I have so much personal and professional admiration for Mario Testino that I would follow the guy anywhere around the world if he asked me. (Need proof? Earlier this year, I went with him to Macchu Pichu. Literally.) Luckily for me, our most recent adventure was much closer to home: Boston. Me and some friends drove up there for the day to fete Mario’s new exhibition at the MFA, “In Your Face,” which is Mario’s first retrospective in a major American institution and one of the largest photographic retrospectives I’ve seen in an art museum. Or any sort of museum for that matter. Five long galleries were constructed in the MFA’s new addition that house 122 larger-than-life images from Testino’s collections. Some are from his studio work with Vogue, Vanity Fair and V magazine; some, like the one of Kate Moss putting on lipstick while sitting on a bathroom sink, were shot on the fly with his handheld. There are supermodels, princesses, Hollywood royalty. Madonna, Gwyneth, Stella. Boobs, abs and the tautest of bums. It’s a fantasy come to life. He is the original documentarian of the glamorous, and the rest of us are mere imposters.
But back to Boston: The gallery opening was packed. I think those Bostonites were really gurning a party. When Gisele, who is about 10 months pregnant, came in wearing a slinky dress and high heels, the surge and excitement was palpable. Not that she noticed: She just tossed that perfect hair and flashed that megawatt smile and made her way through. She came to see her many printes, including the picture of her climbing out of a limo that ranon the cover of Vanity Fair’s September 2007 shoot. I came with Karlie, who had a print from a Vogue editorial that was so big it took an entire wall. Stuart Weitzman sponsored the opening, and threw Mario a swanky dinner (by swanky I mean gold candelabras and crocodile tables) in an upstairs gallery following the opening. And then we at Vmagazine threw him an afterparty. The good thing about coming to a new city is that people let their hair down. In the case of the extensions that Oribe put in the girls’ hair that night, I mean that literally. So we hit the dance floor, and we hit it hard. The next morning was a little rough. One of the blondes in this post missed not one, not two, but three of her trains back to New York. But I won’t say who. (Luckily, I drove.)
The legendary Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele. The sunglassed stylist is a French icon, and she’ll let you know it. (She styled Anna Wintour’s first ever American Vogue cover.) She dressed all these girls — from left, Constance, Sigrid, Candice, Edita and Bianca — for Mario’s opening
To be that pregnant and still that gorgeous? Gisele is the most glamorous freak of nature. And for the record, she genuinely loves Boston. When we saw her, she screamed, ‘Welcom to my town!’ Very sweet, very amusing. Good look, Gis!
I love me some Joan Smalls! Her and Karlie were fashion troopers, coming all the way to Boston, shooting with Mario that day, cocktailing with him that night, eating, and then getting back to New York that evening for early call times the following day. It ain’t easy being that glamorous, I guess
BONUS: Alex Bramall, a very nice boy that works in Mario’s office, sent me some photos from the V party. (Actually, if you saw some of the pictures he sent of me, maybe you wouldn’t think he was that nice.) But they captured the fun that we had. Let me tell you sometihng: That Candice Swanepoel can move, even in a pair of one-size-too-small-lace-up-booties. This is her working her high pony tail