Similar to my Marilyn photo, I have had this Sofia Coppola for VOGUE article on Charlotte Rampling being “The Sexiest Woman in the World 1974″ on my vision board since October of 2003. I love Sofia’s description of her journey and relate to her visual obsession of photographs.
(Read abridged article below)
I Wanna Be Like You by Sofia Coppola from Vogue, Oct 2003
Sofia Coppola grew up pasting pictures of the sultry heroines of seventies magazines to her bedroom wall in California.
Helmut Newton’s portrait of Charlotte Rampling from the seventies is one of my favorite photographs of all time. When I was a kid growing up in the country, magazines were so important to me. I would get The Face and Vogue and French Vogue – they were my link to the rest of the world. And although my parents took us all over when they traveled, high school in Napa was far away from the sophistication and glamour I saw in the pages of those magazines.
Like most teenage girls, I covered my walls with the pictures I tore out of them. I think when you’re younger you look at women and pictures of women to define who you want to grow up to be, and they make a deep impression on you. I always loved images of Tina Chow, Paloma Picasso, and Anjelica Huston. I remember I met Anjelica when I was fourteen. She told me I would grow into my nose, which I appreciated.
The image of Charlotte Rampling sitting naked on a table seemed to me the ultimate portrait of a woman. I like photos that have a story to them. This picture could almost be a still from a film: it makes me think about what just happened and what will happen next. There’s something going on between her and the photographer, the way he’s looking at her and she’s looking back at him. She’s so striking and cool, and you can tell she’s smart. Who doesn’t want to be that?
The seventies seemed like such a glamorous time. It was before sportswear became normal; women didn’t wear sneakers. There was a romance and a decadence to the way those women looked that I found very appealing. I remember being impressed by the French actress Aurore Clément, who was married to my dad’s production designer Dean Tavoularis and was a friend of the family’s. I think she even posed for Helmut Newton when she was younger, and she epitomized a certain kind of sophisticated French beauty. She would wear Yves Saint Laurent – not the super-sexy slash-necked looks but silk pleated skirts with a little blouse and round, flat shoes. She was very chic.
I began collecting fashion photography, encouraged by my mother. She gave me a William Klein photo of a woman smoking with roses on her hat, and another of a model on a Paris street. I still collect photos and art, and I love it. Some of my favorite pieces are by Philip-Lorca diCorsia, Richard Prince, Takashi Homma, Larry Sultan, Elizabeth Peyton. Just the other day I bought a Bob Richardson piece I love of a model on a beach with a tear in her eye. I tried to buy the Rampling photo a few years ago, but it was so expensive!
When I’m working on a film project, I put together books of visual references in a certain mood, even if I have no idea how they’ll relate to the final product. I still love looking at magazines and tearing pages out, and I still have the Charlotte Rampling picture on my wall.
The photo and article inspired me to go back in time and seek out some of the beauty, film and fashion icons of the decades before I was born.
Luella says…I Wanna Be Like Them.
What inspires you? What do you tear out of magazines or bookmark in your google reader?
Figure it out and stock up.
PS. Don’t forget to check out Sofia Coppola’s new movie SOMEWHERE coming out December 22nd. It won the top prize at the 2010 Venice Film Festival.