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Subjective: Erin O'Connor on Steven Meisel

Erin O’Connor continues our rolling model interview series, Subjective. She opens up about the experience of creating some of fashion’s most famous imagery, in this case, with photographer Steven Meisel. 

Setting the scene for Theatre of Fashion, one of Meisel’s many editorials for Vogue Italia, O’Connor recalls that, ‘there were no words, there was no guidance, there was no script. We were just given very very evocative music and it became so hypnotic over a 3-day period that we never stopped moving. It was incredibly emotional.’ Talking to Nick Knight about modelling as a performance - ‘I come alive as a model when I am able to take on some responsibility’ - the supermodel describes the process of metamorphosing into that day’s character. In this case she was helped by famed make-up artist Pat McGrath: ‘You never really know who you’re going to be on the day. And I respond well to that. … I’ve been a man. I’ve been a woman. I’ve been a creature. I’ve been living. I’ve sort of been reincarnated.’ O’Connor emphasises how privileged she felt to be a part of such a shoot, declaring, 'those days are so important just for self development and confidence and liberation and [Meisel] gave me that.’

Watch the impassioned interview now and review the whole series to hear more about the conversations between photographers and their subjects and the making of a truly great image. In Erin O’Connor’s words: ‘there’s no greater feeling.’

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