whilst doing a spot of pre-festive spring cleaning, I unearthed a long-forgotten little book from the early 1990’s, given to me by katie ford ( daughter of eileen, founder of ford models and then-monarch of the modelling universe ). i was the show producer / choreographer of the singapore leg of the “supermodel of the world” competitions, thanks to errol pang, boss of derrol stepenny productions, franchise holder of the contest and one of the first few people who took a chance on me ( who warrants a whole separate “solid gold sundays” post – as soon as I find those photographs ), and katie was in singapore as chief judge at the finals.
way back then, before the advent of the Internet, such books ( and headsheets – a huge poster with headshots of the agency’s models ) were de rigueur in the industry, and served as a portfolio of their talents. they were handed out to clients, who would fax or phone in ( texting and emails weren’t invented yet ! ) their casting requests.
big agencies like ford had such a huge stable of faces that they would print weighty tomes, divided into commercial, catalogue, runway and the like. and being a show producer, I would get seasonal volumes of their runway editions.
enjoy this walk down memory lane and have fun reminiscing about the most influential models of 1993/94. and check out the hair and the styling of that decade too! winners of the ford “supermodel of the world” competition included models-turned-actresses, canadian tricia helfer ( 1992 ) and spain’s veronica blume ( 1993 ). you may recognize tricia from her stint in the reboot of the sci-fi series battlestar galactica asian models, unfortunately, were a sad minority and grossly under-represented then. I spotted only three in the book, including padma lakshmi of “top chef” fame. elaine irwin abandoned a high-flying modelling career to wed musician john cougar mellancamp
many of the top models of that era often went on to acting careers ( some, successful, but for others, fleeting brushes only ) including andie mcdowell, kim basinger, patricia velasquez ( the mummy returns ) and vendela ( batman & robin )