dinsdag 29 maart 2016
I have a most unusual prescription and after having perhaps ten thousands of glasses through my hands, this was the first pair that gave me perfect eyesight. Of course, things have changed during the past 25 years and now these glasses would be useless to me.
These classic Christian Dior glasses were a buy at the annual street fair in my native Amsterdam on Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) in the late 1980's. Posing in these glasses called for concentration from the model's side as her own prescription is halfway both lenses.
"Halfway.... Next eye....". Another example of "trompe l'oeil". Cat is able to send the viewer in any direction she chooses. Which eye is actually seeing? You can watch this portrait till the cows come home and still see it either way. Cat is really the master of illusionist posing....
Cat being Cat, she overcame the initial reflex within seconds, zooming in on her role as a model. Once you forget about the 20% difference in eye size, it's hard to determine which eye is leading in this portrait. Cat could easily go for a high myopic lady needing the left lens to see her photographer. Thank you, phenomenal Cat!
These make-up specs were acquired 15 years ago, fitted with lenses of +2.50. In June, 2009 I gave them to my life partner Nel as a surprise gift to mark the first anniversary of our relation. Her optician secretly fitted the glasses with Nel's prescription for reading just in time. Unfortunately, Nel could not get used to the make-up specs. Impossible to change the routine of a lifetime, nose pressed against the mirror.... After the start of my photography project, Nel gave me back the glasses, hoping that some models might be interested to pose in them.
"Immersed into silence" are the words that spring to mind here. A cold, misty morning, no other visitors, and especially the way Cat expresses the general atmosphere in the park. A lot of editing went into this photo to recreate the almost surreal feel of the moment.
Five years ago, these striking Luxottica glasses were part of a much appreciated present from a collector in the UK who sent me a box filled with a part of his own collection. I'm not sure about the age of these giant glasses. I never saw anything like them in the streets during the 1980's.
Cat and I had an extensive correspondence before my journey to Paris. One of my questions was if she had any preference for certain frame styles. Her answer was, I love cat eye glasses! Nomen est omen.... It was no surprise to me that these Givenchy glasses were among the first pairs picked out of the box by Cat.
During our email exchange about a suitable meeting point, I requested that Cat would arrive in her own glasses. It's always handy for models to use their own glasses during breaks to give their eyes a rest. Her laconic answer was that she would probably not recognize me without her glasses on.
Jardin Villemin is only a small park but still, a quiet oasis. A little plaque in the park remembers visitors of the deportation and subsequent fate of the Jewish community in 1942 / 1943. Being from Amsterdam, I was moved by the simple inscription "We will never forget".
Cat has a prescription of only -1.00 but she loves her own glasses and she even wears two Chanel pairs. depending on her outfit of the day. To my surprise, these Zenni glasses were the second pair she picked out of the box. No need for a gentle start.... It worked!