of all the famous models who emerged from the sixties, veruschka was undoubtedly the most sexually charged of all. born into german nobility as vera von lehndorff, the young model experienced a very difficult past which included the assassination of her father by the nazi party, and the lose of her family's fortune by the end of the war. by the time she was a teenager she was already six foot tall and was teased and called a "stork" by her classmates for her tall, lanky physique. after high school she studied art at hamburg and florence. at twenty years of age she was discovered by photographer ugo mulas and her modelling career began. a slow start didn't deter the young model, so she created her own history telling people she was russian and adopting the name of veruschka. her little trick worked and by the mid sixties the ever influential diana vreeland of american vogue was singing her praises. resulting in her appearing on the cover of the prestigious magazine eleven times and earning as much as up to $10,000 a day. like all the models in those days, veruschka had control of her own image and was in a position to offer her own ideas to photographers. it was then that she started to incorporate body paint to her shoots, something that becomes her trademark and something that she will continue to pursue throughout her life. her popularity exploded in 1966 when she was cast in michelangelo antonioni's film "blow up" in which she played herself. although she was only in the movie for a mere five minutes, it became one of the sexiest scenes in movie history. by 1975 she retired from fashion and started to concentrate on her own body art even putting on a show in new york in the mid eighties. every so often she will return to the fashion world for a select runway appearance, most notably for karl lagerfeld in the nineties. she might not be as well known today as she was in the sixties, but even now when sexual constrictions are loosened, the veruschka of the sixties can put all victoria's secret models combined to shame.
a body painted veruschka.