Claudia Schiffer tells her best memories with Helmut Newton

Claudia Schiffer tells her best memories with Helmut Newton

Meeting with the supermodel Claudia Schiffer, who lends herself to the game of memory in the documentary

She was one of his muses, his sensual and vibrant photographs have become mythical. It was in 1987 in Paris that Claudia

Schiffer met the photographer Helmut Newton for the first time. She was 17 years old. There followed a long collaboration,

where each learned from the other during shootings immortalized in the biggest magazines including Vogue Paris. On

the occasion of the release of the must-see documentary Helmut Newton : l’effronté, which looks back at the German

photographer’s majestic career through rare personal archives and testimonies of his close friends and models, such

as Isabella Rossellini, Anna Wintour, Charlotte Rampling and Claudia Schiffer, the latter returns exclusively to Vogue

on the most beautiful memories shared with Helmut Newton, the man who knew how to sublimate women.

Meeting with Claudia Schiffer, who lends herself to the game of memory in the film Helmut Newton : l’effronté New Balance 574 Size:40-44 Pigskin  Helmut Newton : the shameless one

1987 was also the year of his portrait exhibition in Bonn. I had decided that I didn’t want to pose

nude even though Newton was always looking for the perfect nude and often in heels. I was very shy and

only 17 years old, but Helmut and his wife June (who sadly passed away this year) were so friendly and

welcoming. Although the images are extremely sexual, there was never a moment when I felt uncomfortable.

It was always a true collaboration with Newton. I left thinking “this man is amazing”. https://liquorcanoe54.edublogs.org/2022/04/16/nike-react-element-pumice-nike-react-element-55-pumice-nike-react-element/ Self portrait, Monte Carlo, 1993

Helmut Newton, Helmut Newton Estate Courtesy Helmut Newton Foundation

Some words to describe his work?

Helmut Newton’s work is iconic – you can frame any of his images and there is no sense of awkwardness because

they are elegant and unique. Newton, alongside Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, is known for his extreme sense of

beauty. His images are vivid, electric and charged with drama. I particularly admire the work in his book Sex

and Landscapes, in which sculptural models pose in urban environments and often in incongruous clothing, laughing

wildly – in jewelry, cocktail dresses, in train stations. His shoots with Grace Coddington for Vogue US were incredible,

especially the pool series in which Grace herself appears. https://lexsrv3.nlm.nih.gov/fdse/search/search.pl?match=0&realm=all&terms=https://sneakernews.com/2018/01/01/jordan-flight-fresh-premium-wheat-bordeaux/ Grace Jones and Dolph Lundgren, Los Angeles, 1985

Helmut Newton, Helmut Newton Estate Courtesy Helmut Newton Foundation

 What was a photo shoot with him like?

It was an honor to work for Helmut. He was one of the first photographers to form a group of models that he worked

with regularly. I understood him right away because he was very German, Teutonic, organized, calm and serene. He

also exuded confidence, so you felt very safe and comfortable, and he was a perfectionist. Each photo may take longer

than perhaps other photographers because every detail was meticulously thought out, but he allowed his wit and guile

to shine through in spontaneous improvisations. He had great taste, was knowledgeable about fashion, art and so many

subjects and was always very informed. I think Helmut Newton enjoyed his notoriety which really started after The

Story of Ohhh with model, Lisa Taylor was published in US Vogue in 1975 but behind that facade he was a gentleman.

carlosmantero David Lynch and Isabella Rossellini, Los Angeles, 1988

Helmut Newton, Helmut Newton Estate Courtesy Helmut Newton Foundation

Who do you think the Newton woman is? What does she embody?

Helmut loved women. There are photographers who are more interested in the art of photography, but through

Helmut’s lens, women are always beautiful and powerful. His personality is reflected in his work because

he was extremely elegant and his images, while provocative and erotic, always have that sense of mystery

– nothing was too explicit, and they are not vulgar. His women are always “victorious”: they own their sexuality,

their desire.

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Crocodile Eating Ballerina, 1983

Helmut Newton, Helmut Newton Estate Courtesy Helmut Newton Foundation

Helmut loved women. There are photographers who are more interested in the art of photography, but through

Helmut’s lens, women are always beautiful and powerful.

Many have called Newton’s work misogynistic, especially because of the representation of women as sexual

objects. What do you think about this?

In the 1980s, women were often represented as objects of desire. Helmut’s images evoked female strength in

both mind and body. His work is provocative and still provokes debate as he pushed the boundaries of female

representation, explored sexual identity, and portrayed intense psycho-sexual drama with great wit. Secretly

or overtly, the subject matter was sex and eroticism, but within that, he really shone a light and explored

the sexual mores and obsessions of the day. Newton also managed to capture so many facets of sexuality –

embodied in his famous image of Yves Saint Laurent Le Smoking.

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Rue Aubriot, Paris, 1975

Helmut Newton, Helmut Newton Estate Courtesy Helmut Newton Foundation

What is the best professional advice Helmut has given you?

He taught me so much about the eye of the camera and how to play to it. The biggest lesson was to be meticulous,

patient and always open to chance and new ideas. He didn’t believe in poor quality work.

What is your favorite photograph of Helmut? and why?

When I look at Helmut’s photos of me, I don’t see myself – I see his imagination and I see my contribution.

His work is like a movie still – you hold a pose and repeat a pose over and over until he captures that moment.

He was always exploring incredible ideas that came to him, often spur of the moment. Ultimately, he wanted

the work to speak for itself and for the viewer to interpret freely and that’s why his work continues to fascinate.

Arena, Miami, 1978

Helmut Newton, Helmut Newton Estate Courtesy Helmut Newton Foundation

Do you have a photo captured by Helmut Newton in your home?

I have this wonderful image of Newton offering me candy and I’m sitting with braids in my hair, looking so innocent.

It really captures the complicity between Newton and myself and I would play characters. He always had a twinkle

in his eye and was so impeccably dressed.

 Why do you think this documentary is a must-see?

It gives a glimpse of a master at work and this incredible confluence of imagination, charm and technique.

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Helmut Newton : l’effronté, in theaters July 14, 2021

Also on trydecaf.org: Helmut Newton’s womenClaudia Schiffer in 30 looksThe best fashion documentaries to see

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