51 Random Questions with Helena Christensen
Born on Christmas day, Danish supermodel Helena Christensen has been a gift to the world of fashion for almost her entire life. The 49 year old model, whose visage was first seared into the minds of millions thanks to the 1989 Chris Isaak music video for his hit song Wicked Games, has evolved over the years. Moving beyond being an angel for Victoria’s Secret, a coveted covergirl and runway supermodel. She has worked as a creative director for Nylon magazine, designed clothing, created a perfume, collaborated on a line of jewelry and most notably has become a well respected photographer. All the while continuing to model regularly over the past three decades.
Here Christensen takes time out of her busy day to answer a few “off the top of our head” questions.
A version of this exclusive interview first appeared in the pages of the 13th issue of ODDA Magazine.
Q: Copenhagen or New York?
A: Argh, that’s tough! My soul is in one and my heart in the other.
Q: If not a model, what would Helena Christensen have worked as?
A: An archaeologist or photographer. Well, I still do the photography part.
Q: How is an ordinary day in Ms. Christensen’s life?
A: An ordinary one consists of my son, my dog, a lot of food, organising, taking pics, boxing and walking a lot.
Q: If your life was a song, it would definitely be…
A: Love Will Tear Us Apart, by Joy Division.
Q: When and how did you discover that photography was your calling?
A: When I got my first Polaroid camera (a Konica Land camera) in my early twenties and took portraits in Cuba.
Q: Lingerie or Haute Couture?
A: Lingerie, but I am in awe of the craftsmanship of Haute Couture and so honored that I got to be a part of its history.
Q: Could you share with us any miraculous beauty tip?
A: Haven’t found a truly miraculous one yet, but coffee grinds as an exfoliator are very efficient.
Q: Any humanitarian project on the go?
Q: Do you find any remarkable differences between former Victoria Secret angels and current ones?
A: They’re all remarkable. But better without the wings.
Q: Favourite show ever walked?
A: The Galliano shows were pretty epic.
Q: Have you ever tried a tanning bed?
A: Once when I was a teenager. It was completely claustrophobic.
Q: As a model, do you follow fashion trends?
A: I like fashion, but don’t really care about trends. I like what I like.
Q: Please, describe in 3 words how was it to shoot Mingus.
A: Interesting, daunting, fun.
Q: Where do you feel more comfortable: behind or in front of the lens?
A: I feel comfortable either way, but they are two different experiences. I breathe less when I am behind the camera.
Q: Film or digital?
A: They both serve a purpose in different situations, but my real love is Polaroid film.
Q: Colour or black and white?
A: You can’t pick one as a photographer, because both can be so utterly beautiful.
Q: Any craving that can be disclosed?
A: I crave sea urchin a lot.
Q: Who is Helena Christensen’s role model in life?
A: I don’t have anyone specific, but I admire and am inspired by a lot of people such as Hilma af Klint, Georgia O’Keeffe, Frida Kahlo, Karen Blixen, my mother, my 100-year-old grandmother, my dad, my son, Stephen King, Picasso, Morrissey… I could go on and on and on…
Q: Major moment in fashion?
A: I don’t know, maybe because I’ve been in it practically my entire life. It all felt major.
Q: Herb Ritts or Peter Lindbergh?
A: Both, absolutely. I adored Herb. He taught me so much about light and composition and was a great friend. Peter was there from the start and created some of the most wonderful stories I have ever done. He totally shaped my career.
Q: Try to describe yourself in 5 words.
A: Impatient, sarcastic, dry, hungry and curious.
Q: Please, do the same with Mingus.
A: Unusual, smart, funny, sweet, surprising.
Q: Favourite female model? Male one?
A: I loved all the pictures of Carré Otis since the beginning. Not sure about the guys.
Q: What do you feel more identified with: being a creative director, one of The Magnificent Seven or a beauty queen?
A: Heh, that’s a peculiar question… Not sure how to answer this one, but how about a creative and magnificent queen…?
Q: Pepsi or Coke?
Q: Genetics or hours spent at the gym?
A: Genetics are pretty powerful but being active can do wonders.
Q: Any superpower?
A: Being invisible would be terrifyingly awesome.
Q: Raw photos or edited ones?
A: I love raw photos and I love edited ones too.
Q: Favourite spot in the whole world.
A: The beach in front of my family’s cottage in the north of Denmark.
Q: Bare skin or makeup?
A: Bare skin with red lips.
Q: What is Helena Christensen good at?
A: Having crazy dreams.
Q: Home is…
A: …where my secret life is.
Q: Book or movie?
A: First the book, then the movie.
Q: Would you love Mingus to follow your steps in the fashion business?
A: No, I wouldn’t love that. But he can do what he wants to and I will support it all the way.
Q: Any dream to fulfil?
A: I never really had any big ambitions or dreams. So, I try to fulfil them in little ways every day.
Q: Are you real?
A: I am for real.
Diana Soto is an editor at ODDA Magazine. Keen on writing, fashion, photography and art, she has made her dream job out of a lifelong passion.
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