It is 1967 and the first time I set foot in England. Already I had crossed half the globe with only a backpack, from Holland to Japan over land, crossing Europe, Turkey, Afghanistan, Persia (Iran), Pakistan, India, Nepal, East Pakistan, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, this was in the very early sixties when I just had finished my studies and the round trip took more than 2 years. To Paris I had been already a lot of times, had been in Spain and Scandinavia but London was new for me and THE place to be in 1967 because it was in London the Fashion scene was happening and Fashion is my Passion.

Pic. 1. That is how I arrived at the agency, all in red, red velvet coat, red hat and red YSL platform sandals( check this: I had my name embroidered on my pocket and I remember doing that to all my dresses at that time, isn’t that funny?) The other 2 are from different articles but that black dress was of the most gorgeous vintage silk with velvet patterns.

I wanted to model and I came prepared with a book that I had made up of pictures I directed myself, printed myself and in which I was wearing all my own designs, it was a hit. The doors flew open, landed straight away in Vogue where in the dressing room I met Jean Shrimpton ( one of my idols) worked with David Bailey, Norman Parkinson and Helmut Newton and on top of that they were going to make a display doll of me!

London was wonderful, you could feel an excitement in the air, things were happening. Kings road, Chelsea market, Granny takes a trip…… In the meantime I was booked solid and on one of the trips with Helmut Newton to Morocco for the Sunday Times and some publicity’s, which all together took almost 3 weeks, I met Salvador, my husband on a shoot where Helmut asked him to be in the pictures…

I stayed in Morocco while the whole crew went back to London. My agency calling desperately because I was booked and nobody understood how I could simply leave while my fame in London had taken off and every photographer was eager to work with me? Well, for me it was much more important to live to the fullest my love and the beauties of life and Morocco was so magical at that time. At a point I had to go for a few days because Vogue was going to do a spread about my display dolls with Helmut Newton and it was planned to come out when my dolls were to be unveiled. Helmut said if I did not come he would break all the dolls and photograph them like that with the heads cut, funny.

After my return to Morocco we stayed an other 2 months until my dummy was to be launched. It was great to come to London with Salvador and everything was so well arranged, I was in the clouds.

From there we were invited to Hamburg ( Germany) for an interview for Stern magazine with Florentine Bapst as the reporter and Bockelberg the photographer:

 We stayed a few days and went back to Morocco.
My Display Dolls were a big success and I signed a contract whereby for every doll sold I would get 1 E. Pound ( about $10 at the time) and this would automatically go to my account which I had specially opened in the Barclay Bank for that matter and for which in exchange they gave me a lovely looking little bank book…….
will continue……


While staying in Canary Islands, some 12 years ago, I made up these Tarot cards following all the hidden signs, colours and shapes. Was great fun but also very difficult because I did it on water colour paper that is very bubbly and I did it in the actual card size which is quiet little and for the details a bit difficult to do. The thing is that it is hard to imagine now, but I did not have a computer! As a matter of fact I was one of these people that would think never to get one but here I am and my computer is my very close friend and through Her ( I know, but for me it’s a girl) I can talk to you and show you things that I have thought or done or experienced and so hopefully inspire some one or make some one smile or think for a moment… so that is why I am here talking to you and sharing with you all kind of things even that I know for a fact that almost nobody has time or is interested in some one’s else’s life as it is already such a task to have your own in order. But still, for the few and for myself this is a wonderful way to tell my story and also for me to organise all my memories so children and grand children and great grand children and so on can have a moment of fun and know where they come from as I have no idea about mine and think that is a pity, not that it will change anything but still……

Here is ” THE BIG ARCADE” of the Tarot, 1998

They are absolutely imperfect as they are not exactly the same size and so on as they are super “handmade” so to speak… so don’t look at that although I know that now you will….

