the icons: milla jovovich, joan smalls, and cameron russell
With decades of experience in front of the camera, we celebrate the icons of the industry whose looks, personalities, poses, and attitudes have defined an era of fashion. Here, they share their experiences and advice for the next generation.
Milla wears jacket stylist's studio. Jacket (worn underneath) and T-shirt Saint Laurent.
Milla Jovovich, 40, modeling for 29 years
Roughly how many shoots have you appeared in? Definitely in the thousands. How has your relationship to the camera changed as you've matured into a woman? The real change occurred when I became a mother to a daughter and started thinking about the age I was when I started working. For the most part my experiences were very good and I felt protected. However some of the pictures I did as a pre-teen, where I posed too maturely, bother me to look at today. I hate the idea of anyone looking at my own child in a way that isn't appropriate. Who is your phenomenal woman? Michelle Obama. She is a powerful, incredibly balanced woman and mother, who is elegant, eloquent and a great example of a phenomenal woman.
Joan Smalls, 28, modeling for 8 years
How many shoots have you appeared in? I've lost count. 900 plus… How has your relationship to the camera changed as you've matured into a woman? Learning my angles and the lighting. Where the camera is positioned to where my body moves. What do you think about when you're in front of the camera? I wonder how's the lighting. And then what's for lunch. How do you hope to come across? Strong and confident. I try to portray a character that is needed for the story to be convincing. What are the differences — if any — between being shot by a female photographer rather than a male? I guess being shot by a female photographer can be more 'intimate' because we are both females and understand things differently, it's like a hidden language. But given I've shot always with men I'm super comfortable and trust their guidance. It's interesting to see how different sexes view beauty. From no-sees to go-sees, what are your tips to making it in the industry? Stay humble and grounded. Work your ass off and enjoy the ride.
Cameron Russell, 29, modeling for 13 years
How has your relationship to the camera changed as you've matured? In the beginning I really had no idea how a picture was going to turn out. It felt like some kind of magic trick. Today it's more complicated. I still want to be respectful, but if I don't like an image we're making, I'm better at articulating my feelings. What do you think about when you're in front of the camera? We don't often spend time with people without speaking, but this is what being in front of the camera is — finding a way to communicate without words. There's vulnerability in that. How do you hope to come across? I don't think about it. These pictures aren't my vision. Fashion demands I look young, sexy, strong, and feminine. Without fulfilling those demands I'm out of a job. What are the differences — if any — between being shot by a female photographer rather than a male? It's important to think about diversity beyond the binary. We need to be asking: Whose perspectives are we missing? How do we make space for non-conformity? Who uses fashion to promote sustainability of environment, of culture, of self?
Photography Amy Troost
Fashion Director Alastair McKimm
Casting Director Angus Munro
- Joan Smalls
- Alastair McKimm
- Female Gaze
- fashion stories
- amy troost
- cameron russell
- milla jovovich