So there I was, a freshly wounded, slightly gawky fifteen-year old, playing model-model for a couple of days with my eleven year old sister and stepsister in tow. I remember two other girls who did the course with us. Paige was a pale, fine featured girl with tight brown curls and icy blue eyes, who reminded me of Nicole Kidman in Days of Thunder. I thought she was perfectly exotic with her model-perfect name and sure to become a supermodel. She was also seventeen and thereby much too mature to be nice to me and my troupe of sisters. Which only added to my admiration of her untouchable beauty.
Madeleine was even older, maybe nineteen at the time? She was a very tall, classically beautiful brunette with a funky, short haircut a la Demi Moore in Ghost and loads of attitude. She dressed like Madonna and strutted the ramp like a tiger. I was in awe. And she was nice too. One break time over a plate of chips at the Spur steakhouse next to the agency, we got talking and she listened to my whole relationship saga. I was so happy to find someone to talk to. She gave me some great girl power advice I wasn't going to get from anywhere else. "Don't call his house ('93 - no cell phones yet!) a million times a day and hang up when he answers, don't hang out in his regular places in the hopes of running into him, don't spend your nights writing tragic love poems, don't believe that he will change his mind and come running back any second. Move on."
I borrowed a skimpy, body conscious LBD from a sexy young friend of my mom's, accessorised it with opaque black stockings (oh how current!) my mom's pointy patent black heels and the biggest hoops I could find. That would all have been fine, if only I'd know what to do with my hair and make-up!
That photographer went on to become one of the most successful fashion & beauty professionals in Cape Town. I've been meaning to send him the pictures as, not surprisingly, he has no recollection of the evening that meant so much to me.