on that particular evening just makes me crack up, as I can’t stop observing all the other couples. The weird notion that we’re all out trying to be romantic and look madly in love just seems hysterically funny to me.
Share with us your new creative venture into fragrance. How did it come about?
My friend Elizabeth was in the initial stages of developing an oudh oil and when I smelled the first pure drops I knew there was something incredibly special and magical about this scent. I had never smelled anything this divine and I am a huge lover of scents. We started collaborating on the further scent development along with a very gifted French parfumier, Christophe Laudamiel, and after four years of testing every possible combination of notes we found our perfect combination. As soon as the perfume oil was ready, we worked on the name, labels, packaging and website. It has been a very interesting learning experience for me to be part of this creative team and develop a scent from scratch. The fact that we are such a small company also spoke strongly to my heart. I think it’s important to work with people that inspire you and to keep it tight and intimate. We have full control and make all the decisions ourselves. It’s about creating a unique product that has our hearts and soul in it.
Your first scent as creative director for ERH1012 is Dead of Night Perfume Oil with one of my fave scents – oudh! How did you discover this sexy exotic resin?
We work with a sustainable Arga-tree plantation in Borneo. The resin is derived from the wood by a special process that only happens to about 1 in 100 trees. The pure oil is extremely potent and very pricey. We have worked for four years in evolving it into Dead of Night, which is a mix of over 100 ingredients. But oudh is still the main part of the oil and its aphrodisiac effect is quite apparent. The scent almost creates a tiny explosion in your head.
I love your photographs of women. There is a sensuality to it rather than overt sexiness. Do you think as a model who has been photographed so many times that you know that subtle difference? and what is it?
I think women are hugely inspiring as a portrait subject, there’s something ethereal and mysterious about them. Almost an ancient feeling. It’s as if we carry some beautiful profound secret within us that has been passed down from our female ancestors. For some reason I feel that the camera captures the emotional energy and spirit a woman exudes in a very intimate way. The female form, with its curves and lines is another reason I am fascinated by women in photographs. As a photographer it is a joy to try to capture a woman’s soul and femininity in a picture. I think a woman being photographed by another woman creates this special energy and trust that is apparent in the final portrait.
Which of your photos (as a photographer) is your fave and why?
It would be hard to say, but of all the women I have photographed two of the most stunning and versatile women that was ever in front of my camera are Natalia Vodianova and Julianne Moore. Natalia has this pure childish beauty about her, she exudes innocence and strength at the same time. Julianne is an intoxicating beauty, there is this illuminated glow around her. She has an incredible ability to silently act out emotions in various ways. My mother is like an explosion in front of the camera, someone else I love to shoot. I once paid her $300 to jump into a wild ocean in December during a snow storm so I could get some specifically vibrant shots of her. And she doesn’t even swim! That’s why I had to pay her, she argued, for the risk involved. Ha!
Let’s talk lingerie. How did your line with Triumph come about?
I worked with Triumph for about four seasons creating my own capsule line of lingerie. I am very proud of the outcome, we worked very hard and I feel the pieces were a total extension of my personality, which is what I hope anything I am part of creating has a sense of.
Do you collect lingerie? What are your fave vintage ones?
Oh, I love lingerie. What woman doesn’t? I started collection vintage lingerie in my late teens, the intricately handcrafted details being what spell-bounded me. I have some lovely bras that I only look at and use as inspiration as they’re way too delicate and small to wear. I also love the 50’s cone shaped bras, I’d love to wear them but I think I might hurt someone with the pointy tips!
What is one secret beauty weapon in looking instantly chic and sexy?
Red lips and dewey skin. If you don’t have time to fix your hair just pull it loosely up in a bun and put on your best red lipstick (I am in love with Chanel’s Fascinante at the moment).