Now, I have to say I am not a Tarot expert nor a Tarot reader, as a matter of fact I know little about it and that is because I don’t believe that cards or anything else can tell your future or your past or your fortune, no, but the Tarot does have something special because it is thought out very well and just by laying them out the way it should be,(there are many different ways depending on the circumstances) and you have a question or a thought in your mind , you can read from the cards something that maybe strengthens the thoughts you had and may change your thoughts a bit and so on, just looking at the cards will indicate a lot of things that may make you think, like coming in contact with your “inner” self, that is mostly what I like about the Tarot and just love the images and that is why I drew them, with the help of Salvador because I am not that good at drawing animals and men.

Next thing now on my to do list is again the Tarot but in big, like poster size, like that it is much easier to work the details and later you make them smaller on the computer and they will hopefully look very neat, guess it will take me about 3 or 4 months if I think 1 drawing will take me 2 or 3 days and there are 22, you know what I mean?

But in the meantime I will get back to you and next time I like to take you to London 1967-8


Yes, it happens that a picture of you gets published without being paid for it or without permission of the person who’s face or person is used for commercial purposes. With this I count the covers because after all the magazine often sells by its cover. The first time it happened to me when I was still studying and was looking at sculptures in an open air exhibition and someone took this picture,

Fine, next thing it is on the cover of ” De Katolieke Illustratie” ( The Catholic Illustration).

OK, OK I liked it, because well, it strokes your vanity, right? Nice picture too but still they could have asked to say the least. Next came this cover and I must say I really love this picture because it is natural, I mean we were just walking in the street of Ibiza and someone took a picture,

have no idea who, but saw it years later by accident somewhere and it is of course more rare for a model to be on a cover without having posed for it, that is why I like it, me and Alejandro. Still, again, would have been correct if they had asked permission. I guess it happens a lot and wonder if that is legal now at this day, for sure it was OK then to use someone’s face for anything if the photographer decided to sell it because he had it and it was a shot probably done during a fashion shoot, this book cover is by Helmut Newton, again I like the picture because it is also one shot in between? Wonder what photographers think of that. Found this book at a second-hand bookstore in Amsterdam.

but had seen it years before and had made my agent attend on it but they said they could do nothing because the picture was the photographers property! Honestly one feels a little bit abused. If you think about it could be used for anything… this is decent and really when one is working as a model it is hard to keep track because by the time the pictures come out you are somewhere else and except if you did some great shoots with a good photographer you would check it, but impossible to check everything. A whole other thing is when it becomes a bit sneaky like in the next 2 pictures








The first one is a fashion session with Helmut Newton for NOVA, the wonderful avant-garde magazine and when the session was finished he asked me to do some with a lipstick, I thought nothing of it and with Helmut it is always fun to pose and I thought well, the lips on the blouse he wants to make a funny picture…, and well, he would give me sometimes originals too. Any case only a few years ago I saw the lipstick picture for the first time and was never asked or informed about it or paid for it. Everybody knows that for magazines editorials you get paid very little, it is rather an honour and it will give you automatically more commercial work and there is where you made the butter for the bread… any case, that is how it is, please let me know your thoughts, am I the only one?

Not much news otherwise except I like to say we saw ” A single man” by Tom Ford and I think it is a great movie, rare these days I would almost say and I am not a particular fan of Tom Ford.
Must admit he has a lot of charm and knows how to be in the lime light and has an admirable energy but I personally don’t like his Fashion designs too much, for man it is excellent I think, like Armani used to be in the 80 ties, looking good on everybody and still standing out like elegant. Well, this movie was all perfect as far as I am concerned, great story, great acting, great directing, great styling, great music and really great photography. Congratulations to Tom Ford and I would think he should stick mostly to making movies!

On an other tone I inform you that our lovely cat, called MOMI, did not come home for a week already but instead we found this creature… had never seen one from near, it is alive here but after hanging for a few days on the wall she left this life this morning…….


Yes, I love shoes, I adore shoes and must confess I am a shoe freak!

