Las Palmas

Via Madrid we went to Canary Islands to arrange Salvador’s papers and stayed a few months, first in Las Palmas  and from there to one of the other 7 Islands called Fuerte Ventura. This was an amazing ancient place which looked deserted with lots of sand and a few palm trees, incredible rocks that looked prehistoric. We lived in a wonderful little house overlooking the endless sea but that was it, there was not much more, one old cinema and some fisher men so after a while it started to feel lonely and after hearing some friends of ours were in Ibiza we decided to go there. Ibiza was known since the 50’ies as a place where artists went to find the peace and beauty they were looking for. In 1970 it was still quiet unspoiled and still quiet empty although already there were a lot of foreigners. Ibiza is a very special Island with marvelous farmhouses which one could rent or buy for next to nothing (not anymore) and of course the fact that many artists were there made it highly interesting.

In the year we spend there we made many friends who are still our friends unless they left this world. We designed clothes, baked in the sun, (never heard of sunscreen then) had full moon parties and vegetarian dinners and the daily morning coffee at the Montesol. Some photographers came there to shoot summer editorials or I sometimes was booked on a trip to Africa for English Magazines and I went to the Ivory coast and Kenya.

 the Ibiza market

I was loving all the herbs that grow there and collected them in glass pots which were later taken away by the police for laboratory tests to see if that was Marijuana, which was not the case but still I was taken to the police station and had mug shots done for nothing and it even haunted us all the way to Canada years later when we thought to become Canadian but could not because of our police record in Ibiza which like I said was for nothing… The fact that Salvador was Spanish in this whole group of foreigners made the police look after us extra hard. Our friend Nancy Mehagian had a vegetarian restaurant together with her friend Sharon, called the Double Duck and we spend many a day there. Nancy is still cooking and also wrote a book . Then there was Cooky Debidour who became my closest friend, Edina Ronay and Dick Polak, also very close friends still and Karl Ferris the photographer who immortalized that time in Ibiza and his wife Anke who made the best veggieburgers, Raymond Steiner who is a photographer and film maker and his lovely wife Maree, Birgitta Bjerke the all time Queen of crochet and others, Also there were visits of some outstanding people like Jony Mitchell, ( Salvador drew her portrait) and Taj Mahal the great Blues man with whom we are still in contact as well.








Magazines came to photograph us, Italian Vogue and the American Look magazine wrote articles and Deborah Turberville passed by and made pictures of us.







Not to forget Nico ( The velvet underground) and that was very special because when I was home sitting outside on the porch one day, Salvador was not there at that moment, when I saw from far away someone coming through the field of Almond trees, a blond apparition that when getting closer I realized was Nico, she had heard about us and came to visit, just like that all by herself. I have been a fan of Nico always and still am, she was very special and I was thrilled she came to visit so to celebrate I made a big joint of hashish, yes that was all part of it in that time, and we smoked until she fainted right there. It was a bit scary because I did not know what to do but thank heavens it did not last long and we could laugh about it. Anyway there are many stories but not to be told here, just want to show you pictures of the things we made, Salvador’s work you can admire( I do) in Alegria’s Blog who is writing all about Salvador and his work and some of the pictures he made of me and our son Alejandro which are among my favorites.

Picture by Salvador Maron

We designed these wooden sandals and had them made up by a local carpenter, than hand painted them in all kind of patterns and colours.

The sewing machine was in the house already waiting for me and since we had no electricity this was perfect, the suit Salvador is wearing was made by me as well.

Loved that coat, velvet with leather applications, the bag was also one of our designs

The leather vest on the right was a typical example of what I was doing, lots of applications of snake and gold leather on suede, wish I had it now!

The golden bra I found in a vintage store in NY.                                        family self portrait.







… and I would not go anywhere without my YSL platform sandals, never mind it was almost impossible to walk with them on that Ibiza roads. Only when it rained or had rained we wore our own wooden sandals which kept your feet out of the mud.

“>My leather T shirts, here in gold of course. OMG wish I could make them now.

Ok, we are leaving Ibiza and are on our way to Marbella, and then Milan…… but that I tell you next time.


