#MODELCRUSHMONDAY: Erin O’Connor
Hello everyone! I’m starting a new series named ‘Model Crush Monday’, a blatant rip-off of ‘Woman Crush Wednesday.’ I did consider stealing this popular hashtag outright, but there are plenty of male models out there whom I admire, too.
I wanted to create a post that celebrates models past, present and future. The faces that excite me, and the personalities and brains behind them. Us models can learn from their careers and attitudes – and non-models can see that there’s more to us than a pout and a thin pair of pins!
I’m starting off the series with my ultimate Model Crush, Erin O’Connor. Why is she my ultimate? She’s so utterly committed to the picture. It’s like Erin has a deep well of information – cultural, historical and mysterious & magical – that she can channel through her body, out her eyes and straight through the camera lens into the viewer’s soul.
All pics from supermodels.nl
We’re all quite used to the tall, gangly alien look these days, but when Erin came onto the scene after beign scouted in 1995*, her pale complexion, strident nose, extreme height (just over 6ft) and straight up-and-down skinny body was totally radical. Erin made all of these work for her, showing off her nose with Aristocratic airs and using her ballet background to work her long limbs into angular shapes.
Designers love the drama, aristocracy and almost-alien quality Erin lends to their design. The ultimate collaboration has to be between the supermodel and super-designer, Jean-Paul Gaultier, who celebrates variety, uniqueness and eccentricity in his models. If I could watch a show, it would be any catwalk with Erin walking for JPG. He loves dressing her in clothes that enhance her lanky length , tiny waist and elegant neck – and Erin clearly adores acting out the role he’s given her with aplomb.
Best of all about Erin, and what shines through her face even when she’s using that profile to give us her best snooty pose…
…Is the warmth, intelligence and kindness that she exudes. I saw her in 2002 on a show called This Model Life. I was scouted a few months later, and much of the information I was armed with was from Erin on this show. The way she conducted herself, her thoughtfulness when she spoke as well as the ethereal way that she moved was stamped on my consciousness (my main style/walk inspirations thus far had been my older brothers and Richard Ashcroft in the Bitterweet Symphony video). I remember the warm way it made me feel, to see someone equally as tall and gangly as me be celebrated for her body, rather than teased about it as I experienced at school.
Anyone I know who has worked with her raves about how professional and personable she is, and it’s evident that she truly is compassionate from her campaigning for the rights of models (she founded the ‘Model Sanctuary‘ for fatigued catwalkers. The concept survives in different guises, and models are, on the whole, much better cared for).
Erin’s now 37, married with a kid but her career shows no signs of slowing. She’s carved out a niche in her industry that only she can fill, and her strong features mean that she looks just as statuesque and striking as she did over a decade ago.
No matter what role she is playing, garments she is wearing or shapes that are demanded of her, Erin’s singular soul always communicates directly to the viewer – and it’s every bit as beautiful as her exterior.
*She was scouted at The Clothes Show Live. Of course.