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Olivier Zahm sat down with French supermodel Laetitia Casta for Purple magazine's issue #15. She talked about her early days as a model, whether she considers herself a runway girl or and actress and divulged the details of her relationship with late designer Yves Saint Laurent.
Olivier Zahm: Yves Saint Laurent fell in love with you. You were the star of his last runway show, in 2002, which was a kind of retrospective fashion show. What happened between you and Saint Laurent?
Laetitia Casta: It was like a love story. We found each other. The first time I went to his studio I was extremely shy. I bowed my head. But the funniest thing is that he did, too. The clothes they gave me didn't work at all.. I was too small, too round, and not slender enough to be a Saint Laurent model. It just didn't work. While he was putting a jacket on me the stylist, who didn't know I spoke French, said, "What can we do with her?" I was terrified. He ended up putting a black skirt and sweater on me, with a little bun, and I found myself in front of Monsieur Saint Laurent. I didn't know where to stand, and he didn't either. I was so moved to meet him. And I think he was moved to meet me, too. He declared his ove for me on the spot. He said, "You very beautiful." He lowered his head, as if to say to me, "I love you." Everyone was uncomfortable.
OZ: You did several of his last runway shows.
LC: He wanted me to do them. He asked me, "What kind of dress do you want to wear?" I was really youn and I answered in any old way, like, "I was a dress with flowers/" I feel that Yves Saint Laurent was the one who allowed me to become aware of my femininity. He brought it out. He was the first person to say, "You beautiful." No one had even said that to me before.
OZ: Photographers must have told you that. Or lovers...
LC: Not in such a convincing way. When Yves Saint Laurent said, "You beautiful," or when he'd whisper," I don't like models," when he was surrounded by the most beautiful women in the world, I believed him. He made me understand that he could see something else in me other than my appearance. What he was saying was that he loved real women, women with heart, women with character. He took me somewhere else.
Take a look at images from the accompanying shoot by Terry Richardson. The theme is apparently statues...statuesque beauty, let's say!