To be a model in New York in 1968-69 was very different for me then modelling in London, Paris or Milan, there I was just booked and here one had to go on “Go sees”, that is go to see the advertising agents and Photographers to see if they wanted to book you as of course I was not known here. When I first came to the Eileen Ford Model agency Eileen told me I should dress differently because to be more commercial one should look like a healthy all American girl “next door” and that was the last thing I looked like. She was right of course but I was not interested to project someone I was not, as for me the way I dress is very important and the only way I really feel good, I was always glad to get out of the clothes I was photographed in and happy to get into my own. Very seldom the clothes were exciting, at least for me with the exceptions of some Bazaar shoots. For my taste it was Bazaar

that was more modern then Vogue in that particular time as for the big magazines, like for everything else, it goes up and down and up again… The pictures I had in my book did not help either, almost all by Helmut Newton who had not yet explored America. Yet I worked with some very good photographers like Bert Stern or Scavullo but both made me feel uncomfortable, the only Photographer that was there at the time I really enjoyed working with was James Moore. He was good, knew what he wanted, super kind, spiritual and relaxed. Worked with him a lot for Bazaar and the Sunday Times colour magazine and whenever he could he also booked me for publicity (my eyes here above is one of them).

James Moore for Bazaar

I also enjoyed working with Cris von Wangenheim,( here for Bazaar)

Everything was different, here you could get booked by the hour,  which meant coming to the studio already almost made up and hair more or less done. Yes, yes, we did our own makeup and hair unless it was something special or for a big Magazine and those paid very little, it is prestigious to work for any of them and it will give you eventually more commercial work which compared to today was not that well paid either. To be a top model today is much more exciting then it was in those days, there are some marvellous Photographers around and the clothes have caught up too, everything seems possible now while then everything was quite restricted and a lot of things taboo. I remember going once on a “Go see” to a big advertising agency and I was led into an office where some one looked at my “book” and called someone and in no time there were about 20 people standing there in the doorway pressing to see better, all staring at me with open mouth as if I came from Mars, I was so surprised, thought that was so indiscreet and they never booked me. I never understood that someone in their position did not have the imagination to see you could portray anything, it was my job to be able to change into anything, I am also not that elegant lady photographed by Henry Clark or that Lady in a smashing evening dress and furs driving a Rolls (although that would be nice). The only American photographer I really wanted to work with was Bob Richardson, I liked his pictures almost even more then Helmut Newton’s but he only worked in America in that time so I never had the chance to work with him. Who can forget the beautiful spread he did for Bazaar or Vogue in Greece with Donna Mitchell? Those pictures blew me away and I still remember them. Later in London I worked with Donna and that was a thrill for me as for me she was the most exciting model around. One day I was booked by Richardson and I was all nervous but it was one of these hourly bookings for a publicity so nothing interesting about that except I met him and he liked to work with me, so some time later he booked me for Bazaar! Wow, that was totally different and I arrived happily at the studio, even more happy to see I was the only model for 8 pages and on top of that the clothes were gorgeous and very well styled, forgot the name of the editor but she was really good. Getting ready with hair and make up and then waited and waited till the editor came in to dress me and brought me to the studio where I got on the dark grey paper that was to be used as a background, everything ready but no Bob! After staying there for a while they took me back to the dressing room and took off the clothes again and told me to wait, so I waited and waited, getting a bit paranoid as the hairdresser left and so I was all alone sitting there in that dressing room for hours wondering what was going on… Ok Now it was serious so I got dressed again and again to the studio and indeed after waiting a while Bob came in but he did not look good and everybody looked worried but he started to take pictures although he was falling from left to right and so they guided him away and told me it was over. I was very disappointed but we laughed about it when he came with Angelica Huston to visit us in Paris. So to make a long story short, my heart was not in it, the modelling I mean, there were so many other things, the clothes we designed, the discovery of New York, our baby, friends and everything else.

After staying more or less a year in NY Salvador had to go back to Canary Islands to arrange his military, which was still obligatory in that time and he was the age (21).  So that was it, good bye New York, we learned a lot, saw a lot and it was time to go! 

Destination Las Palmas…


On one of our outings to Central Park a young man approached us and introduced himself as a Wall Street Genius, because they had said so in the papers as he was the youngest ever to make a million that fast.  He loved the way we looked and would we be interested to make clothes and sell them? Yes, we were! So soon our apartment was full of leather and studs and a sewing machine and every thing else we needed.

 We also got an assistant who would drive us around in a red convertible MG to get us whatever we needed and we started cutting and sewing, Salvador designed the vest I am wearing in the painting and I made it up of colored snake leathers and gold and silver and above a picture of me in my pink Star jacket, I have a monkey on my lap which is hard to see and I don’t remember where it came from, funny. When I look at it now I see we were very influenced by America and their super heroes…

 Below picture of what was my SKY jacket, you could snap the skirt on or off, love to make clothes with options and often make things reversible. I decided not to line any of the clothes but feel the leather on your skin and it behaves better around your body…

Remember I told you about Olé, the actor of the Living Theater who was staying with us around that time, this is him in the picture below. He liked to sew and one day made a pants for himself which was so hard and stiff it could stand up by itself. It was an amazing sight , this shiny red pants (patent leather) standing in the middle of the room, will never forget that image. Jimmy is no longer on this planet but we remember him fondly.

