CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR VIEWPOINT ON BEAUTY, NOW COMPARED WITH THEN?
It's true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder: what I think is beautiful, someone else may find ugly – physical beauty changes according to the fashion of the day: big lips, small lips, big boobs, small boobs, big eyebrows, no eyebrows, it goes in circles. But real beauty is unchangeable I think, like nature, it's always there, in the sky, the flowers, the trees, all the incredible things that grow and roam the earth, not to mention great art and anything that resists time. A good heart is beautiful, too. I always have felt very blessed to be able to see beauty everywhere – how boring and colourless it would be without it. In short, the things I once found to be beautiful are still just as beautiful to me now.
tell us about the helmut newton series and how your son alejandro came to appear in the pictures.
Sometimes Alejandro would go with me to the studios and Helmut got to know him so he suggested shooting us for the series. I did not prepare anything – working with Helmut was always about seeing what would happen, he used to plan the whole thing. We were at an apartment that belonged to one of his friends and in the end it became a little difficult because Helmut could not find the magic that would give his photos that little click that is so very Newton: a story or an interpretation instead of just a picture. Now, what you see in his pictures depends on your mind. He was never obvious in what he wanted to convey, he left it up to the viewer. I think he wanted to show a young woman perfectly dressed but bored in her apartment, dreaming of other things...
YOU ALWAYS LOOKED VERY GLAMOROUS, STRONG AND EMPOWERED IN YOUR FASHION SHOOTS. HOW DID YOU FEEL ON SET?
- It depended very much on what I was wearing and the photographer – if it was a good photographer and the clothes were nice then you felt great, but if the clothes were awful it became more difficult. In any case, you had to try to make it look as good as possible.
THROUGHout YOUR TRAVELS, YOU TOOK IN SO MANY RICH EXPERIENCES, HOW DID THIS SHAPE YOUR PARENTING MOTTO?
The travels were certainly rich and colourful, it shaped my being, the feeling of being free. Every day was a new day with no plans, we just followed our instincts. No hurry, no worries. There are of course many kinds of traveling, via luxury hotels and sightseeing, which can be nice too, but the way I traveled was with a tiny knapsack, more or less a toothbrush, Nivea and a change of clothes. From Holland to Japan in the 60s, passing through France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Afghanistan, Persia, Pakistan, India and more, I saw and witnessed so many incredible things. I realised that the world is big and we are many, the little things that are so important to us vanish with the knowledge that there is so much out there. All this influenced me as a parent as well. I never wanted to come from a mould and I didn't want that for my children, either. I wanted to let them have the freedom to be themselves.
and lastly, what have you always taught your children?
That compassion and a big heart is more important than a big bank account (of course, having both would be ideal). Also, that quality is better than quantity.