If there is one thing that July means to everyone I know it’s Canada Day. Traditionally a day of barbecues and beer, I’ve decided that before I get to all of that this July 1st, I’ll turn my attention for a moment or two — as I do every weekday — to 1980s fashion, this time with a focus on our country’s most famous model export, Linda Evangelista.
Evangelista was a successful working, long-haired model in the mid-1980s. She often appeared in various editions Vogue worldwide and worked with the biggest photographers around. But it wasn’t until 1988 when photographer Peter Lindbergh persuaded her to cut her hair super-short that she became a fashion legend and along with contemporaries Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and Tatjana Patitz — a supermodel.
Going through Evangelista’s photographs from the ’80s, I’m struck with how much I actually liked her look with long hair. There was a regal, almost haughty look to her in those shots. The shorter cut made her appear more playful and fun, but the uber-high-fashion-princess of the long hair days must have been what caught the eye of Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel and photographer Steven Meisel, for each of whom Evangelista served as a muse before the famous haircut.
That haircut is not the only thing Evangelista is so known for. She’s the one who’s credited with stating that the supermodels “don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day.” It was a scandalous quote at the time, and to this day is brought up by media usually looking to point out the excesses and huge amounts of money sold and spent in the fashion industry. I would suspect that Evangelista had her tongue firmly planted in cheek when she said this, but without context and tone it’s easy to see how her words may have been used in unintentional ways.
Whether it’s long-haired Linda, short-haired Linda or pretty much all of Linda’s looks that you like, there’s no denying her impact in the 1980s and staying power in the industry since. Viva la Linda and happy Canada Day to all.
1. Revlon, Vogue, March 1989.
2. Steven Meisel for Vogue, June 1987. Clothing by Geoffrey Beene.
3. Courrèges, Vogue, September 1987.
4. Irving Penn for Vogue, October 1987. Makeup by Kevyn Aucoin.
5. Gilles Bensimon for Elle, September 1987. Jacket by David Cameron.
6. Calvin Klein, Vogue, March 1988.
7. Perry Ellis, Vogue, August 1989.
8. Arthur Elgort for Mademoiselle, November 1987. Dress by Cathy Hardwick.
9. Irving Penn for Vogue, December 1987. Dress by Liza Bruce.