I remember so well the first pair of shoes I actually bought in a shoe store, had eyed them for weeks on my way to school… moccasins, they looked so soft and comfy. In the war I was a little baby and not wearing any shoes at all I guess and later in the Orphanage we got to choose, group by group, from a mountain of used shoes in the middle of the “fitting room” ( more like a sewing room) and you were allowed 2 pairs, for the winter or summer season, and so you were lucky if you found something you could live with and was your size! So shoes was an issue for me, …clothes I already was working on, having discovered a sewing machine with pedals, a Singer, that nobody was really using and it worked great. Soon learned how to sew and cut so that was fine but the shoes….… My next pair had little heels and was of very nice light grey leather, my friend Sophie van Kleef and I went together and bought the same shoes. She was my friend in school and we were both Fashion freaks, her mother had a bookstore where she sold all the foreign Magazines so we would have a great time looking at the fashion pictures in Vogues and Elle. She became a famous model and actress in Holland and always stayed in Holland. But then.… When my older sister Lisa came back from a trip to Italy and she had bought there a pair of high heels of which the heel was so thin one would think it would break and a very pointy toe, that was new, never seen, I was fascinated, wow!

Later when I earned some money with modelling I had my dream pair made up by a shoemaker in Italy. I wore them to pieces, literally! They were gold leather with a purple platform, like a short boot with cut out heel and toes, tight with a string so they were snug… A pair of golden boots followed…- Love gold leather always, always-

When I started modelling in London I found this ordinary shoe store but saw somewhere in the window in the back on top a glimpse of Gold that called me so I followed my instinct and went in and can you imagine she had 7 beautiful, outrageously beautiful, pairs of original Ferragamo models that had been there for about 20 years and they thought nothing of it and no one was interested, FERRAGAMO! He was the greatest in his time, it still exist but is of course not him. They were happy to get rid of them and I got them for next to nothing and they fitted! I have a 7 which was in general the shoe model size, now it is probably a 9. I wore them and wore them, silk satin and silver leather, red suede with gold leather of the best quality……….

If you let me I will slowly tell you all about my shoe experience, designed and produced them for 10 years… but lets have a glimpse of that in a few pictures that I made  of the exhibition of my shoe work in Madrid in 1991. It gives a bit the image of what I was doing.

My exhibition in Madrid

The Number ONE! this particular shoe I sold over and over again

This was 1990

The short booties, softest leathers……

La Espagnoladesigned by Salvador, very Spanish….

Bags and shoes and belts in my shop in Madrid, 1988

Here we are showing the influences, America:


we also had China and Arabia.

Salvador made the backgrounds, he was always the greatest help and any of anything would not have been possible without him and without Alejandro who did a lot too.

This is the window of my store in Puerta de Toledo, madrid.

I think that shoes are important to a look, you can wear nice clothes and shabby shoes and the whole impression is shabby, but a shabby outfit with wonderful shoes makes the whole thing look better, what do you think?


So often I stood in front of the cameras of some great photographers but I also like to be behind the lens. Love to make pictures, specially portraits, don’t know why but I always get close up, get that face, that moment, that expression.

Make the person feel beautiful and click!


Not necessary to make a lot of shots but more then one so there is a choice. Here I made quiet a few and they are all good. To make a really nice picture you have to set it up though, think of the background and the light, invent a story or whatever, so you are prepared. In this case it was as easy as pie, such a beautiful girl as Apple and Alejandro such a good stylist, although both only 8, and my props ideal, but most important was the sky light in the “Atelier” we lived. June Newton was raving about it when she came to photograph us at home and yes, it was spectacular. Apple was very close friends with Alejandro, her mother Remi had been a model but was known as an extra ordinary stylist, years ahead of her time. Her father is Laurence Sackman, a renown photographer with whom I worked quiet a bit in Paris, we were good friends.

APPLE a few years later

On the other hand you may see a moment and say: Hold it,  and run for your camera but get there too late as the moment has gone. Now you can have the camera in your breast pocket, they are so small and yet everything is there, anyone can make a reasonable picture, or not? Still, the more you know about it, the better results are possible I think!







some of my favourites…









Many friends that read this blog knew Apple at that time and I like to tell you that she is very well, beautiful as ever, is married and has a little boy and they live happily in Paris. She never wanted to be a model.

Next time we talk about photography I show you other ones, this time I leave you with Apple, so nice to look at….