We got some publicity, here the New Yorker with pictures of Caterine Millinaire

and an article in the German Twen (hottest avant-garde magazine at that time) with pictures by Anders Holmquist
We sold our designs to 2 stores: The Whip and Flukes, Best By and Co and this picture came out in Vogue:

A wrap around Butterfly and the all American Eagle

I know that Bill King did a color picture for Bazaar of the vest that’s in the painting, saw it but don’t have it, the girl that was photographed in it told me that he loved the piece. Nice! I love his pictures.

 We made a lot of leather clothes especially long coats and pants so when we went to Woodstock we were from head to toe dressed in leather, looking great but once we had found a place in the middle of that sea of people as far as your eyes would reach, it started to rain, but I mean rain! It did not stop the whole night and leather when it gets wet is unbearable, heavy and uncomfortable, so when the rain did not stop the next day either, we decided to leave, which was easier said then done. To pass through that crowd of thousands of people was something else, and I don’t remember how we got there but I do remember what it was trying to get out and walking miles and miles along the road full of parked cars… feeling dizzy because of not sleeping, hungry and wet. Don’t really remember very well who and what we saw but it was an incredible feeling to be there and it also was a great feeling to get out of there.

 We came out in this book… the picture was taken in Central Park, check Salvador’s pants.…

All together it was a great time with lots of funny things happening, like the young man from Wall Street brought us a gun one day, for our protection I guess but it made us paranoid so we flushed the bullets (there were 2 of them) in the toilet ( can you imagine)? And friends made a short movie of us throwing the gun in a river. Sometimes we would go and visit Salvador Dali and Amanda Lear on Sunday afternoons when they would receive friends in their Hotel suite, Salvador knew Amanda Lear from Marbella ( later in Spain I made a short movie directed by Salvador Dali) and well, like I said; crazy times but we also worked, Salvador painted, the clothes we made together and in between I was working as a model of which I will talk about next time…




Somewhere at the end of 1968 we arrived in

and we rented a room in the Chelsea Hotel we had heard about in LA, it was a place where artists, writers, painters, musicians, actors were staying and it was a wild place. New York itself was a wild place, like a jungle, with so much going on. We soon found a place of our own, 92nd, between Fifth and Madison, just a few steps to Central Park and exactly where the Guggenheim is. It was a great place, there even was a garden, we did not realize how lucky we were and all that for $250 a month. We soon became familiar with the scene and made friends or met friends we knew from other places.

Salvador in front of Kansas city which was THE place to meet and have this wonderful salads and steaks….

Salvador knew the actors of the Living Theatre he had met in Rome and Paris and who were now performing in NY. We would hang out with them quiet a bit and one of the actors, Jimmy Tirov ( alias OLÉ ) of whom I will talk later, even stayed with us for a while. They were extra ordinary people and we met others,Andy Warhol who interviewed us, the cast of Hair, great photographers and models, designers like Paul Ropp as well as a real life bank robber who was actually a very kind person and he told us he never wanted to be caught but rather be shot( he was shot later), police, lawyers and the whole bit. There were crazy parties, almost everybody we knew was into mind expanding and many drugs were available for that, especially LSD. There are many stories and adventures (not to be told here in the Cyber jungle) but I do like to show you the things we did, Salvador painted, we designed leather clothes ( next Blog) and I modeled for the American Magazines ( the next next one ). In the meantime we went for walks in the park and the streets with the baby and on one of these occasions a young photographer asked us if he could make pictures and that was Arthur Elgort, now a known fashion photographer.

                                     with our friend Miroslava, photo Arthur Elgort
We loved the photo booth and had great fun making pictures






 or making test shots with young unknown photographers, which are among my favorite ones of all the pictures I did… mostly because I was wearing my own clothes…

New York 1969 was quiet a year with somewhere in the middle Woodstock, where we went… it was a great year, it was a mind blowing year, it was an exciting year for New York and for us…

OH, and not to forget I saw Greta Garbo! I was looking at some pictures of a film theater and felt someone looking at me and when I turned I saw it was Greta, she looked me straight in the eye then turned and disappeared… I am since always a great fan of hers…