He just pointed at the plane and told me to start screaming!

I did work with the incredible Guy Bourdin, for the magazine called Egoist. I stayed in his house in Paris, and it is one of the happiest, craziest, most interesting weeks of my working life. It was at a time when he was out of fashion and not working much in Paris. My agent warned me that he might be difficult and kept saying just leave, Susie, if he gets too much! But he was so wonderful and funny and sweet and shy. He spoke no English so we communicated by sign language. I adored him. It was in the late 80s, and with eternal regret, I lost the copy of the magazine and I have never been able to find the photographs again. I'm not sure if I was credited in the photos because it was before the days when models were named and anyway I wasn't well known enough for them to credit me, but I can tell you this - he surmounted any expectations I had of him.

We drove around Paris in his little car looking for an airport to photograph me in. I had no idea where we were going, as he spoke no English! Eventually we snuck into a military base and he photographed me being chased by a plane that landed behind me. He just pointed to the plane and told me to run and start screaming! I wish I could find those photographs.

I also have another obscure, half-memory of falling down his stairs in a long dress, drunk on champagne, and Mr. Bourdin photographing me looking through a fish bowl at a goldfish – or something like that. Anyway, a little remembrance of a great photographer and a beautiful man, and to pay my respects, who knows, before it is too late and the memory goes the way of the photograph. Love, Susie.

Guy Bourdin

 


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