As Oprah would say, and I do love her (still), I recently had a "full circle moment."
When I was working for Patrick Demarchelier in my late teens and early 20's, I was never not completely in awe of the people we photographed. There were the obvious ones - like Madonna, Janet Jackson, Warren Beatty and every single supermodel under the sun, but even the lesser known ones - whether it be a 90-year-old sculptor, a newly crowned basketball star, or an aboriginal child - captured my interest. They all had a reason to be there being shot by one the greatest photographers in the world. It may have been their beauty, their accomplishment or their unique character, but all of them had something that was remarkable about them.
So there I was this past spring having just made the very difficult decision to leave Barneys - and for the first time in a very long time, I felt undefined by my job. I was free. I could be anyone I wanted to be. The choice was mine. Never did I think that in this moment of indecision my chance to be one of those people photographed by Patrick Demarchelier would finally come.
I got the call from Doug Lloyd an art director who was putting together real women to be featured in Bottega Veneta's new jewellery book, and he and Patrick wanted me to be in it. I was delighted.
When the day came I went back to the same studio I had worked in 16 years before, and everything was pretty much the same. I sat in the same hair and makeup chairs in front of the same mirror with the huge lightbulbs surrounding it (that I used to stare into to sneak a peak at the reflection of whatever important person was occupying it that day). And when I walked onto the set, Patrick and I had the giggles for quite some time. Patrick sarcastically asked me if I wanted to load the film or adjust the lights before we began. And in typical Patrick fashion, the whole shoot was over in about 3 minutes.
Did I feel important that day? Not really. I felt empowered that I had been chosen in my own right, not because I was representing a company I worked for. But oddly I felt much like my 22 year old self - lucky to be there, happy for the experience.