Mark Seliger is one of my best friends, who happens to be one of the greatest celebrity photographers working today. He has done decades of work for Rolling Stone and most recently Vanity Fair among many other notable achievements, not least of which is his brilliant band RUSTY TRUCK that everyone should go and listen. One of Mark’s best-known images is of Heidi Klum. I have written about the original Joe Shere photo. This is a take off some info on the original shot, which has been one of the great Jayne Mansfield/Sophia Loren images of all time
Romanoff’s Restaurant was the setting of an unforgettable image featuring Italian bombshell Sophia Loren sizing up her American counterpart Jayne Mansfield with a look of disapproval and a hint of envy for the generous cleavage displayed by Mansfield with confidence and nonchalance. So what was Sophia Loren really thinking in that moment? She told Entertainment Weekly an account of that night in 2014 saying,
"She came right for my table. She knew everyone was watching. She sat down. And now, she was barely… Listen. Look at the picture. Where are my eyes? I’m staring at her nipples because I am afraid they are about to come onto my plate. In my face you can see the fear. I’m so frightened that everything in her dress is going to blow—BOOM!—and spill all over the table."
The iconic image perfectly epitomizes not only the glitz and glamour of a bygone era, but the dichotomy of female relationships; vanity, jealousy, both confidence and insecurity. Mark took these themes and added a touch of humor when he appropriated this photo using Heidi Klum to invoke famous beauties of the postwar era at they’re most iconic.